Roots EQ co-founder Adam Topol is a Los Angeles based drummer, percussionist, and solo artist. For over fourteen years, he has recorded and toured internationally with multi-platinum singer/songwriter Jack Johnson. He has also collaborated with a wide variety of artists as a drummer, percussionist, engineer, producer, and songwriter. Most notably, he has had the opportunity to explore sonic possibilities in the studio with his project Culver City Dub Collective. Whether in the studio, in a large open-air festival, an intimate club performance on an “interesting” house-kit, or an unplugged acoustic rehearsal, Topol has always looked to find the best drum sound for each musical situation as quickly and effortlessly as possible. Making any drum set feel and sound “right” for the music has become a passion and necessity.
Roots EQ began in the practice room…the search for a solution to T Shirts sliding off toms mid song, that missing roll of duct tape 5 minutes before show time, and the desire to capture a musical vibe that none of the available drum dampening products could offer. Along with crucial feedback from Rich Mangicaro and some of the worlds’ most accomplished and tasteful players, he and master drum builder Matt Smith teamed up to create one of the the best feeling, best sounding, and simplest drum muting products on the market. Over a year’s worth of trial and error in the workshop and on the gig was well worth the result.
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Roots Eq co-founder Matt Smith is a world renowned instrument maker specializing in the building, repair and restoration of Afro-Caribbean percussion instruments. As a teenager Matt’s passion for drumming led him to make his first conga. He then began selling his instruments at several famed drum shops that existed in the Times Square area of New York City. Matt would spend hours in the stores checking out the latest instruments but was particularly interested in the vintage drums, cymbals and world percussion instruments that these shops had for sale. His deep appreciation for the quality and elegance of those vintage instruments shaped his imagination and set the standard for his own work. The exposure he got by having his drums on the floor of those shops helped spread the word to drummers around the world about his instruments. It wasn’t long before he was being compared to the world’s greatest drum makers and he became known in the underground community of conga drummers as one of “the big three” (Jay Berek, Junior Tirado, Matt Smith) drum makers out of N.Y.C. Today, nearly 30 years later he is the last of “the big three” to continue in the tradition. Matt’s drums can be heard on many recordings including grammy nominated and grammy winning albums. His instruments are owned and played by many of the world’s most accomplished drummers including iconic musician Jerry Gonzalez, who has been doing gigs and recording sessions with his custom set of 5 mahogany congas made by Matt since 2001. Matt is widely sought after for restoration work and has restored several drums that were the personal instruments of Cuban percussion legend Mongo Santamaria (deceased). His work has been featured in Modern Drummer magazine and can be seen at several museums including the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix, Az. He remains extremely busy with both making and restoring drums (although the demand became so great for his instruments that he is no longer able to take commissions from the general public for them). Matt enjoys working with musicians on new ideas and joined forces with drummer/percussionist Adam Topol to create the “Roots Eq” tone control device for drum set. Matt tapped into his reverence for manufacturing and his vast experience working with tone and “vibe” when they set out to create the product. Matt and Adam had a mutual respect for one anothers work and with their complementing skills they perfected the sound “eq’ing” device that has quickly become an instant hit with drum set players.
Roots EQ Artist Relations Director Rich Mangicaro has worked extensively on all sides the entertainment industry. For 19 years as the Director of Artist Relations and Education for Paiste America, Rich increased the overall visibility of the company by securing internationally recognizable artist endorsees. As one of the company’s Marketing Directors, he produced and directed art campaigns, increasing the company’s overall sales figures. With his on-line skills as writer, producer and director of both AV and print content, he has worked with Graham Nash, Chris Hillman, Paul McCartney’s guitarist Brian Ray and many others. As a published music journalist, Rich’s articles have been featured in Modern Drummer, Drumhead, UK trades Rhythm and Drummer, Batteur in France and DrumScene in Australia.
Rich Mangicaro has performed and/or recorded with Jeff Bridges, Venice, Michael McDonald, Tommy Shaw, Christopher Cross, Billy Idol, Dave Mason, The Tubes, David Crosby, Jackson Browne, America, Glenn Frey and Joe Walsh. Currently, along with his performing schedule, Rich manages the artist relations divisions for both Gon Bops, Inc. and Innovative Percussion, Inc., under his own entity, ArtistRelationships.com and will soon be launching a podcast show, focusing on the world of percussion.