Saturday, October 4, 2008

The History of Zomo

History of Zomo

compiled by Justin Hoenke and Dustin Miller

I. Zomo begins in the years of 1970-1980, when various members who will participate in the band are born and begin developing their musical identity.

II. 1998

It was this year that Justin Hoenke met Zach and Adam Watt. Zach and Justin were oddly matched up to be roommates in Dearborn Hall at Edinboro University. They became very close friends over time but the music side of their relationship didn't start budding at all. They jammed together and with various friends but were all unsure of which direction they wanted to go. Zach and Justin and their musician friends all had a dream but had no idea how to play it out in the real world.

III. 2000

In the summer of 2000 Justin was at an Erie movie theater when he ran into Alan Dean. Alan's old band just broke up at the time and he was looking to be a part of another band. So with a mutual admiration of Weezer they decided to give things a shot once school started back up.

When they got back up to school, Zach just fell into this musical project that Alan and Justin had been wanting to begin. They adopted the name Jonas at the time...probably because of the Weezer connection.The first batch of songs learned were mostly Weezer covers and some originals like Lucy Gray, Sleepyhead, Get Down, and Lil' Jenny. Alan knew Mike Ciders from an old high school band and he joined on drums. While not Zomo, the creation of this band marks a start for some of the future members of Zomo and songs played in this band were eventually re focused as Zomo songs.

IV. Early 2001

After a few shows and a name change to Crulowe (don't ask where that one came from) the band fell apart pretty fast. Tensions from within in the band increased and it became obvious who really cared about the music and who just didn't care. In the end, all that survived were Zach and Justin.

V. Summer 2001

The summer of 2001 didn't bring much excitement to the band. It was just Zach and Justin and it was looking like there was little or no hope for adding other musicians. But hope came along when they found out that Dustin Miller was available. Earlier in the summer his band Cell had broken up due to artistic differences. They quickly got a hold of Dustin and asked him to jam with them.

VI. Fall 2001-Mid 2002

Enter Dustin Miller. This is where the Zomo that we know of begins. The band was now a three piece that was even more determined and focused to take over the world. After old songs had been re-learned and fine-tuned, the basis for developing and growing as the new form of this band was set in place. After many discussions on a band name, Zomo was finally agreed upon.

But then after a few months of this lineup Zach suddenly left the band for personal reasons. Dustin and Justin were determined to carry on. New songs were learned and they carried on. It was at this time that Alan Dean was asked back into the band. This new three piece carried on but it was obvious that the original fire had been lost. Zomo continues to learn new songs written by Justin Hoenke and work on recording an album called “waiting for the green” with Atom Watt. Alan Dean leaves the band at this point for reasons unknown.

VII. Mid 2002-January 2003

Re-enter Zach Watt and welcome Rob Felsberg. Zomo is now a four piece with the addition of Rob Felsberg on bass guitar. The band plays a plethora of show in the Northwestern PA area at the end of 2002 and is set to release their live EP “lLive at The Boro Bar”. However, in January 2003 Zach Watt is hit by a car and is left injured and out of commission for the first 5 months of the year. During this time, Rob Felsberg leaves Zomo for unknown reasons. Kevin Hawk fills in on lead guitar for Zach Watt, and Zach's brother Atom Watt becomes the next bassist for Zomo. Recordings for “waiting for the green” are made at this point, but little progress is made.

VIII. January 2003-May 2003

With Zach Watt on injured reserve, Justin and Dustin carry on with Zomo and start to craft a new version of the band. With his recent songwriting exploits, Hoenke comes to the plate with the songs that will eventually make up “For The Muses”. The newly assembled band starts to focus their energy on these songs, while the songs from “Waiting For The Green” are left behind. This version of Zomo plays a few shows throughout these months and surprises audiences with their sudden change in direction. "Waiting for the Green" has been pretty much shelved at this point.

