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Bands Like Zappa

Ben Sommer

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Bands Like Zappa
Bands Like Zappa

Bands Like Zappa

Ben Sommer

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Music discovery podcast and blog from composer/performer Ben Sommer. Interviews with musicians and artists who's music "sounds like" Frank Zappa - the incomparable composer and guitarist.

Latest Episodes

Dave Nelson

Today I talk to composer and trombonist Dave Nelson. I feature a track off his last album Logistic Minutiae – which is a suitably geeky title for a jazz/fusion composer

17 MIN2012 JUL 18
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Dave Nelson

Out of the Beardspace

Today I talk to Jeremy Savo of the Philadelphia-based band Out of the Beardspace. If you’re in the area, go see their show on January 11with past BandsLikeZappa feature Statospheerius. And also check out their new experimental EP. Ben Sommer: I’m here with Jeremy from the band, Out of Beardspace. Jeremy, first of all, tell me about the band, and if you don’t mind to start with this out of left field name you guys came up for yourselves. Jeremy Savo: Well, the name is Out of the Beardspace, and it comes from an idea and the idea is of the beard space, and it’s a simple idea. It’s just when you stroke your beard, you are in the beard space. Ben: Got it. Jeremy: So if you think of the famous statue of the thinker, it’s basically you are in thought, and so out of the beard space simply means that it’s a creation that you make, so it’s something that came of your thoughts. Ben: Are you guys hirsute, all have beards or any facial hair of some kind? Jeremy: Actually, only one of us...

22 MIN2011 DEC 15
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Out of the Beardspace

Unfrethead

This week I speak French guitar virtuoso & composer Julien Beyleix – the man behind Unfrethead. Ben Sommer: Hi, this is Ben Sommer with BandsLikeZappa.com. Today I’m talking to Julien Beyleix, who comes all the way from France. He is basically the one-man machine behind the band, Unfrethead. Julien, I want you to say hi to the audience. Tell us a little bit about yourself, your music, and also your mysterious band name. Julien Beyleix: For one, I’m Julien from France; maybe you’ve noticed by the accent. I’ve played guitar since 12 or 13 years old. The main idea behind Unfrethead was basically Fretless Project due to buying a Vigier fretless guitar. The name came from when I was looking for some kind of music that was unfretted that had some heavy metal music influences. That’s how I came up with it. Ben: Did you manufacture your own fretless guitar? Julien: No, the special guitar that I used on this project was made by Vigier Guitars, which makes French hand-made, very top-of-...

16 MIN2011 JUL 6
Comments
Unfrethead

Stratospheerius

Ben Sommer: Hi, this is Ben with BandsLikeZappa.com. I’m here with Joe Deninzon from the band Stratospheerius. Joe, why don’t you just say hi, and just give a little introduction about yourself, the band, and what you guys are all about. Joe Deninzon: First of all, thanks for having me on your program, and my band is called Stratospheerius. I play the electric seven-stringed Viper violin, and basically, Zappa’s one of our biggest influences. In fact, we performed a few of their songs live. The band is hard to describe, but it’s a mixture of Zappa, Mahavishnu Orchestra, The Police, little flashes of Dave Matthews but not too many, and I’m the lead singer of the band, and it’s prog, rock, funk, jam music with the influences of gypsy music and classical music as well. Ben: Yeah. Cool. Now, it’s an excellent and very interesting instrumentation you’ve got, with mix of song styles. I’m not sure if you’re a violinist or fiddle player. Oh, you’re like Jean Luc Ponty or you’re l...

14 MIN2011 MAY 29
Comments
Stratospheerius

Drool Brothers

Up this week is LA-based band Drool Brothers! Ben Sommer: Hi, this is Ben Sommer with BandsLikeZappa.com. I’m here with Chuck Mancillas from the LA-based band Drool Brothers. Chuck, tell us a little bit about the band and where you guys come from. Chuck Mancillas: We were born and raised in Los Angeles, California. My brother and I started the band. We’ve been together since we came out of our mom. So we also have Joe Kramer. My brother’s name is Tom Slik. It’s Joe Kramer on guitar and Tom Slik plays bass and Dan Marfisi is a multi-instrumentalist who plays with us on live gigs and I’m Chuck Mancillas and I play drums and sings, and we are a bunch of studio geeks that like Frank Zappa. Ben: Oh, it’s seems like in past years you’ve been struggling through the 80’s and 90’s trying to make it as a pure rock and pop act and you had kind of given up on that and so not only is this your part-time gig and band, but also it seems like the whole reason for being, if you will, of the...

