Sven Holtson
Sven Holtson Tweed Daily News

Sven's a hit with cover art

HAVE you ever been watching a band live and noticed the artwork on the bass drum skin?

The odds are it came from this Tweed Heads man with the crazy hair.

Having played drums since the age of six, Sven Holston knew there was no company in Australia that made and sent out ready-to-use printed drum covers to bands.

The 32-year-old said a lot of bands that toured Australia arrived without all their gear and had to source it in Australia, from places like Billy Hyde Music.

“Of course they don't bring their drum skin and I am the next port of call,” Mr Holston said.

Hit N Run Drum Covers started in 2003 with a simple MySpace internet page.

Now, Mr Holston makes between eight and 17 covers each day.

“I had known for a long time no-one had done it and I was waiting for my time - then one day I thought 'I am going to do it now',” he said.

“I put the MySpace site together and in the first week I had 100 people adding me,” Sven said.

His first job was for the newly reformed INXS and he has gone on to supply drum covers for groups including Bon Jovi, The Police, Tool, Mogwai, Cog, The Presets, PNAU, The Angels, The Divinyls, David Campbell, Spicks and Specks and The Getaway Plan.

Hit N Run Drum Covers also makes large banners and drum wraps.

Mr Holston said he might have to move into a warehouse soon for more working space.

What makes Mr Holston's story more amazing is that he suffered from a mystery illness for years that left him shaking and in pain, with neurosurgeons unable to make a diagnosis.

When Mr Holston moved to the Tweed with his parents a year ago, a local doctor finally diagnosed him with early onset Parkinson 's disease.

He was able to get medication to reduce the symptoms, but said the diagnosis had left him “relieved” more than anything else.

But he doesn't like to dwell on his illness and the dramatic nature of the music industry doesn't give him much time to.

Regularly he gets calls from musicians - often drunk musicians - at 2am, asking for a drum cover.

Sometimes it is a young band's first big break and band members are desperate to get that little extra bit of self-promotion before a first gig or TV performance.

Or there was Mogwai's request for a cover to be in Brisbane within two hours. But that just wasn't possible.

But the benefits are worth the strange hours.

“I have got to meet some pretty interesting people and get to go to any free shows that I want to,” he said.

It is not just about the big names though, Mr Holston's business is making printed covers affordable to the average Australian garage band.

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