We had the good fortune of connecting with Arturo Saucedo III and we’ve shared our conversation below.
CEO of Destroy A Drum which began out of the little town Robstown, Texas. They are currently dominating the drum industry all with just a t-shirt and soon to be utility products in 2022. This is our conversation below where he dives into the lowest depths he has ever put on paper and gave us 100% access to the why, what, and how Destroy A Drum came to be.
Hi Arturo, how did you come up with the idea for your business?
Destroy A Drum was created from a sense of loss and emptiness. Playing drums took me out of this deep void and lingering pain but I wanted to create something tangible to represent the depth of these emotions that so many related to. Letting these feelings out while performing live was a sense of relief due to playing to the point of no return but there was something deeper to be shown through a physical idea, product, and solution. Coming up with the idea for Destroy A Drum came from representing the pain, anger, hate, frustration, and never ending disappointment in myself all those years ago when it first started through apparel that had crazy designs and clean cut styles. Pouring these feelings out into this entity allows for a healthy outlet of expression and continues to be a source of using these emotions to create a positive impact amongst myself and the people in my life.
I started playing drums in the craziest of places no one would dare take drums for the sake of being where no one would be & disappearing into the sounds. Apparel was never the plan, it was what came from feeling lost & drums being the only way out. I wanted something to embody that depth of performing with real emotion, so hard it takes every last breath out of you. Destroy A Drum is an entity that speaks volumes for those with a daring, different, & distinctive personality. We strive to create pieces that can represent your individuality & character.
We found a problem in the drum world. Everyone was tired of going to marching competitions or drum events & seeing the same cheesy drum tees or goofy sayings. We wanted something to represent the passion, heart, & soul we devote to each performance & designs that could speak for it. Our products solve that problem for any & every type of performer; from the wild & crazy artwork to the subtle & clean cut styles. We provide the solution every artist & drummer has ever wanted, apparel that personifies their identity on & off the stage.
Our name ‘Destroy A Drum’ was inspired by pouring every ounce of energy into intense shows & being told, “You’re too loud!”. Any time we step on the marching field we play like it’s our last, & exult every emotion through expressing ourselves. From the stage, to the studio, & in everyday life we push our passion to the fullest. We are the brand made to speak for your charisma & showcase your style.
Destruction is a form of creation in life. Meaning that when you Destroy one objective you create another & the cycle continues till we are our own individual best. The term “Destroy” relates to Destroying your current problems & barriers so you may prosper & continue to achieve your goals. This is experienced in many ways; whether you are working out to have a healthier lifestyle, striving to live a better life, or playing drums till your entire body is completely Destroyed.
We represent more than just drummers by relating to individuals with a drive & devotion for their true passion. Our motto goes way beyond drums, & is much deeper than simply performing. No matter who you are or where you are from, we support every human being dedicated to Destroying for the better. This company was created to show how Destroying can be represented in every walk of life & a positive force for developing as a person.
We see Destruction as beauty, not in the usual negative connotation because to create something new you must Destroy what came before. We Destroyed our past to move forward with creating a brand that pushed us not only in our drum lives but personally. Our purpose is to inspire those that are determined to Destroy in order to improve & blossom.
We each play differently & in our own way; therefore we create a wide variety of apparel to represent diverse Destroyers. Our products are made to personify how the sounds we create have personality & emotion in every swing, hit, & beat. From the intensity of heavy pounding fast rock, to the ambient swing of jazz, to the groove of rhythm & blues, & in the steady beats of pop; we represent all types of music & art forms. Our signature logo was made to epitomize the heartbeat of every style of music & cadence – the bass drum.
When you wear your Destroy A Drum gear our goal is to make you feel inspired to follow your true passion in life, never settle, & keep on Destroying no matter the odds against you. We wouldn’t be where we are today as a brand & as individuals without our entire family of dedicated Destroyers from every corner of the world. Each one plays an important part not just by wearing their Destroy gear but also with wholeheartedly living by our Destroy Motto; to always Destroy for the better, never hold back, & consistently perform like it’s the last time ever because tomorrow is never guaranteed.
When you see or hear the word “Destroy” you are constantly reminded to work harder, manifest your dreams, & be the best person you can be in every aspect of your life. Which means to Destroy all of the negativity that is holding you back from achieving your aspirations, consistently improve your personal goals, & never stop being authentically you.
WE WILL CHANGE THE WORLD – ONE DESTROYER AT A TIME
Please tell us more about your work. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
What separates Destroy A Drum apart from others is the pure passion, heart, and soul behind the company. Every single order no matter how close, far, or inexpensive includes a hand written note to you from the CEO. Personalized to what you ordered and if you’re a returning Destroyer. Nothing is made with the sense of putting in a half effort, but rather creating a product that will last and stand the test of time. Providing pieces that are solutions on & off the stage has always made us a distinctive, reputable, and respected business in the drum industry. It’s what has earned us over 20,000 organic followers on Instagram (never paid for likes or followers) and allowed us to collaborate with some of the best drummers and companies. Having Destroy A Drum Artists that perform in stadiums, arenas, and around the entire globe means we produce the gear needed for any kind of tour, band, or style which is what makes Destroy A Drum the choice for those needing specific apparel for any stage.
