The quirky, wildly talented Nick Zammuto is bringing his self-proclaimed “spectacular” tour down under next year with his current outfit, simply dubbed Zammuto. Promising to enthrall and reduce his audience to hysterics, he will be touring Australia’s east coast, including shows as part of the Sydney Festival this January.
“The shows have been absolutely spectacular!” he said. “The way we designed the show, it starts off really simple. But somewhere in the middle, things start to go really strange. By the end, everyone is just laughing hysterically.
“It progresses in a very weird way — which is all by design. It doesn’t matter how many people we’re playing for, it works every time and it’s really fun. I can’t wait to bring it down there in Australia, it will be amazing!”
Nick Zammuto is not your run-of-the-mill indie musician. Hailing from Vermont in the US, he’s a wannabe mad scientist and bona fide mad musician, creating a form of experimental pop in his homemade studio. Formerly of the band The Books, which he gave up after it began to sound like “glorified karaoke”, he’s now the first signing to Gotye’s independent Australian record label Spirit Level. The label was formed especially to facilitate the release of Zammuto’s latest album, Anchor.
He couldn’t be happier with the album, which was released in September this year. “It was an amazing album to work on. I revamped my studio to work on the record. I was able to invest in some new, classic analogue gear,” he explained. “There’s really quite a steep learning curve, but I was able to get a texture that was really different from the ‘in the box’ sounds that I was working with in the past.”
Watch: The Bass Projector
Zammuto had a less than conventional way of fundraising for the album. While asking for fans to pay upfront for the album, he also designed and sold his own creation dubbed “The Bass Projector”, a device that artfully projects the visual aspects of sound.
“The way The Bass Projector works is by having a flexible mirror attached to the speaker and a laser point that bounces off the surface of the mirror while it’s moving. It projects a pattern onto the wall of whatever sound you’re sending through the speaker.”
However, Zammuto finds other ways of expressing his inner inventor. For one of his latest video clips, IO (below), he hand-built an enormous trebuchet (think medieval catapult) and invited friends to “bring something that they wanted to literally jettison from their lives” and catapulted everyday objects over 120 metres into the air.
His science background has partially informed his musical compositions, but says avoiding boredom plays a crucial role. “I’m just really tired of 4/4. I don’t like it anymore. I’m trying to move away from it whenever I can. In chemistry, which is what I studied in college, I kind of realised that I could never be a mad scientist, I can’t get away with blowing things up.
“But in music, you can still be a mad scientist and get away with it. So that’s why I jumped over to this side, so I could explore some uncharted territory.”
With highly visual new shows, a “one-of-a-kind” drummer and at least one guest appearance by Gotye on the cards, Nick is now set to explore Australian shores with Zammuto for the first time in early 2015. He’s looking forward to escaping the icy New England winter. “It’ll be my third time but the first time with this band. It’s the dream, especially that time of year. It’s great.”
Zammuto play shows as part of Sydney Festival and MONA FOMA, as well as a headline show in Melbourne, in January. Details below.
Watch: Zammuto – IO
Zammuto Australian Tour Dates
Wednesday, 14th January 2015
The Aurora, Sydney
Tickets: Via Sydney Festival
Sunday, 18th January 2015
Tickets: Via MONA
Wednesday, 21st January 2015
Northcote Social Club, Melbourne
Tickets: Via Northcote Social Club