14 MIN2011 MAR 23
Comments
Drool Brothers

Keith Horn

This week I talk to Keith Horn – an original and amazing composer and recording artist. Imagine the best of Frank Zappa crossed with Steely Dan and System of a Down. That’s Keith Horn. Enjoy Ben Sommer: Keith Horn is a composer and a songwriter out of LA and the story is, I’ve been running this podcast and a blog at BandsLikeRush.com for almost a year, and I had been meaning for ever since the get go to start up its sister site at Bands Like Zappa, essentially these are one of the two favorite musical vices. The goal is to feature like-minded artist. So I found Keith on this website called Jango, which is, and I don’t know how to describe it, it’s basically kind of like a Pandora but for fans of undiscovered music to go and plug in their favorite artist and then every dozen or so tunes that come through a brand new and really unknown person comes out. Basically these artists sign up in a database. I forget what I was looking for, but probably Steely Dan or Rush or Frank Zappa ...

37 MIN2011 JAN 28
Comments
Keith Horn

ODDISEA

For the maiden voyage I talk to Hirotaka Inuzuka of the LA-based progressive rock/jazz band ODDISEA. Ben Sommer: Hello, this is the first interview for the site, BandsLikeZappa.com. I am here with Hiro Inuzuka from the band Oddisea, a West Coast-based prog rock band. So welcome Hiro. Won’t you tell you us a little bit about the band, where you’ve been and kind of what you are all about? Hiro Inuzuka: I play guitar in the band called Oddisea and we are from South California in LA. Ben: So I’m reading your home page and it’s calling out an interesting history. It says you started in 2004 and have been in and out of pop music and experimental music. What do you mean by that? Hiro: We kind of started out as plain kind of alternative rock music. So in structure, it’s basically a lot simpler than prog music. But as we practiced and wrote more songs we kind of ended up being thoroughly more complex than we started. Ben: Right, right. So where do you feel you are now? From pop music to...

25 MIN2011 JAN 10
Comments
ODDISEA
the END

Latest Episodes

Dave Nelson

Today I talk to composer and trombonist Dave Nelson. I feature a track off his last album Logistic Minutiae – which is a suitably geeky title for a jazz/fusion composer

17 MIN2012 JUL 18
Comments
Dave Nelson

Out of the Beardspace

Today I talk to Jeremy Savo of the Philadelphia-based band Out of the Beardspace. If you’re in the area, go see their show on January 11with past BandsLikeZappa feature Statospheerius. And also check out their new experimental EP. Ben Sommer: I’m here with Jeremy from the band, Out of Beardspace. Jeremy, first of all, tell me about the band, and if you don’t mind to start with this out of left field name you guys came up for yourselves. Jeremy Savo: Well, the name is Out of the Beardspace, and it comes from an idea and the idea is of the beard space, and it’s a simple idea. It’s just when you stroke your beard, you are in the beard space. Ben: Got it. Jeremy: So if you think of the famous statue of the thinker, it’s basically you are in thought, and so out of the beard space simply means that it’s a creation that you make, so it’s something that came of your thoughts. Ben: Are you guys hirsute, all have beards or any facial hair of some kind? Jeremy: Actually, only one of us...

22 MIN2011 DEC 15
Comments
Out of the Beardspace

Unfrethead

This week I speak French guitar virtuoso & composer Julien Beyleix – the man behind Unfrethead. Ben Sommer: Hi, this is Ben Sommer with BandsLikeZappa.com. Today I’m talking to Julien Beyleix, who comes all the way from France. He is basically the one-man machine behind the band, Unfrethead. Julien, I want you to say hi to the audience. Tell us a little bit about yourself, your music, and also your mysterious band name. Julien Beyleix: For one, I’m Julien from France; maybe you’ve noticed by the accent. I’ve played guitar since 12 or 13 years old. The main idea behind Unfrethead was basically Fretless Project due to buying a Vigier fretless guitar. The name came from when I was looking for some kind of music that was unfretted that had some heavy metal music influences. That’s how I came up with it. Ben: Did you manufacture your own fretless guitar? Julien: No, the special guitar that I used on this project was made by Vigier Guitars, which makes French hand-made, very top-of-...

