Monday, April 28, 2014

New Zero Boys album, 'Monkey,' is on the way

Zero Boys, from left: Dave Lawson, Mark Cutsinger, Paul Mahern and Scott Kellogg. (Courtesy photo)

By Andy

The Zero Boys' new album "Monkey" is ready to be unleashed and singer Paul Mahern can't wait for people to wrap their ears around it.

"I hope that fans of the old stuff will like this record. It is certainly coming from the same place -- it's just 2014 and not 1982. I think the melodies are tight and poppy, the guitars are full of hooks and the rhythm section is spot-on amazing," he said in an email interview today.

The 15-song album will hit the streets on May 20 -- and it's a corker.

Mahern noted that the new album and last year's "Pro-Dirt" EP grew out of the band's European tour from two years ago when they played 21 shows in 23 days. New bassist Scott Kellogg and guitarist Dave Lawson's pairing with original members Mahern and drummer Mark Cutsinger on that tour "made us a real band again," the singer added.

"When we came back from that tour, we decided to see if we could write together. We started by setting up monthly sessions in my studio White Arc (in Bloomington, Ind.) and did most of the writing on the fly. The guys would come up with some riffs and I would scribble down some lyrics," Mahern said.

On the recording scenario, he added:

"It was mostly cut live with very few overdubs. We wanted to make a record that could live up to being released under the name Zero Boys. We also wanted the record to feel like 'now' and not just a remake of 'Vicious Circle.' Terry Howe, the ZB original guitar player, was very much with us in spirit. We often asked ourselves if he would approve of what we were doing." (Howe died in 2001.)

Mahern in Seattle. (Cat Rose photo)

Mahern is pleased with how the record turned out, both musically and lyrically.

"It wasn't until we started mixing the record that I realized that the songs all fit together very well. It's a concept record about dealing with the animal aspect of being a human," he said.

The new record is self-released and was partially financed through a PledgeMusic campaign. It is the band's first release since "The Heimlich Maneuver" album in 1993.

"It is just as DIY as it has always been. We made this record for ourselves and I think it's as honest as we could make it. All the better if others like it," Mahern said.

The band will hit the road in May for the following shows (a hometown gig awaits, as well):

May 8  Chop Suey  Seattle, WA

May 9  Funky's  Vancouver, Canada

May 10  Slabtown  Portland, OR

May 11  Thee Parkside  San Francisco, CA

May 12  The Press Club  Sacramento, CA

May 13  The Catalyst  Santa Cruz, CA

May 14  Little Louie's  Hemet, CA

May 15  The Garage  Ventura, CA

May 16  The Observatory  Santa Ana, CA

May 17  Alex's Bar  Long Beach, CA

May 18  The Redwood  Los Angeles, CA

May 18  Soda Bar  San Diego, CA

May 24  Indy CD & Vinyl  Indianapolis, IN

*** Here's a link to the Zero Boys' video for a new song, "Third Strike":

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