Mapex Drums and Hardware:
"I've been with most of my core companies for over 25 years. The big change of course was from Yamaha Drums to Mapex Drums in 2013. It was a huge change in direction for Yamaha's gear at that time. After I decided that change didn't represent where I was headed, I worked with Joe Hibbs at Mapex. We started to develop the relationship that I have now with the company. They are a great organization, mostly drummers in the front office, so they get it! Mapex is headed upwards in a big way, most of the drum companies are racing to Asia to make inexpensive drums. Mapex has been working on redefining not only themselves but the innovation of drum design. It has taken several years but it is all coming to be realized now. Starting in early 2018, the drum industry will begin to see what we have been doing. I'm excited for everybody to experience these breakthroughs in drums and to get their hands on the new instruments. Russ’ current main kit is the “Saturn V” series from Mapex. The sizes are: 10“ X 7” tom / 12“ X 7.5” tom / 16” X 15” floor Tom / 16” X 15” aux. kick drum and Russ' "Versatus" Artist series Black Panther snare drum. " I also use the new Design Lab Series snare drums, specifically the Equinox and the Cherry Bomb vintage sounding drum."
About Zildjian cymbals:
"I have been helping Zildjian with product development for many years but it kicked in pretty heavy with the "Avedis" line. I tested Kerope but Zach (Danziger) was the lead on those." Russ has since been involved in the R&D of "Avedis" and the new "K Custom Special Dry" line. His current set-up includes his unique 3 hi-hat set-up, as well as, 14"hats, a 21" Avedis prototype model, 15"hats, 18" Avedis, 10' Splash, 13" Combo (A Custom/Z Custom) hats, 17" A Custom and a prototype 19" Kerope with the K Custom Special Dry Hammering.
Russ' Mapex "MyDentity" kit:
Mapex “MyDentity” custom kit. Russ elaborates, “ I have been working a lot on my swing playing, in the past several years. I study with the great Peter Erskine and have been concentrating on swing a lot in my practice time. One of the things about playing swing effectively, is to remove the distraction of the ”big kit”. One of the hippest things I think I have ever seen is the “MyDentity” series of custom drums, from Mapex. You go online, design the kit exactly to your specs and even pick 30 or 40 colors of shells and hardware! The kit is made in Nashville and shows up in a few weeks! So, I wanted to have a change from the “big kit” to take to swing gigs and to practice on. I picked the Combo of “Vanilla Creme Pearl”, with White hardware I also chose the Birch toms and a Maple kick and snare drum. The kit is: 12” X 7” tom / 14 " X 12" floor tom / 15” X 15” floor tom / 18” X 16” kick drum / 14” X 6” snare drum. I tune them up high and they really are sounding great! Russ has a customized "Versatus" snare in the Vanilla Creme Pearl wrap, to match this kit. Also, he has a specific Zildjian cymbal set-up for the lighter playing.