Dave Zagar Trio
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Dave Zagar Trio

Muskegon, Michigan, United States | SELF

Muskegon, Michigan, United States | SELF
Band Rock Alternative


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Dave Zagar Trio performs at Howmet Playhouse"

WHITEHALL -- The Dave Zagar Trio performed Friday night as part of the 'First Fridays' series at the Howmet Playhouse.

The trio is made up of three Muskegon siblings: Dave Zagar, Laura Ogren and Andy Zagar.

After the show, Dave Zagar answered questions about playing as part of the series.

Mlive: What was it like playing at the Playhouse?

Zagar: The playhouse is such a great historic venue. We were honored to be able to perform on that stage. It was the first time we were able to walk out from back stage, and that was such a cool feeling. We really loved it!

Mlive: How is the sound different than playing at a bar?

Zagar: Bars are much louder, with all the background noise and drunk people around (haha). You have everyone's attention much better at a place like the Howmet Playhouse. It was also very gratifying to know that people were coming to the playhouse strictly to hear the music, whereas at a bar, they may just be there anyway.

Mlive: How did you decide to decorate the set?

Zagar: Actually, I recently saw an episode of Parks and Recreation, where one of the characters was a DJ for an event. Behind him were a few large, over-sized light bulbs. I thought, wow, that looks so cool, I'd love to do something similar at our next show. I've also seen bands in the past use Christmas light type backgrounds, but I think there is lots of character to a large exposed bulb, so I wanted to go with that.

Mlive: What special/favorite songs did you play?

Zagar: I think we would all agree that the opening song we played, called "19", is our favorite song to perform live. It involves all three of us singing in three part harmony, has a fun synthesizer part, and the ending has so much energy to it. We do it differently than on the album, and jam a lot at the end. It's just so much fun!

Another of our favorite songs to play is a new one, called "In Dreams." Again, just lots of energy to that, which makes them all the more fun to perform.

Mlive: What new songs did you play?

Zagar: "In Dreams", "Wake Up And Run", and "More Than We Perceive."

Mlive: What is the name of the song where the three of you sing around a microphone together?

Zagar: "Wake Up And Run." Laura played the melodica, Andy played the shaker, and I played the acoustic guitar. That is our newest song, and we love singing in 3-part harmony together on it! It's also nice to have an intimate song like this amongst all of the high energy songs during a show.

Mlive: How is it different being in a band with siblings?

Zagar: The best part about it is that we have no band drama. We are all very close with each other, and have been our entire lives. We know each other so well, and being related adds to the chemistry of performing live. It's like we know all of each other's next moves. Our voices are also very similar because we are siblings, so I think that helps them blend well together.

Mlive: You recently finished law school in Chicago, is it difficult driving up here to make a show?

Zagar: It's really not too difficult. I come back almost every weekend (especially recently to work on new songs), and I love it. After a week of working, I don't mind the 3 hour drive at all, if it means I get to practice, perform, write, or do anything music related with my brother and sister. I love using the drive time to listen to music, and come up with ideas for harmonies or new songs as well.

Mlive: What upcoming events do you have?

Zagar: Next up is an in-studio performance at the Muskegon Community College radio station. That is next Thursday, March 8th at 7:00 PM. Hopefully we'll schedule another Muskegon show for sometime in April. We're also playing a show at Heartland Community College in Normal, Illinois on April 5th.

We are currently composing a new album and hope to be in the studio by the end of the summer. - mlive.com

"Chi-Tunes: Local bands to know | Dave Zagar Trio"

Chicago rockers Dave Zagar Trio answered our Chi-Tunes questionnaire. Do the same and your band could appear in RedEye and Metromix!

What makes your live show great?

The mixture of different types of music that we incorporate into our style. We are also siblings, which causes us to think alike and to compliment one another's playing styles. This leads to tight harmonies and rhythms, as well as great chemistry between the band members. We put on an energetic and fun concert.

Describe your sound in five words or less.

Indie, pop, rock, rhythmic, melodic.

Tell us something random about the band, and why that's significant.

After every show, we stop at the nearest gas station and buy three bags of Skittles, one for each of us. We rotate each time in terms of who is in charge of buying. There is no real significance. We just started it one time because we all really like candy, and it has become a post-show tradition/superstition ever since.

Who would you want to work with, and who would you never work with? Why?

We'd love to work with Ben Folds, because he is is such a highly skilled musician and a phenomenal, witty entertainer. He also seems like a fun guy to hang out with. We could never work with Britney Spears, because we strongly dislike her style of fabricated music.

If the band was a cartoon character, who would it be and why?

