Capital Zen
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Capital Zen

Glens Falls, New York, United States | SELF

Glens Falls, New York, United States | SELF
Band Rock Funk


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"The North Country's Zen Masters"

When you fuse equal parts funk, punk, rock, metal and jazz into one sound, you create a uniqe balance that isn't just Zen, it's Capital Zen.

Story by Nick Chowske

The Glens Falls based power-fusion quartet, Capital Zen, has been rockin’ the North Country since the summer 2004, when guitar player, Terry Scoville, and his buddy, Jon McDowell, got an invitation to jam at a friend’s house. “I used to play with a conga player out in the street in Lake George,” said Scoville, “one day we ran into a piano player that drummer, Rye Wylie, and bassist, Tommy Ryzuk, were playing with and they invited us over for a jam.” It so happened that Wylie and Ryzuk were looking for a guitar player and they all hit it off instantly. “I used to go watch Rye play when he was in the Liquid Fusion Project and I remember thinking ‘Damn, they’re good! All they need is a singer and they’re gonna make it,’” said Scoville, “Now I’m the singer, so maybe it’s not that easy,” he added with a laugh.

Capital Zen became known across the North Country for their ambient psychedelic jams. McDowell left the band in 2006 and the remaining trio, Scoville, Wylie and Ryzuk, stepped up Zen’s sound to a funkier and more danceable style. The band toured as a trio until early 2009 when they added keyboard player Scott Hannay. “Scott’s the rookie,” said Wylie, “but he brought a lot of ambience and ideas.” Hannay, who had played with Zen as a guest, as well as the likes of Umphrey’s McGee, completed the band’s chemistry. “Scott helped out dramatically,” said Scoville, “he thickened out the trio sound into a more finite quartet.”

"I remember thinking, 'Damn, they’re good! All they need is a singer and they’re gonna make it.' Now I’m the singer, so maybe it’s not that easy."

Each member brings his own style to the band which provides a balance to the music they all write. “We all add a lot of different genres into the mix,” said Scoville, whose favorite bands, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Mr. Bungle and Conehead Buddha, as well as classic rock legends like Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and Jimi Hendrix, clearly influence his style of writing and playing. Wylie, whose roots are in metal, compliments Scoville’s playing with fast, aggressive, highly technical, Tool-like drumming. Ryzuk’s super funky bass lines are reminiscent of Primus and add a groovy edge to the rock, and Hannay’s electronic keyboard ambience fills in the gaps. “We snap back and forth between styles and sometimes it gets kind of weird, but it’s all good,” said Ryzuk. They never argue creatively when writing or playing. “We all pan out the same,” said Wylie, “if someone throws something out on the table, we’re not like ‘oh, that sucks.’ We’re pretty honest with each other.”

Seeing Capital Zen live is an experience all its own. If they’re rockin’ at the local bar or at a music festival like the Backwoods Pond Fest in Peru, NY, they want to make you dance. “We like to play anyplace where the people are getting down,” said Ryzuk. Whether there’s one or 100 people in the bar, the energy is high, the groove is funky, and their not happy until everyone is shakin’ it. “We’ve got music running through our veins,” said Hannay, “and we try to keep it flowing at all times.” A passion for music is not the only thing the band has in common; they also can’t stand lugging around their equipment. “It sucks and we hate it,” they say. “Doing our own sound when we play bars sucks too. Other than that everything is great,” said Scoville.

"We’ve got music running through our veins, and we try to keep it flowing at all times.”

The band definitely prefers playing live, but they just cut their debut self-titled album in early September. Their first from the studio, the album shows the broad range of styles that the band excels in. “The studio is very tedious,” said Hannay, who prefers playing improv jams to the perfection demanded by the studio. “And we drink way more beer when we’re in the studio,” added Scoville. “It’s fun though,” said Ryzuk, “you’re really focusing on making it precise so the songs will be solid on the album.”

It isn’t all fun and games for the band, though; someone has to pay the bills. The band teaches lessons at a music store in Queensbury, and Wylie is a pool boy. “I teach drums there too,” said Wylie, “pool boy doesn’t pay a lot of money.” Wylie and Ryzuk are both married with children, adding to the complications of being professional musicians. “We’ve got cool wives and girlfriends,” said Wylie, “And they’re definitely down with the music,” adds Hannay. “So much respect goes out to our girlfriends and wives,” said Scoville, “it’s hard for them to be home alone or even out with us because we’re so busy when we play.”

Capital Zen plans to keep playing despite the challenges. “I think we all see that nothing is going to be easy,” said Scoville, “but we’re sticking with it because we really love the music.” Their plans for the future are to continue what they’re doing - All Points North

"Backwoods Pondfest"

Day 2

I woke up to Capital Zen. As I played a mildly sun-drenched game of bocce with some comrades‚ we heard these guys absolutely DESTROY Rush's "YYZ." We ended the game and caught the rest of their energetic set. Their guitarist was impressive. They reminded me a little bit like The Breakfast‚ a group who has performed at the past couple Pondfests but was not on this year's bill. - State Of Mind Music

"Capital Zen: Not the cookie-cutter brand of jam"

Contributing Writer – Garret K. Woodward []

Bouncing out of Albany, New York like a rubber ball violently chucked at the world, prankster prog-rockers Capital Zen leave one confused and curious over what exactly is radiating out of the speakers.

