Gear Diary With Taylor Hughes of EXNATIONS

EXNATIONS is an alt/pop band from Washington DC, made up of  vocalist/guitarist Josh Reich, guitarist Gaelen Smith and drummer Taylor Hughes. The trio released their single ‘Free’ on October 14th 2016 and will be touring the north east from October 20th-November 4th. Tom Tom caught up with their drummer Taylor Hughes to talk gear!

Name: Taylor Hughes

What was your very first drum kit set up like, and how old were you when you got it?
When I was 15 I was the proud owner of a generic, all in the box drum kit where every drum sounded like a cardboard box or plastic bucket. I have to thank my dad on that one because we totally snuck it in behind my mom’s back. It was the standard set up. bass, snare, 2 rack toms, floor tom and a sweet lime green spray paint job by yours truly… So many regrets on the paint job.


Tell us about your basic setup that you have now.
I’ve got a maple pearl masters kit, 24” kick / 13” tom / 16” floor and I alternate between a DW performance series steel snare and a Midway Drums custom snare.

When and where did you get this drum kit?
The pearl came as a high school graduation present, it’s been with me for about 9 years. The snares are actually brand new, I picked them up right before our most recent tour.

Are there any pieces of gear that have stayed with you from the beginning?
Sadly, nothing from the beginning has held up to my abuse. I do, however, have a cute drum key that my mom attached to the Christmas tree as an ornament. The bright ribbon attached to it makes it easy to spot. It’s the only drum key I haven’t lost.


If you could only hold on to one piece of your kit what would it be and why?
I’m very attached to my Paiste Giant Beat crash/ ride. It’s an absolute monster. It’s been with me for over 5+ years and has endured years of touring. It’s been through the ringer with me.

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?
Always, almost every show. Most of them have been genuinely nice and just want to talk gear OR they want to get their stuff on stage faster. Set up/break down is my least favorite part so I gladly accept the help!

Keep up with EXNATIONS:

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