TYCI

Interview: Tom Tom Magazine

Feb
20

TYCI interviews Mindy Abovitz, publisher / editor-in-chief of Tom Tom Magazine, a publication dedicated to female percussionists around the world.

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For TYCI readers who haven’t heard of it yet, what is Tom Tom Magazine?
Tom Tom Magazine is the only magazine in the world dedicated to covering female drummers. We are a print magazine, a website, social media and have showcases around the world.

Tell us how it all got started.
I started Tom Tom as a blog in late 2009 because I wanted to change the Google search results (and image search results) for the keywords: Girl Drummer, Female Drummer and Woman Drummer. I wanted to search those words and retrieve relevant respectful information about woman drummers. At that point in time, I had been drumming for eight years and had been in six bands and volunteered as a drum instructor at Rock Camp for Girls and was fed up with the existing media around woman drummers.

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What kind of things can we find on the site?
You can find interviews with female drummers, beat makers, percussionists and producers from around the world. We have Tom Tom TV with video interviews and city guides for drummers. We have tech pieces, tour diaries, a store where you can subscribe to the mag and buy Tom Tom swag and you can also peruse our advertisers who all support and invest in woman drummers. This is a huge part of the industry that gets overlooked. Where the companies invest and who they invest in dictates the market.

Why do you think it is important to have a drum magazine specifically aimed at women?
I believe it is the only way to show the industry that we exist and to provide role models for future drummers. There are many drum magazines in the US and around the world and nearly all of them completely ignore women and girl drummers. They consider us to be such a small fraction of the industry that they are justified in ignoring us. My thinking is, if we highlight the ones we have, consistently and with respect, we can make more.

Tell us a bit about the Hit Like A Girl competition.
Hit Like a Girl is a collaboration between Tom Tom Magazine, TRX Cymbals and DRUM! Magazine. It was started as another way to reach girls worldwide and to show the industry who we are. It is the only contest for female drummers and it is the only online drumming contest. The contest opened 24 January this year and all you need to do to win is upload a video of yourself playing. We have two winner categories – under 18 and over 18 – and winners and semi-finalists are slated to win 25,000 worth of drum prizes from major and minor drum companies. Find out more at hitlikeagirlcontest.com.

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What is the one piece of advice you would give to female drummers, or female musicians in general?
I would tell them to call themselves a musician as soon as possible and with as much confidence as they can muster. “I am a drummer” as soon as they sit at the kit or buy their first drum set. Confidence tends to be a huge issue when getting started.

What are Tom Tom’s upcoming plans for 2014?
SO MUCH! More of the same great magazine, a budding and growing online store where we feature drums and accessories from companies that believe in women drummers, museum takeovers and some secret stuff too…

[Lauren Mayberry]

For more information, visit the Tom Tom Magazine website.

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