Roland Meinl was born on March 04, 1929 in Silberbach, Sudetenland (now Czech Republic) as the oldest child of Emil and Hedwig Meinl.
In 1951 Roland established what is now known as Roland Meinl Musikinstrumente. He then met his first wife Margarete Klemm and their first child Reinhold was born in 1952. He began producing cymbals in his 200 square foot workshop and almost everything was hand-made. A normal workday would start at 4am and last well into the night, all with the help of his wife. At the onset of his career, everything was done by the simplest of means. Roland rode his bike to the Neustadt train station to ship off his products. It wasn’t until 1959 when he purchased his first car, a Volkswagen Beetle and the business began to quickly grow
In 1984, Meinl faced the challenge of developing a completely new professional line of cymbals. The first serious electronic drums had arrived, and drum machines were increasingly being used in pop music, resulting in new tonal expectations even among acoustic drummers. Things began to coalesce in 2000, when Meinl finally scored with American consumers by taking some calculated risks. New lines captured imaginations: Gen-X aggressively explored edgy sound effects; Mb20 sang with an Americanized rock resonance; and the individually-cast, jazzy, Turkish-made Byzance line broke entirely from the company’s previous penchant for making cymbals from sheet-bronze blanks.
A Meinl office sprung up in Nashville around the same time, with a stocked warehouse to facilitate domestic shipping and a fresh team of American reps hungry to sign relevant endorsers. They leapt into the extreme drumming fray, signing freakishly coordinated monsters like Thomas Lang, Johnny Rabb, and Marco Minnemann. The company wisely presented these amazing, but fairly unknown endorsers on endless clinic tours and key PAS conventions, effectively building their superhuman reputations while they scrambled the brains of drummers throughout the U.S.
More importantly, Meinl also carved an identity among the new breed of metal drummers, scooping up key endorsers like Jason Bittner of Shadows Fall, Jaska Raatikainen of Children Of Bodom, and Chris Adler of Lamb Of God, wisely exploiting their names and likenesses in print ads and clinic tours. The payoff is that the Meinl logo now oozes Ozzfest cred. Slowly but surely, step-by-step, the pieces fell into place. Computer controlled robotic hammers allowed Meinl to build professional level cymbals with consistent tonal qualities and craftsmanship. Those standards are utilized in Meinl’s production to this very day.
The most significant new era in the Meinl cymbal production began in 2002 when the construction for the new Meinl cymbal production in Gutenstetten, Germany started. And in 2003 the grand opening of Meinls new cymbal production was celebrated. To this day it is the most modern manufacturing Facility of its kind in the world. Meinl are unique among the four major mass-producers of cymbals, in that the alloy of their top of the line cymbals has normally been malleable bronze (B8, 8% tin) rather than bell bronze. Their professional bell bronze range, Byzance, is a relatively recent addition to their product lines. Other manufacturers have produced professional B8 lines, most notably the Paiste 2002 line, but always alongside more traditional alloys for their top lines. Meinl also make high-end cymbals from B12 bronze.
Current Meinl endorsees include:
Alex Rudinger - The Faceless, Ordinance
Andrew Wetzel - Attack Attack!
Benny Greb - 3erGezimmeR
Ben Sesar - Brad Paisley
Chris Vest - Framing Hanley
Johnny Rabb - U.S.S.A.
Chris Adler - Lamb Of God
Tommy Clufetos - Ozzy Osbourne, Rob Zombie, Black Sabbath
Moe Carlson - Protest The Hero
John Boecklin - DevilDriver
Felix Lehrmann - The Flower Kings
Meytal Cohen - (2nd most subscribed YouTube drum covers channel)
Nick D'Virgilio - Spock's Beard
Daniel Svensson - In Flames
Brann Dailor - Mastodon
Thomas Noonan - 36 Crazyfists
Trevor Lawrence Jr. - Stevie Wonder, Snoop Dogg
Mike Justian - Unearth
Kai Hahto - Wintersun
Matt Halpern - Periphery
Jake Davidson - Aiden
Lee Davies - Independent
Jean-Paul Gaster - Clutch
Dave Douglas - Gypsy Parade, Relient K
Richard Mazzotta - Mewithoutyou
Jon Wilkes - The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus
Jaska Raatikainen - Children Of Bodom
Dirk Verbeuren - Soilwork, Scarve
Nate Young - Anberlin
Eron Bucciarelli - Hawthorne Heights
Paul Koehler - Silverstein
Brian Rosenworcel - Guster
Jon Rice - Job for a Cowboy
Simon Raphael - OMNI, Sindy, Les Citizen Foxes (-18 artist)
Derek Roddy - Serpents Rise
Dave Mackintosh - Dragonforce
Ethan Luck - Relient k
Brian Rasmussen - Mnemic
Daniel Williams - The Devil Wears Prada
Jeffory Gilbert - Kutless
Chris Kamrada - There For Tomorrow
Fredrik Andersson - Amon Amarth
Tom Hane - In This Moment
Luke Holland - The Word Alive
Alex Lopez - Suicide Silence
Matt Garstka - Animals as Leaders