The U.K.–based drummer Ben McIlvenna assembled this customized Tama Silverstar for live gigs with his Evanescence tribute band, Fallen. McIlvenna tells MD that he’s been building the setup over the past five years. “It started out as a standard five-piece shell pack,” he says. “I’ve slowly added to it year by year to create my own sound, feel, and stage image. And I’ve personally designed some elements of the kit. It comes in handy being a product engineer by trade!”
McIlvenna says that when he first joined Fallen, the kit was more modest. “I kept her to a five-piece setup for the first year to match Will Hunt’s Evanescence setup,” he explains. “However, once the tribute became busier and I became more comfortable with the material, I began upgrading the set and incorporating a few progressive elements into the music.”
McIlvenna also drew inspiration for the kit’s arrangement from a certain prog-drumming ace. “I’m a huge Mike Portnoy fan,” he says. “After discovering him around 2000, everything about my playing changed, and I adapted more of a progressive style and setup.”
McIlvenna’s kit consists of an 18×22 kick, a custom 6.5×14 stainless-steel snare, 7×8, 8×10, and 9×12 rack toms, 14×14 and 14×16 floor toms, and four 6″ Octobans in 16″, 18″, 20″, and 22″ depths. The drummer refinished the shells in a black metal sparkle wrap. A hefty collection of Zildjian A Custom and Paiste Alpha cymbals round out the kit, including four splashes, three Chinas, four crashes, a ride, two sets of hi-hats, and a 6″ Zildjian Zil-Bel and 14″ Paiste PST X stack.
McIlvenna also plays Evans heads and uses a Tama Iron Cobra double bass pedal and hi-hat stand, along with a Pearl Eliminator remote hi-hat stand. To complete the setup, the drummer modified a Pearl Icon three-sided rack to include vertical Gibraltar rack bars. “The addition of the vertical curved bars enabled me to better position cymbals higher up while dodging lower booms and cymbals below,” McIlvenna says. “And they also look pretty cool!”
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