In Sacramento there’s a lot of local talent. Mostly you hear of rock bands and singers on the local scene. However there is now a growing Hip-Hop movement in Sacramento and Zebulon is a part of this movement. Bringing remarkable lyrics, great emceeing and impressive beats to the table, Zebulon provides listeners with Hip-Hop and a blend of Electro to create a sound that is truly amazing. They are a great addition to the Sacramento music scene and there is no question as to why they along with a few other groups inspired Marilyn’s on K in Sacramento to bring back Hip-Hop night. If you have never had the chance to hear Zebulon you should definitely check them out on Reverbnation, iTunes, or Facebook. They are also holding their CD release party on January 6, 2012 at Marilyn’s on K in Sacramento which is a show you won’t want to miss. I had the pleasure of sitting down with Zebulon Griffin from Zebulon for an interview and this is what he had to say. By Jamie Candelaria
Zebulon is: Zebulon “Zeb” Griffin; Vocals, drums, production and Brian Fleshman; Keys, drums, production
How did you and Brian come together to form Zebulon?
We met at Guitar Center that seems to be how a lot of people in Sacramento meet, in 2006. We started doing music shortly after that. We started a group with a couple of friends from Guitar Center called Soulifted. We did that for many years up until last year. The whole time we had been doing music on our own together as well. So we finally decided that we would put something out together.
How would you describe your music?
Zeb: It’s Electro-Hip-Hop. There are a lot of cool twists of electronic music embedded into it but it’s really deeply rooted in Hip-Hop. With the lyrics I try to do a lot of story- telling.
What age did you become a musician?
Zeb: Since I was four I had a huge interest in music. Probably around ten or eleven I started trying to write. I became really into music when I was 14 and began playing the drums. From there on out I became pretty passionate about it and began recording at 15. The rest is history, I’ve been doing it ever since.
Have you always done Hip-Hop?
Zeb: Yeah as far as trying to promote my own stuff, it’s always been Hip-Hop.
You grew up in Atlanta do you think that had a big influence as far as you choosing Hip-Hop as your genre of choice?
Zeb: Absolutely. I was heavily influenced by Outkast. Down there people like all types of music so I was also listening to Otis Redding, Chili Peppers, Hip-Hop, pretty much anything I could get my hands on.
What Musicians inspire your music?
Zeb: There’s definitely a Radiohead influence as far as the music goes. There’s also a lot of electronic influence. From Brian’s standpoint there’s a lot of influence from Boards of Canada. For me Outkast was a big influence as well as Lauryn Hill’s record which I listened to a lot when I was a kid.
Zebulon does something a little different than a lot of acts when you play live, you play the drums and rap on stage but your beats which you have already produced yourselves are played on the sound system as you perform. That’s a little bit of a different approach but it works well for you guys, how did you come to the decision to do that?
Zeb: Well we’re both drummers and started out that way so we wanted to bring that to the live show. I was in the drum line and that was a big thing for me. We wanted to incorporate that into our music. As far as when we do music on the record we’re inspired by a lot of electronic as well.
Who writes your music, is it collaborative?
Zeb: It’s collaborative. The EP we just released is I would say about 90 percent is Brian as far as production with me doing drums on certain tracks. I produced Sea of C’s, a song comprised of mostly words beginning with the letter C. It is collaborative effort. I write all of the lyrics.
Do you find that a lot of your music is personally influenced?
Zeb: Definitely. Especially on this particular record, there’s a lot of stuff that I haven’t written about before that I brought to the table that is very personal.
What is something that you want people to know about Zebulon?
Zeb: we want people to know that we’re here! We’re trying to put down our roots in Sacramento and branch out from there. We’re Electro-Hip-Hop and we bring something different to the live shows.
There aren’t many Hip-Hop groups in Sacramento as far as the local scene is concerned does that make it easier or harder for you guys to find venues to play?
Zeb: Right now it seems to be in our favor. I heard that Marilyn’s wasn’t too keen on doing strictly Hip-Hop shows and it had been a while since they did that until we did the show with the Ricky James Project and Iconoclast Robot. They seemed to really enjoy it though and they are stoked to have us back so it’s kind of helped us in a way and that’s awesome.
January 6, 2012 you’re holding the CD Release Party for your EP Future Flash, what can people expect to hear on the EP?
Zeb: The EP is a lot of story-telling and electronic music cleverly twisted into Hip-Hop.
What can people expect next from Zebulon?
Zeb: Lots of shows. We’re constantly working on music so we’re already plotting our next release, probably for mid to late 2012. I’d say the goal in the next year is to branch out of Sacramento and maybe do a small West Coast tour by the end of the year.