We are most proud of our closest followers/customers who we like to call “Destroyers” because they are so much more than just a follower or customer. They are the people most dedicated to the brand, know our story, and believe in it to their core. It’s a personal relationship we have built with our Destroyers that makes this company so strong and well known amongst not only just drummers but also those who live by our Destroy Motto and don’t play drums at all. We have a “Destroyers Only Club” that consists of those who have gotten our signature logo or any of our designs tattooed; Ryan H, Jared W, Alexander I, and ZU which makes us proud to say there are people on this planet that believe in Destroy A Drum so strongly they are willing to be a part of the Destroy A Drum Family forever. Shipping to 49 states and 5 continents has only been made possible because of our Destroyers around the world and we wouldn’t be where we are today without them (where are our Montana & Alaska Destroyers).
We are most excited for this next chapter we are about to start in July with two brand new utility products. The first is a practice pad 3 years in the making launching in July as part of our 6 year anniversary and the next is a muffle product 5 years in the making that will launch fall 2022 and is going to change the entire drum world. This muffle product is far different than anything in the drum industry and will be the next step for Destroy A Drum as a business no longer operating as just an apparel company.
We have gotten to where we are today by working hard. Nothing ever worth doing in this world is easy. If you do what you love you will work every single day and give 110% of everything you have inside and more to achieve what is in your heart. The early days of creating Destroy A Drum started when I was in college obtaining my Bachelors degree in Marketing, working full time, performing on the weekends, and living in a house with no wi-fi. I practically lived in the library to study for class and build up the business all day then when they closed at 11pm, I would drive to Starbucks to continue using their wi-fi till they closed at 1am, then I’d sit outside their dining area sometimes past 3am to finish anything that couldn’t wait. This time was spent building the entire Destroy A Drum website, creating all the designs, developing the collections with how many pieces each has, researching different styles, the marketing direction, and outlining the promotion behind every launch.
The challenge when starting was learning how to use all the negativity and pain for the better which allowed me to focus on those feelings and use them to create something like Destroy A Drum. It was a choice I made by waking up every day and choosing to control those emotions and pour them out when making the artwork, styles, and designs. Overcoming these challenges came with the mindset of never stopping no matter what it took to achieve success and avoiding the pitfall of going down the wrong path. This was driven by the emotions at hand in the beginning when representing those feelings had to be done with little money and the right execution of products – there was no turning back or wasting anything we released. It had to be done right the first time or the business would sink and I probably would have gone down with it.
The one lesson above all that I learned was even in a sense of complete loss and emptiness you can still overcome a pain that sinks deeper than 6 feet. It is possible to use those feelings towards something you love and turn your life around. As bad as life may get you can always make the choice to improve and change for the better. Through these changes I embodied a motto that has impacted my life to the fullest – Live To Fail – set the bar so high that even if you “fail” at what you’re working towards you are still accomplishing goals that are paramount to your success and what you love.
What I want the world to know about me is I only created Destroy A Drum to save my life. It wasn’t an act of building a business for money or accomplishment. Every single day I’m reminded through this company why I chose to stay above ground in order to make a difference in other’s lives and share the story that changing for the better is possible. Live each day like it’s your last and put forth the effort to exult good energy, improve your life, and appreciate those around you. Cherish the day because tomorrow is never guaranteed.
What I want the world to know about Destroy A Drum and our story is that it’s not for everyone. Those who relate and understand the depth of why we are here know the true reason we exist and those people are the only supporters we need.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
If you were visiting where I was born and raised in Corpus Christi, Texas we would go for a drive down Ocean and hit all the best spots for breakfast, lunch, and dinner – Hesters/Sugar Bakers, BKK/Luciano’s, and Dokyo/The Astor. We would catch an early show at Surf Club, late show at Rockits, and end with drinks at a few great places downtown with a walk on Ocean Drive.
If you were visiting where I now call home in Austin, Texas we would go paddle boarding on lady bird lake, eat at one of the best sushi spots in town (if you know you know), and walk down congress to marvel at the action and catch a show at CBOYS or The Continental Club.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
To my friends, family, loved ones, and day 1 Destroy Crew that have supported any of my endeavors, been personally involved with Destroy, or simply have spent your time with me through the good and bad days of running this business (you know who you are):
The amount of sleepless nights spent on Destroy A Drum was something you saw and believed in and without your support, it would not have been possible to be where we are today. From the simple conversations about “what’s next”, to your advice, and critiques, it all deeply mattered. There’s an unrelenting amount of work, time, tears, sweat, blood (broken drums), heart, passion, and soul behind Destroy A Drum; poured out from models, photographers, videographers, graphic designers, artists, and everything in-between. A few that kept showing up no matter how long we worked and consistently have been depended on are Steven G, Lindsey M, Adam R, Jake G, Allie S, Cameron V, Travis D, Troy G, Miranda J, and Tyanna G; you each know the depth of our relationship and sincere level of appreciation I have for you. Since the very beginning it all started with you having my back and spending your time on this before any kind of success started within the company. And for that, I am forever in debt to those that made an effort to be a part of something that has forever changed my life.
