Fleetwood Mac guitarist/vocalist Lindsey Buckingham required an electronic kit for his 2017 duo tour with bandmate Christine McVie, but that didn’t stop Jimmy Paxson from applying his creative vision to the Roland V-Drums he chose to use. The drummer, who in the past has turned a suitcase into a drum and fashioned mannequin hands to hold cymbals, was intent on creating a dynamic visual aesthetic. “My goal was to create what I felt would best serve the gig both sonically and aesthetically,” says Paxson. “We went with the Roland TD-50 brain, which is just unbelievable.”

Paxon’s drum tech, Brent “Panda” Cook, gutted each V-Drum and installed the components inside C&C shells to create the appearance of an acoustic drumset. “For the toms, we deconstructed one 10″ PD-108 and two 12″ PD-128s and rehoused their mechanisms in C&C shells to act as a rack tom and two floors,” says Paxson. “The snare pad is their new PD-140DS digital snare, and we just left it alone. It weighs in at ten pounds and plays like a real drum, including sidestick and rimshots—a total game changer.”

The bottom hoops on the toms are black wood and have abalone inlays to match the bass drum. The same Black Ice wrap Paxson acquired from DW for the shells was cut and glued to the front of the 20″ bass drum, which isn’t actually being struck. “The bass drum playing is actually done via two Roland KT-10 trigger pedals,” Paxson explains.

Paxson chose Paiste Color Sound 900 cymbals, plus a few black 2002s, to fit the visual vibe of the kit while also providing the ideal sounds. “Given that the mesh-head kit is practically silent,” Jimmy explains, “the slightly lower volume of the Color Sound cymbals served the stage environment quite well, and there was no drum bleed into the live mics.”

Jimmy also found that using maple sticks improved his endurance. “I switched to an Innovative Percussion 5A maple,” he says. “Hitting a mesh pad for long periods of time definitely feels different from hitting a [Mylar] drumhead. With the maple sticks I had no fatigue.”

“There are several reasons I gravitate to electronic drums in live performance,” Buckingham tells Modern Drummer. “First is the flexibility to tailor the sounds differently according to the needs and personality of each song. A second reason is that electronic pads allow for a much more contained stage. This provides a far more discreet set of source materials for the house engineer, and therefore more potential for a clean, detailed, and punchy live mix.”

“I wanted this kit to be a work of art,” adds Paxson. “Not only is it a pleasure to play, but it’s also a pleasure to take in visually. And that was the goal.”

Drums: Roland V-Drums with C&C shells
A. 5×14 Roland PD-140DS snare
B. PD-108-BC 10″ pad inside 5×10 C&C tom
C. PD-128-BC 12″ pad inside 5×12 C&C tom
D. 8×20 C&C prop bass drum

Electronics: Roland TD-50 module, KT-10 kick trigger pedals, BT-1 bar trigger pads, JH Audio Roxanne in-ear monitors, Earthworks microphones, Clair Brothers subwoofer, Apple iPad running GigBook app

Sticks: Innovative Percussion Legacy Series 5A maple sticks, timpani mallets

Hardware: DW 9000 series rack and hi-hat stand, Ahead Spinal-G throne with two Jensen Low Rider seat shakers

Percussion: LP 6″ triangle and 2″ bell, Gon Bops Tumbao cajon

Cymbals: Paiste Black Color Sound 900 series
1. 16″ China
2. 10″ 2002 splash (black finish)
3. 16″ Heavy crash with steel rivets
4. 6″ 2002 Accent (black finish)
5. 14″ Heavy hi-hats
6. 8″ 2002 splash (black finish)
7. 16″ crash
8. 20″ Heavy ride
9. 18″ crash
10. 18″ Heavy crash with steel rivets
11. Stack consisting of a 16″ Heavy crash (bottom), 14″ Twenty Series Thin China (middle), and 12″ splash (top)
12. 18″ crash cut into a spiral using a plasma torch

Heads: Roland V-Drum mesh heads on top of snare and toms and Evans MX White resonants, Smooth White EQ3-NP bass drum batter and Black Ice custom front