Traveling with four drum kits, it sounds like a challenge, but it was a fun challenge for Wouter, Gert, Koen, and Lotte going to the NAMM 2020 in Anaheim Convention Center, in California. “The fun for Gert Hietkamp and me started when we stepped into the taxi in Leiden, and we told the taxi driver he had four drum kits in his trunk,” Koen Wijnen laughs.
Everyone felt a good bit of nerves, first to see if the drums really made it to the US (they did) and then, of course, the excitement of showing something new and innovative during the NAMM. Going to such a significant show as the NAMM is always a bit of a special event. But if you have something new and exciting to share, it’s extra special. “Plus,” Koen adds. “The music scene in the States is taken so much more seriously compared to here. And that in itself is also very inspiring to be a part of.”
NAMM press day
The NAMM kicked off for the Wizzdrum crew on the press day, for which Wizzdrum was specially selected with forty companies out of hundreds of entries. Set up in a much smaller setting, Wizzdrum got to show off the kit, for the first time. “It was amazing. There was a great atmosphere, and we had a lot of people coming over to check it out because it’s something so new that they’ve never seen before.”
Naturally, a lot of amazing conversations followed, interviews and a lot of media and YouTubers wanted to try out the Wizzdrum kit. “The first few interviews we were all a bit nervous, you can tell we had to get into it. But after a few interviews, things started to go more smoothly and we just had a lot of fun.”
Where the press day focussed on giving interviews, the NAMM itself was a good experience as well. “We stood out, and our booth was colorful, also because the Wizzdrum kit uses different materials.
“Our booth was bustling, there were a lot of times where we were having a conversation with someone while also passing on the drum sticks to someone else so they could try out the Wizzdrum kit.”
Just being there, and the atmosphere was a fantastic experience. “Having people react to something you’ve been working on since 2013, is such a good validation of the idea. Lots of people responded with ‘that’s crazy man!’, and a lot of people came back to play the Wizzdrum kit again because they were so impressed with the quality.”
Drums on the escalator
“On one of the days a guy came our booth, a bit stressed. I recognized him from earlier when he tried our drum kit”, Koen remembers. “He was almost a bit frantic. He needed to play with his band in 15 minutes, on a different floor, and he still needed a drum kit. He loved the Wizzdrum kit so much he wanted to use it to perform. So we took off the pedals, picked up the entire thing and carried it on the escalator to a different floor. Within minutes he was set up and ready to go.”
“It’s one of the many wonderful things that happened. And the inspiration I got from this, as a musician and as a Wizzdrum team member, that’s something I’ll carry with me for years to come.”
For more on the NAMM show 2020 visit: https://www.namm.org