ZFG Chats With Us Ahead of Spring Tour
L.A. – based ZFG (short for Zero Fucks Given) really hit the ground running with the release of their single Special, accomplishing milestones such as #2 Most Added Spot on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Indicator Chart, #1 Most Added Spot on the Foundations Chart, and landing among the Top 10 Greatest Gainers on both charts. This being no small feat, we had to find out a little more about these guys ahead of their first upcoming tour this Spring.
RL: How did all of you meet, and what convinced you to leave your former endeavors to form a band together?
TL:Sam and I grew up together. We call Sam Dr. Pocket. He is one of the best upcoming Bassists around. His groove is undeniable. His sense of humor is gold. He’s a legend. Love you Sam. Josh was introduced to me through our Producers a few years back. Josh and I hit it off right off the bat. Josh knew of my previous music and I thought he was and is one of the most badass drummers. We ended up roommates. I kept telling him, “We didn’t meet just to be roommates man”, I knew him and I were supposed to be playing together. I kept bumping into Jules in the Hollywood jam circuit. We knew of each other. He was doing soul, pop, R&B music for his solo music. When Josh and I were throwing around the idea of getting into the studio and making some loud rock music because we are Rock heads, I came across a video of Jules on Instagram of him hitting his top range. He sounded like a mix of Axl Rose, Steven Tyler and an Audioslave Chris Cornell. I was blown away. Yelled for Josh to come over. We watched and I immediately reached out. Jules hasn’t been in a rock band before. We all got in the studio and decided to plug in and arrange something out of thin air. We called the session Zero Fucks Given (ZFG) because we didn’t have a clue of what we were gonna do other than make music with no boundaries or rules. Not thinking of radio or singles. Just killer riffs and arrangements with soaring vocals. It was a magical moment. We recorded our first song Holehearted and that was it for us. The universe spoke and here we are.
SP: I grew up with Trev but we had never played together before doing a small run last winter with Diamante. It was one of those times where the first time we played together it was effortless and we really connected on a musical level aside from being such good friends. Josh I met through Trev and from the first time we played together it was exactly what you want playing with drummer as a bassist. Jules ran around in the same circuit as my instrumental funk project and I had always seen him around, we actually didn’t even put the connection together until a couple of months into ZFG!
JG: I met the guys by synchronicity and serendipity! The universe is our greatest supporter. 😉
RL: How does ZFG feel different from your past endeavors – is it more fulfilling, do you feel like you have more creative control…?
JD: It’s a whole different experience for me. I’m personally used to being the ‘hired gun’, playing for bands and artists as a job. I’ve done a few other things outside of the ‘session player’ scene but nothing’s ever been as fulfilling as ZFG, and we’re only at the beginning! It’s humbling to be able to be in a band with some of the best musicians in the world, and some of my best friends and create our own music that we love. As Trev mentioned, the whole point of us making music together was just to create what WE wanted to do, not be controlled by an outside source or idea. It’s a beautiful thing and I am so stoked to be a part of it.
SP: ZFG feels different to me because of how it started and just our whole mentality when it comes to the band. We started doing this just for the fun and love of making music we want to make. There’s no rules musically and it has really allowed all of us to bring what makes us unique into the project. I feel like it really opens everyone up to explore the music and bring things to the table that otherwise might not have been thought of.
JG: I love how we create all together. It’s way different than being a solo artist. I love writing with people, but I usually was the only one performing the songs I’d co-wrote with others. I now get to share the frontline with my co-creators and it’s an amazing feeling. The way everything has been unfolding speaks for itself. This is meant to be. I get to grow so much by being a part of something greater than myself, I look forward to surmounting the many challenges ahead because I know I won’t be alone.
RL: Tell us about Special – what’s the inspiration behind it?
JG: When Trev came up with the main guitar riff, we knew it was gonna be a killer track. It took some time for me to write the lyrics. It’s only once we were in studio that it clicked. We had the chorus melody and the song title, but it was coming from a place of adoration: “There’s something really special about you”. Some shit was going on in this powerful summer love and I definitely didn’t feel good with it, so I couldn’t relate to that original idea. But we all loved the melody and rhyme scheme and title of the song, so we simply flipped the narrative! It ended up being very therapeutic, sometimes you need to say “fuck you” to move on, haha. At the end of the day, it’s got nothing against the person in question. In the moment, I needed to write a song like this, and I was happy to get help from my ZFG brothers. She’s obviously special enough to have inspired this song and many more. Looking back at it, I’m glad it happened the way it did. Diving into your shadow self brings out some powerful insight to the surface. I believe everyone’s got something special…
RL: You’re currently getting ready for your first tour this Spring with Adelita’s Way and the Winery Dogs. That’s gotta be exciting – talk to us about that.
JD: Yeah we can’t wait, it’s going to be a lot of fun. Most of us are ‘seasoned road dogs’ in this band so it’s going to be incredible to be back out on the road with such awesome other bands too! The banter is top notch with these boys so it’s genuinely going to be an unforgettable experience. And as it’s our first tour, we can’t wait to get out there and meet our awesome fans and hopefully pick up a few new fans and friends along the way!
SP: I couldn’t be more excited to get on the road with these guys, and put ourselves and music out there! We always have a great time when we’re together whether it’s in the studio, rehearsal, or writing.
JG: I’m so stoked!! It’s my first tour and I can’t wait to pop my cherry with ZFG!!!!
RL: Your EP is tentatively set for April – what kind of vibe can we expect from that?
SP: I feel like Special and Holehearted definitely show off our vibe and sound well. However the other songs on the EP also bring in influences and approaches that are a little bit different. Everybody in the band is really showcased in unique ways and I think that anyone who is digging the songs that are out there will really enjoy the full EP.
RL: This one is for Trev and Sam: On a scale of 1-10 with 1 being terrible and 10 being great, rate Weezer’s cover of “Africa.”
TL: I can’t rate it. I think it was cool Weezer did the cover and people seemed to love it. It’s keeping the Toto legacy alive and I’m a fan of that. I’m a Weezer fan myself. They made it their own so I give it a thumbs up.
SP: I really couldn’t give it a number. I think they succeeded in taking the song and putting their spin on it. I think that the reaction it got from the world speaks for itself.
RL: Finally, what kind of advice do you have for any artists just starting out?
TL: Go with your gut. Don’t worry about what you think people want to hear. Be yourself. People connect to music when they know it’s real. We all know when we hear real music. When you stop caring what people think and make the music you want, you’ll see the change in reaction. Be the legend you are.
JD: Couldn’t agree more with what Trev said. This industry is a crazy one, and you need to have that thick skin to push through and reach your dreams, I would say it’s not just enough having the talent, you gotta put that craft in. So work your ass off and dedicate your life to it, be humble and be YOU!
SP: I would say to find what makes you “you” and never let that go. Everyone has something that they can bring to a song or project that no one else can. It’s all about finding out what that is and building upon it. You don’t need to be the fastest or most technical. From my experience people want to play and work with someone who they can not only get along with and vibe with, but also someone who can bring their personality to what they do.
JG: Agreed with the guys. I think it is important to leave enough room for surprise in your life. It’s crazy how this new project came out of nowhere for me. I honestly wasn’t planning on being in a rock band, but when the opportunity arose, I gave my 100% without expectation. It seems like everything unfolds perfectly this way. Not only for music and the arts, but in relationships and life in general. It’s good to have goals, but its also good sometimes to leave for specifics. Let life surprise you and enjoy the ride!!!