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Tom Tom magazine: Female Drummers!!!

Tom Tom magazine: Female Drummers!!!

Published by Leonardo Calcagno

Can you tell us about your magazine 

I started Tom Tom in 2009 as a blog simply to litter the Internet with pictures and articles about real female drummers. At the time Google had little to no real entries about girl drummers and all of the search results were offensive to me. We started the print magazine in 2010 mostly because we had incredible content that no one else had ever put to print and the world needed to know!

Editorial wise… 

Our mission is this:

Tom Tom Magazine ® is the only magazine in the world dedicated to female and gender non-conforming drummers. We are a quarterly print magazine, website, social media community, IRL community, events, drum academy, custom gear shop and more. Tom Tom seeks to raise awareness about female percussionists from all over the world in hopes to inspire women and girls of all ages to the drum. 

We intend to strengthen and build the fragmented community of female musicians globally and provide the music industry and the media with role models to create an equal opportunity landscape for any musician. We cover drummers of all ages, races, styles, skill levels, abilities, sexualities, creeds, class, sizes, and notoriety. Tom Tom Magazine is more than just a magazine; it’s a movement. 

Tell us about yourself. 

Hi! I am a vegetarian (forever pretty much), New Yorker (for the last 13 years) who loves animals, the sun, and the ocean. I am creative (have always been), was raised Jewish and am super driven by acts of social change. I am hyper-sensitive to the lack of positive or real representation of women in the media and am driven to be a part of the solution to that problem. 

Print: Why choose print? What kind of paper you use and why? Typography? 

We chose print for a few reasons. Print has different clout than a website or IG account. It is by nature more of an investment and therefore the subjects in the magazine feel more important. We were and are giving overdue respect to the female musician and the way in which we believe that can happen with the most impact is through print in addition to all the other digital mediums. Print can be re-visited in a way a website cannot. 

How’s the public response? 

We have received so much love since we started that it is overwhelming and for sure the reason we keep going. 

Business: Good print mags get a lot of love, but is not always translated to sales or advertising. How’re the sales? Advertising-wise, is it a normal approach of selling an ad page or more a brand ad approach? 

 Working with partners in the drum industry has been rewarding and a massive challenge. Running a magazine where the subject matter is female and then also a drummer has been interesting. I always wanted to get the majority of our marketing partnerships from the music industry (because we are all musicians in the magazine) and the industry is only half ready for us. Whereas fashion and make-up have their pocketbooks full and open. 

Tom Tom is committed to working with strategic brands as partners who will respect the subject matter of our magazine and reflect it. We will continue to work with brands that make sense for musicians, feminists, people of color, queer people, etc. If you aren’t strategic about your partnerships within a media company your messaging can easily be taken over by where your cash flow is coming from. 

Upcoming projects

Growing the magazine into Europe, larger events, more Tom Tom merch on our shop and more of the same great mag!!