Bootleg Drums – Interview

Matt From Bootleg Drums Playing His Custom Drum Set

Company name

Bootleg Drums

Your Name

Danny Breiner





How many people are employed there?


How long have you been in business?

1 year officially, been building for a few years.

How did you get started?

Several moons ago, Matt founded Bootleg drums when he just couldn’t fathom why his dream kit was so expensive. So he set out on a journey that started by building himself a snare. After so many compliments, he started getting requests by friends and fans for them to build them drums.

“But what shall I call them??” – thought the young builder.

Out of ideas he quickly started referring to them as “bootleg” drums, simply meaning “something I created myself.” It was only a short while later that a good friend informed him that “Bootleg Drums” was a great name, and the company was born.

I happened upon Matt when looking for some local help to refinish an existing custom snare drum. He rewrapped the drum and cleaned up the bearing edges cleaned up it came out extremely well** The more we talked, the more it was obvious we had a good working chemistry and that we turn this into something special.

Bootleg Drums - Red Wood Custom Snare DrumWhat makes your company unique?

We have a no nonsense pricing policy. We aren’t going to publish some ridiculously high price list, then make you feel special by giving you a huge discount. We just give you the best price up front. We also currently have some of the lowest lead times due to smaller volumes and stock parts.

We also offer some unusual options to help with cost like:
1) Headless kit – (so you can save money and pick out heads you want)
2) Buyback program – we are working on a program that will help relieve the problem of questionable resale value by offering to buy back your used kit (depending on condition) for up to 5 years after purchase. Use it for another Bootleg kit for even more discounts.

What are the typical prices for a custom build?

3 piece kit – $1500-$2200
4 piece kit (rock set-up) – $2500 – $2600
5 piece kit – $2800-$3200
Above are without a snare and use the highest grade parts. We offer steep discounts on a snare when adding to a kit.

What is the average wait time to get a 4-5 piece drum set built?

6-8 weeks

Where does your inspiration come from?

Every drummer we speak to that loves custom drums. I’ve just had too many conversations about the outrageous cost versus commercial kits. Our goal is to offer custom quality at retail pricing.

What was the first drum you built and where is it now?

Danny (me) – I built a 6 x 14″ snare about 10 years ago while still in college. I stained it in hunter green and did a horrible job. It was mediocore looking at best, but sounded good. It was stolen from me after an audition with a band so I have no idea where it is now.

Matt – 6.5 x 14″ – red stain w/ high gloss lacquer and all black hardware. I used it on tour opening for Jason Aldean and Luke Bryan along with my Bootleg kit that inspired this company. I want to sell it now to get money for new parts but Danny wont let me :-) He says it’s an important piece of company history.

Bootleg Drums - Black & Silver Custom Snare DrumWhat was your favorite drum you built and why?

Matt – My Maple Kit w/ Walnut Inlays and wood hoops. It was several months and lots of money in the making but a labor of love. I used it on a major national tour and was getting complement from HUGE name drummers and sound engineers begging for more information on the company (which I didn’t have at the time).

What was the most challenging project you took on? What made it so hard?

Starting this company with very limited capital. We have so many ideas but not enough capital to create the drums and prototypes to put on the market. We’ll get there though!

What was your biggest failure and what did you learn from it?

Danny – see first drum mentioned above.

Do you endorse any drummers? If so, who?

Not yet, other than the 2 of us…but we will shortly.

How do you typically pick who you endorse? What do you look for?

We are looking for someone who truly supports that brand and is excited by Bootleg Drums. Our artists need to be visible to the music and (especially) drum world and are not LOOKING for handouts. We want someone who will really represent the brand and help drive sales. Playing drums is only 1/2 of the battle.

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