Hovland Artists

We have a small but fast growing artist roster, featuring some great drummers from around the world.   Take a look at the drummers below and have a listen to some of their music.

Dylan Koch

Dylan Koch gravitated to the drums early on in his life using kitchen utensils to play along with music as soon as he could walk. After digesting an early diet of Ginger Baker, Keith Moon, Mitch Mitchell and John Bonham, Dylan was mentored by the legendary Tom Brechtlein (Chick Corea/Robben Ford). In high school Dylan participated in the Jazz Institute at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music and furthered his studies at the McNally Smith School of Music in the Twin Cities.

While still in his teens he performed with young guitar guns Tallan Noble Latz and Jared James Nichols and has performed alongside his father with such artists as Robben Ford, Little Feat's Paul Barrere, Jon Cleary, David Grissom, Roscoe Beck and Malford Milligan.

Dylan was recently nominated for drummer of the year by the Wisconsin Area Music Awards (WAMI). 

Dylan Koch

Greg Chapman

Hailing from Liverpool, England, Hovland Artist Greg Chapman is currently the man behind the beats of math-rock trio Alpha Male Tea Party.  His powerful, time-signature bending grooves contribute towards the band’s signature dramatic sound.   Greg is a fan of big cymbals and punchy kits, and his influences range from early greats such as Billy Cobham and Stewart Copeland to modern boundary pushing players such as Mark Guiliana, Benny Greb and Matt Garstka.

A drummer of 25 years, playing through the early 2000´s with Alt rockers Deadlogic - securing slots with major label bands such as A Hundred Reasons and Vex Red. Later joining The Kid From Argentina, Saro Iona before joining Alpha Male Tea Party in early 2012. Greg has covered the long roads of the UK and Europe touring with AMTP, with the band looking to record and release a follow up to their hugely popular ‘Droids’ later in 2016 – Listen out for his Hovland Drums 8x14" Walnut snare on his future recordings and shows.

“I've always been drawn to deeper snare drums, I need those beefy, throaty low-mids and snappy attack you get from a 8x14" shell to get over the guitars in the live show. I've never owned anything that deep before, so I was drawn to that size when I first got in touch with Kirk. I know he's put his heart and soul into making this drum and you can guarantee it's a true work of art.” 

Photo Credit - Ed Sprake Photography

Greg Chapman

John Simm

John "The Drum Tamer" Simm

John can't get enough of playing music and currently drums for a number of bands, as well working as a music producer, session drummer & percussionist for various artists in Manchester.  Having played for pop, rock, prog, country, electronic, blues and disco bands, he's not easy to pin down in terms of style, but his main project has been music from the two-piece band called Cleft who made turbo-charged progressive instrumental rock.  

John's been playing his Hovland 5.75x13" solid walnut snare drum all over the UK and Europe with the band for the last few years, and it's featured in both the photo and the video shown here.

"I love my 13" Hovland snare drum and everywhere I play it I get compliments from sound engineers and drummers alike who want to know what on earth it is.   When I show it to them, they're all blown away by the craftsmanship and how pretty it looks.  With Cleft I use a very wide dynamic range in my playing and can go from metal double-kick patterns to light jazz in the space of seconds, so I need my drums to respond really well and to be as articulate as possible.  My Hovland snare does just that, plus it takes everything from low (it does a good 'doof'!) to high tunings very well, stays in tune, and the hardware is top notch.  Kirk is a fantastic craftsman, he runs an ecologically responsible drum workshop and is a thoroughly nice fella as well.  Buy his drums. "

If you want to check out what John is currently up to, follow him on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter or check out the videos and music on his website.

Photo credit: @snaprockandpop

Al Gunby

Currently signed to Big Scary Monsters (UK) and Stiff Slack (Japan) and formally signed to Island/Universal Records Al Gunby is noted for his unique and improvisational approach fusing ska, RnB and hard rock currently found on both Axes releases ‘Axes’ and the internationally acclaimed ‘Glory’. He has released 8 albums to date with 6 different bands.

Born in Copenhagen Denmark, Al Gunby moved to the UK when he was 7, growing up in Essex. A long time member of UK punk bands The Filaments, The King Blues and a founding member of Suicide Bid, Gunby’s committed style is well known both in and out of the UK punk scene. He has played live on the BBC Radio One Live Lounge with Jo Wiley, the BBC’s Mike Davies Lock Up Session and XFM’s Exposure sessions. 

Gunby’s bands have supported a number of big names (including The Pouges, Frank Turner, Rancid and Enter Shikari) and he has performed at Wembley Arena, Glastonbury Festival, Reading and Leeds Festival, V Festival, Radio One Big Weekend, and Brixton Academy amongst others.

