A&F Drum Co. - Old World Craftsmanship, New World Sound
“100 years of soul into a modern instrument.”
Pre-war music is often treated as a curiosity, an antique lens through which we can filter popular music to gain views and clicks and click-throughs, a little tarnished brass, a flapper dress, and a dramatic-looking microphone making for a deliciously viral juxtaposition viewers of all ages can enjoy. For Ramy Antoun, President of A&F Drum Co., pre-war music is a curiosity alright, but the kind he’s spent nearly a decade and a half trying to understand. He sees the juxtaposition of old and new as anything but novelty. In fact, to A&F, it’s entirely elemental.
Such a combination requires arduous research and painstaking work, but it’s A&F’s anything’s-possible attitude that enables Ramy and crew to draw a bold “new world sound” out of the timeless elegance of old world craftsmanship. We asked Ramy to tell us a little bit more about this process, about A&F, and about everything that goes into making history the second time around.
What is A&F?
Antoun & Family Drum Company, named after Ramy Antoun the founder and president.
Who is A&F?
President: Ramy Antoun
VP Accounting: Tiffany Antoun
VP Operations: Josh Jones
VP Digital: Richard Panter
Wood Specialist: Tabber Millard
Director of Assembly: Johnny Villarreal
Brass Specialist: Zack Willis
Director of Shipping: Jana Jacobs
Sales/A&R rep: Chris Mead
How did you get started building drums?
I had a very specific sound and aesthetic in my head over 14 years ago that I finally decided to fully realize just for myself. Social media quickly decided that this would not be a personal drum but a company.
When and how did A&F begin? What inspired you to begin?
In April 2015, we set out to make that one drum in my head, sound first then aesthetic, and in August of 2015 the first 2 snares were officially born, The A&F Drum Co. 4x14 Raw Brass snare. I posted pics and video on my personal instagram and within weeks we were getting messages and emails to purchase one. BUT THEY WEREN’T FOR SALE…yet! Once we realized there was a demand we made it a company and filed for some patents to protect the design. Now almost 3 years later and few patents in, we are a fully functioning and growing company!
What inspires you continue?
LEGACY!!! I love that we are creating a legacy company with instruments that will stand the test of time and be hopefully handed down from generation to generation.
How would you describe an A&F drum to someone new to the brand?
We took Old World Craftsmanship and created New World Sounds. 100 years of soul into a modern instrument.
What components, designs, materials, techniques etc. make A&F drums unique?
First and foremost the SOUND. We have our own voice!!! Second we use raw metals, woods, and leathers and derive our designs from the Art Deco era of old.
How long does it take to make an A&F drum from start to finish?
Lead-time on snares is 8 weeks, kits 12 weeks. Actual time for one snare is about 2 days once all the material is ready and kits 2 weeks including wood shells curing time in the molds.
How is an A&F drum constructed from start to finish?
By hand from scratch in Austin, Texas using locally sourced materials and by local musicians and artisans! Watch #PlayWhatULove for the full picture!
What inspires your creative process?
As a professional drummer, there’s not a day that goes by where I’m not thinking about ways to create new sounds and compact them into one drum. I like the idea of showing up to a session or gig with a four-piece kit that can produce 40 sounds!!! That’s my inspiration behind everything we create.
What is the spirit of A&F?
What is A&F’s mission?
Making instruments with a Simple Design, Practical Application, and Brilliant Sound!
Where does A&F go from here?
100 years of fulfilling our mission…and hardware.
It’s impossible to predict what any brand could do with 100 more years, especially a brand that finds inspiration in nearly 100-year-old instruments, but with the continued success A&F has demonstrated since producing their first drums in the spring of 2015 it’s clear we’ll be seeing a lot more of Ramy and family in the years to come.
Shop our collection of A&F Drum Co.’s Art Deco-era-influenced drums for your own piece of history–and the future.