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INTERVIEW: Zippy Talks (And Premieres) New Album + More

Following Suckers’ demise in 2012, Pan began a new project. Reverting back to his love for electronic music, he traded in his bass for a Moog. Slowly building a number of instrumental tracks, he searched for the perfect vocal collaborator. It was not until years later in early 2019; he found the perfect candidate in James Evans, who just so happened to be his new brother-in-law. This serendipitous pairing resulted in 12 mesmerizing aural tapestries that ooze with a delightful musical goo that is this introductory Zippy album. It is unconventional, unclassifiable and unpredictable, yet still feels oddly familiar. Full of earworms, tapeworms, and gummy worms, series one Zippy will wiggle itself directly into your heart, lay a parasitic egg and hatch tiny babies that you’ll never want to eradicate.

Hi guys, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

P – We’re doing well, thanks for asking.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Born To Fly”? Did any event, in particular, inspire you to write this song?

J – With “Born To Fly”, Pan sent me the instrumental track. I heard the bird sounds in there, and maybe some car sounds. Their computerized quality made me think that they were living in this modernized state where flying was out of style, or a lost “art” form, as unnecessary to them as foraging for edible plants is for humans now. Teenaged greaser birds, drinking and drugging, racing hot rods cruising for chicks and getting into fights. And then, that inevitable, chaotic collision of machinery and nature makes them poetically rediscover their amazing natural power. I hope humans do too someday. “Thrust, lift, flow, drag,” my peeps (pun intended)!

How was the filming process and experience behind the video?

P – We don’t have a video, but ideally, we would do a cartoon, like an old school Heckle and Jeckell vibe.

The single comes off your new self-titled album  – why naming the record after the band?

P – This is our debut album and we were just figuring out what exactly Zippy was and sounded like when writing it. So it just felt right to title the album Zippy, as a nice way to introduce the world to our sound.

How were the recording and writing process?

P – A pleasure… I wrote most of the music casually over a course of many years, then after meeting James, he wrote lyrics, so we just had a ton of vocal recording sessions and I mixed at my leisure. This is truly something we made just because we loved doing it.

Would you call this a departure from your previous musical work?

P – Yeah totally. I’ve always been a bass player in traditional “rock” bands or what have you and James was mostly playing an acoustic guitar until recently. This is both of our first projects with no live instruments and everything done with synths. That being said, we do have another traditional band project that we are working on as well.

What role does Kingston play in your music?

J – Kingston is an amazing place, filled with some very inspirational artists and musicians.

P – It’s way more chill and affordable than the city, but also has a great music scene and venues. We live right down the street from each other, so it’s easy to get together for holidays and make music together simultaneously.

Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?

J – When sitting down to write the lyrics for many of Pan’s amazing instrumentals, I felt excited because I could already hear a story being told by the sounds, or maybe something like a literary motif but in sonic form. I felt like I just had to listen to it over and over and slowly tease out what the sounds were saying. It was like trying to translate an ancient alien language. And what I learned? That guy Pan is pretty weird.

Any plans to hit the road?

P – Probably not anytime soon, we are both dads with day jobs and will soon both have new additions to the family, so our main focus is on that and recording new material, that being said, we are working on a live iteration too, but will most likely stay local.

What else is happening next in Zippy’s world?

J – We are preparing for a live Zippy act at the moment, with traditional instruments, which is an equally fun process. I’ve never said this to Pan, but my hope is to turn Zippy into a theatrical act worthy of the Vegas stage, but also keep it close to home so we can hang with our families. But if we just have enough time and energy to make more Zippy tunes, well then that is just fine!

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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