IX. May 2003-August 2003

Zach Watt re-enters the band at this point once again. Fresh off a 6 month leave, Zach's return adds some fire to the band and they quickly start recording themselves in their own rehearsal space. Not much is known about these sessions, as to whether they were for a new album or just a batch of demos used to play catch up, but the band became extremely productive, recording about 5 songs in a month or so. At this point Atom Watt wasn't around as much, so Zach and Justin took over on bass duties. Things were going well until Zach Watt left the band in August 2003. Atom followed his brother, and Zomo was once again Dustin and Justin. Shows were booked and without a full lineup, and Kevin Hawk was once again called to fill in on lead guitar duties. A close friend of Justin's named Aaron Davis was asked to fill in on bass temporarily, and with this lineup the band rehearsed a set of both 2002 Zomo era songs mixed with the new early 2003 “For The Muses” era songs. A few shows were played with this lineup.

X. September 2003-December 2003

After all live show obligations had been fulfilled, Zomo continued rehearsing with a new focus and album in mind called “For The Muses”. Justin's desire to create a unique and cohesive album had finally reached its boiling point. Kevin Hawk was let go after the shows, as the band felt that the new sound was more in tune with a power-trio approach. Aaron Davis stayed on with Zomo, adding his experimental touch to the bands new focus. His ideas and input would greatly affect the sound of Zomo during the “For The Muses” rehearsals.

For these four month, Dustin, Justin and Aaron stayed cooped up in their new rehearsal space working on what was to become the "For The Muses" album. The band spent these months fine tuning existing songs that fit into the “For The Muses” concept and also toyed with some new songs brought in by Aaron and Dustin. Here is a list of all the songs that are known to have been practiced at that point in time. I Am A Rock, All My Love, Breakdown, Window, Do You Want To Be More Than Friends?, Harvey Wallbanger, All That I Want Is You, Duchess of Bliss, Right Around the Corner, Tonight I am A God, Typical Guy, Neurotics in Love, Dude Just Leave Me Alone and Pocket Symphony. During all this, the band played some scattered shows in PA and NY state to very welcoming audiences. In November, five days of studio time was booked at Mudhut Studios in Sharon, PA to record “For The Muses” with Bill Dodd.

XI. January 2004-June 2005

With “For The Muses” now complete, the band went back into the rehearsal studio to work on a new batch of songs for yet another release. Songs worked on at this time included Helium, You and Your Army, Distant Dials, MxMF, Becoming like Angels, and Never Trust a Car Salesman with a Cowboy Hat. Also, the band worked on releasing “For The Muses" to a much larger audience and discussed plans for some kind of tour in support of the album.

On January 16, 2004 Zomo played what felt like their last show at The Hangout in Edinboro, PA, the same venue where they started in 2000. Their set consisted of a majority of the “For The Muses” album and some newer songs the band had been working on. Reviews were generally positive and things seemed to be looking up for the band. But tension hit an all time high in February and by the end of the month Zomo fell apart and Aaron, Dustin, and Justin went their separate ways.

XII: July 2005

After a long hiatus, Dustin Miller and Justin Hoenke see each other for the first time in one year. A friendship is renewed. New songs ideas are written, and talks of "one more Zomo show" occur.

XIII:September 16, 2005

At Grounds For Change Coffeehouse in Meadville, PA, Aaron, Dustin and Justin of Zomo regroup for what, at the time, seems to be the final Zomo show. The band plays the entire "For The Muses" album and 2 other songs from late 2003. Plans for the future are still uncertain.

IX: 2006

Dustin and Justin begin to plot and scheme, taking the songs written by the two of them in 2005 and begin recording a new Zomo album in March 2006. Zomo takes part in the Benefit concert for Heidi Pierce in mid-2006. The set features the new songs written by Dustin and Justin in 2005 along with a new Aaron Davis number, plus songs from the "For The Muses" album and material that dates back as far as 2001. Recording for the new album begins once again in November 2006.

X: September 2007

Recording sessions for the album started by Dustin and Justin in May 2006 once again take place, and the third Zomo album "Triangle of Drunk" is completed in 2007.

XI: May 2008

Zomo releases its second album, "Triangle of Drunk" and also rereleases 2004's "For The Muses" on their own record label, Arbacarba Records.

No comments: