Iron Maiden's Nicko McBrain Drops Sonor for British Drum Co. Endorsement

Iron Maiden's Nicko McBrain has been a Sonor artist for two different stints, in a sometimes acrimonious relationship that has spanned decades. However, it now appears that relationship is kaput. Instead, McBrain is rekindling ties with builders formerly with Premier, a company McBrain endorsed for much of the '90s and 2000s.

In a surprise announcement on the company's Instagram, British Drum Co. posted a short video of live footage and Nicko's accolades only to have the legend himself appear at the end in one of their sweatshirts.

This is a stunning move for a few reasons, the prime being Nicko McBrain's praise for Sonor drums in recent years. It's also worth noting that British Drum Co. was founded by ex-Premier employees, the company that endorsed Nicko for nearly 20 years.

The story of Nicko and Sonor started back in the late '70s when he was playing for Pat Travers, who insisted he get a "big, fuck-off drum kit." Nicko landed on a monstrous 12-piece Phonic XK-9212, which Travers kept when Nicko left. The kit made such an impression on Nicko that he got the same when he joined Maiden in '83 and signed with Sonor.

The relationship turned south in 1993 when, according to Nicko, Sonor "forgot" to send him an 11-piece Signature kit for Iron Maiden's Australia tour, instead sending a Force 3000 in the wrong configuration. While playing at Christchurch, New Zealand, Nicko stood up on the 16" floor tom (he uses an 18") during "Hallowed Be Thy Name," and the drum gave way, causing Nicko to take a tumble and injure himself in a pile of drums, cymbals, and hardware.

In addition, Sonor was sold to Hohner at the time, so Nicko broke ties and linked up with Premier, where he stayed until the company stopped manufacturing in the UK in 2014.

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