“Drummers often carry a lot of equipment,” Pete observes. “I play a four-piece setup, which is pretty minimal and seems to be the standard for most drum kits that clubs or studios provide: a kick drum, snare drum, a rack tom and a floor tom. With this small setup, I have four cases. One for each drum. An additional case, which transports all of my cymbal stands and extra hardware is by far the heaviest, and is four feet long. I also have a case for all of my cymbals, which is usually four to five including hi-hats, a ride and a crash. Sometimes two crashes. I have a case for my kick drum pedal and a case for shakers, tambourines and other toys.
“Even with this rather minimalist setup,” he continues, “the amount of cases and bags can still be excessive. I often get asked how much I hate transporting, setting up and tearing down my drums. The truth is that I don’t really think about it too much. For me, it’s very much like the experience of flying. When I set up my drums, it’s as if I’m taxiing down the runway, getting ready for takeoff. I test everything out and adjust the tuning of my drums, just as a pilot runs a final test on his rudder, flaps and other systems and gadgets. I take flight at the crash of the first downbeat and cruise steady at high altitudes until that last song ends. When that final sound subsides, I begin my descent as I unfasten my cymbals, fold up my stands and stow my beautiful noisemakers back in their protective homes. When the cases and equipment are back in the trailer, I’ve landed. You simply can’t fly without a takeoff and landing.”