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Che Ga Zebra
1. How did you get your band name?
There is an alley in Sheffield called Frog Walk. It runs by the side of a brook and the brook runs underneath the city and eventually drips into the river Sheaf. Next to the brook is a building that routinely gets tagged or graffitied , and more often than not the art is sub standard. A few years ago someone had drawn an appalling picture of a zebra's head and neck and written Che Ga Zebra underneath. I assumed it was some sort of beastly homage to the famous Che Guevara pose where he is looking stern and focussed yet slightly vexed. I have a bit of a fascination with South America and its history and I also found this bit of art hilarious, not least because it is blatantly grammatically incorrect. I don't usually mind bad grammar so we decided to call our band Che Ga Zebra. 69% of the time I wish we hadn't.
2. How did this band get started?
Ben and I had played in a band called Wooderson and we also lived together. We used to use our basement as a rehearsal room, much to the annoyance of our neighbors. They actually posted a note through our door telling us Ben had the drumming skills of a 'death elephant,' and we should stop. We are still unsure of what this means but we suspected they meant to write 'deaf elephant'. They must have been in a rush to get their point across. We corrected the grammar and posted the letter back (thus contradicting my previous statement regarding grammar). The band started because we released when we wrote music without the others our style changed. We liked the style so we carried on doing it.
3. What bands are you influenced by?
Shellac, Sandy Nelson, Fugazi, That Fucking Tank,The Jesus Lizard, soundtracks to Quentin Tarantino movies, and George Michael. No other bands.
4. If you could tour with any bands, past or present, who would they be and why?
That Fucking Tank would be quite a convenient band to tour with as there are only two members in each band. This would mean cheap vehicle hire and very quick change over during shows. They have some good equipment that I'm sure they wouldn't mind lending me.
Other than that I think George Michael would have been wild to tour with, certainly in the Wham! era of his life. It was nice of him to take some friends along for the ride and I would love to have been a part of it.
5. Best food to eat on tour?
I could eat a pizza every day of my life. I like to get a large after a show, eat half of it and save the rest until morning. Some people have an issue with cold pizza and I can't understand why.
6. Why should people listen to your band?
Hopefully they would be pleasantly surprised by what they hear. I can't guarantee anyone would like it but if someone were to like, say, jazzy drum beats and/or solid guitar riffs then it might be up their street. Plus if there are any Grimsby Town FC fans reading, we have a song written about one of their current coaches.
7. If you could be any athlete, which athlete would you switch places with?
Probably Wayne Burnett, a Grimsby Town legend. He scored the 'golden goal' at Town's first ever trip to Wembley, thus winning the Auto Window Screen Shield. With one flick of the boot that man single handily lifted the spirits of 30,000 Grimbarians, more if you count the people who couldn't make the game. Basically, he made 90,000 people happy in one second.
8. If you won a Grammy, who would you thank?
9. If you could change something about the music industry, what would it be?
I don't have much knowledge of the music industry outside the DIY music scene so I am not qualified to give an educated assessment of how to improve it. However I would like to see more funding for music available. Perhaps the large scale music industry would be less of a golden chalice for bands if funding came from other sources, such as local councils. I would also like to see licensing for events become more relaxed. I don't really want to have to finish playing by 2300 hours – night time is the best time for music, probably.
10. Memorable tour experience?
I once played in Newcastle and we were treated really well. We were given a cheese board and as much ale as we could consume. This might seem very basic but the ale was great and the cheese was extensive. We then stayed at a disused school where the promoter was living at the time and played football in the sports hall. It wasn't a competitive match, just a kick around.
11. What does AP.net mean to you?
I can't claim to know much about it. I found it when I clicked on a Facebook link and I ended up here. However it seems to be a very well written and regularly updated site. It also seems quite accommodating to lesser known bands and that's really why I decided to fill in this questionnaire and read more content.
12. What is your favorite song to play?
I can only really play my own songs so possibly a song called "What Girls Want." It is extremely fun to play as the drums and guitar a quite tight and the riffs are very smooth. It was also the first time I worked out how to make my guitar sound relatively large.
Other than that I do have a number of what I call 'emergency songs.' When a guitar gets passed at social gatherings it often ends up in my hands whether I want it to or not. In that situation I play either Chris Isaak's "Wicket Game," The Jungle Book's "King of the Swingers," or "Fast Love" by George Michael.
13. What is your vacation spot of choice?
Anywhere in South and Central America. It fascinates me. It has everything: beauty, poverty, inefficiency, cheap drugs, jobs in the drugs trade, shoe shiners, Coca Cola, paradise-like beaches, paradise-like beaches that are disgusting and an incredible history. I would go back any time.
14. What music reminds you of your childhood?
The theme tunes to Saturday night TV: Noel's House Party, Dad's Army, Allo Allo, The Generation Game, Big Break and Match Of The Day. It makes me think of cold, boring, winter nights in front of the sofa . I longed for more excitement as a child so when I got older I joined a band. Now I don't own a TV.
15. If you could have any super power, what would it be? Why?
Probably a really boring answer but if you haven't dreamed about flying then you're probably in the minority. I've had countless dreams about it and if I could simply rise up at any given opportunity. I know it would make people laugh. I don't want to be invisible because it seems dishonest. I wouldn’t like super strength because it would probably hinder me and I’d be forever breaking things. I would hate to see through walls because I’d find things I don't want to find out about. Also, if people knew about any of these then I’d be expected to use my ability for the greater good. Flying seems a pretty casual super power.
16. Any pre-show superstitions or rituals?
We like to take a minute to remind each other to relax and remain concentrated. Ben also sets up my guitar pedals while I set up his drum equipment.
17. What is something that most fans don't know about you?
My name is supposed to be spelled 'Loïc' rather than 'Loic.'
18. What is your assessment of the current state of radio? Do you think it's a place where your band could flourish?
Radio has always been my favourite medium to hear music. I find the history of radio fascinating but sadly I struggle to listen these days. DJs talk so much and it seems that often it's people with annoying voices who share the majority of airtime. I don't know if we could flourish on radio. I would like to think we are musically competent and interesting but at the minute our songs aren't designed to be radio savvy, although our song "Beach Bum" did receive quite a bit of internet play and would have been a pretty solid single for the radio had I not sworn
19. What do you like to do in your spare time?
I pretty much just do music. I play in a post-punk band called Wooderson, Che Ga Zebra and have been writing solo record. I also help run a record label and arts collective called The Audacious Art Experiment, and organise shows. When I get tired I go to South America for a long holiday and then I return to carry on doing the things I just mentioned.
20. What kind of hidden talents do you have?
I can write in shorthand, but I rarely have reason to demonstrate it. I can make a noise with my mouth louder than most other people.
I can skin-up in very difficult conditions.I am good at estimating how long things might take.
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