If you can dream it, You can do it! A professional drummer, a talented artist for almost 2 decades, Rahul Hariharan always believed in better and turned his dreams into reality. He however, has worn many hats before getting where he is today.

Get to know Rahul Hariharan and his journey with Mapex Drums as part of The Mapex Tribe.


How Did You Get Introduced To Mapex Drums?

The first time I saw a Mapex kit was Terry Bozzio performing on a matt black Mapex double bass kit on a video a friend showed me. What sealed the deal for me was when Gregg Bissonette visited Mumbai in 2007 to promote Mapex drums and I had the chance to interview him for a local publication. Hearing the way he played those drums made me a fan right away. 

The first time I played a Mapex would have been at the Furtados store, where they had a Red Sparkle V Series Mapex that anyone could try out. 


Tell Us About Your Drum Kit And Set Up?   

I’ve owned a Mapex Saturn since 2008

22×16” Kick, 10”x8”, 12”x9” rack toms, 14”x14” and 16”x16” floor toms in a Green Apple Burst finish

I currently have it set up with just the two rack toms and the 16” floor tom. I modified my 14”x14” floor tom into a really deep snare with throw offs so I can switch between a floor tom and fat snare. 

I also have a second kit I’ve pieced together with a 20”x18” Mapex V Series Bass Drum, 13×9 and 16”x16” Meridian birch toms. 


What  Are The Qualities You Look For In A Drum Set?

Tonality for sure. The shells need to handle different tunings. I also really like drum sets with solid hardware. There’s nothing worse than some great sounding shells paired with a wobbly snare stand or tom mounts that don’t hold up.


Do You Set Up Differently For Live And Studio? What Are Your Preferred Configurations? 

I’m constantly changing my setup. It’s mostly situational and depends on what kind of music I’m playing. I’ll either add or subtract cymbals depending on the situation. But about the drums I broadly have 3 set ups: 

1) All out (2 toms on top/1 floor tom)

2) Functional (1 rack tom/1 floor tom) and 

3) Minimal (no rack toms/only floor tom). 

The goal is to get comfortable playing any set on all these three set ups. This way I’m prepared for any situation on the road and backline mishaps. 


Can You Name 5 Mapex Artists You Really Love?

Russ Miller 

Kirk Covington 

Richie Martinez

Aquiles Priester

Derico Watson 


Do You Have To Take Any Special Care Of Your Drums?

Just the usual stuff. Dust and clean my drums down regularly and vacuum the carpet down. Once a year, I take stock and do a detailed clean on every piece of gear I own. Mostly checking for rust/damage/wear and tear and replacing parts. 



If You Have To Choose One Mapex Kit Configuration That Covers A Studio Session And A Live Performance, Which One Would You Go With And Why?

I’ve played the Black Panther Velvetone on multiple occasions and really enjoyed everything about it. 10”,12”, 13” rack toms; 14”,16”, 18” floor toms and two kicks 22” and 20”. That  spread would ensure I’m equipped for any session that would come my way.  


Do You Have A Memorable Moment From A Performance With Your Mapex Drum Kit? 

I’ve recorded almost every song on Bhayanak Maut’s discography on my Mapex Saturn and still continue to after 13 years. That feels pretty cool, almost as if the kit has evolved with our music over the years. 

Many sweet memories of carting my kit to Blue Frog several times for different set ups and also recording at their legendary studio room A. 


Do You Feel At Times Your Drums Set Pushes You To Play Better?

I feel new gear brings about a sense of curiosity and renewed interest in playing your instrument for sure. That itself leads to new ideas and tones to explore. More than better, new gear helps you play differently which can be pretty cool and very insightful from time to time. 


How Would You Describe Mapex Drums To Someone Who Has Never Played One Before?

Easy to set up and tune, great tonality, serious attack and extremely versatile. 


Which Is Your Favourite Mapex Snare? 

It’s hard to pick one because they’re all pretty awesome in their own way. I’m currently really enjoying the Black Panther Sledgehammer, 14”x6.5” and 1.2mm hand hammered brass shell and have been using it regularly live and in the studio. Before this, my usual go to snare in the studio was my Black Panther Deep Forest Walnut 14”x 6.5”

For my band Bhayanak Maut, it’s mostly my 14” x 5.5” Brasscat which is a little more aggressive in it’s throw


Can You Tell Us About Your Drum Hardware? 

I use the Mapex HPF 1000 boom stands, 1000 series two legged hi hat stand, 1000 series snare stands, Mapex Falcon pedals and an assortment of other clamps and stands collected over the years. I also have a Mapex P600TW double bass pedal attached to my practice pad set up.



What’s The One Piece Of Hardware You Would Always Take With You For A Performance? 

Again, depends on what set up I’m playing with. If it’s with my band Bhayanak Maut, it would have to be my double bass pedal. For more commercial set ups my snare would take priority


With The Emergence Of Many Rehearsal Spaces Housing Only One Drum Kit, Which Mapex Kit Do You Think Would Be The Best Fit To Cover Different Styles Of Music?

Depending on what your budget is, there’s a kit that’ll get the job done and sound good. In 2012, I started a jam room and we had a Mapex Meridian Birch Kit that took quite a serious beating. If I’m not wrong, the kit is still being used in a jam room in Pune. 

The Storm and Mars are solid value for money and good sounding kits. The Armory series starts bringing out more tones and details with its hybrid shells. 

And finally the Tornado is perfect for beginner drummers. It has all the right tools to help you begin your drumming journey without breaking the bank.

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