Sunday, February 13, 2011

Paulie Z of ZO2: Talks Music, TV, and Birthday Parties

(L to R) Joey Cassata (Drums, Vocals), Paulie Zablidowsky (Lead Vocals, Guitar), David Zablidowsky (Bass, Vocals)

Rock stars, TV stars, or kids party starters, brothers Paulie and David grew up rocking out together. It was just a matter of time before they hit it big.

The pieces began to fall in place once long time friend Joey started practicing with the band. Paulie had previously played with Joey in a cover band, and when they jammed out that first time, the chemistry was just perfect. 

All that was left for the trio was the name, and that was easy. Because of Paulie and David's last name, and their father and uncle's band from the 70's named "Z", that part was taken care of. The "O2" can mean a number of different things. The year they got together was 2002 and there are two members with a "Z" in their name. However, the coolest story about the name was, "My previous band was called "CO2" like the chemical. Well, we wanted to make our own formula and called it "ZO2," Paulie said.

So what is ZO2, what do they sound like? As Paulie Z said, "We are a British influenced, bluesy, balanced mix of different decades of rock from the 60's on. Sort of like Aerosmith meets the Stone Temple Pilots." 

Originally hailing from Brooklyn, these guys have now gotten to taste a little bit of Hollywood when they were signed on IFC to do a TV show called "Z Rock." "A lot of people think Z Rock is a reality show, but it's not. It's a semi scripted comedy with improve that is loosely based on our lives," Paulie said. On the show ZO2 plays themselves. Most of the stories are true, but the situations are scripted.  

The whole premise of the show revolves around the band being children's birthday entertainers by day, and crazy rock stars by night who get into even crazier situations. Although this part seems written, it is actually how they were discovered. "That is how we made most of our money early on, doing kid parties. One day we did a party where the kid's dad was a TV agent, and he helped us eventually put the show together," Paulie said. With ZO2's busy schedule the children's parties was something they had stopped doing, but are now starting it up again. They actually have a kids CD out, but regret not commercially selling it while Z Rock was on the air.

Some of the more memorable and rock "starish" moments for the band has been opening up for rock legends, KISS. "We were well received by the band and the crowd. It was our first tour and a dream come true. You can check that off the list," Paulie said with a laugh. He recalls another cool moment being at the Spirit Awards for independent films. ZO2 presented the award for "Best Cinematography" to the movie The Wrestler


Paulie Says people should listen to ZO2 because they, "Are one of the few bands that preserve the essence of rock and roll. Three of us play, three of us sing, and three of us know how to rock." ZO2 has found the sound that takes them to the next level as far as modern sounding music with a classic backing. Producing some of these new tunes is engineer and studio owner, Jon Santos. "My bro and I were briefly in Seven Wiser with Jon, but had to leave due to conflicts with ZO2. Years later we knew that we needed a producer who could make our sound relevant," Paulie said.

"Everyone acknowledges what we are playing is good stuff, even if it's not their style. We actually played this music, it's organic and raw," he said. And relevant they are, as they look to expand their music to an even larger crowd.

So be on the look out for ZO2 and Z Rock!

Check ZO2 out on their sites
IFC Z Rock

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