Kit of the Month
This light, tight, and customized setup comes from Steve Fruda, from Norwalk, Connecticut, who decided to downsize after a few seasons of nonstop wedding gigs with his New York City–based band, the Elements. The early-2000s Premier Artist Heritage Club kit includes a 5.5×13 snare, a 6×10 rack tom, an 11×13 floor tom, and an 8×20 bass drum, and the entire setup fits into three compact bags.
“Long gone are the days of lugging around an 18×22 bass drum with deep toms and heavy double-braced cymbal stands,” Fruda says. “My idea for this kit started about eight years ago. I loved the sizes of the set but wasn’t sure about the quality of sound that these would produce. So I took a leap of faith, and it proved to be the right move. The drums sound massive. And this kit has proven to be very portable, lightweight, and reliable, wedding after wedding.”
Among Fruda’s ideas was to build a setup that didn’t rely heavily on cymbal stands. “I knew I would still need my staples—hi-hat stand, snare stand, and throne—but I just didn’t see the need for any other stands,” he explains. “Almost every drum and stand serves a dual or triple purpose. My hi-hat also supports my 16″ crash and my electronics.”
The compact rig not only makes Fruda’s gig commutes easier, it also saves time and stage space. “Our musical director is impressed with the kit’s footprint,” the drummer says. “With a smaller bass drum, I fit nicely in the corner without imposing on anyone’s space. And our keyboardist can’t believe how quickly my teardown is on every gig. One trip in, and one trip out. And that’s the way I like it.”
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