To John M McIntyre:
My hermano, the only person I can depend on for anything from Destroy to needing the best bassist to hold down a rhythm section with me, to catching a show, and cooking up some goulash. You initiated this quest to do something about all the pain inside and unleash it through creating Destroy A Drum. So many nights of drawing up designs and going through ideas in that house on Glenmore St. Allowing me to completely dismantle and literally Destroy your drum set for the sake of getting photos of playing in every kind of element was a journey built on pure passion. Every time I look back on those pictures I can’t help but laugh at how crazy we were to play drums while they/we were on fire, under water, way out on a sandbar in the middle of the ocean, and a few things that were “too far”. Not only from performing and going through college together but creating this bond that is deeper than blood, you have changed my life for the better. There’s no way I could have ever gotten to where I am today with Destroy A Drum or life without your support, energy, and love. A truly one of a kind human being that always looks out for others; you are more than a friend, brother, and my favorite bass player, you are a light that beams brighter than anyone I know. And for that, I am always at a moments notice ready to put my life on the line and support you in any adventure.
To David at T-Shirt Gallery:
None of this would have been possible without you. In the very beginning you convinced me to change the name to something more appealing (we won’t say what that original name was) and always gave me your best critiques for business and life. You have been here since day 1 – making it 6 years in July that we have worked together and although a ton have reached out to do business with Destroy A Drum there’s no one else I rather have than you to dial in the tiniest of details on a design, to go back and forth with over the most meaningful decisions, and to talk about all the things outside Destroy A Drum that you seem to always have the best advice for. And for that, no matter what happens with Destroy, you will always be my friend, mentor, someone I can always depend on, and a person in this world that I would do anything for.
To Levi Guzman, my right hand man, my day 1 carnal that sparked an electric bolt of determination and imagination in me that has never gone out:
You will never know the depth of your existence in my life. Everything that Destroy A Drum has become has had a piece of you in it, whether it’s your photography, ideas, or energy. From the days of waking up at 5am for a sunrise photoshoot, to the all-nighters editing collections, the never ending “business meetings” at Grimaldi’s, and going for a drive just to beatbox/ad lib; there’s never a dull moment in anything we do together. You inspire me in ways that I never knew could exist within myself. Most importantly you never gave up on me. You never gave in to the idea that it was ever “too much or too hard” to accomplish the goals at hand. You rolled the dice with me every step of the way and poured your heart and soul into this just as much if not more than me. And for that, I will forever have your back in life and wherever we go after – blood in blood out – Destroy por vida.
To my brother Tristian:
Your support and love has always meant the world to me. Your ability to never hesitate to believe in me has pushed me to aim for the highest of goals, achieve the things we never knew were possible or saw within our family, and work hard to show you what is possible when you devote yourself to the things you love. Through all the challenges that life has thrown at us I know I can rely on you to understand and have my back through thick and thin. And for that, you will forever have a friend in me, someone to call when things aren’t going as planned, and a brother that loves you for all that you are.
To my father:
Your love, support, and motivation through life and music has shaped me into who I am today. You have instilled in me a persistence that has to a degree gotten me in tough situations but always pushes me to the next level of success. You lit the fuse to an uncontrollable fire of strength, determination, and passion containing the pure will power to go above and beyond expectations and to never allow anyone to tell me I cannot achieve what I love. Everything that I do and create has a piece of you in it. The mindset to be different and simply “not give a fuck” has allowed me to express myself in ways that has taken Destroy A Drum across the globe. And for this, I forever owe you my debt of gratitude, respect, and love.
To my mother and grandmother Angie:
You both have taught me the proper way of growing up and taking responsibility for my actions. Your grace, love, and support has allowed me to become the man I am today with a strong understanding of how I spend my time, who I allow into my life, and why I work so hard. Your strength to overcome the most life threatening challenges taught me why life is so precious and to always live it to the fullest because tomorrow is never guaranteed. And for this, I love you always and carry your spirit with me.
To my grandmother Bertha:
Your love and support allowed me for so many years to focus and have a home with food on the table, love, and to build Destroy A Drum into what it is today. Your ability to be there for me in the toughest times and believe in what I work so hard on has motivated me beyond words. And for that I am forever in debt for your patience, support, and understanding, forever sharing with you the fruits of my labor, and forever giving you my love and support you deserve and more.
To my grandfather Arturo SR:
Your love, passion, strength, and blood are within me and everywhere I go and anything I work on with my own hands, mind, heart, and soul. The idea you instilled in me to never half-ass a single piece of what I create has gotten me to where I am today. Always striving to amount to what you made with your own hands, as promised I will never stop working to build up our name and leave a legacy in your honor. You left us too soon, what still feels like yesterday keeps pushing me to achieve a level of success that is unmeasurable. You are the reason all of this started. Through losing you made me realize change was needed. And for that, I will forever climb this mountain of life with you by my side and remember that grin of yours to motivate me beyond any force in this world.
Always and forever grateful for my lord and savior Jesus Christ. Without Him, Destroy A Drum would not exist and I certainly would not be here.
Levi Guzman @Dreamthorp, Troy Garza @lux.lights