Spongebob Squarepants, because he always finds the humor in life and we love to have a good laugh and make dull situations into humorous ones.

What's the best album you've heard recently?

Jukebox The Ghost: "Everything Under The Sun."

What song do you never want to hear again?

"The Lazy Song" by Bruno Mars.

What is Chicago's best music venue and why?

Even though we haven't played there, Schubas. It has a fairly intimate atmosphere, great sound and is only two blocks away from my apartment. - Chicago RedEye / metromix.com

"The Dave Zagar Trio kicking off First Fridays MI Music Concert Series"

WHITEHALL – The Howmet Playhouse is gearing up for its popular First Fridays Michigan Music Concert Series.

The concert series, which presents only the best in Michigan music, will feature two West Michigan groups and a duo from Lansing. The playhouse will present The Dave Zagar Trio on March 2, Jamie-Sue Seal and John Latini on April 13, and The Crane Wives on May 4 with opening act Katie Beaman.

Performing on Friday, March 2, the Dave Zagar Trio is a group of three siblings from Muskegon. With Dave on guitar, Laura on piano, and Andy on drums, their sound is a rock/pop blend of electric and acoustic guitar, overlaid with a classical fuse of piano and synthesizer. At times, all three members contribute vocals, merging to form pleasing three-part harmonies. Combinations of musical styles from the likes of Ben Folds, The Shins, and Coldplay have helped shape the band’s sound.

The band is quickly making a name for themselves. With plans for a second album already in the mix, a music video shoot in L.A., and a few spring and summer tour dates on the road, they are constantly working hard at growing and maintaining their fan base. Dave says of the group, “The support we’ve gotten from family, friends, and fans in our home town has been amazing. That’s really what drives us and makes this so much fun.”

The three siblings graduated from Muskegon Catholic High School, where they attended with Playhouse Manager Katie Trzaska. Trzaska says of the trio, “It is so exciting to be able to feature a hometown band with a different sound. After attending their shows around town, I decided it was finally time to have them to the Playhouse. It is fun to see friends pursuing their musical aspirations and succeeding.”

The Andrea Mathews Band will be the opening act on March 2 for the Dave Zagar Trio. Andrea is a Muskegon area musician and actor, and has portrayed many such roles as “The Narrator” in the 2011 Muskegon Civic Theater production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and “Audrey” in the 2010 Central Park Players production of Little Shop of Horrors. Andrea and her band frequently play at Hennessy’s in Muskegon, and Dee Lite in Grand Haven. With the right melodic blend of folk and rock, the Andrea Mathews Band is a natural fit with the Dave Zagar Trio. This is the second time these two bands will share a stage.

The First Fridays Series concerts begin at 7:30 p.m., with doors opening at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for students, and are available in advance at Whitehall City Hall and at the door. - White Lake Beacon

"Rising Dave Zagar Trio kicking off Howmet Playhouse 'First Fridays' series"

WHITEHALL — Local band The Dave Zagar Trio is getting ready to up it’s game for a show at Whitehall’s Howmet Playhouse in early March.
Dave Zagar Trio02.jpgThe Dave Zagar Trio. From left, Laura Ogren, 27, Dave Zagar, 26, and Andy Zagar, 20. Courtesy of The Dave Zagar Trio.

The trio, made up of three siblings from Muskegon, is more used to playing at bars. But since making the rounds at venues in the Great Lakes region for the last few years, the band has gained popularity and graduated to the larger spot in Whitehall on March 2.

Zagar said the band is flattered to be considered one of Michigan’s up-and-coming artists as they join The Crane Wives out of Grand Rapids as headliners for the Playhouse’s “First Fridays” series.

The popular series features hot acts from around Michigan to play Friday nights in the Spring and Fall weeks and the Playhouse, 304 S. Mears, has chosen the Trio to kick off the concert series this season.

And though the three parts of the parts of the band live in different places — Zagar recently finished law school in Chicago — they are always eager to get together for a show in Muskegon.

“It’s different performing in front of a hometown crowd because more people come out to the shows and some of them even know our lyrics,” Zagar said. “The first time I saw someone mouthing the words was amazing. It made me feel like I’d done something right when I wrote the song.”

Zagar said the band aims for an intimate feel at concerts with their indie rock/pop tunes driven by Zagar’s acoustic guitar. Zagar’s sister, Laura Ogren, joins in on piano and backing vocals and their younger brother, Andy Zagar, provides the back beat on drums.

The trio doesn’t have a bass player, but Zagar said Ogren’s piano fills out the lower end nicely.
made in MI music logo.jpgThe Howmet Playhouse is featuring Michigan artists in its First Fridays series.

