Godhunter, the Tucson, AZ-based and The Compound/Battleground Records-signed doom/sludge metal band, are currently promoting their pulverizing new release, City of Dust. Featuring eight crawling, fuzzed-out massive tracks, this new February 18th released album is arguably the band’s best to date. We wanted to learn more about the recording so we snagged some time with drummer Andy Kratzenberg to talk about some of the gear he uses. This is what he had to say about his Ludwig drums.
What one piece of gear do you use to obtain your signature sound?
Kratzenberg: Original Ludwig Stainless Steel drums from the 70’s.
What about it makes it so important to you?
Kratzenberg: I’ve always wanted a steel kit since I started playing drums. They were Bonham’s last kit, and there is a certain mystique about them that drew me to them. Until I obtained mine, I had never seen a band using them live. I pieced this kit together out of modified marching drums (18×10, 14×10) with an orphaned bass drum (24×14) it was a labor of love, and lots of time hunting.
How was this gear used during the recording of your latest album?
Kratzenberg: I tracked all of City of Dust on the stainless steel kit 24/18/14 and a 14×5 DW copper snare, no wood drums were used on the album.
How do you recreate your album tones in your live set?
Kratzenberg: To cut through such a loud band, I currently switch between a Gretsch kit in Bonham sizes, and a custom copper timpani modified into a bass drum. I am also a fan of enormous snare drums, cranked up to slice through the wall of tube amps I have two 14×12’s that often don’t need a mic in medium sized venues. I use the same heads and tuning live to get a similar overall tone and feel, but I save the Steel kit for special occasions or the studio.
What are the major pros and cons?
Kratzenberg: Being metal shells the kit has a dark powerful punch to it when compared to most wood kits that are on the warmer side. I prefer this tone, and love the power and presence. Contrary to internet myth, they are not substantially heavier than a wood kit and they don’t have too many unwanted overtones. The only cons are modern reproductions are on the expensive side, and it can be a pain to piece a kit together one drum at a time.
Do you have a backup for this gear, if so, what?
Kratzenberg: I am a hoarder, I am at 9 sets, and 16 snares last count. It’s a terrible sickness, and drums take up so much room.
How long have you had it, how do you use it, would you ever change it?
Kratzenberg: This was the 3rd drum set I ever purchased, back around 2008. I am constantly trying new drums/snares out, and selling or swapping them. This is one kit I plan to hang on to as long as I can. The only change would be if I ever find a 26×14 bass drum to add to it that is not an insane price. I am all about buying used, and getting the most value for the money.
Give us your best “gear goes wrong” story.
Kratzenberg: Aside from the usual drum stick exploding mid song and impaling a vocalist, I am quite OCD about checking hardware and drum heads prior to every tour/show. Thankfully nothing worse than a bass drum beater flying out of the pedal mid song has happened to me so far.
Any final thoughts or comments on the gear?
Kratzenberg: If you are a drum nerd, you need to play a stainless steel kit, at least once. If you own a couple nice wooden sets, this is an awesome addition to any drummer’s collection.
Check out the album ‘City of Dust’