Every once in a while, you interview a band who brings you in, makes you family, inspires you to decidedly become their cheerleader. Every once in a while, you don’t get to your questions. You don’t talk much about their upcoming music. You don’t ask about their influences. Instead, you meet and ask about their humans. You infiltrate their space, you see them for their vibes instead of their guitars, and you understand how the music coming out is nothing short of perfectly synced magic.
This is exactly my take on Zipper Club, a new project out of LA, produced by James Iha (yes, Smashing Pumpkins James Iha), comprised of Mason James, Lissy Trullie, and Damar Davis. (It should be said in addition to this band, each of these folks has a resume of musical virtuoso a mile long.) We can, and should obviously, talk about the music, but that’s the easy part. If you ask the band, they’ll tell you their Shaky Knees set was, well, shaky. Like most bands, they’re hard on themselves. They cite sound issues and a couple of “obvious only to them” flaws in notes and timing. I didn’t mean to laugh, it’s just that they had it all wrong. From the crowd, I watched as fans gathered, saw first-timers become fans, and heard a simple but resounding take in the murmurs around me. “This is really good.”
When I say it’s easy to talk about their music, I mean only to call it great. To define it, compartmentalize it, to really assign it a genre in any way would do it a disservice. Their music isn’t a genre. It’s an experience. It’s a windows-down car ride at dusk. It’s a late-night get down in the living room. It’s a rooftop party and a really stiff drink. It makes you move. It makes your heart beat. It makes you want more, if for no other reason, than the fact that it won’t let you pin it down. Secretly, I find myself excited I’ve found the band in its semi-infancy. If it only gets better than this, sign me up.
That said, it wasn’t the music that really got me about Zipper Club. It was their people. Three of the boldest, coolest (seriously, spend 3+ seconds anywhere near Lissy and you’ll marvel) most transcendent and cause-committed musicians I’ve met. Funny thing you can tell about a band when they’re deep-down friends (We call that ‘fam’).They’re all grateful in an important and expressive way, citing that not all musicians get to do what they do. Just a couple of hours into my time with them and I understood what they meant. Not everyone gets to come together with their favorites to combine and execute creative energy in a way that felt pretty tangible to an outsider. How do I put this eloquently? It was rad.
Shaky Knees was just the beginning of a summer full of festivals for Zipper Club. The band left from Atlanta to London, then SPSF in Houston, then Bonnaroo. Definitely hoping they’ll be back in Atlanta for a gig some time soon. We’ll obviously keep you posted. In the meantime, cheers to the band for taking time to chat with Atlanta Music Guide!
If you haven’t, give ’em a listen. They’re a perfect addition to your summer playlist.