John Zay & Speed of Life

John Zay & Speed of Life


A mix of rock, reggae, fusion and ambient music. Epic songs with lush soundscapes over pulsing rhythms. Lyrically a songwriters quest through shamanic journey space. In the tradition of Zep, Floyd, Janes, U2, Yes, Talking Heads, Police, Living Colour, David Bowie, Fishbone, The Doors and more...


Speed of Life is a global band, destined to be an evolving project that draws upon influences and diversity from travels throughout the outward physical world and the inward spiritual landscape. Conceived by vocalist/guitarist John Zay, the band utilizes some of the finest musicians from both the US and Europe.

John Zay & Speed Of Life started in Brooklyn NY as cross-genre fusion of progressive hard rock with ambient drum & bass. That material wound up being the basis for their debut album “Mainstay”, released in October of 2004. “Mainstay” went on to college radio where it was played on over 160 stations throughout the country.

The band quickly went back in the studio to write and record new material. These sessions marked a new musical direction for the project. Elements of acoustic ballads, Latin inspired riffs and Atmospheric Landscapes came into the mix. The result was “Catalyst” released in January of 2007. After the release John Zay & Speed Of Life embarked on a successful 2-month tour up, down and across the US.

A follow up west coast fall tour was booked which coincided with a highly successful college radio campaign for “Catalyst”. With the success of the college radio campaign the band participated in the 2008 Red Gorilla Music Festival @ SXSW in Austin TX. Afterward Zay relocated the project to Los Angeles.

In February 2010 John Zay & Speed Of Life's released the first new single “Wanderlust” through the promotional download competition 'Playlist 7' with Windows & Reverbnation. “Wanderlust” was a winner in that contest being one of the top 7 songs downloaded by fans out of thousands. The track Features the legendary Angelo Moore of Fishbone on Saxophones as well as drummer Tobias Ralph recently on tour with Lauren Hill, Tricky & Adrian Belew.

In November of 2010 John Zay hooked up with a great line up of musicians in Hamburg Germany for a string of shows and an appearance on The Goldene Gniechel TV show. The success of that outing is bringing Zay back to Germany in September and October of 2011 for more shows and promotion for his new release.

Currently Zay is finishing a new Speed Of Life album and has launched a Indiegogo campaign to support the release. The album will be released totally Green with no plastic cd's. Seeded download cards will be produced instead and all merchandise will be eco-friendly including reusable shopping bags, sustainable t-shirts and more. Also John Zay's Indiegogo campaign is unique in that he's giving away different Green prizes as donation incentives.

Since being in Los Angeles Zay has established himself as a reliable producer working with high profile clients including mixing Hip-Hop for David Faustino (Bud Bundy from Married With Children), mixing & producing Angelo Moore of Fishbone's solo project Dr. Madd Vibe and co-writing, mixing and producing “The Todd Song” for actor Robert Maschio (Scrubs). John Zay is also planning a large scale music festival in southern California for the spring of 2012 spawning out of shamanistic ritual journey space

- January of 2007; “Catalyst” released followed by 2 months of extensive US touring

- August 20 2007; Track 1/Caught Inside off “catalyst” was featured as Garagebands alternative track of the day on Aug 20 2007 with a 4.8 out of 5 star rating from peer reviews

- October 2007; while Speed Of Life embarks on a west coast US tour “Catalyst” begins to get buzz on college radio

- Oct 17, 2007; Catalyst lands at #294 in the RIYL unweighted charts, a fair charting systems that gives Indie and Major bands an equal foothold in charting.

- May 2008; Speed of Life perform at the 2008 Red Gorilla Music festival coinciding w/ SXSW in Austin TX.

- February 2010; John Zay teams up with Windows 7/Reverbnation and the new Speed Of Life single "Wanderlust" wins the final week as top 7 download in the Playlist 7 contest.

- Nov 2010: John Zay lines up a string of Speed Of Life shows in Germany including an appearance on the Goldene Gniechel TV show in Hamburg.

- May 2011: John Zay releases the new single "Eshu Amania" on Jango and consistently gets popscores over 85 and bonus play credits.

- Summer 2011: John Zay puts finishing touches on new Speed Of Life album and enlists legendary singer Angelo Moore of Fishbone for additional production. Zay begins booing shows for an Oct 2011 German tour.


"Catalyst" - January 2007
"Mainstay" October 2004
"Essentials EP" Feb 2010
"Eshu Amania (Single)" May 2011
"Wanderlust" due out Sept 2011

Set List

Eshu Amania
Mind's Eye
To Be in Love
Step Into The Love

Covers include:
Everybody wants to rule the world
Spirits in the Material World
Mysterious Ways

Sets can be anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours +. We've been playing mostly new songs, featured here on Sonicbids.