From discussing sit-ins and tour group texts to discovering what fans can expect at Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom this Saturday and the highlights of their Zoot Suite Tour–Justin Hasting of Zoogma gets personal on our blog.
If you haven’t listened to their EP, “New Era” get on Soundcloud and start jamming. Their sound has evolved, and you are in for one hell of a show where future bass, glitch hop, and New Orleans funk are just a few things on the menu.
So WTF influences Zoogma? You’ll have to read our interview to find out…
Aryonna Richard: I noticed the “New Era” EP just dropped via Soundcloud a little under a month ago can you tell me about anything in particular that influenced this new release?
Justin Hasting: The influences are what we were listening to at the time. I would say it was a mixture of future bass, west coast r&b/jazz, New Orleans funk, vintage fusion jazz/rock, Glitch-hop and a bunch more but I think that sums up the record.
AR: How has the musical style of Zoogma evolved since the release of “Recreational Vehicle” back in 2010 to the “New Era” EP?
JH: It has evolved quite a bit. I guess I would say we have become better musicians, better producers, more precise composers, updated our equipment and broadened our musical tastes to where we are getting closer to playing the music that we hear in our heads, which is pretty much the ultimate musical goal. It’s funny, there are some fans out there that probably wish we still sounded like that, but what artist wants to sound the same over many years? I never understood that one. We are going to be different with every release, for better or worse. It’s what we do.
AR: What inspired these changes?
JH: Honestly, we just broadened our musical tastes. When we recorded “Rec Vehicles” we were in college and didn’t listen to a ton of different bands or genres. We didn’t have Spotify or Pandora or smartphones to help find new things like we do now. It’s hard to start remembering what it was like during those times. Again too, we are searching for what’s in our head. “Rec Vehicles” is a picture of that during that period, while “New Era” is an album of sounds that we hear and dig now. Time changes everything.
AR: How would you describe the sound Zoogma is creating now?
JH: Tough to nail it down but I would say we are getting closer to the balance of live instrumentation and electronic music that we have in our heads. A song like “Molasses” is a good example of the balance I’m talking about. Jazzy synths, ripping rock guitar, big bass & trap influences, live drums, and lots of glitch/bleeps/bloops etc. This is what we hear now.
AR: Can your fans expect new releases like “Let Me Demonstrate” and “Molasses” while catching your set at Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom on March 5th? What else can your fans anticipate during these Colorado shows?
JH: Oh yeah, definitely. We have been rocking the new EP tracks, plus a bunch of other new material. We re-recorded the Big Grams song “Lights On” with a friend from Nashville and that has been a banger live. We also have a few new live covers, beside Zoogma songs, new future-blues originals we are working on, and a bunch of deeper cuts from “Anthems 4 Androids” that we have neglected to play live over the years.
AR: Do you feel like there’s anything special about playing a dual-stage venue like Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom? Saturday the 5th will be the dual venue style night where attendees can go back and forth from room to room.
JH: Oh definitely. Denver is pretty much the mecca of our scene in the U.S., and it’s hard to deny that. When you play a room that is so fuckin full of music like that you can just feel the vibes circulating. It’s a pretty rad feeling to see all kinds of music over the course of one night. Cervantes is one of my favorite places to play for these reasons, couldn’t be more stoked!!
AR: There is always a ton of great talent coming out of Colorado. Are you excited to be collaborating on a show with young emerging names in the electronic scene like Skydyed and Lucid Vision?
JH: Oh definitely. Skydyed are newer friends of ours, and we dig what they are doing. We are new to Lucid Vision but are stoked to check them out. We have always had some good relationships with bands/producers like Sunsquabi, Menert, Big G, etc. Always love making new musical friends out here and the ones we have are are as close as brothers.
AR: How would you describe the energy of the Zoot Suite Tour and collaborating with Turbo Suit? How do you feel their sound parallels with your own?
JH: Definitely. Our vibes mesh well. The energy never really dips at the shows, as we are both high-energy groove stuff. Having Nick Gerlach (Sax) sit in every night has been tons of fun too. We’ve been smashing versions of Primary Colors, Flume tracks, and Hall & Oates remixes on a nightly basis. We have also not stopped laughing since we hit the road its a trip every night.
AR: I noticed multiple stops in Colorado during the Zoot Suite Tour. Between Vail, Fort Collins, and Denver can you tell me why you think Zoogma’s sound resonates so well in this area?
JH: Not sure honestly, like anywhere you just play and hope that people come and dig it. For whatever reason it has worked well in Colorado. Kids see music here, and the scene is just so alive you can feel it when you roll into town. Denver always will be a sort of home away from home. Almost all my best friends from college live here now, and not to mention all the homies I have now just from playing music here. Colorado is Colorado; it’s hard to touch that.
AR: What has been the most exciting aspect of the Zoot Suit Tour so far?
JH: The sit-ins and jokes hands down. Our group text chain is off the charts.
AR: Can you give us the scoop on any festivals Zoogma is playing this summer? Maybe even one in Colorado?
JH: Let’s see, next week we are doing a Buku pre-party in NOLA, we have Summer Camp Festival, the Sweetwater 420 Fest in Atlanta, and a bunch more, but I think they haven’t been announced yet, so I am going not to mention anything else yet.
Now you’ve learned about what influences Zoogma. Discover their jazzy synths, ripping rock guitar and trap influences for yourself at Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom on Saturday March 5th! With all the Colorado love for the group, tickets have been FLYING! We have a limited number online. Click here to get your ticket to the Official Beanstalk Festival Pre-Party and see other innovate artists like The Magic Beans, Turbo Suite, Skydyed, Lucid Vision, and Dirty Revival.
Don’t forget to join the event page on Facebook, click here to stay connected to last minute details!