Who knew that Nick Zinner of the Yeah Yeahs Yeahs was from Sharon, Massachusetts (SPOILER ALERT: I did)? And who knew that Zinner traveled to South Africa (!!!), joined a band called Africa Express (!!!!), and has left the South Shore in his dust. Talk about a glow up.
The one and only time that I saw the Yeah Yeah Yeahs play live was in Boston. Trueits name the Boston Phoenix Best Music Poll was the best because 1) it was free 2) it happened at City Hall which made the event super T-accessible. TV on the Radio and Yeah Yeah Yeahs played and both bands closed the gig with "Modern Romance", the closing track on the YYY's "Fever to Tell" album.
I remember YYYs singer Karen "Karen O" Orzolek teasing Zinner by announcing onstage that "Nick is a Boston boy!" Perhaps an inside joke between friends? Later, in a VICE interview Zinner would later say an interview that he "didn't like" Boston. It's not like Karen is always harshing on The Kid Zinner: I love that self-referential Karen shouts on "Mysteries" before Zinner's guitar solo: "Take it away, Nick!"
Maybe since he's a Sagittarius Nick Zinner could envision the bigger picture. Forget the South Shore...your boy was eyeing another CONTINENT. No disrespect to the town of Sharon but...like...what was there for him? By Nick Zinner venturing Sharon he eventually met Karen (O and drummer Brian Chase). The South Shore never left him: a cursory listen to Zinner's YYY'S guitar work reveals terse but well-cradtes lattice work sonically woven with guitar loops and chords. Your boy is very talented at playing guitar. Forget a Grammy: Nicholas Joseph Zinner deserves the Benjamin Franklin Medal for Engineering (but give him a Grammy, too).
Currently, Zinner plays in the 100-plus member group Africa Express and on the newly-released EP 'MOLO', per Instagram @little_vampire ) and he's much more equipped to tell youse all about Africa Express.
Take it away, Nick!
"last year I went to Johannesburg, South Africa with @africaexpresshq, to make an album in a week. It was super crazy, beyond inspiring, and a bunch of us got matching tattoos.
Anyways this record is coming out this summer, and a 4 song EP , 'MOLO' is out today, + 1 of the tracks I worked/played on XHOSA on it is [fire emoji] featuring @damonalbarn @moonchildsanelly @georgiauk @blueymay @bcuc @alphaotim @blkjks
[eyes emoji] LINK IN BIO [eyes emoji]
I'm heading to london next week for a @africaexpresshq The Circus concert, with like 100 musicians so hopefully we'll get to play some of these tracks like [prayer emoji] [black heart emoji] "
The Africa Express project has released a new EP today.
How much art has Nick Zinner been making?
Quoth 21 Savage: a lot.
Nicholas Joseph Friggin Zinner also: plays in a Black Sabbath cover band; released a novella called "131 Different Things"; toured with the Yeah Yeah Yeahs; performed with the Haxan Cloak; performed with Francesco Donadello in Revenna, Italy; played with Better Oblivion Community Center (Phoebe Bridgers & Bright Eyes' Conor Oberst's new band).
And that's all when he's not playing in the grindcore band More Pain, the hardcore band Head Wound City, and exhibiting his photography in Mexico...
...and hanging with a dog who is named Faust (IG handle: https://instagram.com/2faust2furryous) who apparently is a fan of Boston (the band)?
Let's hope Africa Express plays a show in the States.
Seriously, Roxbury Cultural District: get in contact with Nick Zinner and let's get Africa Express to play at the Bolling Building in Dudley Square -- sorry --- Nubian Square.
Here's some links and a track listing for 'MOLO' by Africa Express.
And let this be a lesson to us all: Don't sleep on Sharon, Massachusetts!
The track listing for ‘MOLO’ is:
1. Nayena ft Infamous Boiz, Morena Leraba, Moonchild Sanelly, Mr Jukes, Zolani Mahola, Remi Kabaka
2. No Games ft Muzi, Ghetts, Sho Madjozi, Moonchild Sanelly, Poté, Radio123
3. Xhosa ft. Moonchild Sanelly, Otim Alpha, Damon Albarn, Blue May, Georgia, Nick Zinner, BCUC, Blk Jks
4. Vessels ft. Phuzekhemisi, Gruff Rhys, Muzi, BCUC
Nick Zinner on Instagram: www.instagram.com/little_vampire
Faust the dog: