Zak St. John

Drums & Percussion: Sessions

31 Reviews (17 Verified)
Zak St. John on SoundBetter

Zak is one of the most in demand drummers in LA. His clients include Stevie Wonder, The B-52’s, NFL on Fox, Paramount, Sony Music, & Warner Bros. Zak has an innovative style and solid back-beat to fit just about any style of music or playing situation. He has also been on sessions for Justin Bieber, Justin Timberlake, Lady Gaga, & Maroon 5.

"I will choose from my vintage and state of the art collection of 20+ drum kits, 40+ snares, and vast cymbal selection, to fine tune the drum sound to fit your music. I have a world class recording studio that I own and track from on a daily basis, featuring the very best in outboard Preamps, Compressors, EQ's, and Microphones."

"I pride myself in being personally invested in every artist, producer, and band I work with. I promise a quick turn-around with a 100% satisfaction guarantee!"
-Zak St. John

I'd love to hear about your project. Click the 'Contact' button above to get in touch.

31 Reviews - 6 Repeat Clients

Endorse Zak St. John
  1. Review by Tony D.

    Zak did a great job! He was open to suggestions and went out of his way to make sure his tracks were cool for the production. His turnaround was lightning fast (next day), all done with awesome communication skills and great personality. Excellent drums and recording gear ... a top notch player.

  2. Review by Michael E.

    No matter what we come up with , Zak continues to excel beyond our wildest hopes.
    The definitive professional percussionist.

  3. Review by Michael E.

    No click track, no timing notes, no reference to follow. We knew it would be impossible to retro fit drum tracks.
    Silly us - he nailed it perfectly on take 1.
    Hire him with absolute confidence.

  4. Review by Michael E.

    Zak is the consummate pro and always makes us sound a zillion times better than we are. Hire him often with full confidence.

  5. Review by Stefan R.

    Zak is a great guy and a top shelf drummer! A pleasure to work with. He had my drum-track nailed in no time. Super fast on the mail as well! Actually so fast he made me look bad!! haha :-O

  6. Review by Michael E.

    A lot of folks don't realize how much a gifted drummer can help shape the overall feel and mood of a song. Zak has both the technique and feel for a song that allows him to bring a very special quality to a tune. Let him know what you want and then sit bck and revel in the result.

  7. Review by Daniel A.

    Zak is a super talented drummer. Able to take a concept and make it real. Impressive!

  8. Review by Daniel A.

    Incredibly talented drummer and musician! Dynamic and fast!

  9. Review by John L.

    It was a real honour to work with Zak. Very pleased with the results. He was very professional and easy to work with. Highly recommended !!!

  10. Review by Joshua // Sound West Studios

    Love Zak’s playing, professionalism and recording skills!

  11. Review by Joshua // Sound West Studios

    Another excellent performance from Zak! Well composed, played and recorded. He's well worth every dollar. His playing is oozing with attitude and style!

  12. Review by Joshua // Sound West Studios

    Zak was professional and easy to communicate with. He also recorded his drum set very well with pro level mic-ing techniques which will give a ton of flexibility in the mix. And, of course, he's a great player. His turnaround time was good too! Hire him with confidence!

  13. Review by Joe S.
    by Joe S.

    Zak is one of the best musicians I've ever had the privilege of working with. His attention to detail and passion for music truly shows in his craft. I look forward to many more projects with Zak!

  14. Review by Joshua S.

    Zak is literally the best - look no further! He is by far the most versatile and most creative drummer I've worked with - His communication skills are outstanding and he really nailed it in one take, if that's even possible! He's your guy - I'll be using him for many more tunes to come...

  15. Review by Damien F.

    Another time a big success!

  16. Review by Damien F.

    Very good drummer. And the quickest job ever. In two days, i received everything. Top microphones, a choice of the best drum kits...nothing more to say. Thanks Zak

  17. Review by James B.

    Zak was a pleasure to work with. He has an incredible understanding of what to play to make a song work. Amazing service, would recommend.

