Escaped Zoo Animals
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Escaped Zoo Animals

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"Band heads to Glasshouse on a lark"

The members of indie pop act Escaped Zoo Animals had no plans to be a band.

"It started out as a recording project," said singer and songwriter Travis Coover.

Coover and guitarist Chris Menezes were playing together and decided to enlist Chris' brother Daniel to play drums and started piecing the rest of the band together.

"We never actually practiced the songs together," Coover said.

He posted their work on MySpace and the consensus from friends was that the band should play a show. They practiced and played shows around the area.

After Coover started contacting dream venues on a lark, the band snagged a spot opening for The Appleseed Cast at the Glass House in Pomona on Feb. 12.

Escaped Zoo Animals started out as a recording project. Now the Riverside band is opening for the Appleseed Cast at the Glass House on Feb. 12.
"You gotta try," Coover said.

After sending a message to the venue, he heard back the next day.

The band's members have been friends since childhood, jamming together growing up.

Coover decided to embark on the project after finishing graduate school, writing songs with imagery of author J.D. Salinger and 1950s upper crust New York and a Norman Rockwell aesthetic.

"When I listen to music, I see pictures," he said. "I like to almost create a little world."

Who: Travis Coover, vocals; Chris Menezes, guitar; Daniel Menezes, drums; Andrew Ballenger, bass; and John Bennett, keyboards

From: Riverside

Formed: 2008

Releases: The band released its full-length, "Escaped Zoo Animals," in January.

Sounds like: Escaped Zoo Animals plays indie pop music in the vein of the band's influences, such as Belle and Sebastian and Sondre Lerche. The band's debut album is full of pop gems, such as "Native Dialect," "Fabric and String" and "Madeline."

Sample the music: www.myspace.com/escapedzooanimalsmusic

See them live: 7 p.m. Feb. 12, the Glass House, 200 W. Second St., Pomona, $12, all ages. The Appleseed Cast, Janu and the Whalesharks and Fiasco! will also perform
- The Press Enterprise


"PE Live: Escaped Zoo Animals - The Performance"

http://www.pe.com/video/?z=y&nvid=331466 - The Press Enterprise


"Escaped Zoo Animals"

Escaped Zoo Animals have a song titled “Duplex” on their new album that references Jack Whitman’s affinity for Volatire No. 6. You can check out their music on MySpace or iTunes . - RushmoreAcademy.com


"Past, Present, Future: Escaped Zoo Animals"

Combining laid back Southern California style with a Kinks-esque vocal quality, I present Escaped Zoo Animals. Formed just nine months ago in Riverside CA, they just released their self-titled full length album in January. Check out our interview below; it sounds like they stumbled into becoming and band and are riding that wave.

1. Past: What is your musical background? What has led you to this point?

Escaped Zoo Animals is a collection of friends, some of whom have known each other since grade school. Though we had played together in the past, nothing serious had ever come to fruition. In early 2008, I (singer/guitarist Travis Coover) finished grad school, and wished to record a few songs I had written while in school. I approached now guitarist Chris Menezes about laying down these tracks, and thus, the nucleus of Escaped Zoo Animals was formed. Initially functioning as a "project," Chris and I asked Chris' brother Daniel to play drums on the demo. This later expanded, calling upon the talents of keyboardist John Bennett, and bassist Andrew Ballenger.


After finishing the demo, we posted the songs online, not knowing what to expect. The reaction, was the inquiry of many as to when we were going to play live. It was at this moment that we realized we were officially a band. From that point, we played many shows around Riverside California, fine-tuning our live performance. In October, we entered the studio to record what is now our first full-length, self-titled album. The primary influences of the band are Belle & Sebastian, Paul Simon, The Kinks, The Zombies and The Velvet Underground.


2. Present: Where are you at now in your career? What are you currently working on?


At this point, we are coming out of the gates, so to speak. Though only having existed for roughly nine months, we have already released a full length, and are ready to gain as much exposure as possible. Currently, the plan is to play pretty much any, and everywhere.


3. Future: What's coming up for you? Where do you see yourself in 5 years?


In the near future, we plan on promoting our new album across the country, and hopefully, the globe. In five years, we'd like to be able to be doing this as a sole priority. Essentially, we'd like this to be our job.


4. Where can people find more of your music?


People can listen to our music on our page at www.myspace.com/escapedzooanimalsmusic . If you like what you hear, you can buy our record on itunes, there's a link to the store on our myspace page.


5. Anything you'd like to plug?


Check out four songs from our record (now on itunes) at www.myspace.com/escapedzooanimalsmusic. Also you can peep a remix of one of our tracks at www.myspace.com/frankielideo.
- www.twogroove.com


Discography

Escaped Zoo Animals - s/t (January 2009)

Tracks available for streaming at www.myspace.com/escapedzooanimalsmusic
www.reverbnation.com/escapedzooanimals

Photos

Bio

It began in Riverside, California with a phone call from Travis Coover, a creative head brewing with clean new songs and creative ideas. He called childhood friend Chris Menezes, a wayward guitarist, plucking out psychedelic and ambient tunes whenever possible to get his musical fix. Although they hadn’t played music together since a few blurry high school afternoons several years prior, Travis knew Chris and his twin brother, drummer Daniel Menezes, would be choice musicians to bring life to the wistful pop stylings he had been developing in seclusion. After a euphoric free-improv jam, the threesome began thinking of ways to flesh out Travis‘ creative vision. Chris and Daniel immediately thought of their friend John Bennett to handle the keys. John was no piano maestro, but his stripped down approach complemented the style and added needed textural elements to the overall sound. Upon completing his post-graduate studies, Travis approached the group with a fresh batch of songs that would make up the band‘s eponymous debut album. He thought of Escaped Zoo Animals as a fitting moniker, as many of the songs deal with the themes of liberation, independence and post-humanism. Chris had procured some recording equipment and they got to work, laying down original songs that could be best described as The Kinks covering Vince Guaraldi‘s “Peanuts Gang” compositions. Sorely devoid of any low-end, Travis then called upon Andrew Ballinger, a willing and able ex-band mate who’s bass playing sparked excitement within the band. By accompanying their brand of sunny indie-pop with creative visual elements, the band’s shows soon became local spectacles, placing pressure on them to deliver a full-length, and in January 2009 they obliged by loosing their debut record upon the world.