While in their teens, the brothers behind the Silent Comedy (Joshua and Jeremiah Zimmerman A.K.A J. John and J. Benjamin) sold their possessions and moved across the Pacific. They lived a nomadic life, traveling across Southeast Asia, the Indian Subcontinent, Russia, the Middle East, and Europe. Throughout these travels, music remained a large part of their lives. Whether playing harmonica around campfires in the Himalayan foothills or gathering crowds around department store pianos in Madrid, the boys kept their connection to music alive by whatever means available.
Returning from abroad, their family wandered the US and eventually settled in San Diego, California. The brothers maintained their connection to music with the family’s only piece of furniture, a hundred-year-old upright piano. After playing in local bands for a number of years, The Silent Comedy was formed as a recording project and a vehicle for exploring the music the brothers had loved while growing up. On a whim J. John agreed for the group to perform live, for which they enlisted the help of a ragtag group of area musicians (including J. Michael, I. Forbes, and former percussionist J. Benedict).
From that point on, word of the band’s dynamic live show spread quickly. They performed their first show at San Diego’s renowned Casbah to a sold out crowd (and played six more sold out Casbah shows in 2008 alone). Word of their live show, and subsequent sold out shows at San Diego’s Hard Rock Hotel, U31 Lounge, and Beauty Bar, have led to the band being asked to perform on prime festival slots with the likes of Flogging Molly, The Black Keys, MGMT, Cold War Kids, Common, and others.
2008 proved to be a productive year for The Silent Comedy. In the midst of festival dates and self-promoted tours around the west coast, the band was awarded “Best New Artist” at the San Diego Music Awards and recorded a debut EP (produced by Louis XIV’s Brian Karscig).
Over the last year, the band has solidified a six man lineup of multi-instrumentalists and seasoned performers. This lineup includes original banjo/mandolin/guitar player Justin Buchanan (A.K.A. J. Michael); original violinist, Ian Kesterson (A.K.A. I Forbes); drummer Andy Ridley (A.K.A. A. David) from the United Kingdom and formerly of the band Fono; harmonica/guitarist/vocalist Tim Graves (A.K.A. T. Brian), a childhood friend of the brothers tapped to bring authentic Southern chops to the band.
Joshua Zimmerman: Lead Vocals, Bass, Guitar
Jeremiah Zimmerman: Lead Vocals, Piano, Guitar
Justin Buchanan: Banjo, Mandolin, Guitar
Ian Kesterson: Violin, Mandolin
Tim Graves: Guitar, Harmonica, Vocals
Andy Ridley: Drums
Sunset Stables LP: 2007
Self Titled EP: 2008