Forty years ago the passion and presence he displayed with the Police locked the drum world on his every move. Today, after exploring a multitude of ways in which to express and employ himself through sound, he’s focusing once again on a band setting. Longtime MD contributor Ken Micallef remembers the shock of the new and learns about the drummer’s return to old-time rocking out.


On October 19, 1979, my bandmates and I made the trek from the backwards burbs of Charlotte, North Carolina, to the leafy campus of Davidson College, some forty-five minutes to the north, to witness the three-piece spectacle we’d heretofore only heard on “FM alternative radio,” the Police.

Our band, the Chaplins (don’t ask), traded in new-wave material, our best track a rip-off of the Police’s spiky “Truth Hits Everybody,” from their 1978 debut album, Outlandos d’Amour. Sure, we covered our share of late-’70s megahit wonders: Elvis Costello and the Attractions’ “Pump It Up,” the Cars’ “Good Times Roll,” the Clash’s “London Calling,” Nick Lowe’s “Cruel to Be Kind.” But really, the Police were it. I was a Stewart Copeland sycophant. The Police played like a band of true punks but with serious musical acumen and terrific songs that were infused with ideas from ska, reggae, Afro-Cuban, and other international styles. Copeland, bassist/vocalist Sting, and guitarist Andy Summers were on a mission to rule the world, or at least its Top 40 charts.

It was with great relish and collected gas money that we drove north to Davidson in my mom’s blood-orange Honda Civic. But nothing prepared us for the aggressiveness, energy, and bombast, for the full-on musical revolution we witnessed that fall night.

A quarter of the way through their 1979-80 Reggatta de Blanc tour, the Police hit the college’s small auditorium stage and destroyed it. Sting was snarky, Summers regal, and Copeland a maniac freed from his cage. Challenging the band, the audience, even his own skinny, seemingly malnourished body, he played with a beautiful yet manic grace that drew on the energy of ’70s punk. But the way he hammered rhythms both spacious and exotic, and his fearless mauling of the barline—always pushing forward—was intoxicating. Soon Copeland’s trademarks, such as dub-tinted rim work, flowing hi-hat flourishes, Caribbean and Middle Eastern bell patterns, and excitable Octoban commentary, all housed within a powerful groove that often adroitly avoided the 1, went global.

Thirty-odd years after the band’s initial break-up (they would reunite for a 2007/08 world tour), and Stewart Copeland is easily the most prolific former member of the Police. His creative output is downright daunting: early solo releases under the pseudonym Klark Kent; the percussion ensemble/chamber orchestra project Orchestralli; the collaborative bands Animal Logic (with Stanley Clarke and Deborah Holland), Oysterhead (with Les Claypool and Trey Anastasio), and Gizmo (featuring David Fiuczynski); TV and movie soundtracks including Rumble Fish, Wall Street, Talk Radio, The Equalizer, Out of Bounds, and his own film, The Rhythmatist; and orchestral works for operas, ballets, and symphonies such as Ben Hur, Tyrant’s Crush, The Tell Tale Heart, and Gamelan D’Drum.

Copeland has received multiple Grammy Awards and, neatly framing his career, topped the Most Promising Newcomer category in the 1981Modern Drummer Readers Poll and was voted into the magazine’s Hall of Fame in 2005. These days he’s reasserting his rock bona fides with Gizmodrome, a supergroup featuring guitarist/vocalist Adrian Belew, Level 42 bassist Mark King, and keyboardist Vittorio Cosma. It’s merely the latest example of Copeland’s perpetual challenge to himself, to answer the question: What would this sound like?


MD: Your evolution from rock drummer to soundtrack worker bee to composer of ballets, operas, and classical works, and now being back in a rock band—it’s all pretty incredible.

Stewart: Well, I’ve got two words of advice about that: Stay curious.

MD: The material in Gizmodrome has your classic drumming signature. Were the songs written around the drums?

