RTCustoms – Interview

RTCustoms - Hand Drawn on Wood Custom Drum Kit

Company name


Your Name

Richard Lewis



How many people are employed there?


How long have you been in business?

Since 2010

How did you get started?

RTCustoms started during the Spring of 2010 after numerous refurbs done on local kits in the area over the previous years. The time was right to progress from just repairs to custom builds and with the knowledge gained previously, the big jump to the next step felt right. A love of drums and a background in woodwork makes it the ideal job.

What makes your company unique?

At RTCustoms, we try to do things that challenge us as craftsmen and things which have yet to be done on a drum kit. It is quite difficult to come up with something new due to the quality of the custom drum scene at the moment, but when a customer comes to us with a crazy request (and we’ve had a few) we will try to work out a way to make the idea come to life. We will work closely with the artist to create their perfect kit so it not only looks great but sounds amazing too!

We also use fantastic birch and maple shells made here in the UK which can be made to order in any thickness.

What are the typical prices for a custom build?

Our snares start at £250 and our 3 piece kits start at £900 for a standard wood stain finish. Everything on the drum can be changed or upgraded so it is always best to email your ideas across for the best quote.

RTCustoms- Drum Collage with LED lights

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

8 -12 weeks

Where does your inspiration come from?

Our inspiration comes from the musicians that come to us with ideas. We are constantly amazed at the things you guys come up with and love the time and energy spent creating new music so we thrive to make an instrument that will back this up.

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

The first full drum I built for myself was about five years ago and was a 14×5 birch shell with an ebony veneer. It was finished with a satin oil finish and black nickel hardware, Puresound wires, and Evans heads. It is still one of my main snares when performing and the only RTCustoms snare to not have a badge on it! It has an amazing crack to it and suits the punk rock music I play most often.

RTCustoms Black & Acrylic Hybrid Drum SetWhat was your favorite drum you built and why?

See above ^

My favorite drum I have built for someone else is more of a tough decision. There are many that I have not wanted to give away once they have been finished due to the looks, sound or small details that make it unique. My favorite finish is the purple glass glitter snare with brass hardware. Favorite sound has to be the 14×8 segmented oak shell. Favorite small detail is the custom vents in the shape of the band logo that we cut into a snare.

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

Probably the most challenging project was a segmented oak shell with a custom shaped bottom hoop. The hoop was shaped into an outline of a scene from a painting which was hand painted and came half way up the side of the drum. It took a lot of work to get it to fit nicely as well as look the part but we got there. The 14×8 oak shell has an amazing warm crack to it and sounds fantastic.

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

As expected, there have been many minor problems along the way but we only class a failure as something that we have given up on, and to date, we have found a solution to all our problems. Probably the biggest/most common problem we have encountered is how easy acrylic is to scratch! Preventing the scratches is much better than spending hours sanding and polishing them out!

Do you endorse any drummers? If so, who?

Below are a few of the bands that we love working with:

We Start Partys – https://www.facebook.com/westartpartys
(Dance / Pop / Rock)

WECAMEFROMWOLVES – https://www.facebook.com/wecamefromwolves
(Thrashy/Soundscapey/Post rock)

Sigiriya – https://www.facebook.com/sigiriyaofficial
(Doom metal)

The Arteries – https://www.facebook.com/pages/THE-ARTERIES/210354460912
(Punk rock from Swansea)

RTCustoms Silver & Blue Sparkle Custom Drum Kit

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

We have a lot of emails about endorsements and people wanting things for free! We like to endorse hard working bands that tour a lot and and are interested in playing our instruments so best thing to do is get out there and get your name known either locally or nationwide. By all means send us an email with links to your band as we are always looking for music to put on in the workshop.

Is there anything else you would like to add about your company?

If there is anything anyone would like to ask us about a kit, snare or anything about ourselves, please feel free to send us an email as we reply to all of them. We are happy to help :)

We also make drum badges in house so if anyone needs a few name badges for their kits, we can help you out.

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Other sites and profile pages?

EMail: info@rtcustoms.co.uk




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