Forged to perfection.




Interview with MAX SONNTAG

Max is one of our Testimonals. We asked him a few questions about himself, his inspiration sources and his experiences with our drums.

How long have you been playing drums and how did you get started?

Back in ’97, there was this band whose drummer completely blew me away. They actually recorded their CD at my dad‘s place, and I was just a little kid at the time, only 9 years old. But when I saw that drum kit, man, it was like nothing I‘d ever seen before. Two bass drums, six toms, and more cymbals than I could count – it was just amazing. And the guy playing it was a total beast. He‘d be sweating like crazy and gasping for air after every take, but he‘d still drag himself back into the studio to listen to his performance. That‘s when I knew I wanted to be just like him.

Luckily, my parents were super supportive, and I started taking lessons from Tom Bräutigam, the drummer in my dad‘s band. And that‘s how my drumming journey began!


How has your drumming evolved throughout your career and what influences have contributed to that?

Luckily, I got exposed to music at a very young age. My parents let my sister and me participate in everything – tours, studio productions, rehearsals, and more. That‘s how I got to hear and experience so much. I didn‘t care about any particular musical genre – I was simply inspired by anyone who had a special joy of playing and was able to create an atmosphere.

My father‘s band played a huge part in all of this, too. I attended nearly every rehearsal, recording session, and concert – unconsciously learning the songs, so much so that I was able to play entire concerts by the time I was only 13. Looking back, it was Tom Bräutigam‘s unyielding groove and energy that showed me how the soul can be conveyed to the listener through an instrument. I owe a great deal to Tom for guiding me in the right direction.
But it‘s not just him – other drummers have had a significant influence on me as well. People like Gavin Harrison, Dave Weckl, Joey Jordison, and Dennis Chambers offer so much in terms of style, musicality, and technique, allowing me to shape my own sound.

“pure sound and incredible dynamics”

Max Sonntag

How would you describe the sound of your drum set?

My personal preference is a mix of percussiveness and a warm full sound. More specifically, I like high-tuned snares as well as hanging toms, and when it comes to larger drums like floor toms and bass drums, they should have a nice defined bass and attack. This allows me to have good control and integrate each instrument, every part of the drum set, well into the overall sound of the set and of course, the band. With PIROTH‑DRUMS, I have access to the full range of sound and it makes it very easy to control.

Who are your favorite drummers and how have they influenced your music?

There are some drummers who have had an influence on me and my playing. What I have always paid attention to, or what impressed me, was when they had a distinctive character and could create the right atmosphere. At the top of that list is David Silvera, the former drummer of Korn. I would put on headphones, play Korn, and try to achieve the same atmosphere. I am pretty sure this had a big influence on my drumming.

I must say, it doesn‘t always have to be technically perfect. Pure technique usually bores me. What I find much more important is expression and the interaction of all musicians. This includes Joey Jordison of Slipknot – simply honest and highly musical. Later on, others came into the picture like Gavin Harrison, Dave Weckl, Dennis Chambers, and Simon Philips. Of course, there are many more excellent drummers who expand the horizon of my creativity. The process is inexhaustible and one never stops learning.

What are your plans in terms of drumming and music for the future?

What always brings me the most joy is simply playing concerts. Fortunately, I have the special privilege of being able to work internationally. For example, the Woodstock festival and the Zappanale were a special experience. It‘s nice to have adventures and get to know the world. In addition, it is a special pleasure to play a PIROTH kit. People are always very impressed. Not only drummers, but also other instrumentalists are interested and quickly recognize how enhancing a good drum kit can be. It‘s nice to see the interest sparked. I hope to be able to play many more concerts. The fans are thirsty for music and we are eager to play. But it‘s not just live concerts that I enjoy. I also love being in the studio and recording songs. These are the most important points for me when it comes to drumming. Listen, see, create. It‘s even more beautiful to be able to do this with such a precise and precious instrument.

You want to play on one of our sets?

Please visit us in Olpe, Germany and have a look at the drums. You are welcome to play them and hear the unique sound for yourself.

Forged to perfection.