Stewart: One of them was. “Sweet Angels (Rule the World)” began as a drum track for Taylor Hawkins. He was making a solo record, and he says to me, “Send me a drum solo.” I missed the part about “four bars of drum solo.” So I recorded a two-and-a-half-minute drumathon with everything I’ve got in here: timpani, Octobans, crotales, all kinds of unnamed metallic and wooden objects, with which I created this groove. Ultimately he used four bars of it and Gizmodrome used the rest as a backing track. I played the band this tapestry I’d built, we created a song on top of it, and then we threw out most of what I’d recorded for Taylor. But that’s where I began.

MD: That song opens with timpani, which continues through the track; is there more orchestral percussion on the record?

Stewart: Not as much as on that track, but I did pull out all kinds of toys. We went nuts and made these incredible backing tracks in Milan. Then we spent two summers doing vocals and adding guitars, removing guitars, adding percussion, using the studio to the max. In the century in which we live, the studio itself is an instrument. And we definitely performed on that instrument with this material.

MD: This is a dense album.

Stewart: This isn’t an instance where we mailed tracks back and forth to each other. Ninety percent of what you hear is four guys in a room. But all the cool little details, like the timpani, those took a lot of studio time to get sounding cool.

MD: Why Milan?

Stewart: Milan has open-air concerts where the tickets are either free or very cheap. I’m over there with no record, no product, no agenda. Just to be there. The agenda, as Adrian Belew has said, is “Pasta!” I go and play with a little chamber ensemble, sometimes with the wild tribes of Sorrento, of which I am now a member. Vittorio Cosma and I had been concocting an act of some kind over the summer. Vittorio is a major force in Italy—a conductor, arranger, film composer, music director. He was the keyboard player in [legendary Italian progressive rock band] PFM. So one day he calls and says, “A record company wants to record us.” And the rest is Gizmodrome.

MD: Sounds like a great place to record an album.

Stewart: We threw out all these Italian enticements to Adrian Belew, and soon we were in deep urban Milan in a recording studio. Adrian and Mark King came thinking this was going to be a Stewart solo project. But the fun we had, you can’t get that by hiring session players. To get them to reach deeper into their cookie jars, I gave them full license. You hear the combined talents of four guys on a mission, which you just don’t get from one artist directing session players. Before they knew it, they were in a band.

MD: “Zombies in the Mall” is in 3/4, but you’re playing kind of a 2/4 snare.

Stewart: Nah. I’m too lazy to figure out that 6/8 shit.

MD: But it’s a classic Stewart Copeland time illusion.

Stewart: I don’t really see it that way. There’s a million clever tricks that I do rack up that I’m really proud of. That cross-rhythm thing, playing four against three, is always a good laugh. It sways in a nonstandard way, which is always a good thing.

MD: What’s the origin of “Zubatta Cheve” and its groove?

Stewart: That came from an open-air show Gizmo played in Sorrento. We got into this groove and the audience was laughing and shouting, and we just sat on this groove. I record everything. When I got home I took out my scalpel and carved that groove into a track, which became a Gizmo song.

MD: Did that drum groove come out of some indigenous thing? It’s like a street march.

Stewart: It just happened one night. I have mixes of other things I played on the song, and it’s mostly just the audience. They like to shout. “Oh!” “Ah!” I’m playing this beat and they’re singing and shouting.

MD: Your lyrics are always unusual, but with Gizmodrome they’re more thoughtful. In one song you say, “Satan sings softly and sweetly.” Are you sharing more of your reflective, personal self now than in the past?

Stewart: [pause] Yes. But I’m not thinking about who I am as a guy, as a dad, as a suburbanite, a good husband and father in the world. The guy singing those songs and words is not necessarily me. As I used to say back in the Klark Kent days, “The mask revealed the true identity.” But it works the other way too. If you’re Joe Blow like I actually am, I can put on a mask and some other monster emerges with funny and weird shit to say.

