Chris Heuer is one of those rare people so committed to what he does that all else in life falls by the wayside. His attention to detail and commitment to a superior product has brought him to a level of respect in the drumming world such that Vinnie Colaiuta sat behind one of his snare drums–the Heuer logo proudly displayed in the foreground on the cover of DRUM! Magazine.
The names of those that believe in his work are among the most respected and revered in the world of drumming and it’s easy to understand why if you’ve ever spent any time with him. While both self-deprecating and humble, he also has no doubt about what he does or why he’s followed by the giants of the drumming world who love his work. His life is devoted to drums and the constant pursuit of excellence in their care and creation. To own a Heuer drum is to own a Pagani Huayra sports car or a Ronde Louis Cartier watch. To have him restore a vintage drum is to have decades added to the life of it. He works seven days a week, eschews social media and refuses to expand his operation to bring in more profit or allow himself more time off, which in itself makes him unique among business owners. A master craftsman and also a superb drummer–I once saw him effortlessly play the entire drum intro to “Hot For Teacher” on a set of vintage WFL’s–Chris is not an easy guy to pin down.
Even as we talked for this interview, his enthusiasm for his work and the products he has his hands on all day were clearly much more interesting to him than talking about himself; he continually shot up out of his chair to show me yet another collectable drum he was restoring, or a new set of exotic wood shells he’d received, or a section from the trunk of an acorn tree waiting for him to turn it into a snare drum for yet another drumming legend who’d commissioned him. It’s impossible to overstate the man’s focus, dedication or commitment.
We may never get this chance again, so let’s talk…