Last summer, before adoring fans could wallow in the news of the Books’ breakup, co-conspirator Nick Zammuto began releasing songs for his forthcoming project. Soon after, the project was titled Zammuto and a tour with Explosions in the Sky was assembled. Not long afterwards the self-titled debut was released (April 3rd), its sound shifting slightly away from the audio experimentalism of his previous work focusing more on live instrumentation. All of this precipitated before anyone can stop to ask, “Why?” So before tonight’s performance at the Palace of Fine Arts with Explosions in the Sky, we asked Nick Zammuto to share with us why he left the heralded Books to start fresh; but, instead of directly answering that question he opted to explain five ways Zammuto is different than the Books. Below are his answers:
1. Zammuto is a live band. Whereas ‘The Books’ were more of a meta band, and we relied a lot on backing tracks and electronica trickery, the new band is a four piece rock outfit and all the music is played live, and quite a lot louder.
2. Zammuto enjoys a little scuz. By the end “The Books” became somewhat of a museum piece, and ended up playing in a lot of sterile seated venues. The new band thrives on crowd energy and tight quarters, and much prefers a standing audience.
3. Zammuto has a real percussionist. I traded the cut and paste beats for a live timekeeper, named Sean Dixon, and he is a sight to behold. He does stuff I’ve never seen anyone do, and always with a huge heart.
4. Zammuto is 100% self-produced. Everything from writing/recording to mixing/mastering to rehearsals is done in my little tractor garage studio at home in the mountains of Vermont. ‘The Books’ suffered from a lack of a home base over the decade we operated, which made it difficult to keep momentum.
5. Zammuto is a family business. As ‘The Books” became a somewhat beaurocratic institution, the new band is structured as a family business. My wife and I manage everything from home, with the help of long time friend and road manager Brendon Downey. We even design and screen-print all of our own merchandise that we sell at shows and at our home webstore. Folks seem to enjoy knowing exactly where the music comes from, and that nothing is wasted when they support us.
To wet your palette, here’s the video for “The Shape of Things to Come.”