Tama and Paiste at Sacred Grove

MD: Why do you call your studio Sacred Grove?

Stewart: A sacred grove is a place where the hunter-gatherers would sense a certain vibe. The way the trees and the rocks were situated on the land, the whistling through the trees…certain places gave them a sense that God lived there. And 13,000 years later, with civilization, that location is probably now home to a church. And there are certain places where there are ley lines or for whatever reason you just feel that something happens there. And this studio that I have is certainly such a place. I don’t know if God lives here or not, but Neil Peart likes to come and jam.

MD: You can play any brand of gear, but you’ve stuck with Tama and Paiste. Why?

Stewart: Tama makes great drums. I occasionally sit on other people’s drums—your DWs, your Yamahas, Slingerlands, Gretsch, and so on. Tama seem to think more about the drums. I’m still basically a glorified roadie and drum gearhead. I spend many happy hours thinking of booming out that new splash cymbal so it doesn’t get in the way of the something-else cymbal.

Tama has got it all together. I’ve been playing their drums for forty years. They’re quite bright and punchy sounding, and I’ve discovered they’re very versatile. Those same Tama drums that I played at Giants Stadium work pretty well at a tenth of that volume with a sixty-piece orchestra with no amplification. When I play dates with a symphony, sometimes there’s no soundcheck, no PA, no microphones, no electronics at all. Sixty guys go out onto the wooden stage and make music. It’s astonishing the difference between sixty guys on wooden instruments and one Fender Champ amplifier.

A symphonic concert feels magnificent and powerful, but it’s not that loud. You don’t sense an absence of volume, though, because it’s so rich and sonorous. But a rock band is ten times louder. In an acoustic environment with an orchestra…for me to hit my snare drum, which is tuned and designed to bring a bird down from the sky, I have to caress it very gently. And those same drums sound fantastic at that volume. One of the benefits of playing very quietly is the drums sound humongous.

The Drummer as “Flinty-Eyed Film Composer”

MD: How does your orchestral work change the way you play drums in a rock band?

Stewart: I was only halfway through this orchestral epiphany when we did the Police reunion tour. It was after that tour that I began playing regularly with orchestras and working on getting that technique under control. Another blessing of playing quietly? All those rudiments that you studied as a kid and the reason you do all those ruffs and drags, those really subtle nuances that drums are capable of but have no place in a rock band—these techniques come forth again and can shine!

MD: How do you balance the two environments?

Stewart: I’m faced with playing in Gizmodrome and I’ve got to figure out a way—because I really like playing quietly; I can play with more power and finesse and coolness. I enjoy it more, and it’s really blazing at that lower volume. Jonathan Fishman with Phish barely touches the drums and it sounds huge. I want to get some of that.

In Gizmodrome when I sing and play guitar up front we have Pete Biggin from Level 42 on the drums. And I have to keep his volume down! I’ll say in the rehearsal room—and your readers will gasp with loathing—but I’m the guy saying, “Can you play that a little quieter?”

MD: Rock bands should play with dynamics like in jazz and orchestral groups.

Stewart: Well, the drummer is in control of the dynamics. You’re not teaching Grandma to suck eggs here when it comes to drummers and dynamics. We know what that’s all about. Okay, it won’t be zero to four, but how about three to eight? It’s just volume, not energy. I believe you can really kick it when you haven’t already kicked it.

Stewart’s Setup, Then and Now

MD: What are your drum and percussion rigs for Ben Hur and Tyrant’s Crush?

Stewart: In Tyrant’s Crush, just a drumset. For Ben Hur, drumset and percussion. I play drums fine, but for percussion I have to read the score. It’s a very complex score. I wrote the damn thing! I’ve played it a hundred times, but I still have to read my way through the percussion section. The drum parts, I play it differently every night, because I know every millisecond of the music. The last show was in Vienna; now we’re booking 2019.

