Behind The Noise: Zoogma
On the third day of Camp Bisco I had the pleasure of meeting with two of the four members of Zoogma. For those of you who are unfamiliar, they are an enormously talented band coming straight out of the “Dirty South”. Their expansive knowledge of music genres and heavy electronic sound are turning them into a must see act, at a music festival especially. If you were to ask anybody who has seen these four play live, their response is always a positive one. Why would it not be? These four are without a doubt destined for greatness, and I was lucky enough to have them answer a few of my questions. Enjoy.
Greg Glassman: How is everything?
Matt Harris: Good. It’s been a busy summer so far.
GG: How did this Magical quartet happen?
MH: We formed in school in Mississippi about four years ago, we had a key board player about a year ago, so we actually used to be a five piece and now were down to the quartet. We’ve have other members in and out, but yeah this is where we are at now.
Ryan Nall: Yeah I think this is the finally line up you know? It was one of those things that was a constant evolution over time. we’ve seen the most acceleration of success between the four of us. So it’s like, Ok I think we are on the right track. In some ways you miss having that fifth person, but in other ways in forces you to buckle down more, with things like production. I feel like it made us a little bit more electronic, so we’ve been asked to play more of these kind of electronic festivals.
GG: Your new EP just came out right?
MH: We actually just released it about three or four days ago.
GG: Yeah I was able to snag a few copies of it at Electric Forest a few weeks ago.
MH: Yeah we gave out about 1000 copies there, so actually you were one of the first people ever to get it. Then we released it online about a week ago. It seems to be going around quite a bit though so yeah, that’s always a good thing.
RN: We,Give it away for free, that’s the best way.
GG: So this is definitely not your first time through the festival circuit, How does this year compare to your other rounds through. Are you crowds bigger and Better?
MH & RN: Oh yeah.
MH: Each year it just gets bigger and bigger, were excited man and were just gonna take it a step at a time. The crowds are growing especially. Were especially excited about tonights set.
GG: A lot different from Last year you guys played in the afternoon right.
RN: Yeah each year we do a little bit more and more and get a little bit better and better. So our slot is getting stronger as well. So it’s really been giving us the chance to do the late night thing as opposed to just doing the afternoon thing. It’s nice, at Electric Forest we sort of had the afternoon thing, and we were all kind of wondering what that was going to be like. It turned out being a huge crowd for us. When we started it was kind of one thing, but by the time we were done we were all kind of like “oh my god this crowd is huge”.
MH: We’ll be playing the stuff from the new EP and some other good ones too. We were actually talking the other day about how we are all ready to start making some other new stuff, and we want that out as soon as possible as well. We have to keep the releases fresh.
GG: Yeah, when i gave a few of my friends that new EP of yours, they immediately wanted more.
RN: When we do those hand outs, we started to realize that people really do show their friends, and it becomes this way more viral way to show people out music. I guess we should probably do that more often then (laughs), because it’s been really good for us.
GG: Ok, so this may not be true, but I heard you guys may be doing a secret set around the same time as Bassnectar as well?
MH: Oh yes, that is totally happening.
RN: So for anybody who will not be attending Bassnectar, were going to be doing I guess about forty five minutes or so. Sort of like a sound check, fun set. I think it’ll be great for us, we’ll be able to sort of get warm on the stage before we kind of do the big late night set. It’s cool, it will be us, and Gramatik sort of closing out the LABEL tent, except for the Silent Disco of course.
GG: Yeah, if you guys can catch any of the Silent Disco, it should definitely be a lot of fun. I will probably going to that, right after you guys finish your set actually.
GG: So you said you were kind of going towards the electronic thing now, were there specific artists that influenced you towards that decision?
MH: We’ve always been an electronic band, but since we began being the four piece, we’ve become I guess tighter or more purely doing the electronic thing. When people ask us is there specific artists, we tell them we are all over the board. I mean we listen to everything.
GG: I can tell, I mean you guys even have a Ghostbusters cover.
MH: Yes, we do. Actually we’ve been talking about doing a sort of remix of our original cover.
RN: So, Bonobo emancipator both of them played last night. These are guys that I feel like influence us. So it’s really cool to be able to play with them. Getting to play with the Disco Biscuits is huge, a few weeks ago at Electric Forest we were on the same stage that Sound Tribe was going to be on later that night. It’s just really cool because those are all the people that, we all kind of came up on. They kind og helped shape who we are.
GG: I saw Bonobo last night and he absolutely blew me away. I was not prepared for that.
RN: Yeah the best set I ever saw him do was a totally live set at Bear Creek Music Festival. It’s cool, because not only is he this great DJ, but he is also this amazing musician as well.
MH: Were just taking it a day at a time, it’s been a fun ride man, were looking forward to the upcoming years, and even just the future in general. I mean, we just keep getting better and better, and were just stoked to be here, and that were able to do what we love. Were just happy that people are listening.
GG: So, do you guys have anything to say to those budding artists out there? The ones who are just breaking into this scene, the ones who barely have a foot in the door?
MH: As long as you are doing what you are doing, stay after it, people will catch it, people will listen. With this game, when you put your time in, it’s going to pay off.
RN: There is no such thing as a bad set time. When you getting started, it’s like you always get the earlier set times. Our biggest thing that set us off in our career, was when we played Wakarusa 2010 at noon, and we just had a huge crowd. It’s one of those things. You just have to be able to deliver your set at any time, whether it’s super early or super late. We’ve had 4am sets and 1pm sets and they were all a great time. It’s like he said, just stay after it of you like what you do, it’s going to catch on.
GG: Awesome, guys. Thank you so much.
Make Sure To Grab Their Brand New EP Called “Wet Hot American Mixtape” Right Here (It’s What’s Really Good)
And be sure to check Zoogma out on their tour that just started. We will be at all of their Florida Shows for sure. You Should totally join us.