Words from Matt:
The Matchless Delaware ’66 snare drum concept was ignited by my regular encounters with an old, weather beaten Ford Mustang that has been knocking around the North Laine area of Brighton for some time.
It’s a relatively modest, small engined saloon model with faded and peeling paintwork, but to my eyes is very, very cool.
Apart from strongly coveting the machine, I also found myself pondering the car’s origins and the era into which it was born.
First registered in the Northeastern US state of Delaware in 1966, the soundtrack of it’s heyday couldn’t have been richer or more diverse.
If I was to use this car as inspiration for an instrument build, I determined it would be a good idea to narrow down the sonic influences to musical movements relatively local to it’s birthplace.
There was folk, rock and jazz streaming down from nearby metropolis New York, and the Philly Soul scene in neighbouring Pennsylvania was just catching fire.
In order to cover these styles the drum had to possess a wide tuning range, be expressive yet easily controllable and produce equal amounts of power and sensitivity.
I eventually settled on a shell construction that comprised of a central layer of African Mahogany, sandwiched between two inner and two outer layers of Birch. This made for a very light but strong shell with a lots of sonic flexibility.
The key to the success of the project was to make certain that the drum reflected as much as possible, the aesthetic and personality of the car itself.
To this end the exact paint code for the year was sourced and once applied, gently distressed to simulate the weathering and checking found on the original vehicle.
- Shell: 14″x6″ Birch/Birch/Mahogany/Birch/Birch 8mm ply (unvented)
- Bearing edge: 50% outside roundover, 45deg inside countercut
- Snare bed: Hand contoured – 160mm wide, 3mm deep
- Finish outside: Pre-aged Ford Silver Blue Metallic Lacquer
- Finish inside: Hardwax oil