MD: Do you use clicks for either or both shows?

Stewart: No click in Tyrant’s Crush—it’s completely organic. But with Ben Hur, because it’s synchronized to the film, there’s a click, and I have a small video monitor with the movie playing. It has bar numbers, streamers, all kinds of information, because I have to navigate to the frame with the film with sixty other guys.

MD: How has your drum setup changed through the years?

Stewart: I got rid of one tom-tom. One day I got a call from George Martin, who was at the Hollywood Bowl playing Beatles orchestral music. He called me to play drums. I figured if I’m going to be doing Ringo chops, let’s do it on a Ringo drumset. So I set up just like Ringo: one rack tom, one floor tom, and two cymbals. And I made an incredible discovery: The drums are so much easier and more fun to play when you don’t have all these f**king drums in the way!

MD: How many toms do you play now?

Stewart: Still too many. Two in the front and two on the side. I don’t get around to the Octobans anymore. If I set them up, I’m only hitting them because they’re there. I can say what I have to say without them. At lower volumes, the top left tom, serves that function. With a rock band it doesn’t cut like Octobans do. But at symphonic levels tom-toms have got that covered. I did overdub Octobans on the Gizmodrome record.

MD: When you’re playing your rock kit with an orchestra…

Stewart: With Ben Hur I have two drumsets, which is my drumset and my percussion rig—basically a gong drum and Octobans as a unit. And crotales, with all kinds of cymbals and gongs hanging from the rig. I used those setups on the Police reunion tour as well. It’s the rig behind the main drumset. I play a lot of Ben Hur on crotales and Octobans and gong drum for a more ethnic vibe. But my basic touring kit hasn’t changed since the Police. I’ve just scrubbed the Octobans and the one tom.

MD: Do you tune the drums the same as you did in the ’70s and ’80s?

Stewart: Pretty much. The drums were always tuned pretty high to cut through. They might not sound like much when they’re set up, but when they go through the PA into a big room, that high-pitched sound cuts better and has plenty of power. You get the fullness and the cut.

MD: One of your trademarks is your incredible energy level, to where in the Police you were ahead of the beat, to drive the music harder.

Stewart: I discovered something recently, and I won’t throw anyone under the bus, but I’ve talked to several of Stingo’s session players and those that have toured with him. They blew my mind by telling me that Sting rushes! And the two of us together? That’s the problem! We were both rushing like madmen, and maybe that’s where the energy of the Police came from. That can be a problem when Sting tries to sing his songs at crazy tempos. I always thought it was me; I crack when it comes to tempo. So shoot me. But what I learned, to my astonishment—and it increases my love and adoration for the man—is that Sting is a sonofabitch rusher too! And by the way, none of this is criticism. Sting is also a very visceral musician. He’s not faking it. He’s the real thing. If he rushes, that was some of his frustration with me. It never crossed either of our minds that we’re both the culprits.

MD: You’re a lefty playing a right-handed kit. Has that made a difference?

Stewart: I think so. But to be clear, on almost any instrument it matters not if you’re left-handed or right-handed, because both hands are working. Though Jimi Hendrix did sound different because he turned his guitar upside down and his strum went the opposite way.

MD: Ringo is also a lefty playing a righty kit.

Stewart: Yes, and maybe that took him down some pathways that made his instinctive creation slightly different from the normal guy.

Inside Tyrant’s Crush, Ben Hur, Gamelan D’Drum

MD: You’ve scored Ben Hur, composed drum concertos for various orchestral commissions, scored Gamelan D’Drum for gamelan orchestra and the Dallas Symphony, and composed Tyrant’s Crush. Can we buy any of these soundtracks?

Stewart: Nothing is buyable, because of the strange animal, for one, that Ben Hur is. That’s a live experience that happens with an orchestra and me in front of a screen with this old movie. And I’ve altered and edited the movie for the purposes of a concert. To make a product out of that would be to transgress upon the original [silent] movie, which was cut down from two hours and forty minutes to ninety minutes for a good concert.

When the book Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ was originally written in 1880, it was the biggest seller next to the Bible. Then Ben Hur opened on Broadway and ran for twenty-six years. They made the silent film in 1924, which is the one I’m working with. The movie was enormous. Forty years later Charlton Heston remakes the movie, and it receives the most Oscars ever. Then this modern dog came out, the 2016 version. Piece of shit. F**ked my brand! People think my version is that crap film, dammit!

MD: Your first soundtrack score for a major film was Rumble Fish. Could you read and score music back then?

Stewart: Yes and no. I had learned music as a kid and at the San Diego College of Performing Arts; I was a music major. Then I never saw a sheet of music for twenty years. At the end of the Police I’m in the studio playing everything by myself. One day Francis Ford Coppola says [regarding Rumble Fish], “Great, love it. But it needs strings.” Yes, great idea! I’m on it. I get on the phone to a contractor: “Gimme strings.” “How many strings?” “I don’t know. Book some strings!”

These music readers show up. It’s not like a rock guitarist. I explain the mood to them and say, “Who wants to take a solo?” Silence. One of them said, “Maestro, do you want us to play what’s on the page, or whatever the hell you’re talking about?” There wasn’t much on the page. Whole notes, that’s all I had the imagination for. They play it down and they’re gone in an hour. Done and dusted, because it was on paper. I didn’t have to negotiate and cajole and inspire—it’s on the page. Since then I’ve been putting more on the page, and now my page is pretty freakin’ black. There’s the staccatos, the pianissimos, the hairpins, the articulations—you have to shape the music.

MD: How did you learn to do all this?

Stewart: It’s a language. I was using orchestrators for twenty years before I became a flinty-eyed film composer. I’d write it in MIDI, then hand it over and talk to the orchestrator regarding my intentions. The Equalizer was all electronic. In later feature films, I’d write the score in MIDI, but sometimes it didn’t end up as I’d hoped. I checked out Wagner, Stravinsky, and Ravel, and with them there’s a lot more information on the page. So I started doing more of what I call “putting the Italian on the page.” You’ve got a row of notes? Now put the Italian on it. You give it shape, not just what they play but how they play it. Creating an orchestral score, like Tyrant’s Crush, it’s thirty minutes of music. It took me five minutes to write the music and a year to score it. Unfortunately, there is no recording of that.



“Stewart oozes style, and we all know it. His playing is unique and original. It’s exciting and unpredictable. That snare, that hi-hat, that ride cymbal, that feel, those fills, that phrasing! He has his own distinct, recognizable sound and approach, like no one else that came before or after him. It’s what we all strive for, and most never achieve it. But somehow he makes it seem completely effortless. If in the ’70s Bonham inspired an entire generation of drummers to want to be him, Stewart was the guy in the ’80s. A fresh new sound and the MVP in each of their respective bands. He sent us all running to the headphones to listen, pick apart, and want to emulate on some level. Realizing we’ll never be him, all we can do is be inspired by him, and hopefully that inspiration and joy comes through in our playing. I could go on and on. Favorite tracks? If I listed five I’d be leaving out the other fifty, so I’m not even going to go there, girlfriend.”

—Josh Freese

“Copeland was one of my main influences while I was still living in Mexico City during my teens. He possesses one of the most recognizable sounds in rock ’n’ roll, which is no small feat. The snare drum crack, the Octobans, the splashes, the hi-hat work…it’s all incredibly clever, unique, and personal. The way he would displace the beat and avoid the obvious drum parts was always fascinating to me and in my opinion made the Police one of the most identifiable bands in history. ‘Walking on the Moon’ and ‘Driven to Tears’ are great examples of how he could be inventive, busy, and supportive at the same time while imprinting his own signature feel and sound. I think the fact that he is an all-around great musician who composes and is also a multi-instrumentalist is what makes him such a clever drummer.”

