Being based in Colorado, we’ve always been in tune with acts that bring an intense live aspect to their shows, as we’ve had figurative front row seats for the substantial growth of acts like Pretty Lights, Big Gigantic, and Sunsquabi. We’re not sure if it’s the thin air, the legal goods, or just the overall culture, but there is a distinct sound to the Centennial State. However, while today’s spotlight brings in a fusion of funk, rock, and electronica, your Mile High guess would be inaccurate. These cats are from Nashville, Tennessee, and they’re doing things right.
If you’re not hip to Zoogma quite yet, it won’t be long before you’re grooving to their funky live instrumentation. You needn’t look any further than this post to witness what Brock Bowling (Guitar, Live Sequencing), Matt Harris (Drums, Live Sequencing) Justin Hasting (Guitar, Synthesizer) and Ryan Nall (Bass, Synthesizer) have put together. Take a glance below at “New Era” being performed as they do in front of their adoring fans.
In addition to premiering this video and single, we’re also bringing you a quick Q&A in hopes that you’ll study up on this quickly rising electro-rock act. If you haven’t already, press play on the track or video and read through their responses to a few of our choice questions.
TMN: Thanks for answering a few questions for us! Let’s kick it off by talking about the release we’re premiering today – “New Era.” Talk to us about this song in particular – what were the inspirations? What was the creative progression like?
Z: Stoked to be talking to you guys about “New Era!” This song was inspired by an appreciation of classic Soul/R&B as well as a love of hip-hop and bass music. The groove actually started out with more of a straight feel to it and was feeling pretty good but something was missing. Brock and I took a lunch break, stuffed ourselves with tacos and had a couple beers at this Mexican joint down the street from our studio and then the idea suddenly sparked to just add some swing to the groove. From that point everything really started flowing with the melodies and dynamics of the song. At the end of the day I started playing through some random records and found what we thought was a nice vocal sample to add in—-it actually came from an old country record oddly enough.
TMN: We love the live performance aspect you guys bring, which can be seen in the accompanying video. How did that come about when you guys were first starting out?
Z: We started as a live band that found electronic music very intriguing. So the live element has always been a part of who we are. Honestly, when we started we really had very limited knowledge on how to make electronic music. We just dove right in and learned everything as it came. So we had our core instruments (drums, guitar, keys, bass) and then we were also toying around with drum machines, samplers, synthesizers, etc. We started getting more into studio production and then began hybridizing the live instrumentation with live sequencing/mixing/effecting of stuff we were making.
TMN: Speaking of your live show, give us three words that describe what a fan will experience by coming to one of your shows.
TMN: When we first heard you guys, we had you pegged as fellow Colorado residents, only to find out you’re from Nashville! Were you guys influenced by acts from our state? We can’t help but hear some nuances of Pretty Lights and Big Gigantic in your sound.
Z: I think we’d be lying if we said Pretty Lights and Big Gigantic didn’t have some influence on us. Right around when we formed the band, I remember PL had just released Filling Up The City Skies and “Finally Movin” was being bumped at every house party. I listened to that record a lot during that year. Also, one of our first shows in Colorado was with Dom while he was still playing in Juno What?!. We have always loved what the Big G guys have done from the start. We’ve done several shows and festivals together and those guys have become good friends of ours over the past few years. Dom and Jeremy are two of the most humble and kind guys we’ve met in the game. Even after all the major success they’ve had, they still are so down-to-earth and always have time to catch-up and hang when we cross paths.
TMN: What’s on deck for the rest of 2016? More new music? Touring?
Z: 2016 is already starting off strong as we release this EP and hit the road this winter/spring! We’ll definitely be on the road a lot and the festival circuit this summer. We have a lot of new music we’ve been recording. One thing that is new to us is we’ve been working with some guest vocalists to incorporate into our original compositions. It’s been a lot of fun having that additional element to work with. For those of you who have been with us for a while, don’t worry, we will still be releasing more instrumental music as well! But this is something we’ve always been interested in trying and we’re very happy with the results in the studio thus far. We’ve been coming up with some more funky-bass music as well some chill/moody stuff so we’re trying to put our heads together on what we want to get out next but there is definitely more music on the way!