HAWAII AT WORK
RICHARD WALKER / RWALKER@STARBULLETIN.COM
Daniel Gibson both sells drums for Drummers Warehouse in Kakaako and is the drummer in a local rock band. Above, Gibson demonstrated his skills last month on one of the snare drums in the store.
Keeping the beat
Daniel Gibson can give you the lowdown on how to buy drums
Title: Sales representative
Job: Helps customers buy drums and drumming accessories
Daniel Gibson earned a college degree in business marketing, but not long ago decided to commit to the music business, both as a sales representative for a drum store, Drummers Warehouse
, and as a working musician -- as a drummer, of course. The band he performs with, Analog, plays fairly regularly at various nightclubs on Oahu and was among bands featured at the recent Diamond Head Crater Celebration. A graduate of Foley High School in Foley, Ala., and Troy State University in Troy, Ala., Gibson moved to Hawaii about five years ago, pretty much on a whim. He had no job lined up, only a fresh college degree to help make things happen. "I never thought I'd be where I am now when I first moved here, but I'm loving it," he said late last month. " I'm living the dream." Gibson, 28, is married to the former Yvette Siew, with whom he lives in Waipahu.
Question: How long have you been working at Drummers Warehouse?
Answer: I've been here for about eight months. Not too long. But the store's been in business for going on 14 years now. For the music industry, that's something to talk about.
Q: What are the hours of the store and how often are you there?
A: The hours of the store are from 11 to 5, Tuesday through Thursday; Friday we're here from 11 to 6; and Saturday from 11 to 4. We're closed on Sundays and Mondays.
Q: And what are your hours?
A: I'm here ... it kind of varies, but I'm here three to four days a week. The owner's here when I'm not, so it just varies.
Q: So the store sells just drums?
A: We're strictly drums. That's it, from accessories to hardware to cymbals and drums and percussion.
Q: Percussion, you mean like ...
A: Like bongos and congas and cowbells and things like that.
Q: Do you sell djembes?
A: We do. We can do almost anything in the drum industry, but we don't stock everything, so what we don't have in the store we can custom order. We carry electronic drums as well.
Q: Do you sell all brands of drums or just certain ones?
A: We just sell certain ones at this point. Being like a specialty store, like for just drum kits, we try to differentiate ourselves from a music store by being a boutique shop. I don't want to word this the wrong way, but anybody can carry certain brands, but we're very fortunate to carry Yamaha and DW products.
RICHARD WALKER / RWALKER@STARBULLETIN.COM
Daniel Gibson, a sales representative at Drummers Warehouse in Kakaako, last month helped Jayson Cabanilla, of the band Lahaina Grown, select a new snare drum head.
What about electronic drum sets? Do you sell many of those?
A: We deal with Yamaha and Roland, which are the two dominating electronic drum makers. Roland is a very strong line right now.
Q: How do the prices at Drummers Warehouse compare with other music stores?
A: Good question. Great question. You know, I like to think of our store as not in competition with the other local music stores. We really compete with the goliaths on the Internet. Our edge is that we don't have to charge the shipping. Plus people order stuff sight unseen. I don't know why people do that but it happens. So, when you look at that, plus the shipping, we're right there. But again, we're one of those stores, too, that for certain drums or for a certain part, you can only come to us.
Q: Do you have a music background?
A: Yeah. Currently I'm playing with a rock group called Analog.
Q: What kind of music do you play?
A: Rock music from classic rock up to contemporary rock.
Q: How many guys in your band?
Q: And you're the drummer?
A: Yes. And we have a Web site: www.analogband.com.
Q: And why did you pick the the name Analog?
A: Because you record in either digital or analog, and actually the band was kind of formed to do a USO tour in Japan and South Korea, and we had been requested to learn classic rock and things like that, and we came up with it from all that.
Q: Because the days of classic rock were the analog days, right?
A: Right. (Laughter)
Q: What kind of drum set do you use?
A: I'm currently playing on a Sonor kit, and I play on a Rodgers kit as well. My Rodgers kit is the expensive kit, so my Sonor is the one I play out on because you don't have to worry if people spill beer on it or whatever.
Q: Are you a trained musician?
A: Mostly as far as my musical education goes, it's mostly self-taught. I did participate in the school band for a couple of years.
Q: In what ways do you help customers choose drums or drumming accessories to buy?
A: It's kind of one of those things with drummers, they pretty much have an idea of what they want when they come in. So when they come in, it's just mainly, if they don't know exactly what they want already, it's just answering some of the questions and finding out what they're truly looking for.
Q: Do you ever demonstrate for customers how to play the drums?
A: Yeah, sometimes. Again, we're like a retail store, so we try not to play on the kits. We like to keep them as new as possible. But a demonstration does happen occasionally.
Q: Do customers ever come in and start drumming away?
A: They attempt to. But we try to cut back on that. Again, like I say, being a retail store, nobody wants to buy anything used.
Q: What's the typical drum buyer, age wise?
A: It varies widely. It starts around age 10, up into the mid 60s -- plus! If they're old enough to sit up straight, they can buy a drum set. (Laughter)
Q: I know a woman in her 70s who bought a drum set lately. Have you seen that happen?
A: Yeah, we get some in here like that. We are the only DW and Yamaha dealers in Hawaii, so we get a lot of professionals in here, but a month doesn't go by when we don't get somebody in here who says they used to play drums as a kid or whatever, or they moved out here and they haven't played in a while, they've met other musicians or they're playing in a garage band. But we do lean more toward the professionals, because Yamaha and DW are more in the top five of all drum equipment.
Q: Does the store offer drumming classes?
A: We don't do that. We have a list of people we can refer to, depending on what kind of music people want to play.
Q: How did you get this job?
A: I applied. (Laughter) No, there were some former employees here and one of them went off to college, and the other was focusing on just getting lessons now, and it just happened that I was available and just making a commitment to the music field, so it worked out for me.
Q: What were you doing before this job?
A: I was in sales for a long time.
Q: What was the most recent job before you started (at Drummers Warehouse)?
A: I was with a corporate housing company called Oakwood Worldwide.
Q: What do they do?
A: They're corporate housing, so say, like, if Bank of Hawaii, if they have a consultant coming in who is going to be here for a few months or more, instead of putting him in a hotel room, we would find them a house or a condo to stay in.
Q: Who are some of your favorite drummers?
A: My favorite drummers ... Well, there's so many. They're all good. Looking back on a lot of them, I would definitely have to say John Bonham (of Led Zeppelin), a great drummer. There's David Abruzzi; he played with Pearl Jam for a while. And then Carter Bufford; he's with Dave Matthews. The list is so long. And Chad Sexton, from 311. Definitely gotta mention him.
Q: How about Animal from the Muppets?
A: Animal from the Muppets... Love him. I've studied him. (Laughter) I sit there and watch him on television. I can truly say that one of my first inspirations was Animal from the Muppets.