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Drummer Love Europe - Ireland Winner
Zildjian Drummer Love Europe - Ireland - Photoshoot July 9th
Drummer Love Ireland Winner | Ben Wanders
Ben W.

Watch Highlights of the Photo Shoot

Ben’s Winning Cymbal Selection:
16” Zildjian K EFX
20” K Constantinople Medium Thin Low Ride
17” K Custom Hybrid Crash
18“ K Custom Session Crash
13” A Zildjian Pocket HiHats
14” K Custom Session HiHats

Drumstick Selection:
5B Hickory Wood, Wood Tip

Robert's Blog - Day 1:
It's EARLY and Ireland smells amazing. Bob and I are on the first flight back to London, today we will be hooking up with Rhythm Magazine for our shoot with Lucus Parlato. I am not sure how we are going to have a better day then the one we had yesterday. I was told by a lot of friends how friendly Ireland is, but until you have had a chance to visit, you will never know.

We were met at Shannon airport by Lesley and Paul on, believe it or not, another rainy morning. It's been raining here for the last 80 days. I keep telling myself its summer back in LA and I will soon be enjoying the sun and surf, but for now all I can see is GREEN. Our short trip to the city of Shannon took us through fields of cows and castles until we made our way into the quaint little city by the river.

Admittedly, I stopped paying attention to planning emails for this trip a few weeks ago, taking a more, "I will follow Bob and see what happens" kind of approach. I was not prepared for our shoot location in an old church in the middle of town. We entered the vacant church to find Ben and his kit waiting for us in the middle of this massive atrium where the pews used to be "Its makes a nice a nice place to record" Ben said.

The creative hair on the back of my neck started to stand up -  was I really going to get to do a shoot in the middle of an old hollowed out church in Shannon, Ireland on a rainy day??? The answer was YES! Ben started to play and I was blown away from the very start. The first thing that got my attention was that Ben was mostly self taught. It's funny when you get to watch a player who is more driven by their emotions than sheets of music. Don't get me wrong, both have their merit, but Ben was putting it all into jam, working out grooves, cutting, slicing and dropping the hammer when the time was right.

So, what is a trip to Ireland if you can't stop at a castle for a photo shoot??? Well, yea, we did that too (my first castle shoot) Later that afternoon we found a small pub had a great meal and a taste of the Guinness. It was the best 24 hours a guy can spend in a beautiful place. I have the feeling I will be back there before this trip is finished.


Bob's Blog - Day 1:
July 9 – Limmerick, Ireland:

It's been a long wait for 6 drummers across Europe. Finally the wait is over and with the very deserving winners of drummer love Europe announced we head out to deliver the grand prize packages full of Zildjian goodies. An exciting part of the prize is of course the opportunity to have your very own photo shoot with renown Los Angeles photographer, Robert Downs.

Robert has flown in to London and we hooked up bright and early at Heathrow airport to catch our flight to Shannon Ireland, to meet the first of our winners Ben Wanders

A short flight later, we were met by Lesley Kane and Paul Lyttle from our Zildjian Distributors in Ireland, KMI. They have been great supporters of the Drummer Love Europe competition, pulling in Ireland's national rock radio show, Radio Nova, to help promote it.

There were a huge number of entries and a very close vote up to the last minute with Ben Wanders coming out on top. A well deserved win and we were soon to see for ourselves what a great player he is. We drove to Limmerick to a huge vacant church building that is now used as rehearsal space for bands. Ben is a great guy and has made a wonderful selection for his cymbal set prize (see below), which he quickly puts up on his stands. With his kit now set, Robert dives into action.

The results are amazing. Robert is special; as a drummer himself, he is able to catch the incredible atmosphere of the situation, and put everything he’s got into making sure it all works.

Shots with the kit are followed by a change of set to show off Ben's new Gen 16 AE Cymbals and Rack. Then we venture out to shoot with a backdrop of a Castle on the banks of the Shannon River, passers by are intrigued by Robert’s shapes as he throws himself to the floor in order to achieve the perfect shot.

Ben has been terrific, and we learned he spent some time in Hingham MA,  not far from the Zildjian factory - small world! He's a great drummer and also a sound engineer. He plays with many bands and I'm sure he's certainly a player to watch out for. It's been a great day and there's no doubting it's going to be a fun week working with Robert.

Up early tomorrow and fly back to London for our next shoot.