Friday Funk

When I was in high school, my friends and I were huge Rage Against The Machine fans. When I think back to my senior year, “Killing In The Name Of” is the soundtrack in my mind that accompanies the memories. Such sweet, innocent times.

This is why I was struck with a serious case of nostalgia when I finally heard (yes, I know this has been out for a year) Zack de la Rocha’s vocals on this video from One Day as a Lion, his new band. It’s good to hear him again, and this time he has former Mars Volta drummer, Jon Theodore, laying it down. Check it out.

Gruss Loops Vol X is Here!

Another 1st of the month brings us another set of Gruss Loops. Volume X features four different loop sets with over 25 different groove and fill variations in each style and tempo. A mix of world, funk, latin and r&b loops, Volume X is a must-have for any well-rounded loop collection.

Gruss Loops - Vol X


Yep, I actually named this set of loops “Big Dirty Funk”. This first set shows that I’m not afraid of cheesy loop names or using flams in my fills. This is LOUD funk. Think Rage Against the Machine meets Parliament, blended with an industrial-grade bitcrusher.



Ever since posting my first frame drum loop a few months ago, I’ve received dozens of requests for more grooves on this particular instrument. In order to please the masses, I’ve recorded another round of grooves with my beloved Cooperman drum. The first half of the loop series features just my hands and fingers, while the second half introduces a brush in my left hand.



In an attempt to heat things up and get through the frigid Boston winter, I locked myself in my studio and channeled one of my favorite grooves from the Caribbean, Soca. Moving things around from the hi hat, coss stick and snare, I elaborate and embellish on a wide mix of soca grooves.



No, I’m not talking about ferocious dogs. I’m referring to the “bark” of an open hi hat within a 16th note groove. While Bernard has been doing this for years (just forward to 3:15), I take the bark and put it in a more contemporary setting. Ultra-dry and crisp production plays in contrast with a wide open, ringy snare drum.


To become a subscriber and gain instant access to all of the 100+ loops (each as AIFF, WAV and REX2) in Volume X, just click the button below.


Whenever I hear Rage Against The Machine, I instantly reminisce about my senior year of high school. Everyday, during the lunch period, my friends and I would sneak out of school and drive to fine dining establishments such as Little Caesar’s and Bruegger’s Bagels.

Normally, going out to lunch isn’t a big deal for a high school student, but my school had a “closed campus policy” and even employed a full time security guard to make sure kids weren’t leaving the premises. This made the noontime adventure all the more exciting… almost like a prison break.

It was a process that involved reconnaissance, agility, patience and courage. Crawling on our stomachs, diving behind cars and hiding behind bushes. If it wasn’t for that scholarship to Berklee, these lunchtime escapes would have been the perfect gateway to a career as a Navy SEAL.

Once we safely made it into the my friend’s Land Cruiser (we would always take his car since it had the loudest stereo… complete with 12″ subwoofers), we’d roll down the windows, crank some Rage Against The Machine and taunt the security guard as we peeled out of the parking lot, making our great escape.

During the first 6 months of my senior year we must have listened to that first Rage album hundreds of times. With lyrics like “Steppin into the jam and I’m slammin like Shaquille” and “Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me”, this was the perfect soundtrack for three dudes, eating greasy pizza and dodging disgruntled mall cops. We were so excited when we found out Rage was finally releasing a new album, we made a special lunch trip to buy it on the day of its release.

Brad Wilk - Rage Against The Machine
Brad Wilk - Rage Against The Machine

To make sure I was recalling the details of these adventures accurately, I just emailed one of my old cohorts to do some fact checking. I believe his response sums things up perfectly:

“We went to buy that album the day it came out over lunch. Look it up, but I would bet a few bucks that it was 4/16/1996 (Evil Empire). I remember one of the songs getting quiet (like all of them do), and all of us looking at each other knowing they were about to kick some a**.”

Sneaking out of school, eating bagels and kicking some a**. This is what my senior year was all about.

Loop #68

This loop goes out to all of those kids back at Valley High who are still fighting the man, breaking out of school for lunch and driving around in luxury SUVs.

Preview Here:


Download the Logic session here. (116MB)

Get the .wav file here.

Get the .rx2 file here.

78 BPM

The Art of the Cross Stick

The cross stick is a drumming technique which spans all musical genres. From Philly Joe Jones laying down the “4” with Miles Davis, to Brad Wilk breaking things down with Rage Against the Machine, the cross stick is the universal alternative to the snare drum back beat.

One of my favorite “cross stick-heavy” recordings is Erykah Badu’s 1997 “Live” album. With a deep pocket and a huge sound, drummer, Poogie Bell’s performance is a tour de force of R&B timekeeping.

Here he is playing some cross stick on Erykah’s track, “On & On”.

Poogie Bell
Poogie Bell

Loop #51

Today’s loop is my hat tip to Poogie. Sixteenth notes on the hi hat, some ‘sugarfoot’ on the bass drum and plenty of cross stick.

Preview Here:


Download the Logic session here. (47MB)

Get the .wav file here. (with guitar)

Get the .wav file here. (drums only)

82 BPM