  18. Review by Brandon Baumann

    I've been working with Zak on and off for the past decade, and without a doubt, he brings his all to every single project, every single time. His professionalism is only eclipsed by his great attitude and what seems to be, limitless skillset. Creative, consistent and reliable, I'd work with Zak St. John again in a heartbeat!

  19. Review by Alex Arias

    Anytime I need drums I head to Zak. He's the best. He's quick, professional and the tracks always sound amazing. The equipment he records with is top notch and his room sounds killer. Couldn't recommend him enough!

  20. Review by Alex Arias

    Zak is my drum guy. Period. Total pro and ALWAYS delivers great work. His room sounds awesome and the equipment he has to record everything is excellent. I've never walked out an unhappy customer.

    Couldn't recommend him enough!

  21. Review by Andrew James
    by Andrew James

    Zak is the man. Been working with him for years and - as a bassist - it's important to find a drummer who is creative, has a killer groove, and is really easy and professional to work with. Zak embodies all of those qualities and more.

  22. Review by Nicolas Essig

    I have known and worked with Zak for close to ten years.
    He is truly among the best in the industry. Always willing to go above and beyond to get the best results possible. He has a very positive attitude and is very fun to work with.
    I would recommend Zak to any one who needs a drummer in a recording or live show setting.

  23. Review by Tom Chandler
    by Tom Chandler

    Zak St John is one of the most amazing musicians I've ever had the experience of working with in my 20 year music career. Zak knows everything possible about drum selection and tuning for amazing recorded results. Zak also has his own unique groove and vibe as a player, that he stamps every song with- raising the musical bar from "good" to "greatness".

  24. Review by Alex Arias
    by Alex Arias

    Zak is my drum guy. He's been able to make my vision a reality numerous times. He's quick and is always a joy to work with. Myself being a picky guy with drums; it's amazing to have a guy who understands tuning and tonality. It makes my life so much easier in post. Oh and his amazing collection of drums never hurts.

  25. Review by Eric Slater
    by Eric Slater

    Zak St. John is by far one of my favorite drummers to work with in LA. A lot of guys have chops and feel, which Zak is known for. What makes him unique is his keen sense of understanding how to work for the song. He can play anything, has an impressive collection of gear, and can shred with the best of 'em. But it's his ability to listen and play the right parts that puts him at the top of my list

  26. Review by Josh Newell
    by Josh Newell

    I have worked with Zak on a variety of projects over the years. He's a fantastic drummer who is comfortable playing many different styles of music, and quality and depth of his drum collection means he always brings an excellent selection of equipment for the sessions. He's also a great hang and a joy to work with in the studio.

  27. Review by Cris Hodges

    I've worked with Zak for over a year and his professionalism only scratches the surface of what he provides. Zak writes drum parts that compliments each individual song, not just a beat behind the music. Highly recommended.

  28. Review by Joel Hellman
    by Joel Hellman

    Zak is in the group of rare musicians that work in the studio and perform live - doing both at a very high level of talent and professionalism. His knowledge and experience in the studio allow for some of the best source drum sounds I've heard. His collection of drums and percussion are a producer's dream. Zak carries this right onto the stage and is a seasoned performer.

  29. Review by Ted Wulfers
    by Ted Wulfers

    Zak St. John is a drummer's drummer and an absolute joy to work with. His hard hitting, perfect time keeping and musical finesse make him one of the busiest drummers in the music business and for good reason. With Zak, you feel and hear every hit just as it should be and that makes working with him a breeze. He'll learn a tune on the spot or prepare just the right part.

  30. Review by Gregory Pajer
    by Gregory Pajer

    Zak has been my go-to drummer for about 5 years now and he kills it every time. His timing, feel, tone, and pocket are second to none. He always delivers what I need with no hassle or ego. And he's a great guy to work with! - Greg Pajer Producer/Composer

  31. Review by Kim Clayborne
    by Kim Clayborne

    Zak has been one of the best and most professional musicians I have gotten to work with. He has not only proven his talent in the studio while recording with me, but has also helped by being music director during live performances and has helped me battle my stage fright. He is truly an amazing musician.

