After years as a touring drummer with indie acts like Elliott Smith, Bright Eyes and She & Him, Scott McPherson had just about had it with his cymbal bags breaking down after only a few months. So, in 2011, he founded Tackle Instrument Supply Co., a drum accessory manufacturer that focuses on producing high-quality canvas and leather drum bags, steel drum keys and other drumming accessories that blend design with durability.
“When I was touring, there really weren’t any bags that were aesthetically pleasing to me,” McPherson said. “So, I wanted to create something that looked good and that was more durable and less disposable.”
Drum accessory manufacturer Tackle Instrument Supply Co. gives cymbal bags a good name
Originally founded in Portland, Oregon, Tackle manufacturers all of its bags and sown products in India with its smaller leather goods, including drum key cases, beater patches and hoop protectors, produced at its current headquarters in Minneapolis.
“Whenever we can get things made locally, we do,” McPherson said. “For example, we also source all the printing of our shop rags here as well.”
With materials ranging from heavy-duty organic cotton canvas to wax canvas and leather, Tackle Instrument Supply Co.’s bags are built to last, an idea McPherson said he believes some drummers aren’t as familiar with today.
“What I’ve found in the drumming market is that we drummers have been conditioned to think that bags shouldn’t be that expensive because they won’t last,” he said. “But, if you use a cheap bag and use it regularly, you’ll go through three in the span of one year, which will cost you the price of buying one Tackle bag. In the end, one of our bags will cost a player less if they keep buying those $50 bags that break down and aren’t able to be repaired.”
McPherson compared his company to the durable outdoor gear brand, Filson, adding that he will personally repair any bag sent in.
“We will fix all bags if something were to fail on it,” he said. “I can do just about any repair, and if it can’t be repaired for some reason, I’ll replace it. The idea is to buy something once and get it fixed if need be. These aren’t disposable bags. I honestly believe your cymbal bag should last the length of your career as a drummer.”
Growing up with a father who worked on the upholstery of restored cars, McPherson said he always had an affinity for antiques and vintage-style items.
“Any time I found a bag at a flea market I would buy it,” he said. “I took inspiration for Tackle Instrument Supply Co.’s bags from not only the design of hunting bags and military bags but also vintage Reunion Blues’ cymbal bags from the 1970s and early 1980s. There’s been a revival of this look in recent years, and I wanted to bring this design to drum accessories.”
McPherson said his products’ vintage look and long-lasting durability provide dealers with a different, more unique accessory option to offer their customers.
“It’s important to have quality options for players,” McPherson said. “Drummers of years past would have the same cymbal bag for 40 or 50 years, and it was cool because it had some stories to tell. If they had kids or grandkids, it was a cool thing to pass down. We hope to achieve that with our bags.”
With three consecutive NAMM “Best in Show” nods under its belt and a recent distribution deal with Big Bang Distribution now in effect, Tackle Instrument Supply Co. is ready to, well, tackle the instrument accessory market.
“Looking ahead towards the next few years, we’ve thought about expanding our offerings into other instrument segments, including possibly guitar and bass,” McPherson said. “As a former touring musician, I have a lot of ideas when it comes to making improvements to accessories.” MI