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Bangbox Cajon Drums- The new acoustic instrument making a “Bang” in the music world and While on Tour has the inside scoop!

Here at While on Tour, we love creativity and passion. Especially when that creativity and passion adds such a unique and special element to what we care about so deeply. Music of course. It is what we all love so much. Music has the power to heal the soul, to bring together people from different backgrounds and  beliefs. Music can take a bad day and make it good again. With so many people out there trying to make it happen in the biz it is hard to find genuine people with a passion and talent for what they do. Joe Iacovelli of Bangbox is doing all of these things with his new custom Cajon drums. We had the opportunity to sit down and discuss Bangbox and what Joe has been doing to make the music industry that much better. Here is what he had to say.

WOT-Hello brother! Thank you for taking the time to chill with us and answer some questions. For anyone who may not know, what exactly is a Bangbox?bangbox frontbangbox frontbangbox front

BB- It’s a type of acoustic drum called a Cajon drum. It’s made out of wood and shaped like a box. You sit on it and hit the thin front face to play it. They originally came from South America over 100 years ago but in recent years have become really popular with musicians.

WOT– So really a Bangbox would be a great addition to any band’s percussion section?

BB- Absolutely and it’s getting used in all genres of music too. It’s a great way for a band to play acoustic versions of their songs. Also, it’s so portable it is great for small gigs.

WOT- How did you get into making custom Cajon drums?

BB- A few years ago my son who is a musician asked me to make one. Then a few other friends and family wanted them made. Mostly word of mouth kind of thing. Since then it has just grown.

WOT- What makes Bangbox different from other Cajon drums?

BB- A lot actually, but it didn’t start out that way. The first couple I made years ago were all about copying what was already being made. That was boring. I wanted mine to be better, sound better, look better. So I had to think “outside the box” [laughing]. Sorry about the pun but it’s true. Different is good and I wanted it to stand out. Even the name is different. I didn’t want it to be just another “Cajon” drum. A lot of people don’t even know how to pronounce it. They say “cajohn” like the name or “cajun” like the spice, but it’s pronounced ca-hone with a silent “j”. Bangbox is even a registered trademark now. Another difference is that all of my drum boxes are made out of solid wood. Most brands I see are made out of plywood and they just don’t sound as good as solid wood. I’m a woodworker for over 30 years so I really have an advantage in that department.

WOT- You have come up with a very creative way for musicians to receive a Bangbox. Tell me about that.

BB- Well, there are lots of bands that do what they do for the love of the music. It’s a struggle financially for so many of them and they just don’t have the money to throw around for new instruments. I then noticed people were buying drums from me to give to the bands as a gift. I thought that was great and would always discount the drum for them. One day I was approached by a few different people that all wanted a drum for the same band. I thought to myself….”hmm..they can go in on it together and share the cost”. A light bulb went on in my head- why can’t even more people share the cost? Facebook has so many fan groups with hundreds or even thousands of members. So we started posting in the fan groups for volunteer pledges to have a custom Bangbox made for the band. A group of people share half the cost because the other half is donated from Bangbox. I still discount every drum 50% for the program. So now for a small pledge any one person can be a part of this.

WOT- So for a small pledge a fan gets the satisfaction of helping a band get a custom Bangbox?bangbox dedication

BB- Yes and I also print the names of all who donated on the back with a dedication that says “ In appreciation for the awesome music you give to us this drum is a gift from the following fans…”

WOT- So a band or musician receives a custom made drum at no cost to them? That’s fantastic.

BB- Yeah, and usually they are blown away by the gesture and are so appreciative of the fans who do this for them. They especially like the artwork.

WOT- What artwork?

bangbox logoBB- Well , it started by just putting the band’s name on it. Then I started doing some logos with the name and now it’s turned into full blown color art on some. It’s a lot of work but I love doing it because it makes it so personal. Most of the drums I sell to individuals now request some type of artwork that is special to them. I think it’s so important to give customers personal attention.

bangbox logo 1   bangbox logo 2  bangbox logo 3

WOT– I see a lot of pictures with you presenting bands with the drum. Do you always do that?

BB- I try to do that any chance I have. I also have friends from all over the country who help me present the drums to the bands. Again, It’s way more personal than putting it in a box and shipping it. Even the process I go through when a band buys a drum is way different than the norm. I ask them how much snare or bass kick they want for their music, and then I will put their music on and play a half dozen or so drums till I feel I have the perfect one for them.

bangbox presents  bangbox presents 4 bangbox presents 2  bangbox sdv  bangbox present 5

WOT-How would a fan go about nominating a band for your program or contact you to purchase one?

BB- My website will be launching very soon. You can find it at www.bangboxpercussion.com. Until then my facebook page, Bangbox Percussion or my instagram page Bangboxcajon Just reach out to me and we will make it happen.

WOT- What has been your favorite part of the journey so far?

BB- I think the customization part of the drums. I like talking with the customer to make sure I get the exact sound they’re looking for. And also the art work part of the drum. It’s so personal and the positive reactions from the customer really gives a satisfaction I can’t even describe.

WOT-Tell me about one of your favorite experiences that Bangbox has enabled you to do?

BB- Wow, I don’t know if I can pick just one but probably all the awesome people I get to meet. Whether it’s playing rounds of golf with different bands, or getting invited on stage to play a few songs with them on the Bangbox. It really feels like a privilege to do that kind of thing. I would have never guessed a few years ago that I would be traveling around going to all these shows and festivals and meeting such cool people along the way.

bangbox hirie  bangbox fy

WOT- I feel very lucky to not only know you Joe but to call you a friend. We think what you are doing is fantastic and can’t wait to see Bangbox on every stage at every show in the future. Big Up my friend!

Don’t forget to follow Bangbox on Instagram here and like their Facebook page here.

 

 

 

 

About the author
April Whitney

April Whitney

April Whitney- Photographer, music lover and overall gypsy soul. I found my passion for photography, music, writing, and travel. While on Tour was born out of a desire to combine all of these things and become the wandering soul I have always wanted to be. I love to travel to different festivals, meet new friends and vibe out wherever the music may take me.

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