By Michael Raine
Tradition , craftmanship , and tone are what TrüRoot Cymbals takes pride in . Founded in 2014 as FMZ Vintage Sounds , the Fredericton , NBbased company is the exclusive Canadian distributor and sales representative of both Istanbul Mehmet Cymbals and Turkish Cymbals .
FMZ , which rebranded as TrüRoot Cymbals in 2021 , was a family affair , having been co-founded by its current owner Nick Zildjan , alongside his father , Michael Zildjan , who sadly passed away in 2016 . As one may guess by the two boutique cymbal lines TrüRoot represents , the family has its roots in Turkey and family lineage in the cymbal business . Cymbals are truly in the blood .
Michael Zildjan was born in Istanbul , Turkey , where he learned the art of crafting handmade cymbals while working at the old ‘ K ’ factory run by his uncle , Mikael Zilcan .
“ Mehmet Tamdeger also worked at the factory with Mike until it closed in the ‘ 70s . Mike went on to share the art of hand-hammered cymbals in North America , while Mr . Mehmet eventually started Istanbul Mehmet Cymbals in Turkey ,” explains Nick Zildjan to Canadian Music Trade . “ Mike left the cymbal business in the late ‘ 70s and retired from the RCMP in 2009 . During his first trip back to Turkey in 2014 , after decades , he visited with his old friend Mr . Mehmet at his factory where everything would come full circle . Mr . Mehmet started in the cymbal business at the age of nine for Mike ’ s family at the old factory and I had been involved in the music business as a concert and festival promoter . So , Mr . Mehmet asked to have us represent his cymbals in Canada .”
As TrüRoot ’ s website states , the company carries with it “ the story of our family history , a passion for cymbal making , and bravery in forging success in a new country has inspired so much pride .” And about himself , Nick adds , “ My father and his story brought me into the industry ; Keeping his legacy alive is what will continue to drive me .”
Over the last eight years of running FMZ / TrüRoot Cymbals , Nick says he takes great pride in the reputation that they ’ ve been able to create for Istanbul Mehmet Cymbals and Turkish Cymbals in Canada , largely through word of mouth .
“ The most rewarding part is to hear that our name has been passed on from drummer to drummer . Knowing that they have had a great experience with us and are proud to refer us to others ,” says Nick . “ We have the same challenges as any small company but remind ourselves that this is where we want to be ; working with professional drummers who care about what they play .”
Their Canadian endorser roster now includes the likes of Danny Miles from July Talk , Hey Rosetta drummer Phil Maloney , Moist ’ s Francis Fillion , Kurt Dahl of One Bad Son , session player and educator Jennie Seaborn , Adam Paquette of The Glorious Sons , and five-time Canadian Country Music Association Drummer of the Year Ben Bradley .
When it comes to the dealers they most prize working with , Nick explains , “ We work with a variety of dealers in Canada , with a focus on independent percussion businesses . We also work directly with many Canadian artists . We are always looking to work with someone that is dealing directly with drummers , making sure we can deliver what they need for their craft .”
During the pandemic , Nick says that the business stayed stable and didn ’ t change too much , but adds that it did help them focus more on e-commerce , “ which has been a great experience .”
Looking to the future for TrüRoot Cymbals , “ Our plan is to continue forging our path as leaders in the craft instrument market — exposing more Canadian artists to ‘ old world ’ cymbals that can suit any style of music .”
Michael Raine is the Editor-in-Chief of Canadian Music Trade .
( L-R ) RICK LATHAM , DRUMMER ; NICK ZILDJAN , TRÜROOT CYMBALS ; MEHMET TAMDEGER , ISTANBUL MEHMET CYMBALS ; AND HORACIO “ EL NEGRO ” HERNÁNDEZ , DRUMMER , AT THE 2020 NAMM SHOW
TRÜROOT & TURKISH CYMBALS ENDORSER , DANIEL AKIRA STADNICKI
PHOTO : JANELLE DUDZIC
CANADIAN MUSIC TRADE 19