A Music Mash: a Q&A with Zoogma

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 (Photo credit: sterno_inferno)

Combining the classic art of playing real instruments with the more modern craft of DJing to a spectacle of lights, Zoogma has taken their music all over the country. The last leg of their tour began Thursday night at the Aggie and will continue this weekend in Boulder. All of Zoogma’s music is available for free on their site www.zoogma.net. Bass player, Ryan Nall, gave a little insight into what the band is all about.

Q: What’s the story behind how the band got together?

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A: The band started in Oxford, Mississippi  in 2008. Justin and Matt, the drummer and guitarist, founded it. Me and another member from Memphis, Tennessee ended up coming along a little later and rounding out the lineup. Essentially, they were throwing parties and awesome shows down in Oxford, which is where Ole Miss, the college, is and, me and Brock were in school and playing music in Memphis and we got the call after certain members of theirs no longer could perform, so, you know, we were just filling in. Then once we got that lineup together we really started kind of taking off and playing more gigs and hitting the road a little harder.

Q: How would you describe your sound?

A: I think really the broadest way to categorize it is live electronica, it still maintains a lot of rock and roll, hip-hop, and those influences are still very prevalent in it, but I think the band, typically, is categorized as live electronica. Meaning we still have live the instrumentation that you would see with a rock band, there’s guitars and basses and drums and a keyboard but there’s also a DJ, sort of electronica, element to it in that we all have synthesizers and are launching samples and tracks along with the music. So, we can take that in a lot of different directions, some songs might have more of a bluesy kind of funk feel, and another song might have a lot of hip-hop and sort of a west coast jazz element to it.

Q: What can the audience expect to get out of your show?

A: I think that one thing we really try to make a big part of our music is the live show and taking the material that you would find on our records in a new and different direction that you haven’t heard before and haven’t seen us do live. And that’s kind of our bread and butter. We all came up in the whole festival, live music culture, and we all have a strong jazz and instrumental background. I think that’s what people get from our shows that they don’t get from a lot of EDM or electronica shows is that very live and immediate connection with somebody actually playing their instrument and feeding off of each other on stage and improvisation and those key elements that make watching multi-instrumentalists on stage fun.

Q: Why should people come out and see you while you’re in Colorado?

A: This is the last week of a six week tour that we’ve done all across the country from Brooklyn to Austin, Texas and everywhere in between. This is kind of that point in a tour, I think, where everything just starts really locking in and you really start seeing bands shine because this is the culmination of a month and a half’s worth of touring. So, that’s why I’m really excited about these shows, apart from Colorado always treats us right, we love being out here. It’s beautiful and we really like to come out here and make it the big finale. People here love life so much that it gives us the energy we need to deliver a really cool finish line series of shows.

Collegian Entertainment Reporter Katie Salka can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com.