After spending more than two decades in the field as a professional drummer, Glen Sobel is practically a member of rock royalty. Sobel has appeared on albums from such names as Saga, Gary Hoey, Jeff Scott Soto and the Hollywood Vampires, not to mention having worked with Sixx: A.M., Uli Jon Roth, Rob Halford and members of Aerosmith.
Sobel spends most of his time behind the skins for shock rocker Alice Cooper, having most notably toured in support of Motley Crue’s final world tour and even stood in for a fallen Tommy Lee for a couple of dates. Logging all these hours on drums means that Sobel is often trading out pairs of sticks, which led to his partnership with Regal Tip.
Joe Calato is the founder of Regal Tip drumsticks and brushes, manufactured in Niagara Falls, NY. Prior to 1958 all drumsticks were pure wood, with the tips always chipping and breaking. Playing five times a week, raising a family and not having very much money, Calato wanted to find a way to make his drumsticks to last a little longer. His first attempt was carving a tip from the end of a plastic screwdriver, liking the sound but the tip came off. After speaking to a chemist friend that suggested trying nylon, The Regal Tip was invented.
Regal Tip is a staple of drumming and percussion, focusing on the quality of wood, drying of the wood, quality control for straightness of grain, weight, knots, and the P.E.F. finish. Calato is was also the first in the industry to match a pair of sticks. Always being environmentally conscious, the trees used in manufacturing the drumsticks are sustainable and logged in such a way to ensure the existence of the species. Using premium US White Sapwood Hickory.
Music Enthusiast Magazine spoke with Alice Cooper’s drummer Glen Sobel at NAMM 2016 in the Regal Tip booth about his endorsement with Regal Tip and his new Signature drumsticks.
Music Enthusiast: I understand you have new Signature drumsticks called the Sobelizer; can you tell us about them?
Glen Sobel: Catchy name right?
It was a year in the making and if you know Regal Tip, it’s between like a 7B and a Metal X. Seven-B, not to be confused with 7A; 7B is a rock size. So I wanted it to be just a little wider and a little heavier; it’s more top heavy. Gives the drummer some nice inertia for a big word. There’s a good word right; for some throw, that’s another way of saying inertia. The whole idea is to make the drummer’s job easier, the hard-hitting rock drummer. You don’t want it too heavy but you want it just heavy enough to where it’s going to make those bap, bap beats and those strokes all get heard through the PA system or those guitar players that tend to turn up too loud. (laughs) And it’s a wood tip, and Regal Tip drumsticks poises a nice lacquer; many drummers tried that, they say it makes them grip the sticks easier. People got to try it.
Is this why you endorse Regal Tip?
I’ve been with Regal Tip for twenty-three years. Yeah. It’s just now the signature sticks are coming out. They were my first endorsement ever and I’m still with them.
Do sparks fly out of them too?
Oh, you mean fireballs? That’s the special pair that I have. That’s the extra deluxe model, yeah.
One last question, what’s coming up this year with Alice Cooper?
Well, we just announced our tour dates for late April and early May about a three or four week run, in the States; there’s some European festivals that already been announced, and a lot more to come. I find out as everybody else does sometimes, just through seeing the press releases.
Thank you for taking this time to speak with me.