San Francisco, June 2016 – Bizarre “Brass House” group Too Many Zooz have recorded new songs at San Francisco’s Studio Trilogy. While in town from NYC, they performed with local musicians, who joined them in the studio. “This was a super fun session and the guys are insanely talented and creative,” remarked Trilogy recording engineer Willie Samuels.
Too Many Zooz was recently featured on Beyonce’s new “Lemonade” album, following her discovery of their viral videos. They can be heard on both “Formation” and “Daddy Lessons.”
The three-piece Too Many Zooz got their start in the subways of NYC. Matt Doe on trumpet, Leo P on the sax, and The King of Sludge on bass drum and percussion. Videos of their performances frequently get millions of views.
Watch Zooz perform in the NYC Union Station subway:
“Too Many Zooz wasn’t really intended to be a band,” explains co-founder Matt Doe. “We were just trying to have fun, and make some money to eat, buy a 6-pack, and pay our rent. I saw it as an opportunity, a really easy way to play music for money and do what I love as my job.”
After starting their first full-length album at Platinum Sound in NYC, they ventured to SF. “We had a show out there at the Independent,” says Matt Doe. “and decided to book some time at Trilogy because there were some artists that we were meeting out there and it was easier to record with them out West.”
Engineer Willie Samuels explains, “The sessions at Trilogy were really a continuation of what they had been doing in New York, so I stuck with the same mic’s and set up that they had been used to. One of the big challenges is that due to their time in the subway, they are used to playing in close proximity to each other, as well as dancing around quite a bit. Leo’s dance moves are incredible, and he keeps it moving while recording. So there is a fair amount of difficulty with bleed and keeping the guys ‘on mic’, but Matt is amazing at ‘working’ the proximity of the Shure SM7b.
Additional microphones include a Neumann M269c on sax, Shure SM91 taped to the bass drum shell inside, Neumann TLM170 on bass drum outside, Shure Beta52 on ankle bells and foot stomps, AKG C414 on blocks and bells, and a Neumann KM84 on drum overhead.
Samuels continues, “I also had a pair of Neumann M269c’s set up in the center of the room in a Mid-Side pattern that I used for ambience of the whole group as well as our miscellaneous overdub mics for random percussion and such. I could very easily use just the ‘mid’ mic if we wanted mono or the whole setup if we wanted a stereo picture.”
“He did good, man,” says trumpeter Doe. “Willie’s a really good engineer, easy to work with and hardworking. The studio’s great. To be honest, in any studio that you pay good money at you expect to have the right microphones for the right rooms, but not every studio has a luxury apartment ten feet from where you record. That for me was so huge. That was amazing.”
Listen to the new single “Warriors” by Too Many Zooz:
Written and produced by Too Many Zooz; co-produced by Ivan Jackson, recorded at Studio Trilogy in San Francisco, CA, engineered by Willie Samuels and Serge Tsai; mixed by Serge Tsai at Platinum Sound recording studios; mastered by Chris Gehringer at Sterling Sound.