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Just WTF is a ZOOGMA? (Interview @ North Coast Music Festival)


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We linked up with ZOOGMA at North Coast Music Festival in Chicago to discuss Bar Mitzvahs, Red Rocks and more. Check it out:

Tim : This is Tim with Dubera.com and I’m sitting down with Matt from ZOOGMA. Go ahead and introduce yourself and tell us where you’re from and what you play.

Matt: I live in Nashville, TN, and I grew up in Memphis, TN. The band started in Oxford, MS and I play drums for ZOOGMA.

Tim: Okay so did you go to college at Ole Miss then? 

Matt: Yes I did.

Tim: I feel like you probably get this a lot, but WTF is ZOOGMA? (laughs) or maybe where did WTF is ZOOGMA come from?

Matt:  Where did that…. Man I think it was Brock that said one day we should print up a bunch of stickers that say WTF is ZOOGMA and hand them out to everybody and get the question rolling. And I think as a result more people have seeked out to find the answer to that, so you know you just have to check it out for yourself.


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Tim: Hell yeah. I think that’s absolutely true, and I think that’s a great way to gain some exposure.  So we’re from the Southeast so we’re familiar with ZOOGMA. How would you say that your sound has evolved from the first album to this second album that you just released?

Matt: I really think the new record is… You know it’s been right around three years since we released a full-length record. I think the new record reflects some aspects of that, but I think just playing over 300 shows since that record I think our sound has matured more and we’ve improved as musicians. We’ve got better producers and we get to have more fun with arrangements, so it’s just kind of evolved into a more mature sound.

Tim: Okay so do you think you’ve grown as a group together on stage? 

Matt: Yea absolutely. We’ve had the lineup drop a member since the first record, and I think that’s led to us coming together more individually and as a group. It’s easier to speak to each other on stage with four people compared to five, so its allowed us to take the live shows to a new level as well.

Tim: So today you were scheduled for a daytime set, but it was pushed back to nighttime. Do you think you can sense a little more energy in the crowd with the nighttime sets and the added light production? What do you think about that?

Matt: Oh yeah, Man it’s… Daytime sets we’ve had a lot of great sets and a lot of fun, but I think there’s some added energy in the nighttime sets after the sun goes down and everybody’s getting loose and ready to party. You can definitely feel that energy resonate a little more at night.

Tim: So would you guys ever consider playing a Bar Mitzvah and calling yourself JOOGMA just for the day?

Matt: (laughs) We actually have never thought of that, that’s a first. Oh, we don’t have any Jewish members so I’m not sure how we would pull that off.

Tim: Probably just need a little Jewish cred at the Bar Mitzvah…

Matt: Yea we’ve never played a Bar Mitzvah, but I think it would be a fucking blast, book it!

Tim: Even for an awesome jamtronica band like ZOOGMA there is always more you can accomplish. (laughs) I wanted to ask what you’re looking forward to and what the fans of ZOOGMA and the fans in the Southeast should look out for in the near future?

Matt: Well we are doing some Southeast dates, and we tenderly kicked off our album release tour a few weeks ago and we’re picking back up with that before long. In about a week and a half we start back up. We’re doing Halloween in Charleston at The Pour House.

Tim: Ahh Charleston is a great music city.

Matt: Yea for sure, and we’re doing that with Ghost Owl with a few members of Perpetual Groove and Intermixture who’s a dope producer out of Charleston. And, we’re playing in Knoxville, Tuscaloosa, Memphis, and I think we have another date in the South we can’t announce yet, but we’re also gearing up for a Florida run in December.

Tim: That’s great to hear. The people of Florida will be stoked about that. There are a lot of fans down there.

Matt: Oh yea and it’s great going down there in the winter too.

Tim: No doubt. Okay so venue that you’d like to conquer the most?

Matt: Venue I want to conquer the most…. You know I would say Red Rocks, but we just got the chance to play Global Dance out there this summer.

Tim: Talk to me about that.

Matt: Oh man it was awesome. Such a great experience. You know you see pictures, hear stories, even see videos, and it feels like one thing but I remember I was laying in the back of the van on the way to the top and we stopped and I stepped out and just looked out. It was just incredible. I’d really like to play the Gorge because I’ve heard that’s incredible. You know I guess the ultimate goal would be to sell out Madison Square Garden.

Tim: Yea I feel like that’s every musician’s ticket. You know you’ve made it when you sell out MSG.

Matt: Yea that’s the ultimate.


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Tim: So as far as Red Rocks goes did you get to see any music while you were out there?

Matt: Yea we were there the whole night we were there so we got to see our homies Papadosio, EOTO, Beats Antique, and Emancipator as well. And Conspirator.

Tim: Nice that’s an awesome night. I’m sure playing a show there is one of a kind, and even just seeing a show there you feel like you have the best seat in the house no matter where you’re at.

Matt: Yea really… you’re spot on with that it’s absolutely true.

Tim: Alright I know you guys are on a tight schedule, but thanks for sitting down with me.

Matt: Yea I appreciate it. Big ups to DubEra man we appreciate everything you guys do.

Tim: Thanks man we appreciate that. Cheers!

Matt: Cheers!

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