The melodic slackers self-titled release is an outcry against the usual young adult fears- responsibility, government mind control, and the end of mankind in 2012.

Whiplash transitions. Kick-you-in-the-crotch percussion. Cat-scratch guitar riffs. Swampy bass hooks. It’s all there. The ideal recipe for a progressive jam entree.

And yet, they don’t sound like Umphrey’s McGee. They don’t sound like Phish. They don’t sound like moe. But, it’s that mere fact which keeps the listener’s attention.

They aren’t like the top-of-the-crop touring acts. They have added a few extra ingredients (hip-hop rhyming, friendly nods to nu-metal, and a hard rock edge) that separate them from innumerable other acts diluting the scene with a cookie-cutter brand of jam.

It seems there is potential within the confines of Capital Zen. Yes, the road is long and arduous, but, with a little bit of hard work, luck, and a keen sense of what’s waiting for them if they give up (a job), Zen is heading in the right direction- even if we can’t really decipher what that is at this current juncture. -

"Capital Zen: An Upbeat Blast"

Welcome to the rampant and wild world of Capital Zen, Glens Falls’ pillars of Funk Rock Fusion. Since their 2004 postnatal delivery, the potent trio has since been making a name for themselves both locally and afar by fighting cliché and generally ripping out some great sounds.
Capital Zen consists of the combination of a raw, unschooled talent. Heading up the guitar and vocals is one Terry Scoville. Rumored to have honed his skills on the strings by serving as a water boy during the WWF’s Glens Falls days, Scoville now passes time polishing his talent and creating music constantly, often removed from any stint of daylight.
The always on point rhythm section is made up of Rye Wylie on drums and Tom Ryzuk on bass, both sharing and adding to the vocals. In 2004, both Ryzuk and Wylie were minus a guitar, and a summer day in a Lake George health food store provided them with the missing link.
The group’s early beginning as an experimental-psychedelic-trance rock project has now evolved into a sound matured by each of their particular influences. Their next album which the group is hoping to release in time for a good Christmas present is a great gift idea for anyone who likes worthwhile auditory stimulation.
Expect it be the beastly baby of Blues meets Jazz. It’s a sound derived from a range of greats including The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Primus and the Incubus unfamiliar to most, namely their 1997 S.C.I.E.N.C.E. album.
“What we bring is what you hear, the weirder the better” said bassist Tom Ryzuk.
“The new album will sound more familiar to our fans, over the years we have been learning how to speak the language,” said Scoville.
He added, “Not being bound by any schooling is always a great way to come out with something unique. Sometimes crazy technique and focusing on a flashbulb gets in the way of a really good song.”
Each of the members brings to the table something unique to their own music history for each of the songs.
Drummer Rye Wylie said, “A lot of the time Terry will come up with a skeleton, and we will start to add on some skin and muscle. What might begin as folk like acoustic eventually takes off and gets deformed into our sound.”
Although no immediate shows have been planned, Capital Zen makes regular appearances at the Monday Night Originals hosted by Hotshots in Glens Falls. If your're lucky enough to catch Capital Zen live, get ready for some one of a kind fusion and even the possibility of a discussion on autoeroticism.
On November 7, at 9:30 P.M., Capital Zen will be featured on local TV 8, on their newly revamped show 8 Trax Live. Until then you can always contact Zen on Myspace.

-Samuel Murphy, The Post Star
- The Post Star


"Fancy Balloon Animals" (LP) (2011)

"Capital Zen" (LP) (2009)

"Space Tourettes" - (LP) (2007)

"Fancy Balloon Animals" from "Fancy Balloon Animals"
"I Wanna Be On TV" from "Capital Zen"
"The Same Mistake" from "Capital Zen"
"The Ocean" from "Space Tourettes"
"Ten Lines," an unreleased single.



Forged in the PCB-laden waters of the Hudson River in Upstate NY, Capital Zen’s minds and music have mutated beyond genre classification with a high-energy mix of originals and cover songs.

“Whiplash transitions. Kick-you-in-the-crotch percussion. Cat-scratch guitar riffs. Swampy bass hooks. It's all there. The ideal recipe for a progressive jam stew.”
Garret K. Woodward - Fourth Coast Entertainment Magazine

Capital Zen have not only played over 100 shows all over the Northeast over the last year, but have performed at Camp Bisco 9/10 and other numerous regional festivals, shared the stage with Kung Fu, Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk, Rustic Overtones, Melvin Seals w/JGB, Into the Presence (feat. Tim Alexander from Primus), Twiddle, Chali 2na of Jurassic 5, The Breakfast, Jimkata, Wyllys, and countless others. CZ even brought Jake Cinninger from Umphrey's McGee onstage with them at a UM afterparty they hosted.

Voted “Best Local Rock Band and Best Local Alternative Band” by The Post Star Region’s Best from 2011, Capital Zen raises the bar.

With the recent release of their sophomore album and new material being brewed at all times, they are continually looking to spread their music to new audiences. Going to a Capital Zen show is not at all unlike rubbing dryer sheets on a 3-day-old pair of socks…funky fresh!