We've been following the amazing work of TomTom Mag for some years now. Their non-stop commitment to female drummers doesn't go unnoticed. From their print, to their badass playlists and their Cute af merch, they're the drumming magazine in our hearts, and they should be in yours too. We chat to them about the ins/outs & highs/lows of Tomtom.
Tom Tom Mag has just released its 31st issue, that’s huge! Can you tell us a little bit about Tom Tom Mag?
Tom Tom is the only magazine in the world dedicated to female drummers. Since 2009, we have been a 74 page full color quarterly print magazine, website, social media community, academy and more. We cover drummers of all ages, races, styles, skill level, sexualities, body size and notoriety. We are also a proud producer and creator of the Hit Like a Girl Contest: the only contest for female drummers in the world. Tom Tom is not just a magazine, it’s a movement.
What have been the lowest and highest points for Tom Tom?
- Getting issue distributed nationally through Guitar Center.
- When people don’t think we’re too niche.
- Watching the incredible community we’ve created interact with and support each other
- Winning an out of court trademark battle with Tom Tom GPS.
- Recognizing the desperate need for our magazine 7 years after we started, due to the state of affairs with our current president.
What’s the ultimate aim for Tom Tom?
Tom Tom seeks to raise awareness about female percussionists from all over the world and hope to inspire women and girls of all ages to drum, all while strengthening and building the community of otherwise fragmented female musicians. We hope to serve as the ultimate go-to guide for the latest information about girl drummers and beat makers, around the globe.
If any, what backlash have you received from being a female-focused magazine?
We haven’t received much flack, but whenever we do it’s from guys who feel excluded from our magazine (we don’t blame them!). In all reality though, all drum magazines aside from ours are geared towards men, so they can get over it.
Who are the most exciting drummers and/or bands currently coming out of New York we should know about?
We cover bands globally, but some of the music we’re most excited about in New York and elsewhere includes: Thunderpussy, Thelma and the Sleaze, Patio, Palberta, Yucky Duster, Weeping Icon, Chaos Chaos, Rest Ashore, Phem, and Sandunes.
What are your three hot tips for female drummers starting out?
Call yourself a drummer from day one. Play like no one’s watching. Don’t take shit from anyone.
What is the most exciting part of creating Tom Tom?
The most exciting part of creating Tom Tom (from our Art Director - Marisa Kurk’s point of view): Every issue feels new and different. Being around women and hearing people’s different stories all day is really inspiring.
Who are some of the stand out people you’ve worked with through the magazine?
Some drummers we’ve worked with throughout our years as a magazine: Venzella Joy (and all of Beyonce’s drummers) Janet Weiss, Carla Azar, Cindy Blackman, Sheila E, Savages, Warpaint, Metronymy, Charli XCX, and that’s just a few of the artists. We’ve had the pleasure of working with the industry as well, including the women who run Zildjian, los cabos sticks, Vic Firth, DW, Drum! and more.