Interview with Zak St. John

  1. Q: Analog or digital and why?

  2. A: Both. There are so many types of music out there today. Its important to create the sound that fits each situation.

  3. Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?

  4. A: I'll give you 100% of my effort and ability. I never phone it in and treat every song and client as if they are the best and biggest artist I've ever worked with.

  5. Q: What do you like most about your job?

  6. A: Everything. Drums, music, creating, the process, the interaction. and DRUMS! :)

  7. Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?

  8. A: How do you get the drums to sound so good?! Its touch, tuning, and gear selection.

  9. Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?

  10. A: I'm not just another drummer who has a small rehearsal room with some mics. I have a fully functioning recording studio with the best gear possible.

  11. Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?

  12. A: What are you influences? And how did this project/song come to be? And what are your favorite drum recordings that you'd like me to replicate for your project?

  13. Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?

  14. A: Session drumming is a skill that not ALL drummers are able to harness. It takes a touch, know-how, and mentality to create a really great drum track for a song/project.

  15. Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?

  16. A: Tama Bell Brass from 1981, 1952 26" Slingerland Kick drum, UA Apollo interface, Neumann Fet 47, AEA R88

  17. Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?

  18. A: I've been drumming for as long as I can remember (since 2 years old). It was always my goal to move to LA (from Wisconsin) and play drums for a living. Primarily as a studio musician. I have been playing professionally for over 20 years now!

  19. Q: How would you describe your style?

  20. A: I'm a chameleon. I really love all styles of music and have the ability to create drum tracks for anything. I can play soft and delicate and I can blast away heavy metal at 280 bpms. It really always comes down to the song. I play for the music.

  21. Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?

  22. A: Sheryl Crow. I think she's a fantastic songwriter and musician. The grooves and vibe of her music really inspires me.

  23. Q: Can you share one music production tip?

  24. A: Don't add too much to a mix! Let the air exist within the song.

  25. Q: What type of music do you usually work on?

  26. A: Rock, Pop, Movie Soundtracks

  27. Q: What's your strongest skill?

  28. A: Creating parts for songs and engineering drums in studios. (Mic Placement, drum tuning, and drum selection)

  29. Q: What do you bring to a song?

  30. A: I continue to be hired (so I'm told) for the parts I create. I feel that the the drums need to make the song better and not get in the way of anything.

  31. Q: What's your typical work process?

  32. A: Once I get the demo or session file from a client, I load it into ProTools and chart out my part with any notes or direction the client requests. Then I'll get my drum sounds and drum tuning set. Each session is a set of drums and drum sound specifically created for that client. I'll then lay down a few takes to send off. Once they are approved.. I open a bottle of wine!

  33. Q: Tell us about your studio setup.

  34. A: I have a large drum room at my studio. I also have the best outboard recording equipment and microphones possible. My drum room sounds are similar to East/West, United, and Henson Studios. I've been in the studio around LA for years. Learning as much as I can from some of the best in the business!

  35. Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?

  36. A: As far as drummers, Abe Laboriel Jr. , Josh Freese, and Jim Keltner have been my mentors since moving to LA. I also feel like they are 3 of the greatest session players of all time. I have learned so much from them and continue to learn all I can.

  37. Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.

  38. A: I love the creative process. And I love all styles of music. I seem to get the most calls for Rock, Pop, and Singer/Songwriter type sessions.

Andrew Maldonado - Dark Holiday

I was the Drummer in this production

Terms Of Service

1-2 custom drum takes per song. Includes 16 individual microphones/tracks.1 free revision (unless major). 1 to 3 day turn-around

GenresSounds Like
  • Led Zeppelin
  • Tom Petty
  • Maroon 5
Gear Highlights
  • 20+ World class and vintage drum sets
  • 40+ Snares
  • Top of the line Recording Studio and gear.
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