Zig Zags Mellow, for a Moment

The heavy L.A. trio soften up to DJ your next dinner party.

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Photo: Denée Petracek

Zig Zags have put out a series of loud, retro metal-punk singles since forming in 2010, including one featuring no less a hard rock icon than Iggy Pop. Their eponymous debut full-length was produced by Ty Segall for a label known for releasing The Black Lips and Jay Reatard, which should give you an idea of Zig Zags’ old-school heritage – and may also explain why they were happy to put together a party playlist that’s steeped in surprisingly mellow ’70s vibes.


Patrick McCarthy: Hi, we’re Zig Zags. My name is Patrick…

Jed Maheu: You play bass and sing.

Patrick McCarthy: …I play bass and I sing.

Jed Maheu: My name’s Jed, I play guitar and sing.

Bobby Martin: My name’s Bobby, I drum and I sing in Zig Zags.

Patrick McCarthy: We have a new album coming out on In The Red Records. It’s self-titled. And here is our dinner party soundtrack.

Kevin Eyers – “Decadence”

Jed Maheu: Our first track is a song called “Decadence” by Kevin Eyers, who was kind of a weird psychedelic pioneer.

And the song is interesting because of its really, really slow, mellow buildup, which’d be a good thing for people to have a conversation to.  But then, if you’re having like a really boring conversation with somebody, the drums sort of kick in, and it gets like kind of spacey and super weird and really groovy. And you can kind of just, like, listen to the song and nod your head with your mouth open like you’re paying attention to the person that you’re talking to, when you’re really not.


Larry Jon Wilson – “Ohoopee River Bottomland”

Bobby Martin: My choice would be Larry Jon Wilson. The tune “Ohoopee River Bottomland.”  Right at the very beginning, he does this sort of priest-like [hums]  “Mm–hmmm.” There’s something about that that just kind of, you know, whets your palette a bit.

It’s sort of hospitable, in a way, to listen to. You know, it’s kind of pleasing to your ears… but it’s somehow a little bit goofy and so forth.

Terri Reid – “Faith to Arise”

Patrick McCarthy: For the final selection, I chose Terri Reid’s song called “Faith To Arise.”

Jed Maheu: I call him “super lungs.”

Patrick McCarthy: “Super lungs,” yeah!  He just sings his, you know, tail off.

The song, from what I can tell, is about being on tour. I kind of always liked the line where he’s just like, “Can’t wait to get back home.” It works at a dinner party cause if you play it at the end of the night, it kind of gets everyone going like, “Oh, this is cool…” And they start thinking, “Oh man; it would be kind of good to get back home.”

Jed Maheu: And that’s our sound track, which is pretty mellow compared to what we normally do on stage. I think when you’re like, in your practice space a few times a week, four hours at a time, just pummeling each others brains in with sonic noise… you don’t really want to take your work home with you.

Zig Zags – “Brainded Warrior”

Patrick McCarthy: I think that, if we were gonna put one of our tunes on for a dinner party, we would definitely want to play “Brainded Warrior.” [sic]

Jed Maheu: It’s the song that you’d listen to when you’re like a kid, and you’re all having a sleepover, and you’re gonna like, stay up all night and you’re gonna watch Gorgeous Ladies Of Wrestling at two in the morning after “Headbangers Ball.” And you’re like, “Oh man, there’s still pizza left in the fridge!” It’s perfect for that.

Patrick McCarthy: It’s the after-party soundtrack.