The L.A. based band Zipper Club featuring Lissy Trullie of Lissy Trullie, Mason James of Cerebral Ballzy and drummer Damar Davis has a sound that blends “buzzing guitars, spacey synths and magnetic melodies.” In early September, Zipper Club released its debut single “Going The Distance” and the song was #1 Most Added at alternative radio and now continues to climb playlist charts with over 400,000 plays on Spotify. Now the group has released another single, “Small Town.” Both songs will appear on their upcoming debut LP produced by James Iha of Smashing Pumpkins. In August, Zipper Club played a successful residency at The Satellite. Now the band has embarked on their first ever national tour with multiple dates opening for Tears For Fears.
Recently Lissy, Mason and Damar spoke to the www.theartofla.com via email interview to discuss how they came up with the name of their band and what it represents, their musical influences and how that lead to the creation of Zipper Club, collaborating as a trio, touring and connecting one on one with new fans and more.
How did you come up with the name Zipper Club and what does it represent to you all?
Lissy – For me, Zipper Club is a secret society of like-minded people.
Mason – Zipper Club has a different meaning to everyone in the band but it’s our club.
Damar – Zipper Club is my family, my sister and my brother.
How did you go from a shared love of Motown-inspired R&B to creating a synth-pop new wave sound and why?
Lissy – For me, Motown and R&B have the essential elements of amazing pop songs. It’s really building off that essence with whatever inspires us in this current day and age.
Mason – We just love a wide variety of music and after a long time of trying to hone the sound this is what stuck. I love synthesizers.
Damar – I like turtles
Mason you’ve been in other bands before. Does being part of a trio feel more liberating creatively and give you more freedom and control musically?
Mason – Yeah.
Lissy do you feel a weight lifted off your shoulders being part of a trio now and collaborating with Mason versus working on your own project? What has this project done for you creatively as artist, singer, and multi-instrumentalist?
Lissy – For me, making music is about trying new things. I don’t ever want to turn down and opportunity because it’s not my own project. Collaboration is the thing that really gets me going about what I do.
What do you think are the creative strengths individually you bring to The Zipper Club?
Damar – I like to think that I bring an energetic feel to the crew.
Lissy – The key to creativity is diversity. My strength can be someone else’s weakness and vice versa. Even the combination of strengths on strengths lends itself to new ideas and forms creative textures.
Mason – Can I come back to this one ? (chases his dog down the riverside)
Mason you’ve worked with James Iha before. What was it like working with him on your new project and was it a different process in the studio in terms of approach and direction than obviously the genre of music being different?
Mason – the first time I worked with James was in a dingy basement studio in Brooklyn. This time, we worked in his studio and it really opened up a lot more room for creativity.
What’s it like hearing your music on the radio and what’s the first thing that comes to mind?
Lissy – It’s thrilling gets me keeps me motivated.
Mason – “This is cool, turn it up!!”
Damar – The feeling i get when i hear our songs on the radio is kind of weird because it catches you off guard when you are riding in the car or a friend calls you and tells you they are listening to your jams. It gives me a feeling that i made the right choice in my life.
What was the residency at The Satellite like? Are you making a lot of new fans and seeing similar faces in the audience? Why did you decide to do a residency?
Damar – It was really fun because we got to play hometown shows to get the kinks out so when we hit the road everything was natural.
Lissy – Doing a residency helps improve our live show. The Satellite was a great venue. Their staff was so supporting and kind to us. Yes, we saw familiar faces and made new fans.
Is opening for Tears For Fears on a national tour a dream for you? Are you big fans? How did that come about?
Mason – It’s a huge honor. We are massive fans. I don’t normally fan out but I kind of did.
Damar – I love Tears For Fears. I grew up working in skate shops and we played a lot of classic tunes and they always caught my attention with their catchy vibes.
Lissy – We couldn’t ask for a better first tour. I’ve been a fan of Tears For Fears since I was a teenager, I even have their vinyl.
What are you looking forward to the most going out on the road and why?
Lissy – I love touring. It never gets old for me. I love seeing new faces, new cities every day and getting to play a show ever night. I am always grateful for that experience.
Mason – I really like meeting people from all over the place. It’s really cool to just chat with them after the show and see what life is like for them. That’s one of the coolest parts of being a musician, you get to meet a lot of awesome people.
Damar – Making memories, this is our first tour together so this is going to set the tone for the rest of our careers.
What’s next after the tour, work on a second LP? Are you already working on more material? What is the inspiration this time around?
Lissy – More touring. Yes, we are already working on new music but it’s super early.
Mason – After the tour. we are going to continue to tour. I was told i wouldn’t be home for a year and a half but that’s not going to slow us down. We set up a studio in our RV and are always working on new tunes. That’s just what we do.
Damar – it ain’t a fucking game !