LOCAL band ZinEgo, operating out of Newbridge, are a three piece rock band that model themselves on “stadium” hard and ballad rock groups such as Thin Lizzy, U2, Queen, Guns n’ Roses and Pearl Jam.
The band is composed of Newbridge locals Paul O’Connor on vocals and rhythm guitar, Graham Coffey on drums and Amar Mahase from Blanchardstown on bass and backing vocals.
Speaking to Living in Kildare on their way home from an interview on Radio Nova, band members Graham Coffey and Paul O’ Connor muse over the bands origins.
The pair played together for several years in different bands but it is only since summer 2008 that ZinEgo as it is known today came to be. The name itself came from the group trying to come up with a name for their proposed band over a few bottles of wine. After suggesting and rejecting a multitude of names, they decided to call themselves ZinEgo, Zin after one brand of wine and Ego after AlterEgo, another brand of wine.
“After Steeplecrown, the last band we played in, we took a break,” Graham remembers, “life gets in the way, you know?” A few years later and the thirst to perform had obviously returned. The put an ad into the Buy and Sell and Amar Mahase answered. He was fresh out of another band and was looking for a group that recorded and played all their own material, something which ZinEgo take very seriously. A point which Graham cannot stress the point enough; “we’re not a pub band,” he explains, “we only perform our own material and… Well… We’re quite loud.”
This decision to avoid smaller pub venues is partly influenced by the fact that they were once asked by the management of a pub to tone it down three times, not three times over the night mind you, three times during their first song.
Despite their “spin the bottle” approach to naming their band, they harbour no illusions to the amount of hard work required by unsigned bands hoping to succeed in Ireland.
“We’re happy enough to remain unsigned,” shrugs Paul, “but at the end of the day the record companies know all the business and will push us and other stuff. We’d be happy to get signed by a decent record company but we have no problem doing the work ourselves if needs be.”
ZinEgo are not only willing to do the work themselves, they are more qualified than most. Amar has his own recording studio where he records unsigned bands. This studio in Blanchardstown, know as Basement Studios, has been a major help with the bands release of their first CD, “Thirteen”. Graham is a graphic designer by profession and has worked on album covers for the likes of Christy Moore and Don Baker.
Despite their qualifications, it is working life that is preventing the trio from putting the time they really want into the band. Paul, for example, is a qualified herbalist who owns and runs the Health Store on Lower Eyre Street in Newbridge.
Despite juggling a busy career with their time in ZinEgo, the band are delighted with their progress to date, as well they should be, as of February 13 the group had risen to be second locally and fourth nationally in the Reverbnation charts. They are also in a facebook competition for Today FM and Glenisk’s “music for TV advert.”
To hear some of ZinEgo’s work you can download Thirteen from ITunes. The band hope to see it released for €10 in selected stores over the coming weeks. The band’s main website is at www.reverbnation.com/ZinEgo.