By Jenny Collins '05
What do recording artists MercyMe, David Crowder Band, Steven Curtis Chapman, Needtobreathe, Superchick and Francesca Battistelli have in common?
They are just a few of the bands playing to the beat of the same drum-maker.
Keith Anderson ’97 owns Risen Drums, a high-end custom drum business whose clientele includes Dove Award-winning, platinum-selling Christian recording artists and churches around the country.
As the owner and master craftsman “and janitor, secretary and boss” of Risen Drums, Anderson has “more than a full-time job.” He and two craftsmen now make up the Twin Cities home-based business that builds about 12 drum kits each month on average, half of which are purchased by bands and the other half by churches.
“I am passionate about Jesus and drums! So we’re definitely into supporting great worship,” said Anderson, who gets excited about “helping churches get their drums right.” He sees the same dilemma at churches everywhere: “they want drums, but they’re too loud [for the church].” Anderson has also built a consulting role with churches to customize drums that work with each church’s space, sound, worship style and drummer preference.
The husband and father of three children is quick to share the secret of Risen Drums’ success. “God has blessed it,” said Anderson. “I didn’t know anything about business.”
But his business is evident at Sonshine, an annual summer music festival in Willmar, Minn., where each stage holds one of his drum sets. Audio Adrenaline’s drummer scored one of Anderson’s drum sets at Sonshine a few years ago after playing one on stage.
Risen Drums is all about personalization, so drum inquiries come in requesting all colors and designs, like mirror finishes, band logos or initials, even pictures of drummers’ children. The requests have ranged from the inspirational—like a snare drum with a finish of Bible pages of the Psalms—to the impossible—one drummer thought it’d be cool to make a drum set out of wicker.
“Part of my job is to educate,” said Anderson.
While he’s creating drums, he’s also developing new friendships. “Everything Jesus did was relational. By the time drums are done there’s been much conversation with the drummer,” said Anderson. “You end up being best pals—that’s what I love about it. Relationships are what change lives.”
Visit Risen Drums online at www.risendrums.com.