Referring to Newport power trio The Z-Boys as dynamic doesn’t do them justice. Guitarist and sometimes vocalist Greg Burgess exhibits these extraordinary surf jazz progressions while resonating vibrant riffs. Amato Zinno on bass and Ziggy Coffey on drums combine to become a formidable sonic arsenal with their fast paced rhythms. This has made the band a legit musical force in New England and if you haven’t seen them yet then you should. The next chance is when they take the stage at Pump House Music Works in Wakefield Saturday with Portland, Maine rock & roll duo Muddy Ruckus.
Coffey and I had a chat ahead of the show about influences, playing in other bands outside of The Z-Boys and a new album that’ll be out soon.
Rob Duguay: Who do you consider the biggest influence on your drumming and why?
Ziggy Coffey: Mostly, it’s people I actually know. My father is also a drummer and is still one of my biggest influences to this day. He started giving me drum lessons at a young age and his father was a drummer too. One of my best friends, who is also a drummer, has also been one of my biggest influences too. We grew up together and used to set up double drum kits in our parents basements.
My friends and family really do inspire as some of my biggest fuel for playing but as far as drummers I listen to that I don’t know what I’d say. It’s definitely a mix between John Bonham and Tony Williams.
RD: Along with The Z-Boys, you also play drums in the Newport metal acts Balam and Sweet Heat. Going from that kind of music to a surfy, jazzy sound, what are the major things you have to do differently while performing with Amato and Greg?
ZC: Well, we play a lot of styles and I’ve really learned how to play in quieter situations. We’ve had so many different kinds of gigs from huge rooms to small rooms, so it’s really given me the ability to adjust to whatever room we’re playing. We get extremely loud and extremely quiet depending on the song and room and our moods.
RD: What would you say has to be the craziest gig you’ve played with The Z-Boys so far?
ZC: It’s hard to really pick one. One really memorable time was a Halloween party in the Olneyville section of Providence a couple years back with The Quahogs and a bunch of other bands, it really was a wild night. Also, playing an almost sold out show at Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel was pretty cool.
RD: Recently you guys raised enough money via a Kickstarter for your debut full-length album Elwood. What are your opinions when it comes to online fundraising?
ZC: I’m thankful we got funded and I’m thankful for all the support we got. It really makes me happy that people wanted to support us enough to fund our record. I think it’s a good tool for doing something and it’s cool as using as a place to do pre-orders and stuff like that. It did get a little tiring posting about it all the time but I had a good time making some funny videos with Amato to make it interesting.
RD: Speaking of Elwood, what should people expect from the album when it comes out next year?
ZC: It’s a really great record. Expect 10 full blazing awesome songs and most of them with vocals which is a lot different than our last release. Ray Gennari at Rocktorium Records in Kingston did a great job recording it and I’m really stoked about it. This record covers a lot of different styles but it captures us well and there are some really awesome songs on there.