|Posted by email@example.com on March 20, 2018 at 12:30 AM|
ROC TOO MANY ZOOZ
Sat. | March 24 | Montage Music Hall
By Christine G. Adamo
Write Revise Edit (dba "A-ha!" Creative)
TOO MANY ZOOZ
MATT DOE (Trumpet), right
LEO PELLIGRINO (Baritone Sax), left
DAVID "King of Sludge" PARKS (Drums), center
You know those long, deep European dial tones? Booooop. That’s what I got last week, when I called Matt Doe of TOO MANY ZOOZ to ask him about the band’s upcoming gig—this Sat., March 24—at Montage Music Hall (Rochester, NY). The trio formed roughly four years ago, via Manhattan School of Music.
An April 24, 2014, video (11:25) of them playing the Union Square subway platform in NYC has gotten 5,159,627 views on YouTube. You can view it HERE. In an age when people say attention spans are waning, thier viral video counts are no small feat. What’s their secret? Talent. (Duh, Christine). Vigorous energy. Passionate performance. Don’t be square, sitting at home like I do most cold Saturday nights. ROC weather ain’t that bad.
Me: Are you currently in Europe?
Matt: We’re in Paris right now. We’re out here doing a European tour. We just came out here a week ago and we’re here … until the 17th.
Me: How’s it going so far?
Matt: Good. [Silence.]
Me: A man of many words, huh? [Insert nervous laugh.] Is there a lot to like about Paris? Are you playing in the Metro? What’s going on?
Matt: I guess I’m just kind of used to this. We’ve been out here touring quite a bit. We don’t really have time to play in the subway. We mostly just try to do our routine: Get up, get in the van and drive to the next city. We get to sound check, play the sound check, have an hour or two to eat dinner and then play the show. We go to the hotel and then drive to the next city.
Me: Have you been to Europe before?
Matt: We lived in Paris for four months a long time ago. Ever since then, we’ve been here every year for at least a month.
Me: Nice! Are you promoting [2016’s Kickstarter funded] Subway Gawdz—or something else?
Matt: We’re working on new music—always. We have a bunch of new music that we’re sitting on and waiting on the right time to release. Until that happens, yeah, we’re promoting Subway Gawds. I mean, we’re really just getting out, seeing our fans, playing live shows and having fun.
Me: I bet that’s the fun part, being in front of people.
Matt: Tours can be pretty strenuous but the fun part is definitely getting in front of people.
Me: [Predictable journalist query.] Dare I ask, how does Europe compare to Rochester? Have you been to here before?
Matt: I’ve been to Rochester. I dunno, I mean, everywhere is just different and all people are different—always. “Europe,” as a whole, is like saying, “How does the United States compare to a city in … .”
Me: [Point taken.] What do you expect?
Matt: I’m not too familiar with Rochester. I don’t think we’ve ever played there, so it’ll be our first time, which should be cool.
INTERLUDE: Lately? It’s been warm. And it’s been cold. My advice to Matt was to prep for anything, weather-wise. After giving him a mini-geography lesson akin to, “It’s pretty far north right between Buffalo and Syracuse. Kind of an hour-and-a-half or so from Niagara Falls,” our interview continues.
Me: Are you guys going to Canada? It’s not a far stretch to get up to Toronto and Montreal. Is that where you’re going afterward?
Matt: Wait a second. Let me look. [Papers rustle, then nothing.]
Me: Hello … hello? Shit! [Dropped call. I try him again. Busy tone. He calls me. Y’gotta love good manners!] Matt?
Matt: Yeah, we’re going on to St. Catherines, [in Ontario,] Canada. That’s pretty close.
Me: [So, this is all about “me,” eh?] I love going up to Canada. My boyfriend’s a HUGE music fan. I mean, he goes to everything. We go to Toronto and Montreal frequently.
INTERMISSION: Leave it to me to continue stating the obvious [Could I have ADHD?], rambling. I tell Matt it’s nice to be that close. That Rochester’s a small city. That I guess you could say it’s “quaint.” That Montage is a pretty cool place. That it’s downtown. That downtown is tiny—“y’know, not all massive and metropolitan.” That it’s pretty “neat.” [Neat?!] That, if they’re looking to eat afterward, they should maybe try Mark’s Texas Hots. That it’s an artsy city.
