It's been 17 years since the beloved (but often overlooked) local punk-rockers Zoom put out its album, Helium Octipede. Since then, the Lawrence and Kansas City music scenes have morphed and changed, but always owe a debt to the band that helped build our little Midwest music mecca. Fans of Zoom's signature noisy guitars, odd time changes and racing bass lines need not lament any longer. Like The Pitch called for over a year ago, Zoom will be playing two reunion shows at the end of this month. We caught up with drummer Chris Cosgrove about the nature of reuniting an old band in the current local scene.
Why reunite now?
I'm not really sure why we decided to reunite now. Mark had a show in Chicago that seemed a good fit for Zoom, and we all decided to do it. That's really all there was to it.
Have you always stayed in touch, and rocked out on occasion?
Zoom had not played or "jammed" together in over 13 years. In fact, the four of us had not been in the same room together for that long as well.
Can we expect any new songs or stage antics?
The song "Arsenic and Colace" is kind of a new song that has made its way into the set. (But by "new," I mean it was written post Helium Octipede and never made it on an album.) We recorded it right before we broke up, but it never was released. We've started playing it again and now play it live. As far as stage antics go, just imagine a '90s Motley Crüe show, and you'll be pretty close.
Are you guys planning on continuing to play after this short fit of reunion shows?
We do have some other out-of-town gigs in the works right now and plan on leaving the door open to any other good show possibilities that may come.
What is your favorite memory of a Zoom show?
Just the shows themselves are the best memories! Zoom and Tenderloin at Liberty Hall! Doesn't get much better than that! Zoom and Urge Overkill at Liberty Hall, Zoom and Pearl Jam at day on the Hill, Zoom's first show at the Metro in Chicago, Zoom and Truck Stop Love in Manhattan, Zoom and God's Favorite Band in Minneapolis ... there are quite a few.
Are there any local bands out there right now that you think are closest in sound to Zoom's?
At the heart, Zoom was just a punk-rock band really, and basic rock is making a comeback in my opinion, so you do see a lot more of that style of music.
What other Lawrence or KC bands of yore would you like to see reunited?
The original Sin City Disciples lineup. Man, I used to go to Davey's and watch them and just freak out at how amazing they were. So original and so down and dirty blues-rock.
Jeremy plays with the Danny Pound Band now. What are the rest of you up to these days, musically or otherwise?
I am producing and engineering but also play drums with Chris Tolle solo project. (Chris is the lead singer from the Belles and Creature Comforts.) Mark lives in Chicago and played with a band called the National Trust on Thrill Jockey, and Steve plays here in town with the Silver Maggies.
Zoom hits the Eighth Street Taproom on Friday, January 28, with Mouthbreathers, and the RecordBar on Saturday, January 29, with Namelessnumberheadmen.