We recently caught up with Steve Hackett’s touring drummer, Craig Blundell, at the historic Orpheum Theater in Los Angeles. “The rig I had [on the road with Steven Wilson] was a similar kit to this, with two kicks and a gong drum,” he says. “When Mapex came out with this Versatus kit, the gong drum doubles as a floor, and it can be a bass drum as well. So it’s three drums in one.”

When asked about his inspiration for this drumset, Blundell says, “I got a call while I was on tour asking if I would be interested in the Genesis Revisited tour. I said of course—Steve is a legend. I was on the same rig the past four years and wanted something different. We’re playing the iconic progressive albums, and a lot of Phil Collins’ parts were on a clear kit. I wanted something that looks good under lights but is also very natural and traditional. I decided to go with the Versatus series because they’re pure and wide open; there’s no muffling on any of the drums.

“Size-wise,” Craig continues, “I wanted to go for everything so that all the top-end and low-end stuff is covered. Same thing applies with the cymbals.”

If you notice, the 13″ rack tom is placed outside of the floor toms. “That was placed there to perform some of Phil Collins’ ruffs,” says Blundell. “And they work really nicely with the hands in that triangle. The bigger-sounding drums complement each other well over there.”

Drums: Mapex Black Panther Design Lab Versatus in natural lacquer
A. 6×14 Cherry Bomb snare (backup)
B. 13×18 aux drum (bottom head removed)
C. 5×13 custom side snare
D. 6×14 Black Panther Wraith 1.2 mm brass snare with RimRiser
E. 6.5×8 tom
F. 7×10 tom
G. 7.5×12 tom
H. 15×16 fl oor tom
I. 8×13 tom
J. 16×18 fl oor tom
K. 16×22 bass drum

Drumheads: Aquarian Hi-Impact coated batter on main snare (with SlapKlatz dampener gel), Hi-Energy Clear batter on side snare (with SlapKlatz dampener gel), Force Ten batters on toms, Super Kick 10 Clear bass drum batters

Cymbals: Paiste with Cympad felts
1. 18″ 2002 Novo China
2. 21″ 2002 Big Beat crash
3. 6.5″ 2002 cup chime
4. 10″ 2002 Mega Bell
5. 8″ 2002 accent
6. 14″ 602 Modern Essentials hi-hat
7. 8″ 602 Modern Essentials splash
8. 20″ Modern Essentials crash
9. 10″ 602 Modern Essentials splash
10. 10″ PST X splash
11. 14″ PST X Flanger stack
12. 22″ 602 Modern Essentials crash
13. 24″ 602 Modern Essentials ride
14. 12″ Rude (prototype) stack
15. 20″ 602 medium flat ride
16. 24″ 2002 Big Beat crash
17. 22″ 602 Modern Essentials China

Drumsticks: Vater 2B, Splashstick rods, and T6 mallets

Hardware: Mapex Falcon single bass drum pedals and hi-hat stand with legs removed, saddle top throne on a customized riser, and custom Roland rack with Randall May Magnetic Air Adjusted Tom Suspension system

Electronics: Roland SPD-SX with FS- 5U footswitches and an iPad with PDF sheet music

Percussion: KEO Percussion woodblock-guiro and Jingle sticks

 


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