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 Post subject: Endorsers defecting...how much does it matter?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 19, 2017 9:22 am 
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In another thread there was discussion about Thomas Lang leaving Sonor for DW.

I think we can all agree that Mr. Lang was not your average endorser. He was a master of the Giant Step Twin Effect Pedal, and was present in product videos, and had huge Sonor drum sets.

When he jumped ship in favor of DW, I was anticipating a new range of sophisticated DW pedals to hit the market. Never happened. (Or did I miss something)

My personal take on Mr. Lang even in his Sonor days was that he was a machine. Take that as a compliment and criticism. His exacting execution lacked soul, in my opinion, in the videos I watched of him at that time.

Mr. Lang was never a make of break artist for me, meaning that his move to another drum company, while a bit of a surprise as pro-Sonor as he had been, did draw my attention from Sonor.

If one of the old school "dyed in the wool" Sonor guys that I have an interest in left, I'd at least have to find out what drew them away. Examples are: Adam Nussbaum, Steve Smith, Jack De Johnette, Jeff Watts, Phil Rudd, and Ron Wikso, with Smith/Rudd/Wikso being the three that would really surprise me.

Back to Mr. Lang; I don't know if his support was coming from Hohner, or Sonor (Germany). One could surmise that he was a needy endorser. Having so much gear, and being so busy, it would seem that he would require a high level of support, and we all know the frustrations envolved with things being out of stock at the warehouse, or out floating around on the 7 seas waiting to wash up on the shore.

As big of a Sonor artist as he was, I image that Hohner/Sonor's support personnel were far less taxed after he jumped ship. I am curious as to the effect him leaving had on sales.

I have always wanted to get a few endorsers (past and present) together with some Hohner/Sonor insiders (also past and present) and have a round table discussion about endorsements. If there is any interest in that, I may try to put something together for next year.

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 Post subject: Re: Endorsers defecting...how much does it matter?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2017 3:27 pm 
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Thomas is a great technician and clinician. That being said, I’ve never heard or heard of him being in an ensemble.
I’ve met him on several occasions and he was a genuinely nice dude. It did upset me when doing his first interview video for DW he had to make a dig about “other drums looking like furniture.”
You apparently got a better deal at DW, dude. Just be happy and look forward. It’s a small industry. Don’t burn bridges unnecessarily.

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 Post subject: Re: Endorsers defecting...how much does it matter?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 22, 2017 6:08 pm 
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drumandstage wrote:

I have always wanted to get a few endorsers (past and present) together with some Hohner/Sonor insiders (also past and present) and have a round table discussion about endorsements. If there is any interest in that, I may try to put something together for next year.


Playing Devil's Advocate now.....I'd enjoy that too, but I can't imagine it being very productive in reality. Endorsers aren't going to say anything negative about the brand that they endorse. In addition there's the 'never say never issue'. If you've endorsed a company but left on good terms then there's always a chance you could go back, so again, they aren't going to say anything too controversial, plus if you come across as even having the slightest element of arsehole about brands you used to endorse you risk of been seen as a challenging choice for other manufacturers in the future.

It runs the risk of being a bit of a vanilla love fest for Sonor, which would be nice to see but not very revealing about the realities of endorsement.


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 Post subject: Re: Endorsers defecting...how much does it matter?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 22, 2017 6:35 pm 
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mpthomson wrote:
drumandstage wrote:

I have always wanted to get a few endorsers (past and present) together with some Hohner/Sonor insiders (also past and present) and have a round table discussion about endorsements. If there is any interest in that, I may try to put something together for next year.


Playing Devil's Advocate now.....I'd enjoy that too, but I can't imagine it being very productive in reality. Endorsers aren't going to say anything negative about the brand that they endorse. In addition there's the 'never say never issue'. If you've endorsed a company but left on good terms then there's always a chance you could go back, so again, they aren't going to say anything too controversial, plus if you come across as even having the slightest element of arsehole about brands you used to endorse you risk of been seen as a challenging choice for other manufacturers in the future.

It runs the risk of being a bit of a vanilla love fest for Sonor, which would be nice to see but not very revealing about the realities of endorsement.


My apologies for being vague. The idea wouldn't be so much about negativity toward the company which you have mentioned, or even about the details of the endorsement deal (discounts, free goods, etc.) which you didn't suggest. It would be regarding the working relationship between the brand and the artist which is something openly discussed already in my interviews with Todd Sucherman, Jeff "Tain" Watts, Ron Wikso, Buz King, et al.

I think it would be interesting to have an open conversation with several people discussing their take on being a product endorser. Perspectives vary. For instance, both Buz King and Ron Wikso feel that the artist endorses the product, not vice versa, as tends to be the normal school of thought. Buz points out that a company can only support a certain number of endorsers and that there is little benefit to having heavy rosters. Ron elaborates that he is very low maintence, maybe even too low in that they rarely hear from him.

When you really dig in, there are varying viewpoints and I have enjoyed getting into that realm with Sonor artists, past and persent. It's a subject you'd have to be a gear head or brand fanatic (aren't most of us, here?) to even care about, but it seems very relevant to the scope of this site.

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 Post subject: Re: Endorsers defecting...how much does it matter?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2017 3:05 pm 
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I think Lang lives out here in L.A. now and DW has long dominated the L.A. scene. It makes great sense to have the support of a drum company a short drive away and one with world-wide support (I think at least on par with many other drum companies). I can't honestly say I've listened to a whole "song" he's drummed on.

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 Post subject: Re: Endorsers defecting...how much does it matter?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2017 8:07 pm 
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storsav wrote:
I think Lang lives out here in L.A. now and DW has long dominated the L.A. scene...


You make an interesting point.

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