Culture & Conversation

For Something Fresh And Loud …

Local band Zeroes make you want to move. They play with primal urgency, channeling raw rock verve through pared-down rhythmic compositions. Plus they somehow snagged one of the coolest band names around.

“We were surprised to find out there wasn’t already a big band called ‘Zeroes,’” says Ben Shemie, Zeroes front man. “You would think there’d be some UK band or something that you’d never heard of that are huge, but no.”

Finishing production on their first full-length album, the minimal rock/ electro-punk/ WTF four-piece have an eclectic catalogue of smart, savagely simple tunes. Their creative chemistry is a blast to behold: onstage they get almost atavistically into making music together, their reckless inventiveness making every performance unique.

“We’re not scared to throw a sax player in [like at their last performance at Divan Orange], to do anything, and do it with a punk energy,” says Joe Yarmush, Zeroes guitarist. “I like to think of us as a punk band even though we’re not making punk music.”

Zeroes only formed two years ago, but members Shemie, Joe Yarmush, Liam O’Neill and Max Henry are drawing on rich experience.

Yarmush, O’ Neill, and Henry are vets of the Montreal indie scene, members of bands Land of Talk, Silver Starling, Think About Life, and Young Galaxy between them. Shemie comes from a background in contemporary classical and electronic adventures, and writes most of Zeroes’ material. He builds songs from minimal ideas, a tight core that allows Zeroes to let loose around the edges.

“I’ll have a good basic outline of tunes, and then we’ll jam and work them out as a band. And despite the other kinds of styles of music that I do, rock is the first music I listened to, and so in a way the most natural.”

Zeroes have already done a 7”, and released an EP on online label Villa Villa Nola. They are still planning on exactly when and how to release their new album, although you can look forward to it sometime this fall. Shemie is excited about it.

“We played Pop Montreal this year, and it showed how much we’ve progressed as a band. It’s just frightening – the music’s deeper, tighter, very positive and consistent. It just makes you feel good to be able to play so loud.”

Zeroes play with Hollerado and Huron Saturday, February 27 at Divan Orange.

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