—Antonio Sanchez

“Stewart Copeland had a huge impact on me. When I heard the Police for the first time, I just didn’t get what was happening. He has the ability to convey a pulse with a completely different approach from anyone else I used to listen to at the time. It was unique and creative, but without being complicated. It was full of nuances and colors but still very powerful and confident. But the biggest lesson that I got from him was this: I loved him…in fact, so much that I tried to become him for a while—until I understood that he would not try that if he were in my position; he’s so good at being himself. That’s what I do now—becoming more and more myself. Gosh, but I still love him.”

—Benny Greb


MD: Why not?

Stewart: Orchestras have unions, and you cannot just record them. You’re already cutting a big check to hire sixty musicians—now you want to make a record? That’s another check. And whenever I do these shows with the Colorado or Buffalo or Dallas symphony, they hire me to play the show and that’s as much money as they’ve got. They’re not paying for a record too! There are a couple clips of Ben Hur on YouTube, however. The 2002 production of Ben Hur opened in London and played in Europe, and they made a couple thousand copies of that production. Sort of a dog’s dinner, music made for a live show cut into an album without a lot of thought.

MD: Could you read an orchestral chart while you were in the Police?

Stewart: I could read it, but I couldn’t hear it as I read it. And I still can’t really. I’m not like the guys who went to conservatory. A conductor can look at my score and hear it in his head. I do mental arithmetic to translate it.

MD: Will you be doing more film or soundtrack work?

Stewart: Not if I can help it. The work is fun but the business is hell, a real dog-eat-dog world. I enjoyed it for twenty years. Okay, I’m the biggest dog—eat my dinner and I’ll kick your ass! But I learned so much. The film composer has the widest skill set of any form of musician, because he has to. He has to do period music, futuristic music, symphonic, electronic, jazz, happy, sad…very specific emotional messages with every known form of musical medium and instrumentation.

So I was getting all these chops, and I was also getting commissions to write music for the sake of music, which I enjoy a lot more. Working with directors was great, but the business sucked. The business of getting the gig, getting fired from the gig; it’s play or pay whether they use the score or not. And the agent makes more money if he can get two of his clients scoring the movie. That’s why I’m glad to be out of that business. No good deed goes unpunished, the idiots get promoted, the talented have their ideas stolen.

MD: Sounds like the record business.

Stewart: The record business is much nicer. Much more love, trust, and loyalty; friendship counts…. In the film industry, there’s more money involved, it’s more corporate, and where art meets the corporate world is a harder rub at that higher financial level. The music industry is the same industry, only remove a couple zeros, and that reduces a lot of those pressures.

MD: So to hear your orchestral works we have to buy a ticket.

Stewart: These are live experiences, in the room, not a record experience so much. One day I will sneakily put out my versions of the operas and sing all the parts—even soprano! I would sing it in my regular voice, then electronically take it up an octave. You can imagine how beguiling and beautiful that will sound.

“The Super-Creative Type”

MD: Have you always been left of center in your musical thinking?

Stewart: When I was studying music in college I was imagining Stravinsky on guitar and me on drums. Then I couldn’t make up my mind whether I wanted to be Mitch or Jimi. Then, during my years of rock ’n’ roll, I’m listening to the Cramps and imagining Stravinsky around it. Orchestral music has always been like an Instagram filter on top of all my experiences in rock ’n’ roll.

MD: You’ve talked about showing up with your best ideas, and knowing that you’re more than a drummer.

Stewart: Drums are so much fun to play, and none of the other musicians in the band have drum chops. That’s our little empire. But get beyond that thinking—the entire band is your empire. You should be picking up the guitar, bass, and keyboards, and most importantly get on the mic, which is a challenge for drummers, because the Don Henley microphone is not a good look. But it’s worth it. When bands are rehearsing, no one wants to sing, so the nerd who just wants to hang out says, “I’ll sing,” and twenty years later you’re all working for him.

