Las Vegas local and San Diego native Stuca, has quickly become a rising star among fans of excessively heavy works that demolish all semblance of humanity. 2 years ago his track ‘Split,’ released on Jadu Dala, received support from every corner of the industry, rinsed on almost every main stage in the country. To this day it’s amassed over 250k streams on SoundCloud alone, his most successful release by a wide margin. At the beginning of the year, he released his Incinerate EP on London’s Never Say Die Black Label to wide-reaching recognition and applause. So satisfied with the results of that release, he’s back for round 2 with NSD, coming correct with the titanic Powerhouse EP, of which we’re happy to premiere the girthy giant ‘Gears’ from.
When you think of the word gears, you think of a hard, cold, metallic object. “Hard” and “cold” are two prime descriptors of the true nature of ‘Gears’ as it’s just as aesthetically pleasing as it as downright disgusting. Utilizing unprecedented levels of danciness coupled with Stuca’s trademarked grimy sound, you get a diabolical concoction of neck-shattering delight. Adding deadly switch-ups as an audible cherry on top for your ears, listeners will be frozen in-place, gnarly bass-faces the only acceptable reaction. Whip out the waivers, ‘Gears’ isn’t for the faint of heart. We also had the opportunity to chat with Stuca about his life, the current state of the music industry, SpongeBob, and what he has coming next. Check out ‘Gears’ and the interview in full for yourself below!
I see you’ve lived in both San Diego and Las Vegas! Which have you lived in more, and which has had a bigger impact on you as a person and as a musician?
Definitely SD, as I’ve lived there for the majority of my life (only moved to Vegas last year). Even though the EDM scene is pretty small there it’s had a pretty big effect on me. I saw my first show there (Good Times Ahead @ Omnia Nightclub) about 4 or 5 years ago which really influenced me to pursue a career as a musician. I also got to play my first ever show in SD a couple years ago which was pretty cool.
You’ve had several releases with the fine folks at Jadu Dala, including your break-out release ‘Split’. How did you originally get connected with them?
I got connected to them by sending demos. At that time I had around 150 followers on SoundCloud and absolutely no connections in the industry so that was pretty much my only option at the time. I had sent them multiple tracks before ‘Split’ so it wasn’t like that was my first pitch to them, but through that process I ended up creating a very strong relationship with them.
Your trademarked gritty genre-blurring style of hard-hitting trap that almost touches on dubstep is already easily recognizable, how did you go about settling on it/what was your journey like getting there?
It was definitely a strange road, as I didn’t even know what Never Say Die was until about 3 years ago. At that time I was primarily listening to trap (Mr. Carmack, Medasin, Ekali, Vincent, Herobust) and Garage (Burial, Synkro, Manu Shrine). But when I met my good friend Eugene in college, he introduced me to Trampa (and NSD as a whole) which completely changed my view on what dubstep could be. Since then I’ve been trying to implement sound design from all three of these branches into my music (Trap drums/808s, Garage percussion/ambience, Dubstep leads).
You have your Powerhouse EP releasing this Friday on Never Say Die Black Label, and we’ve had the great pleasure of premiering ‘Gears’ from it! Walk us through the inspiration behind ‘Gears’ and the rest of the Powerhouse EP as a whole.
‘Gears’ started with a cool patch that I automated, rendered, and then cut up and resampled to make a bunch of different noises that you can hear throughout the intro and drops. Every sound had a really grungy metallic element which I liked as they blended together nicely. The EP overall is focused on creating a dark metallic atmosphere and bringing it to life.
You recently played Excision’s Couch Lands stream! Can you tell us how that experience was?
Definitely the biggest stage I’ve ever played at lol, I’m not a huge fan of virtual sets (miss the physical energy of live performances) but that was just about as good as it will get.
Do you have any guilty pleasure artists that you love listening to, but almost never admit to?
I love Dua Lipa, one of my favorite pop artists right now.
What are some of your favorite activities and hobbies outside of music production?
Playing basketball, hiking, beating my friends at FIFA, watching old SpongeBob episodes at 3am, and eating gelato/sorbet.
You’ve been quite vocal about your support for the Black Lives Matter movement, including donating to the Philadelphia bail fund. What does real change look like to you in our country?
I think we have been seeing some legitimate change, it’s been ugly but sometimes that’s the way it has to be. But I think the most considerable change can happen later this year if the young population goes out and votes, because that’s what a lot of them didn’t do 4 years ago.
You recently shared (and denounced) a tweet stating that “EDM was meant to promote drug use among the millennial population.” My question is, what does the community and the music mean to you?
First of all I don’t want to give that guy any more attention because he’s building popularity for his campaign by making dramatically ridiculous remarks, but I do want to say that I’ve never done hard drugs before and I still love this industry. Might BLOW some people’s minds but I often play/go to shows sober because the music and crowd energy is all I need to have fun.
It seems you’ve been incredibly busy and motivated lately, as I’ve heard you have double digit unreleased tracks at the moment. How have you kept your mental state in top-form while everything is happening in the world right now?
It’s been hard for sure because of all the unknowns in the industry right now, but I enjoy making music so I’ll keep doing it no matter the circumstances. Also going outside and staying active at least every other day is definitely helping my mental state.
Besides the release of your Powerhouse EP in full on Friday, do you have anything else planned coming up in the near future?
More music releases coming soon, and hopefully some shows if people stop being so stubborn and wear their masks.