About Kevin Watkins 

I started playing drums in Church when I was seven. Brother Carr asked if I could play a snare while he played the organ just to liven things up a little. And that began my journey and a cycle of musical mentors who showed up in my life over the years.  My grandfather was a musician and played various instruments, including drums. Spending time with him definitely helped shape my musical sensibilities. He left me one of his snare drums when he died; a 20’s Slingerland Tone Flange. I love that drum because it was part of his story.  Growing up in the Church helped my faith develop, but it also helped my musicianship. Many opportunities to develop as a drummer came about as a result of church, even a European tour when I was just 16. Doors opened for recording, touring and even singing. My longest gig was with Country Gospel band, Brush Arbor. Although we were based in SoCal, we spent a lot of  time in Nashville, recording and doing TV.  I quickly became a fan of the Nashville sound and its pristine, authentic way of recording. Nashville drummers; Larrie Londin, Eddie Bayers and Paul Leim were quickly added to my list of favorites/influences that included Hal Blaine, John Guerin, Ronnie Tutt and Jeff Porcaro. I tried to play like them all, and morphed their sound into my sound.  But it wasn’t just their playing that attracted me, it was how their drums sounded.

So many unique gigs and so many people have influenced my musical journey. Blessings! That's all I need to say. I’ve appreciated the companies who provided endorsements over the years too. Great people and great support has made a significant difference in my life.  

Later in life, playing took a bit of a back seat to audio engineer production work for live events and recording projects. I quickly became passionate about the other side of the glass in part because of my experiences as a player.  At first I didn’t know much..(boy, that is an understatement)...but, not unlike how my drumming life opened up for me as a kid, these next years were more fun than I could have dreamed. I can still remember my hands shaking the first time I pushed faders up at the Hollywood Bowl. (That’s a story for another time).  I was once again blessed to be surrounded by some very influential and talented individuals that spoke into this part of my journey. Their input gave me a “tool bag” of tips, tricks and workarounds that kept me in the game. Or maybe I should say, to save my butt. The Producing opportunities were not a lot different than all the previous years spent in studios, hashing out vocal parts or arguing about keys or tempos. Live FOH opportunities began materializing, too. All the while, drums in the mix became the thing I would focus on first. When the drums were right, everything else seemed to easily fall into place. I was in my happy place, working on a mix that had great sounding drums. My passion for playing drums never left; things just took on a different look for a while. 

Now fast forward to today. Drums are still on my brain, in a very big way. I’m living out new dreams, building them and I’m learning through trial and error;  just like all the other chapters of my journey. I am learning about wood and what it will and won’t do easily (ugh!!!). I get crazy about fundamental pitches of shells or why one drum’s edge will allow it to tune down to the basement and sound great; while others won’t. I’m creating a snare drum that simply makes sense; for me and hopefully for you too.

Drumming and mixing drums, along with some great input along the way, has brought me here to K-WAT Drum Co. We’re all on a journey and have a story to tell.  I love equipping drummers with drums they can’t live without.  So let's connect if K-Wat Drum Co. can help support you on your journey.