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Beat is on

By Neil Ramos

He has been a professional bassist for some 20 years, playing with different bands, the most recent of which is The Soledads, but Toks Paras, 44, is slowly but surely making a name as drum maker par excellence.

Toks Paras and his beloved drum creations (Leiz Jimenez) /tempo.com.ph

Toks Paras and his beloved drum creations (Leiz Jimenez)

It all started in 2014 with his mother asking him to throw away an old broken sofa.

“I thought it would be a waste if we just throw it along with the trash realizing the wood used was real Narra,” Paras said in a recent interview.

Gathering all the wood he can from the decrepit couch, soon enough, Paras was able to craft several snare drums.
“I never thought I had the knack for it,” he said, admitting surprise with his feat.

Apparently, he tried making bass guitars prior but it didn’t pan out.

He said, “It was after crafting several snares that I decided to finally go for it and craft a whole kit.”

The first one to try out his creation is his brother, Taz, who also used to play with The Soledads before going on to assume drum duties with the band, Amelia.

“People are amazed seeing and hearing the drum kit because small and quite handy as it is, it sounds huge,” Paras said.

Eventually, some friends started to ask for their own handcrafted drums.

“So far, I have sold several snares, but there are already requests for whole kits,” he said.

Among those who now uses Paras’ creations are Renzo Nicolas of Pseudo Red, Bryan Baltazar of Calebral and Joed Aldfanta of Bandang May.

“I also created the drum kit being used currently in Limitado (bar-art space owned by the late comedian Tado’s widow, Leiz Jimenez),” Paras shared rather proudly.

Paras insisted he is not in it for the money.

“There’s little to no earning in this,” he said. “But I continue doing it because I get a kick out of seeing my drums being played and appreciated by other musicians.”

He is also happy that he gets to do his part to save the environment.

“Recycling is a big deal for me,” he said. “I have never ever cut a tree to create my drums.”

What he does is actually scour various places in the metro that sells old furniture.

“I frequent Caloocan and Dapitan for my materials, mostly the wood, the rest I source abroad,” Paras said.

What sets his drums apart from other kits in the market?

“Well, mine is borne of love and not manufactured by robots in a factory. And they are real wood. I use only either Narra or Mahogany, never laminates or plywood.”

Well said.

View some of Paras’s work on https://www.facebook.com/Treetydrums/ or https://www.instagram.com/treety_drums.