Iron Maiden kick off tour, unleash Nicko McBrain's SQ² kit


Iron Maiden to kick off "The Book Of Souls" tour, unleash Nicko McBrain's all-new SQ² custom kit

Ed Force One has lift off! After announcing the comeback of Iron Maiden's Nicko McBrain to the SONOR artist family in January 2016, the band has now kicked-off their "The Book Of Souls" world tour in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, USA (Feb. 24).

The tour (see full list here: includes dates in North and South America, as well as Europe until the beginning of August.

As promised earlier, with the first tour date being played it's time to unveil Nicko's new kit, a true One-Of-A-Kind masterpiece, made by the SONOR craftsmen in Germany.

The base of the kit is a SQ² custom series drum, made of German Beech (Medium construction), a shell construction that Nicko has favored ever since his early days with SONOR. But also the drum sizes are as "traditional Nicko" as it gets:

Tom Toms: 6x8, 8x8, 10x10, 12x12, 13x13, 14x14, 15x15, 16x16

Floor Tom: 18x18

Bass Drum: 24x18

Snare Drum: 14x5 (Birch shell, made out of a special sandwich construction)

As in previous years, the design of the kit follows stage design, and the current record's theme. The designers in Maiden's camp came up with a special The Book Of Souls artwork that features the band's icon "Eddie" in different outfits, going around the shell. Only the bass drum and snare drum feature a slightly different design - the bass drum comes with Mayan symbols, the snare drum has the "The Book Of Souls" album name written on it. But that's not enough. The entire kit is assembled with 24-karat gold plated hardware, as well as all hardware stands, a one-off and custom made for the band only.

In a letter to the SONOR production staff Nicko said, "Amazing, wonderful, imaginative and most of all a B-E-A-utiful drum set. I can not express how proud I am for you all. This drum set sounds as good as it looks and it looks a million dollars. The workmanship and love that has gone into the production of these tubs is without a doubt the Sonor legacy. I'm am proud and honored to be back with the family that I should never have left but am humbled to be back."

Photos by John McMurtrie 2016