Zobomazé: A Band With Enormous Potential
Words, Photos & Video By Nicholas Stock (phatphlogblog.blogspot.com)
This week in my Jam Post, we our continuing our look at local and regional bands that deserve more attention. Per a suggestion on our comments last week, I will dive into a new favorite band of mine, Zobomazé. Zobomazé has been tearing up the Denver scene for the last few years and evolving their sound. They’ve actually had a banner year, playing opening slots for Garage A Trois, Dumpstaphunk, EOTO, The Motet, PRAANG, North Indiana Allstars, and many more. With festival sets at Powelpalooza, Desert Rocks, Sonic Bloom, Dancin’ In The Streets, and Electric Avenue, they have really begun to spread their wings as a band. Zobomaze consists of Zach Simms on saxophone and keys, Doug Litvak on guitar, Sean Dandurand on bass, Nick Miller on drums, and live painter Skaadi doing his UV airbrushing. They create mainly instrumental jam music that goes from dark to deeply psychedelic with elements of prog and funk thrown in for good measure...
The first thing that struck me about them was their age. They are young and you can tell by the crowd that follows them around. With just a few short gigging years under their respective belts, their sound shows a level of experience usually reserved for road-weary veterans. The difference is that they bring a spirit of enthusiasm and passion that shows real potential. They create a musical backdrop on for the listener and leave the experience open to interpretation. It’s a beautiful thing to watch. Showing a chameleon-like ability to craft their sound based on who they are playing with, they’ve show variety in their playing through darker opening sets with Garage A Trois as well as some downright funk that came from playing with people like George Clinton. These boys are aware of their audience in every situation.
I first caught them two years ago opening up for Yamn at The Bluebird. I only saw the end of their set but I was immediately intrigued. I made it a point to catch them a few months later opening for Garage A Trios. This was a seminal set for them as they pulled out new songs and created a dark and mysterious set of music for all those in attendance. I’d would like to talk a little bit about this particular show:
Zobomazé was just taking the stage as we made our way in and grabbed a beer. Zobomazé is like Denver's version of the McLovins. They are incredibly talented and their musicianship shows in their playing. The members are all right around 20 (now 21 or 22) and as they were playing the large X's were clearly visible on their sweat-soaked hands. These kids are living the dream, playing in one of jam music's best cities and getting the chance to play with other stellar acts like Garage A Trios. They also snagged a spot at several festivals, which is pretty impressive since the band itself has only been around for a couple years.
Zobomazé played a crunchy and very dark opening set. Sean pounded out some thick bass lines while Micheal Paff (has since moved on) filled in with some powerful rhythms. Paff also took vocals on a Toolesque sounding version of The Cynics' “Syndicate”. I found out from Zach after they finished that they had crafted their set to be a little darker in order to flow into Garage A Trios better. This shows some serious versatility in their sound. I will say this; they are at the point where they are sort of each taking their turn soloing. When they begin to weave their instruments into each other, they will truly be a force to be reckoned with. The fact that they are playing better than some bands that have been together for a decade shows their skill and ability to jam. I honestly feel that in a couple of years they will be headlining Cervantes rather than opening there.
And on October 22, they are doing just that. They have a headlining gig at their home venue Cervantes, so do yourself a favor and go check them out. I will add to my old review that they really have begun to layer their sound much more effectively. With Paff moving on, Miller has had to step up his game by playing both the kit and percussion. If anything, this has given them a tighter sound overall. It most definitely works and I continue to be impressed by their versatility and passion to play. Head down to Cervantes this month and check out Zobomazé.