I love making music, but my passion is playing the drums.
Drawing early influence from rock gods like Peart, Bonham and Ringo, transitioning through chops-heavy legends like Weckl, Chambers & Royster Jr, leading to groove players like Questlove, Garibadi, Deitch, Jordan and Chris Dave: my playing style is a hybrid of these years of studying drummers and applying pieces to my own playing.
As a certified ProTools 110 level operator and graduate of The College of Saint Rose’s Music Production program, I am qualified and proficient with recording software, methods and styles of recording and mixing / mastering. I've worked both as an artist and/or producer on a variety of sessions, a few of which are available for listen below.
Years Playing: 10
Styles: Funk, hip-hop, soul, rock
Works For: Shannon Rose Design
Plays For: MIRK & Mr. Cheeks of the Grammy Award winning Lost Boyz
Highlight Gigs: SXSW, Vans Warped Tour, Rockstar Monster Energy Tour
"Here the light fades up onto the rest of the band. They’re definitely not a mechanized backing track, either. They’re personable. They’re human. Instead of being “the band,” for a solo artist, the whole group works as a cohesive unit to bring an emotional element to the music.
This is reminiscent of Mirk’s previous endeavors. The soulful element of this album appears especially in tracks like “Turn Me On"... the album also contains some of Grind’s driving rock beats – provided by Stephen Struss."
"Grind" was my first full-length with Mirk. The drums on the album are all live, played in our studio then heavily edited, effected, sampled and sometimes looped to recreate the feel of a classic sampled hip-hop album, but with unlimited source material and grooves. The end result are some very unique sounding drums. Credits and thanks to executive producer and singer at large, Josh Mirsky!
Leftovers from the Atomic Microwave (2012)
In the distant past, people used to get together with musical instruments and good pizza do something known simply as "record breh". This is the last know "album" made in this fashion.
Submitted (and approved!) as the final project for friend and talented Long Island bassist Ryan DiPietrantonio, LftAM features weird noises and funny song names, but mostly the phrase "I don't care, just play something cool!"
Spanish Ricky (Unreleased)
"Who's Ricky Spanish?"
When I am playing drums, driving a car or paying my taxes, I'm known as Stephen Struss. But behind an MPC or Macbook Pro, call me Ricky Spanish. (Riiiicky Spaaaanish)
"Crowd Surf" by Mirk. Featured on "Run" (2015)
My gear selection matches my diverse playing style. With gear ranging from vintage, warm sound of acrylic drums to that punchy sound of today; made by brand new high-end Maple and mixed wood hybrid shells.
Pair this with an eclectic cymbal collection, diverse snare collection, sampled electronics and countless percussion options, I can get any sound you or the song calls for. My gear is also rent-able for studio and live use.
Live Hip-Hop Setup
Need a Drummer? Lets chat.