16 MIN2011 JUL 6
Comments
Unfrethead

Stratospheerius

Ben Sommer: Hi, this is Ben with BandsLikeZappa.com. I’m here with Joe Deninzon from the band Stratospheerius. Joe, why don’t you just say hi, and just give a little introduction about yourself, the band, and what you guys are all about. Joe Deninzon: First of all, thanks for having me on your program, and my band is called Stratospheerius. I play the electric seven-stringed Viper violin, and basically, Zappa’s one of our biggest influences. In fact, we performed a few of their songs live. The band is hard to describe, but it’s a mixture of Zappa, Mahavishnu Orchestra, The Police, little flashes of Dave Matthews but not too many, and I’m the lead singer of the band, and it’s prog, rock, funk, jam music with the influences of gypsy music and classical music as well. Ben: Yeah. Cool. Now, it’s an excellent and very interesting instrumentation you’ve got, with mix of song styles. I’m not sure if you’re a violinist or fiddle player. Oh, you’re like Jean Luc Ponty or you’re l...

14 MIN2011 MAY 29
Comments
Stratospheerius

Drool Brothers

Up this week is LA-based band Drool Brothers! Ben Sommer: Hi, this is Ben Sommer with BandsLikeZappa.com. I’m here with Chuck Mancillas from the LA-based band Drool Brothers. Chuck, tell us a little bit about the band and where you guys come from. Chuck Mancillas: We were born and raised in Los Angeles, California. My brother and I started the band. We’ve been together since we came out of our mom. So we also have Joe Kramer. My brother’s name is Tom Slik. It’s Joe Kramer on guitar and Tom Slik plays bass and Dan Marfisi is a multi-instrumentalist who plays with us on live gigs and I’m Chuck Mancillas and I play drums and sings, and we are a bunch of studio geeks that like Frank Zappa. Ben: Oh, it’s seems like in past years you’ve been struggling through the 80’s and 90’s trying to make it as a pure rock and pop act and you had kind of given up on that and so not only is this your part-time gig and band, but also it seems like the whole reason for being, if you will, of the...

14 MIN2011 MAR 23
Comments
Drool Brothers

Keith Horn

This week I talk to Keith Horn – an original and amazing composer and recording artist. Imagine the best of Frank Zappa crossed with Steely Dan and System of a Down. That’s Keith Horn. Enjoy Ben Sommer: Keith Horn is a composer and a songwriter out of LA and the story is, I’ve been running this podcast and a blog at BandsLikeRush.com for almost a year, and I had been meaning for ever since the get go to start up its sister site at Bands Like Zappa, essentially these are one of the two favorite musical vices. The goal is to feature like-minded artist. So I found Keith on this website called Jango, which is, and I don’t know how to describe it, it’s basically kind of like a Pandora but for fans of undiscovered music to go and plug in their favorite artist and then every dozen or so tunes that come through a brand new and really unknown person comes out. Basically these artists sign up in a database. I forget what I was looking for, but probably Steely Dan or Rush or Frank Zappa ...

37 MIN2011 JAN 28
Comments
Keith Horn

ODDISEA

For the maiden voyage I talk to Hirotaka Inuzuka of the LA-based progressive rock/jazz band ODDISEA. Ben Sommer: Hello, this is the first interview for the site, BandsLikeZappa.com. I am here with Hiro Inuzuka from the band Oddisea, a West Coast-based prog rock band. So welcome Hiro. Won’t you tell you us a little bit about the band, where you’ve been and kind of what you are all about? Hiro Inuzuka: I play guitar in the band called Oddisea and we are from South California in LA. Ben: So I’m reading your home page and it’s calling out an interesting history. It says you started in 2004 and have been in and out of pop music and experimental music. What do you mean by that? Hiro: We kind of started out as plain kind of alternative rock music. So in structure, it’s basically a lot simpler than prog music. But as we practiced and wrote more songs we kind of ended up being thoroughly more complex than we started. Ben: Right, right. So where do you feel you are now? From pop music to...

25 MIN2011 JAN 10
Comments
ODDISEA
the END
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