MD: You’ve also said it’s important to fail.

Stewart: Yes, brush yourself off—it’s only music. With that freedom, you can get deeper in your cookie jar, your reservoir of cool shit, that stuff that your mind comes up with. Recently UCLA did a study on super-creative types. I was one of their subjects. They put me into an MRI twice and gave me all types of tests. One common feature they found was that the creatives have certain f**k-ups or gifts that give them a unique view into solving problems. They find the shortcuts. That propensity for random, wrong thought is a trait of this group. Take my song “Ride Your Life.” “We are sinners all / and can’t help but judge / but when the gavel falls / remember love.” That applies for road rage and elsewhere. Be peaceful. Remember love.

Put It Off for Later?

MD: You’re always the guy with the most energy in the room. Where does it come from?

Stewart: Who knows. I do what I do. I go to bed at night. I don’t understand such concepts as procrastination. What is that? How can anyone watch TV when there’s a mission? Put it off for later? I don’t even understand how that works.

MD: Do you have any goals left as a drummer?

Stewart: My goal as a drummer is to play ever more smoothly and quietly and to achieve more with less effort.

And one more thing: I put down my drumsticks for ten years once, then for shorter and shorter periods. Then Les Claypool told me it was my civic duty to play drums. What I discovered from lying fallow is that when the chops return—it took a while after ten years, which was messed up—but they come back better every time. So now, between Ben Hur shows, I don’t even look at the drumset. When I do get back to them, the gift is fresh. And my love of playing the drums is magnified. So, lie fallow. The gifts will come back stronger than ever. Now I must run. I have to eat a sandwich and pick up the kids. Bye!


Copeland’s Setup

Drums: Tama Starclassic Maple
• 5×14 Stewart Copeland Signature snare
• 8×10 tom
• 8×12 tom
• 16×16 floor tom
• 16×18 floor tom
• 18×22 bass drum
• Octoban low-pitched set

Hardware: Tama Iron Cobra Power Glide Twin bass drum pedal, Iron Cobra Lever Glide hi-hat stand, and Star combo tom/cymbal stands, boom stands, and snare stand; Roc-n-Soc NRX Nitro throne with backrest

Sticks: Vater Stewart Copeland Standard sticks, Mike Balter F92 mallets

Cymbals: Paiste mixed series
• 14″ 2002 Flanger splash (discontinued)
• 12″ Signature Combo Crisp hi-hats *
• 6″ 2002 Cup Chime
• 18″ Signature Fast crash
• 8″ Signature splash
• 10″ Signature splash
• 16″ Signature Full crash
• 22″ Signature Blue Bell ride *
• 17″ Signature Fast crash
• 18″ Traditionals Light Flat ride (discontinued)
• 18″ Signature Fast crash

Heads: Remo Coated Emperor (live) or Ambassador (studio and orchestral) snare batter, Clear Emperor (live) or Ambassador (studio and orchestral) tom batters and resonants, Powerstroke 3 bass drum batter, and Black Dot on Octobans

Cymbals for orchestral performances:
• 12″ Signature Combo Crisp hi-hats *
• 16″ Formula 602 Classic Thin crash
• 18″ Formula 602 Classic Paperthin crash
• 18″ Formula 602 Classic Thin crash
• 22″ Twenty Custom Full ride (discontinued)
• 20″ Formula 602 Classic Medium Flat ride
• 10″ PSTX Swiss splash
• 14″ PSTX Swiss Flanger crash

* Stewart Copeland Artist Inspiration line

Miscellaneous: Adams 26″ and 32″ Professional timpani, Tama 8″ and 10″ Mini-Tymps and 16×20 gong bass drum, Paiste gong and cymbal rack, Paiste two-octave crotales (C6 to C8), Toca doumbek, Alternate Mode MalletKAT 5