Zerobridge: Straight Up Rock n’ Roll from NYC
May 21, 2015
[Image courtesy of Cynthia Mortt Lamb]
NYC based rock band Zerobridge are making a name for themselves in the music scene. Written, recorded, and pieced together in a tiny recording studio in China Town over the last 4 years on virtually no budget, their awesome album ‘Big Songs for Small Spaces’ makes you wanna get up and rock out to their incredible sound. We chatted to lead singer, guitarist, and songwriter of Zerobridge Mubashir Mohi-ud-Din, aka Din, about what brought them together, inspiration for new single ‘I Won’t Let You Let Me Let You’ and cooking up plans for a UK tour #Leeds2015…
TSOTA: What brought you together as a band?
D: Zerobridge initially started off as a recording project with my brother, Mohsin (“Moh”, the drummer), and myself. The idea was to do something creative musically and put it out on our own. When we started, I was already living in New York while Moh, still in high school, was living in Maryland, very near to Washington DC, where we grew up. I would go back and forth every so often to rehearse with him and get into the studio. We met Greg, our bass player, around the time we were mixing our first release, The Basement Tapes, in NYC. He had played with the Phoids and Orange 9MM. When my brother moved up for school, we started playing live, just the two of us.
Needless to say the dream grew very quickly and we wanted to make it happen. That’s when we tapped Greg to join us. Over the years we have played with a string of guitar players, including Earl Slick, who is best known for his work with David Bowie and John Lennon. No one could really stick it out with us for the long haul, until JP came along. About 4 1/2 years ago I met JP Bowersock randomly on the streets of our neighbourhood in the Lower East Side. I recognised him and of course knew of his work and influence on Julian Casablancas and The Strokes and Ryan Adams. We also had mutual friends in other bands who he produced. The result has been without a doubt the best incarnation of Zerobridge which is documented on our new record, “Big Songs for Small Spaces.”
Check out ‘Ten Years”- The first single from the new zerobridge album, “Big Songs for Small Spaces.”
TSOTA: Which bands or artists inspire you the most?
D: I guess it comes down to anyone throughout the history of music who has written great tunes and embodies the attitude (except the Eagles). Moh grew up on hip hop, Radiohead and the Clash; Greg is a massive Who-Head; JP is all across the board from the Ramones, old blues and Gypsy Jazz, Syd Barret era Pink Floyd to Brian Eno. For me…I’m a Stones freak…Bowie, The Replacements, The Velvets & Lou Reed, Zeppelin,New Order, The Smiths, Tom Petty and Oasis. I could go on, but you get the idea.
TSOTA: What was the inspiration for your new single, “I Won’t Let You Let Me Let You?”
D: I was hanging out with my girlfriend at the time when I asked her why it took her so long to look at me in a romantic way after being friends for some time. She explained how her guard was up because she didn’t want to risk the friendship (I mean, I am pretty irresistible, so that obviously wasn’t going to work) and out from her mouth popped those words— “I Won’t Let You Let Me Let You.” It was like a light bulb went off in my head, and the song wrote itself. It was her Ringo moment, saying something funny and jumbled like “8 days a week,” and I was John, running away with it. There is a bit of a nod to The Beatles in that tune.
TSOTA: Do you have any plans to tour the UK?
D: We’ll see. We’re trying to cook something up. If you guys want us badly enough, I guess we’ll have to make it happen somehow.
TSOTA: How did you come up with the band’s name?
D: Moh and I—our family traces its lineage back to the disputed territory of Kashmir, in South Asia. We’re very familiar with the place and have travelled there often to visit relatives. Zerobridge is actually the name of one of the oldest bridges connecting the suburbs to the rest of the city of Srinagar. It just sounded cool.
TSOTA: What’s the best gig you’ve ever played?
D: Not sure if that’s happened yet. Maybe Leeds, 2015?
TSOTA: Do you have any advice for any aspiring musicians?
D: I’m not sure if I’m qualified to answer that. It’s a weird game that keeps getting weirder. All I can say is keep at it no matter what, if music is what you want to do. Learn your craft well, seek out the best musical influences, learn from them and always keep learning in general. Grab at opportunities and make your own. Try not to always take yourself too seriously, and remember to have fun. That last one is important.
TSOTA: And finally, what can we expect from Zerobridge?
D: Zerobridge will be opening up for Ash at the Rough Trade store in Brooklyn on June 3rd. Our new record, “Big Songs for Small Spaces,” will be independently released this fall. We’ve also got a bunch of shows lined up for a residency at the Rockwood Music Hall in downtown New York. World Domination (fingers crossed). And then of course, there’s just always that endless hustle—day in, day out in the Dirty Apple.