Deep Jimi and the Zep Creams
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Deep Jimi and the Zep Creams

Keflavík, Southern Peninsula, Iceland | INDIE

Keflavík, Southern Peninsula, Iceland | INDIE
Band Rock Classic Rock

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Discography

Better When We‘re Dead (2010) - Geimsteinn, Iceland
Deep Jimi and the Zep Creams (2005) - Geimsteinn, Iceland
Seybie Sunsick‘s Rock‘n‘Roll Circus (1996) - Geimsteinn, Iceland
Funky Dinosaur (1993) - Atco-East/West
Deep Jimi and the Zep Creams EP (1992) - Parlophone
Blow Up EP (1992) - Technicolor

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Bio

Us boys started playing many moons ago. Ah, those were the days my friend - fifteen, rocking out in my dad's garage. We lined the walls with layers and layers of egg cartons and that foamy bit you get in boxes of apples. We then covered the walls and ceiling in carpet. It meant we could thrash out our stuff all through the night if we wanted - and we did.

Very early on we were set on going to America to make it. Sign with a big record company. We even had a date set. Only problem was we had no idea how we were going to finance something like that. But it's strange how fortune works with you sometimes.

We were heavily into seventies rock at the time and it was probably drummer Júlli who came up with the idea of doing a gig where we play all our favourite music, dress up like the artists and everything. It was Júlli that suggested sticking to only four bands - Deep Purple, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin and Cream - and to call this mock hippy outfit Deep Jimi and the Zep Creams.

This was a few months before the date we had set to go to America and still no money was in sight or any clever ideas on how to get it.

Anyway, when we came to doing the gig, we thought we'd be the only ones there into it - we were living in a small town in Iceland where even mainstream pop was almost too out there for most people and here we were dressed up like complete freaks, playing music no one was meant to be interested in at all.

But what do you know, they loved it and that summer we ended up playing this set two to three times a week, making us enough money for flights, accommodation and basic needs in America for three months.

When we got there we decided to keep the name Deep Jimi and the Zep Creams. Our old name had been Pandora - how sickening is that?!

We arrived in New York with next to nothing. A few bob in the bank and a tape - that was about it. And yes, I did say tape. Remember this all happened a long time ago.

First we had to find a place to stay. We wanted the cheapest you could get - a studio apartment. Now four guys, bearded and long haired, trying to get a studio together? Err ... don't think so. Oh, did we mention we are in a band? It seemed nobody wanted to house the ‘next best thing’ so we had to stay at a B&B in Queens for the time being, draining our precious money.

But one day trekking up and down the streets of Manhattan, Village Voice under our arm, we stumbled on a sign: ‘Apartments Available’. This was on Waverly right off Broadway, near Washington Square Park. We go in, talk to some manager type guy and no problem! He loved us! Iceland? No problem! We've had Icelanders here before, never any problems with them! Thanks all you guys who went before us.

So we got a place to stay. Expensive, but ours. We all slept in one room - four mattresses on the floor next to each other - and did everything else in the other. With that out of the way we celebrated, the only way we knew how, with booze! We drank a lot in those days. That probably explains the kidney problems we are experiencing today.

Next thing we did was get a tiny stereo - again keeping within the budget - to be our duplication factory. The one tape we had brought with us was now duplicated on this double tape deck. We then made a list of all the places in town playing live music and trotted down there with a tape.

Normally all four of us would go, never less than two. We’d take the tape to the manager, he'd tell us he was booked for the next four months, we'd then say we were from Iceland and only here for a short while and they'd say they'd have a listen. We'd then go the day after and see if they had. They hadn't. I don't think we were being pushy, just really anxious to play. In the end they'd squeeze us in somewhere.

I don't think the tape was very good but maybe the thought of having four big, bearded guys coming to your office everyday wasn’t the most pleasant of prospects, so why not cut your losses give the guys a gig and get rid of them.

Our first gig was at Kenny's Castaways - a pretty shit place on Bleecker Street. We did our thing for about three people - the act that was on before us, Judy Saiya, her guitarist (the excellent John Surich) and some guy watching them. Oh, let’s not forget the sound man, Joey Green. Little did we know these people were to become the foundation for the Zep Creams operation in New York.

The guy watching John and Judy turned out to be their manager, Peter Ciaccia. He approached us and seemed genuinely interested. We played it pretty cool with him - we weren't going to sign up with any guy who approached us. Hey, this was only our first gig!

In the end Peter became our manager and even before we had signed anything with him he was bringing people down from record companies to see us.

People tended to say to us that we were ready, whatever that meant exactly. I suppose we had a lot of gig experience and as such were quite a good live band. We a