On the heels of a new single making waves on the airways, Vancouver-based band The Zolas are making a City stop at Bo’s on Dec. 2nd.
“This track (Bombs Away) goes out to everyone seeing their favourite spots and favourite people get priced out of the city and wondering if they might be next,” said frontman Zach Gray. “If you’ve ever daydreamed about getting all your people together and starting fresh in a cheap town somewhere beautiful, this one’s for you.”
Bombs Away is the first new single since 2016’s CD Swooner and will no doubt end up being a fan favourite, capturing their ‘classic hooks, tight jams and crisp production’.
Gray and Tom Dobrzanski were previously part of the band Lotus Child from 2003 to 2008. Eventually, Gray and Dobrzanski united with new members Cody Hiles and Dwight Abell, and the Zolas began touring again during mid-2015.
“Our band started off as a two-piece between me and Tom, who runs a studio in Vancouver called Monarch Studios,” explained Gray. “We started it, and then Cody Hiles and Dwight Abell, who were in another band, recorded at Tom’s studio and that’s where we met them.
“When that band broke up, we approached those guys and they joined the band,” he said.
As The Zolas, their debut album Tic Toc Tic was released in 2009. Five tracks from that project were heavily rotated on XM satellite radio station The Verge (The Great Collapse, You’re Too Cool, Body Ash, No Talking and Marlaina Kamikaze).
And despite being a relative newcomer, The Zolas were the fourth-most heavily tracked band on the Verge for the first half of 2010.
Just last year, Dobrzanski left the group so these days Gray, Hiles and Abell are The Zolas, with other musicians occasionally signing on here and there as well.
For Gray, the journey into music stretches back to childhood but he didn’t initially envision a career in the field.
“My dad was a playwright, so he wrote musicals,” recalled Gray. “He also used to play in bands when he was a kid. But I actually wasn’t really into music until after high school; I sang in a choir, but I had never imagined being in a band until university. I was a bit of a late bloomer that way.”
Gray said that when he started penning a few songs, however, something clicked. “When you realize that you like writing songs, it sets you on a path.”
Around that time, Dobrzanski was already in a band, but eventually left it and approached Gray about starting up something new.
“It just happened like that. I certainly didn’t go into it thinking I was going to do it for a living,” he added with a laugh. “It didn’t seem like a very practical way to live. But it has somehow metamorphosized into a cool lifestyle.”
These days, the guys are of course busy on their tour but they do plan to release a new disc next year.
In fact, much of it has already been recorded and fans will get a sampling of some of the new cuts on the current tour.
“We’re going to go in and record some more before we release it,” said Gray. “You’ll see some more singles from us starting in January, too. As a band, we’ve been listening to a lot of Brit pop from the 90s like Garbage, The Verve and Oasis – those kinds of bands. To us, that’s the most relevant music for right now.
“And I think we are pretty much alone on that,” he added with a laugh, “So it’s kind of fun to feel like you aren’t riding a wave of fashion at all.”
The band will also be self-producing this disc, as was the case with their last project Swooners (2016). They’ve worked with producers before and may again in the future, but for right now Gray said the three are really on the same track when it comes to figuring out the creative path to take. “The three of us are usually pretty united in what we want to hear,” he said.
For Gray, there’s just no other path to take.
“When I feel like I’m communicating with those people and reliving those moments that (audience members) have associated with those songs, and I’m reliving my moments that I’ve also associated with those songs, we are celebrating and commiserating together at the same time,” he explained.
“From a ‘live’ perspective, that’s a feeling that you always want to create every night – and that’s why I keep doing it.”