photo by Steven Jimenez
By Miro Justad
Name: Mindee Jorgensen
Band: Dangerously Sleazy/ Peach Kelli Pop/ Modpods
What was your very first drum kit set up like, and how old were you when you got it?
When I was 14 I bought a used Ludwig rocker set, bright red. I had a splash, Zildjian A custom crash, and random hi hats and a ride. When I first started drumming I was into metal, so I insisted on buying a double bass pedal, and have used one since. I also didn’t use a hi hat clutch for the 1st year I played.
Tell us about your basic setup that you have now:
I currently own a dark green Yamaha stage custom, all birch, with a 22″ bass, 12″ rack tom, 16″ floor. I have an Iron Cobra double bass pedal, but use a single pedal in Peach Kelli Pop and Modpods. I have 14″ Z3 Zildjian hi hats that I love. I’m on my 8th 19″ Zildjian A custom crash, I love the bright sound and fast choke, but they keep cracking on me after a couple years. I also have a Z3 19″ crash with a darker sound but still a nice fast choke. I used different rides for all 3 bands, but my favorite is my 20″ K custom dark ride that I use in Dangerously Sleazy. It has a nice ping and not too much after ring, so any patterns or rudiments I play really stick out. The bell is great too. I use Promark 747 Kashi Oak sticks…aka the Neil Pert signatures. The are very solid and don’t break as quickly, and I like the weight without being too thick.
When and where did you get this drum kit?
I got this kit new about 6 years ago after moving to Los Angeles from Iowa. I still mostly use the Tama hardware from my previous kit, very sturdy. Would love to own a Tama set again someday.
Are there any pieces of gear that have stayed with you from the beginning?
I still have my first Ludwig hi hat stand, and my first cymbal bag that I used for 18 years. It now is home to my back up cymbals.
If you could only hold on to one piece of your kit what would it be and why?
I would have to say my Iron Cobra pedal
“I feel people out and if some dude does seem to be flashing his man ego, I hand him my hardware case and say “Here, you can carry this,” and then keep asking “You got that? You sure, it’s pretty heavy. If it’s too heavy I can carry it for ya.”
Do men frequently ask if you need help with your setting up or breaking down your kit at shows? If so what is your reaction to that/any advice for other female drummers on this topic?
I don’t let anyone help with set up or take down of my kit, other than band mates who know my routine. I actually use finger nail polish to mark stand heights and make that process a bit quicker. However if anyone, man or woman, offers help carrying gear I usually accept, especially after my set. No need to break my back if someone is offering free roadie work.
I guess my advice to female drummers is to be open minded and not assume someone offering help is a negative thing. Anyone who has just seen me drum will know I can carry my own gear no problem. If they just saw you rock hard and offer help usually they are drummers themselves and are excited to meet you and talk drums, or tell you about their band. It’s always good to make a new drummer friend! However, there are those guys who see drums as a competition and seeing a talented lady drummer is a threat to their sensitive little ego. I feel people out and if some dude does seem to be flashing his man ego, I hand him my hardware case and say “Here, you can carry this,” and then keep asking “You got that? You sure, it’s pretty heavy. If it’s too heavy I can carry it for ya.” My sarcasm comes into play with such men, and if anyone tries to hit on me at a show, I always say “No way, princess.”
Any funny or odd stories about your gear?
So a long time ago when I lived in Iowa, my good friend Dave asked if he could borrow my hi hat clutch for a show. He promised to return it and not let anything happen to it. Well, that night after their show their house CAUGHT ON FIRE, specifically the fridge that was right next to the room with all the gear. Sadly a pet cat passed away but all the people made it out safe. About 3 weeks later my friend Dave hands me my clutch with a sad look on his face and apologized about saying nothing would happen. I didn’t even care or expect it back, their home caught fire, how could he have known. The metal of the clutch had changed color and had weird dark streaks, and the fuzzies looked and smelled like burnt marshmallows. I actually used the clutch for about 2 years after.