You are here: Home Music Beat Zoo Lion roars on the road
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

L.A. Beat

Zoo Lion roars on the road

E-mail Print PDF

Calgary rock band Zoo Lion may have grew up in the ’90s, but they don’t sound like a grunge band.
“We all came up in the ’90s listening to a lot of grunge rock like Pearl Jam, Pearl Jam and Soundgarden and Alice In Chains. But before that we were listening to a lot of classic rock like Led Zeppelin and CCR. So we take all of it and make it our own.

But classic rock is what we grew up with, so it has definitely influenced us,” said guitarist Craig Aikman of the band who will be playing Legends Pub and Grill, Nov. 24 in LeZoo Lion comes to Lethbridge, Nov. 24. Photo Submittedthbridge for the first time in about two years. They have spent most of the year on the road.

They have had a lot of great experiences since forming in 2007, not the least of was opening for Bon Jovi in 2010.
“It’s been a little bit of luck and a lot of hard work,” he said, adding opening for Bon Jovi was a rush.

“We were playing a lot around Calgary. And we thought if we got 100 people at one of our shows, that was pretty good for us. But going from that to playing in front of 16,000 was a big step up,” he said.
“We weren’t nervous about it but we were pretty anxious,” he said.

“ We had a half hour on stage and the crowd was pretty receptive. It was good for us. We got a lot of calls for gigs after it and met a lot of new friends.”

Zoo Lion has roots in Saskatchewan as Aikman and bassist Matt Tysowski grew up in the same southeastern town near Yorkton. He met guitarist Mark Heit at Red Deer College, who ended up being from Prince Albert.
“We’re a pretty tight crew and we’ve been playing together for six years,” he said.

 They have caught the attention of the music industry and lots of fans by winning a handful of contests — including the 2009 Canadian Radio Star title from Calgary radio station CJAY 92 for their song “Pry,” which won them a week at the 2009 Canadian Music Week in Toronto. They are enjoying being part of the Calgary music scene.

“It’s been really good for us. Venues come and go and bands as well. There’s a lot of opportunities out there,” he observed.
“ We could be gigging every weekend if we wanted to, but we don’t want to over do it,” he said.
“There are lots of great bands here. It's not seen as a good of a scene as Vancouver or Toronto, but it’s been good for us,” he said.
One of the highlights over the past couple years was playing indie-week in Toronto last October, where they placed third out of 170 bands from across the country.

“We’ve had lots of great times on the road,” he said.

 Their most recent EP “Black Rhino” was released in 2010. They have set aside some time in January and February to write new material.
“The creative process has begun,” he said adding songwriting is completely a collaborative effort with all four of the band members (Craig Aikman on guitar, Matt Tysowski on bass, Mark Heit’s guitar beats of Tyler Reimer’s drums) adding their parts.

“We’ve set aside some time to write, but not so much to record. But there will definitely be something going on  for 2013,” he said.
 But first, they are coming back to Lethbridge.
“It has been about two years,” he said adding he couldn’t remember the first venue they played in Lethbridge.
“ We’ve had a lot of fans bugging us to get our butts back there,” he said.

“We’ve got a lot more original material now. It will be a high energy rock show.
“ We’re just really looking forward to being back in Lethbridge and playing for everybody and seeing people we know. We’re really going to rock Lethbridge,” he said.
The show begins at 9 p.m., Nov. 24. There is no cover charge.

— By Richard Amery, L.A Beat Editor

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 20 November 2012 11:21 )  
The ONLY Gig Guide that matters


Music Beat

Lights. Camera. Action.
Inside L.A. Inside

CD Reviews


Music Beat News

Art Beat News

Drama Beat News

Museum Beat News