Everyone wants to be a rock star.
It’s part of the reason you pen that first lyric in your notepad or put together that first fret-melting solo.
Going on tour, playing to sold-out venues and releasing records are at the top of the list of things that make being a rock star cool. That doesn’t include the legion of fans and prestige that can follow.
Full disclosure. Even those who don’t grow up in music want to be rock stars.
Personally, teenage me thought Staind’s Aaron Lewis was the coolest guy alive. Looking back, he never actually achieved that status, but what did I know? I was 15.
However, not everyone is destined to be the next Mick Jagger or James Hetfield.
Growing up in Stephenville, the 15-year-old version of Jeremy Lemoine felt the same. Now 30, he wanted to be a guitarist and get behind the microphone.
However, he ended up behind the drum kit, an integral part of any band’s rhythm section. While the rock star career didn’t present itself to Lemoine — he’s an electrician by trade — it turns out there may yet be a future in music for the Massey Drive resident.
Recently, he entered the manufacturing part of the business with Lemoine’s Percussion. When he’s not working off the island, he’s putting together his own drums from the ground up.
“Anyone who plays an instrument growing up, they’ve wanted to be involved some way in the music industry. I’ve always dreamed of it,” he said. “I never, ever thought I’d be making drums.”
Lemoine Percussion is a one-man operation that makes handcrafted, custom drums.
The synapses of Lemoine’s brain started firing as he was scrolling through some of his social media feeds two years ago. He kept seeing posts from people building their own drums on Instagram and thought, “Why can’t I do that?”
He started doing more research, realized he had the tools necessary to make this a reality and started producing drums. He gets his wood at the local Kent hardware store.
That’s oak and maple, but he’s recently found some 80-year-old birch he’s going to turn into a couple of instruments.
So far, he has completed three drums (fun fact: the drummer from Hey Rosetta! is using one) and has three more waiting to go. He’s just waiting on the metal works. They’re parts Lemoine has to bring in because it would cost even more to get them done locally.
Like anything that requires you to work with your hands, it didn’t always go smoothly at first.
While there were no real surprises, it did take some getting used to.
From the first one to the sixth one, there’s been a bit of a learning process, he said, adding there’s tonnes of stuff to reference online if he gets stuck.
“I was flat out (on Google) and YouTube especially, because it gives you the actual visual instead of reading and trying to picture it in your mind.”
He’s committed to turning this into a profession. Right now, it’s something he fiddles with in between time on the mainland for work.
Judging from the finished product, it’s something he’s pretty darn good at. The drums have a polished, professional look when finished.
The natural grains of the wood are accented by the metallic shine of the rest of the instrument.
They sound just as good, too, he said.
“I guess you could call it a labour of love.”
— Nicholas Mercer is the online editor with The Western Star. He’s looking for your wildest and wackiest (or unique) classified section-worthy items. He can be reached at email@example.com.