Union of the snares

posted September 05, 2018 at 06:25 pm
by  Yugel  Losorata
 To fully enjoy the experience of playing steady, a drummer is somewhat at the mercy of the kit’s quality.  

Such consideration makes Filipino indie musician Toks Paras extra admirable among his fellows for he can build a proper-sounding and nice-looking drumset from scratch and out of scrap.

Painstakingly handcrafted using recycled wood, the equipment he produces, especially customized snare, is fast-establishing itself under the branding Tree:ty Drums.

“My drummer-brother Tas was looking for a snare and drum kit with a unique sound. That gave me the idea to manually produce him one,” shared Toks who actually plays bass guitar as official post in his own band The Soledads.

Union of the snares
Indie musician and Tree:ty drum-maker Toks Paras painstakingly handcrafts snare drum using recycled wood.
“Four years ago,” he continued, “I heard about a Japanese drum-maker who also plays the bass. That was my cue and I made my first snare in two weeks, all from scrap materials. My mother was really pleased with the final product and that further encouraged me.”

By the following year he was regularly supplying the Rizal Park Open Air Auditorium in Manila for Saturday live performances. In 2017, FM radio station Jam 88.3 enjoyed Tree:ty’s service in its sessions with Jah dela Cruz and Pepe Smith. In fact, Tree:ty drums withstood the numerous bands that went on stage during the controversial Pepe Smith Rock Fest in Amoranto Stadium last June. Well, Toks’s product delivered for sure.

Someone exclaimed on the brand’s FB Page: “Gawang kamay. Solidong kalidad. Swabeng tunog. Higit sa lahat, sariling atin.”

The birth of Tree:ty is in line with the maker’s acknowledged efforts to keep the indie music scene alive at least in the south area of Metro Manila. For the record, The Soledads took its name from a street in Parañaque City.  

Along with lead vocalist TJ Tirante and with ample support from their back up personnel, Toks spearheaded the band with the release of digital singles and a couple of EPs since their formation in 2009. Their debut “Stay Away” reached the top spot on Radio Pilipinas countdown and  earned raves from Rakista Pilipinas. Another called “AWOL” is a semi-finalist in the KBP Pop Festival Songwriting Contest in 2010.

Last summer, The Soledads performed with Ben & Ben and Autotelic at Makati Shangrila and then at a music festival in Las Piñas City headlined by current rap sensation Ex-Battalion. Not even a steady job and a regular family routine can dissuade Toks from joining late-night production gigs where big pay is almost non-existent.  

He reasoned, “By doing it I get to know more fellow musicians as well as our audience. I want to reach more artists and music enthusiasts through my band and my drums.”

By late 2016, snare orders began pouring in. He later met Leiz Jimenez, widow of late comedian Tado Jimenez and the one running the bar Limitado in Marikina. The place became a showroom for Tree:ty and they significantly became business partners.

Asked about his take on Pinoy drummers, he observed, “The creative drive of Filipino drummers comes from their daily struggles which make them sound unique.”

Topics: Toks Paras , Tree:ty Drums , The Soledads , TJ Tirante , Jah dela Cruz , Pepe Smith
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