Photo credit Joseph Singh - @snaprockandpop

Al Gunby

Ryan Bright

Ryan Bright

Ryan Bright is a professional drummer and educator based in Barnsley, South Yorkshire, UK.    He first picked up a pair of sticks in 1999 at the age of 12, when offered drum lessons at high school and has been honing his skills since then.   Ryan has played with many different musicians in his time, and in some notable bands (and some not so notable!), all of which has helped to develop his unique style and approach.    He started teaching drums in 2009 and is currently a full time tutor, with students of all ages and levels coming to him for his technical expertise at the kit.

When not teaching, Ryan plays in the critically acclaimed progressive rock quartet of Body Hound who have been regularly touring the UK and released a full-length EP called 'Rhombus Now' in 2014. 

“Rhombus Now is perfectly organized chaos. If you like math-rock you have no excuse not to fall in love with this. I did have to give it a few listens through before it really started to shine, but once it started shining I could not give it up. Body Hound could be the biggest instrumental math-rock band of recent years. Here’s hoping, because this is a stupendous debut.”
Post-Rock Star - Tenacious Listening

He also plays in a band called Redmist Destruction who make old school thrash metal music.  Here's what the critics had to say about their record 'Discharge'.

"Anger folks; that’s what's been missing from the Thrash Revival. Redmist Destruction have that essence of Discharge which contains their song writing within 2 minutes or less and keeps hearts and minds ticking over with the sort of quick to pit instinct that made the (thrash) scene so great."

Photo credit - Ed Sprake Photo


Joe Wood

Joe Wood starting playing the drum set at 8 years old and barely remembers a time when he was not obsessed with rhythm. His musical path started with him studying under two of the most renowned players in Staffordshire. Paul Murfin, his first teacher taught him from 8 years old until he was 16. With Paul, Joe focused on improvisation, pocket, styles and identity behind the drum kit. He found a love for funk, world, reggae and rock music closely following drummers such as Stewart Copeland, Stanton Moore, Jojo Mayer, Ginger Baker and many others.

Through his later years at high school Joe discovered Jazz and instantly found a musical framework that suited him perfectly. Throughout college Joe studied under Ken Adams, a jazz and swing player who regularly toured with Ken Dodd's pit band. Unlike the easy going nature of Joe's time with Paul, Ken approached lessons with an old school approach and took Joe through Moeller Technique, Push/Pull, Jazz independence and sight reading. The times spent with both players give Joe a unique approach to the kit, the mindset of a Jazz scholar combined with the organic feel and ferociousness of a rock drummer.

When he was 18 he moved to Manchester to study further. Joe has performed and recorded with many artists, including: Trojan Horse, Lucy Mae, The Mudez Project, Christian Fields, The 256, Burning Books, Gabriella Zucotti, Ed Kainyek and The Kieran Matthews Quartet. Now 21, Joe is thrilled to be part of the Hovland family and looks to further his musical career, whether it be in Jazz, Prog or any other style.

Photo credit - Ed Sprake photo

Joe Wood

Guy Crawford

Guy Crawford

Guy's first instrument was the guitar, but at the age of 15, having played on the school drum kit a few times, he bought an old 70s Sonor kit.  "There were too many of us who played guitar, so as a temporary measure, I bought a kit for the sake of forming a band".  Getting on for 20 years later, Guy is still drumming.  Growing up on the heavier side of rock music, his early influences were John Bonham, Danny Carey, David Silveria and so on.  "I am pretty much self taught, and don't come from a theoretical background, so I was very much a rock drummer.  A few years back, I wanted to improve as a player, so took a few lessons in jazz and latin styles.  Going back to basics, learning rudiments, which really helped add new flavours to my playing, and helped me to think differently.  I took a lot of inspiration from watching Buddy Rich videos, listening to King Crimson and Soft Machine and seeing Greg Saunier from Deerhoof.  That loose, freestyle, jazzy way of playing was really exciting!"

Guy has played in numerous bands including Earthona, Trojan Horse, Gary McClure (now American Wrestlers) and more recently, Songs For Walter.  "I had a lot of fun in Trojan Horse, touring the UK and writing some interesting music, meeting 1000 amazing bands and artists along the way.  I needed a change, though, so decided to start my own studio project, which is taking shape.  I am playing live for Songs For Walter, which is a really melodic indie-folk band, with brilliant songs, so it's a lot different to what I'm used to; much simpler songs, but a lot of fun, nonetheless."

Hovland approached Guy to be an artist in 2015 and he was excited to come on board.  "I knew of Hovland through John from Cleft, a friend of mine.  I think what Hovland are doing is incredible.  I just love the idea of Kirk seeing the process through from start to finish, it feels really personal and special.  The fact he is ethical about the whole process, and conscious of the environment makes it really unique.  I can't wait to get my hands on my new snare!"

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