Hello, local readers and gear enthusiasts. Mitchel Fulcer here to give you the lowdown on the local musicians near you. This week, as you may have read, I have decided to take a hard right turn and feature my first drummer in Gear-view Mirror. We will travel no further than my basement to get a very personal view of the Ragnarok owned by my personal friend and brother-in-arms Jonathan “The Icelander” Nicewander. This nine-piece beast has made its mark on the local scene over the past year with its amazing cymbal package and custom shells. I just couldn’t resist showing all of you.
The first thing you notice about a kit like this, is the large Gibraltar rack. “I got so sick of carrying all of those damn cymbal stands,” Jonathan exclaimed to me. It can collapse into three sections for easier hauling and looks jaw-dropping on stage!
Getting his start as a drummer, Jonathan used some run down cymbals you would expect to come with a used kit before upgrading to Sabian AAX. “If you’re gonna get ’em, fuckin’ get ’em.” Today, Jonathan proudly rocks Meinl Classics for bright attack and brief resonance.
From behind the kit, mounted with Mapex Falcon boom arms, we have:
14″ Medium Crash
16″ Medium Crash
18″ Medium Crash
8″ Medium Bell
10″ China Splash
22″ Medium Ride
Obviously, the Ragnarok was not the first kit for the Icelander. He began using a standard five-piece Tama kit equipped with a hi-hat, crash, and a ride cymbal. “The definition of standard.” he says before snickering loudly. Then Jonathan explains how he traded in some of his father’s unused gear and saved up to invest in his second kit, a nine-piece Pearl Export Custom. That brings him to where he is today.
In keeping with the Mapex shells, Jonathan uses a Mapex Black Panther Brass Cat 14″/5.5″ snare drum.
With a finish of black pearl and blue spiral, the 100% birch shells give the Ragnarok attack and style. From left to right, they are:
8″/7″ mounted tom
10″/8″ mounted tom
12″/9″ mounted tom
13″/10″ mounted tom
14″/14″ floor tom
16″/16″ floor tom
The shells are skinned with Remo Pinstripe Ebony tom heads, an Emperor Coated snare head, and Powerstroke Pro kick heads.
22″/18″ Kick Drums.
“Two kick drums just looks fucking badass! Also, with two separate kick pedals, there is no kick back from the first beater to throw off the rhythm of the second, a problem you might notice with two beaters attacking the same head.” He considers two separate kick drums and his killer red wooden beaters to be the foundation of his style, which I certainly agree with.
Keeping it in the family, the Icelander uses Mapex Falcon kick pedals.
As well as a Mapex Falcon hi-hat stand.
Last but not least are his ProMark Select Balance Forward 5A drumsticks.
“In terms of the progression of my style and abilities, I wanted this to be my most advanced kit yet, so I got a totally sweet rack from my good friend Dave Miller of Toxic Ruin. This gave me the framework of the kit I was looking to build. As far as the shells, I wanted a birch set, and being heavily influenced by Chris Adler, Mapex stood out among the rest. I went their custom line, MyDenity.” To dampen the sustain of the birch shells, he uses the ebony heads.
As a member of All Kings Fall, I was able to see first hand how the Icelander researched and built his kit with such careful precision. Not only was it an impressive amount of dedication and patience, but as far as the band’s sound is concerned, I wouldn’t have it any other way!
Thank you, loyal audience, for sticking it out through my first drum article! Please leave me any constructive criticism, or send me a message on Facebook if you want to be featured here on Music Maehem. As always, my friends, trash fast and head bang hard!!!