Me: Montage … has a nice, big, open room. The stage is sort of set in a way that people can crowd all the way ’round. I think you guys will have a lot of room to move around, as well.
Matt: [Refreshingly succinct.] Nice!
Me: Yeah, yeah. I think you’ll like it. I hope you’ll like it. There’s a craving for really cool music around here. I think you’ll get a good reception.
INTERVAL: What do Matt (below) and my mother's snazzy 1960s era purse have in common?
Me: I was watching the Beyoncé CMA performance on YouTube. I caught a glimpse of you at Stage Right. That was you! It was great! It looked like a massive undertaking with all these people on stage. Was that exciting—to have a lot of people around?
Matt: Working with Beyoncé was totally a great learning experience. We have nothing but nice things to say about her, her team and the way we were treated. I mean, we had such a great experience all around.
Me: It looked like there were 20, 30 people up on stage. Do you remember anything in particular about the experience—a mood, an event, a face in the crowd?
Matt: Probably something like that. I mean, with the whole band and everything, probably around 20. Yeah, nothing comes to mind. Whenever I’m performing, it’s just … uh, kind of … I don’t know how to say it. I guess, when I’m performing, it’s just a different box. [A box?]
Every stage is different. It’s just about putting what you do and putting your artistic footprint into any situation, or kind of box, that you put yourself in. For us, it was just different to take what we do and kind of just …, I mean, that’s the beauty of collaboration.
It's just taking what you do, artistically, and mashing it with what other people do. Seeing how it works and what happens and if it’s something that’s cool and stuff like that. It was just really fun getting to go out and do that. Nothing in particular comes to mind, but it was just a great experience.
Me: [First I admit jealousy.] I hear that it sort of boosted sales of CDs and downloads and stuff. Did it? Was there much of an effect?
Matt: Yeah, I’m sure it did. I don’t much pay attention to that sort of stuff, but … um, I definitely think that—yeah, inherently—just being associated with Beyoncé and performing live on the Country Music Awards pushes viewership and exposure.
Me: Can I ask [as if I won’t] what’s the oddest—or most odd—gig you guys have ever played?
Matt: I dunno, we’ve played some pretty strange shows. We did a show in New Orleans one time that was, like, at this old hotel that someone had bought. It was, like, this clothing-optional pool party. So, that was pretty weird.
Me: Did it involve Bounce [music] or other artists?
Matt: It was just us, playing—as we do.
Me: Are you sitting there naked now, as we’re talking?
Matt: It definitely can get weird but, uh, you know. We’ll survive. [Laughs, as transatlantic time delay gives way.] It was a party, so it’s cool.”
Me: Is there a question you wish I had asked you?
Matt: Um, I dunno. Those questions were cool. [Laughs.] Yeah, I dunno. It’s all good. We’re just doing our thing and plugging along, y’know.
Me: [As an Arts Reviewer, you try not to ask standard things. Then there are the things you ask for personal reasons.] You’re a trumpet player and all. Are you a fan of Chet Baker? Or not?
Matt: Uh, yeah. I mean, I grew up listening to a lot of jazz trumpet players and Chet Baker was one of them—so, I definitely, um … yeah. I’m a fan of his trumpet playing.
Me: I’m excited to see you guys. [In earnest.] I’ll be at the show, so I’ll say, “Hi!”
Matt: Cool. Awesome, yeah. Please introduce yourself. Later. Thanks for calling.
UPCOMING: After Germany and Poland and before Europe again (Turkey, France, Belgium, Netherlands, etc.) the band plays on.
MAR 21: THE HAUNT (Ithaca, NY)
MAR 22: PEARL STREET (Northampton, MA)
MAR 23: HIGHER GROUND (Burlington, VT)
MAR 24: MONTAGE MUSIC HALL (Rochester, NY)*
MAR 26: WAREHOUSE (St. Catherine's, Canada)
MAR 27: RUM RUNNERS (London, Canada)
MAR 29: THE 27 CLUB (Ottawa, Canada)
MAR 30: PHOENIX THEATER (Toronto, Canada)
MAR 31: L'ASTRAL (Montreal, Canada)
BONUS: Video Big Band, ass-shaking sax stylings of Leo P.--pelvic thrusts and fancy footwork aplenty.