An Introduction to California Drum Builder Old Star Drum Co

You discover something new with each drum that you build, whether it is a way to be more efficient or a way to improve the process or final product.

Here at The Drum Directory, we are fascinated about custom drum building and getting to know the artists behind our favorite independent drum builders.

In this interview, enjoy learning from the man behind Ontario, California’s Old Star Drum Co – Donavan Foy.

Table of Contents

How have you made ends meet while growing Old Star Drum Co?

I’ve done lots of things. I have been a teacher, owner and operator of a venue/recording studio, and most recently a radiologic technologist.

How did you learn how to build drums?

A lot of research, 30+ years of drumming to know exactly what I want in a drum, initial guidance from some seasoned woodworkers, and some trial and error to fine tune the important details.

Tell us about the first drum you built and how it compares to the drums you build today.

I think that you discover something new with each drum that you build, whether it is a way to be more efficient or a way to improve the process or final product. I think it will always be an ongoing journey where you continue to discover.

What's your method for building drums?

All Old Star shells are solid wood using either stave or segmented construction. Everything is handcrafted and each drum is one of a kind.

What’s one of your favorite memories or stories from running your business?

My favorite part is seeing the reactions of people when they play an Old Star drum for the first time. It is incredibly satisfying as a drum builder to see people enjoying the drums I’ve made.

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