Loota is a Finnish handmade drum set consisting of a bass drum, snare drum, cymbal and hi-hat. Loota is made of Finnish densely grained thin-veneer plywood.
Loota Percussion is the brainchild of 40-year-old father and musician Mika Lilja, who has more than 20 years’ experience as the drummer in several successful Finnish bands. The idea for Loota was born in 2011. As a drummer, Lilja often encountered situations where he had to play the drums at a low volume in accompaniment to the acoustic instruments.
“At first I tested different percussion options, but none of them felt right because I was used to playing mostly a traditional drum set. So I started to develop a drum set that would be easy to play, suitable for playing acoustic music and easy to take with you,” says Lilja.
Lilja developed the first set for his own needs in 2011, but he soon realised that the drum set was drawing interest from other musicians. Encouraged by the demand, Lilja set up his own business in 2015, making Loota Percussion available to all musicians.
Owing to his long career as a musician and drummer, Lilja understands well the requirements for the properties of an acoustic drum set. When developing Loota, he also paid attention to the proper playing posture, reminiscent of playing a regular drum set. Loota has a unique sound, and it travels easily with the musician.
Loota has been well received by musicians. Among those who play Loota are Mikko Kaakkuriniemi from the band of hiphop artist Elastinen, Sami Osala of Sunrise Avenue, Mikko von Hertzen of Von Hetzen Brothers and Anssi Nykänen.
The material used for Loota is important in terms of the instrument’s durability and sound. Lilja decided on Koskisen’s thin birch plywood KoskiPly Birch for its good availability and exceptional quality.
“When it comes to making an instrument like this, the consistent and high quality of the material is crucial. In my view, thin-veneer plywood is the building material of choice for Loota, thanks to its durability, appearance and consistent quality. Finland’s varying climate is very challenging for wooden instruments, but the Loota drum set copes well with it. Besides, the beautiful look of birch is ideal for handcrafted Finnish products,” Lilja says, explaining the reasons for his choice of material.
Although Loota has been met with enthusiasm among musicians, product development continues. The Loota Percussion product family keeps growing and new products are in the pipeline.
“In spring 2017, Loota Block drums and the Loota piccolo snare drum will be launched. They can be added to the Loota drum set to expand the sound landscape, or they can be used with other percussion sets,” says Lilja, shedding light on the future of Loota.
The Loota Percussion drum set is sold by several retailers across Finland. You can also buy Loota on the Loota online shop.
For further information, please visit Loota Percussion’s website. For sound samples, go to the company’s YouTube account.