With a sound that balances melody, a strong delivery and a stylish stage presence, New York-based Zigmat has developed a solid following and continues to spark interest way beyond the confines of the Lower East Side’s rock circuit. The band formed in the summer of 2006 when singer Monica Rodriguez and bassist Stephen Yonkin invited Adam Sturtevant (drums) and Alon Leventon (keyboards) to join them. Soon thereafter the lineup was completed with the arrival of guitarist Ryan Alfred. All of them had known each other while studying at Berklee in Boston and had been playing with different bands after graduating. Currently, the band is putting the last touches on their fist full-length album and when questioned about its release—Monica told us: ”On June 30 (at the Mercury Lounge), you will have the answer!” Since we know you can’t wait, we bring you a brief interview with Monica Rodriguez so you can have something to hold you off until you’re reading the credits on the album.
Catch Zigmat live this Thursday June 21st at The Delancey, perfmorming with Uli, Rana Santa Cruz, and DJ Amazonico.
NYR: What is the meaning of the band’s name?
MR: Names are reference points… they are the given meaning once they have a direct connotation to a person, place or thing….Zigmat is how we refer to the sounds that we create and the experience that we share in the process.
NYR: How does living in New York influence both the type of music you like and the music you compose?
MR: Where we live directly reflects in the sound that we create… living in NY is the landscape from which we draw inspiration. Each of Zigmat’s songs is a sonic illustration of characters that I have personally met and tells a NYC story from their perspective. As the singer I feel that I am the vehicle or voice of individuals that have had such an impact on me, but could not see their own effect.
NYR: You guys seem to be a multicultural band solidly grounded in electro-rock—how do the different cultural experiences of each member shape Zigmat’s music?
MR: The same way that the pots melt… we come together to fuse our ideas which represent the individual and Zigmat. Its great working with this group, everyone’s musical background and taste is very different. The point where these five pasts meet is giving birth to some very unique sounds.
NYR: You guys list bands like Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Ladytron as bands that you like, but you also mention Café Tacvba, CSS and Calle 13, do you think that having a more global perspective on music and popular culture in general has allowed Zigmat to build a wider fan base?
MR: Definitely. We can appreciate music and people no matter where they are coming from. Human connection is inevitable when genuine.
NYR: Are you guys opting for an independent route, or would you prefer to have the support of a label?
MR: We would rather develop naturally as the first steps for any group are usually taken independently.
NYR: That wonderful video available for viewing on your myspace page—who is the director and how were the ideas for its content developed?
MR: This video was a gift from the very talented and hardworking Tevo Diaz. Tevo and his Chilean crew wrote and directed the script drawing from the lyrics and feeling of the music. It was a beautiful opportunity.