“Ben Folds is a huge influence for us and his musicianship, especially on piano, is incredible,” said Zagar.

Folds is known for his piano based pop/rock albums. Though Folds, The Shins and The Beatles are influences, Zagar said the Trio is mostly interested in playing their own songs.

“In the past, we played mostly covers with some originals mixed in,” Zagar said, but now that they’re more known, they play originals almost exclusively.

“It’s so much more rewarding to play your own songs,” Zagar said, who began writing his own songs in college at Michigan State University. “That’s when I really got into the poetry of it.”

Many of the songs the Trio plans to perform Friday will come from their self-released album, “Caught in a Melodramatic Trance”.

The band recorded the album at the end of 2010 at an Indiana studio, the result of months of remote communication between band members.

“When we started on the album we were in different places. We communicated through e-mail and texts for ideas. I would send my brother a demo with my voice and guitar on it and he would layer in drums and send it back to me,” Zagar said.

The trio hopes to have a new album in the works soon and they plan to shoot a music video in California during the summer.

The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. March 2. Doors open at 7 p.m.Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for students and are available at the door and in advance at Whitehall City Hall.

For more information visit Howmet Playhouse's website or call (231) 894-4048.

email: riovan@mlive.com Twitter: newsroomrachel - The Muskegon Chronicle / mlive.com


"Caught in a Melodramatic Trance" - (13 track DEMO) self produced/released June 7, 2011

"In Dreams" - (single) released January 8, 2013



“It’s an exciting thing, being in a band with your brother and sister. I don’t know if anyone else could handle my musical expectations the way they do (or for that matter, put up with me the way they do.)”

Dave Zagar never set out to form a family band. In fact, after starting off playing solo shows, he added his brother Andy only because he was the only person he knew who could play the drums. Eventually they added Laura to the mix, and they became Dave Zagar Trio. “I’ve always been fond of the piano in rock music,” Dave says. “Adding Laura’s piano talents seemed like the right direction to take because we wanted to fill out the sound. What amazes me about the piano is how beautiful an instrument it is...and it also rocks.”

Distance has always been a factor for the band. All three are from the small town of Muskegon, Michigan, but Dave moved to Chicago to finish school just as the band had formed. Only after the move did they decide to record a full length demo album. Dave had been writing songs since high school, initially for the acoustic guitar only. While in Chicago, he’d send newly written songs to Andy and Laura back in Muskegon, to come up with parts for the songs. Then they would meet on the weekends at a recording studio in Indiana.

“Very little time went into preparing those songs for the studio,” Dave says. “More often than not, Laura and Andy would show up, hear a song for the first time, and make up a part right then and there. We had almost no money to be in that studio, and our busy lives afforded us no time to arrange these songs. We were clueless and inexperienced to the recording process, but we just wanted to make a record.”

In June 2011, Dave Zagar Trio released Caught in a Melodramatic Trance, a 13-track demo album, on CD. But the songs struggled to define a specific sound for the band, as almost every song had a different style. Some were changed from acoustic to electric, never intending to sound that way in the first place. Still, the band was proud to have completed a (demo) album in a recording studio for the first time.

“I think we’ve come a long way since our demo,” says Dave. “We’ve played lots of shows, and each time we get more comfortable and polished to the point where we don’t play the songs the way they are on the demo. This is the way they should have been recorded.”

In mid 2012, the trio recorded a new single, “In Dreams,” with engineer/producer Mike Council. They met Mike after playing a live community college radio station show he was in charge of. “In Dreams” was the new sound the band was looking for, and more accurately captivated the energy of a Dave Zagar Trio live performance. The band was beginning to dirty up their sound a bit, which is exactly what they were going for.

Shortly after recording “In Dreams,” the trio rented an SUV and embarked on a journey clear across the country to record a music video for the song. The project was produced, directed, and funded by Ryan Moran, an independent film director in Los Angeles, and friend of the band. While in Los Angeles, the trio played a show at the legendary Roxy Theatre on Sunset Boulevard. The music video was released in January 2013.

With the band’s new direction, Dave wanted their first official record to be written and recorded collaboratively as a band. Since all three members sing, they’ve also been focusing on writing more vocal parts to create vibrant and catchy three part harmonies.

The sound of Dave Zagar Trio is simple: guitar, piano, and drums. Although they have no bass, Laura fills in with low end keys. Their melodic style, use of the synthesizer and three part harmonies creates an upbeat fuse of indie rock-pop music.

DZ3 has been featured in the news as a rising local band and in the Chicago RedEye’s “Local Bands to Know.”

Whether Dave Zagar Trio is performing for capacity filled bars or seemingly empty venues, their style, chemistry, and energy show that they truly love performing music.