Monster kit makes it to TV

Thursday, 27 August 2020 10:15 am

Anthony Nalli shared his e-drums with digitalDrummer in November 2017, but now he’s showing them off to a global television audience. Here’s how it came about …

My return to e-drumming took place while I was wintering in Phoenix, Arizona. As a native Canadian, I was a long way from home, “snowbirding” as so many others do, enjoying the warmth of the south during the cold winter months. We had sold our home of nearly two decades earlier and had been full-timing in an RV (recreational vehicle).

A talent show at the RV resort we were staying at led to the purchase of a very small electronic drum kit, enabling my return to playing. Well, G.A.S. (gear acquisition syndrome) struck and that little kit grew to something of a monster over the course of a few months. Also growing was my renewed love for drumming, which I’d been doing for nearly all of my 50+ years.

I posted a video online to share with family and soon after, started getting contacted by bands looking for a drummer. Before too long, I joined Toronto-area rock band Wicked Truth (www.wickedtruth.ca). In the two or so years since, the band has been performing about 100 shows a year to a growing fanbase.

At that same time, my other newly found passion, RVing, became the subject of a new television series on Discovery Channel (as well as PBS, Fun Roads TV, Apple TV, Amazon Prime and Google Play). The RVers is a recreational vehicle spin-off of The Aviators, the world’s most popular aviation TV series (I produce and host them both).

The RVers premiered in 2019 explosively! That intersected incredibly with the growth of Wicked Truth in such a way as for the band to begin establishing itself as the RV party band. This past winter, while filming for Season 2 of The RVers, Wicked Truth went on a southern US tour of more than 20 dates with major RVing and aviation events among them.

While COVID-19 put an abrupt end to the tour in mid-March, we were able to complete filming – and Season 2 is airing right now, on Saturday mornings on Discovery Channel in the US.

Wicked Truth is featured in the closing sequence of the show, performing the theme song. I’m playing the drums, but the star of the piece is the drum kit itself! After all, it is at each and every show. It takes me a leisurely hour to set up my drums, and without fail, about midway through, someone comes up in awe and asks: “What the heck is that?!?”

They’re referring to what my bandmates have called The Alien Queen – a custom-designed chrome tube rack that wraps around me, supporting a digital snare, four toms, five additional trigger pads serving various purposes, six cymbals, two hi-hats, an SPD-SX, a TD-17 and a TD-50. It’s a thing of beauty - and I use each and every piece, every show. For added measure, I also have a Korg electric piano behind me where I play the intro to Motley Crue’s Home Sweet Home before turning around and drumming the remainder of the song (inspired to do this when filming in Las Vegas with Vince Neil for two weeks).

Television and music have both been important in my life in different ways, at different times. Add to this aviation and RVing; I’m truly living the dream now as I have the good fortune to combine all of my life passions, performing and enjoying them in perfect unison.

You can see Anthony in action here.