The Absolute Zeros
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The Absolute Zeros

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"Philadelphia Weekly April 16-22, 2008"

The Absolute Zeros

Wed., April 23, 8:30pm. $8. With Red Stahr Road + Quelle Source. Tin Angel, 20 S. Second St. 215.928.0770.
If at first the Absolute Zeros sound like just another classic rock-influenced local band, listen again. That British accent you hear belongs to singer/guitarist Kelvin Cochrane, and those bongos belong to percussionist Sabu Rex, who was in the early ’70s Krautrock band Niagra and now lives in North Philly. Fill out the five-piece with three more hardy musicians, and that explains the Absolute Zeros’ rangy tunes, which blend modern rock moves with Hendrix-heavy guitar, bluesy digressions and James Brown-style funk. It’s a sweaty and dynamic combination, making the band’s one-off acoustic show at Tin Angel a bit mysterious. How will the songs translate without that boozy energy and volume? (Doug Wallen)
- Philadelphia Weekly

"The Absolute Zeros - Interview"

The Absolute Zeros by Bill McThrill
Photos: Michelle Lawlor

Having a special quality that allows for one’s music to stand out from the crowd can really help make a band shine. Such diversity is one of the strong points behind The Absolute Zeros. Not only does their music cross many styles, but their members cross many generation and walks of life. Some are seasoned veterans who have played in Amsterdam, London and Germany, while others are just starting out. When put together they all make incredible music.

The Absolute Zeros started out when Kelvin Cochrane first met his father-in-law Sabu Rex and learned he was a percussionist. After rehearsing some songs together, they decided to start playing some shows. After a few performances, the two knew they had to work on getting a whole band together.

Eventually Kelvin brought in bassist Steve La Monica, who was in the middle of leaving his previous band due to shaky situations.

“We did a jam session down at South Street Sounds,” Kelvin said, “and he was able to play the bass lines I had in my head without me telling him anything. So picking him was an obvious choice.”

Around the time Steve was getting ready to join The Zeros full-time, he contacted drummer “Wild” Bill Rose. They had worked together in a previous band and already had a solid chemistry as a rhythm section.

Bill eventually brought in guitarist friend, Austin Madert after a chance reunion while at a party. At Bill’s mention of the band, Austin jumped at the chance to see if they needed another guitarist at practice a week later.

“It was a spontaneous practice,” Bill says, “and all of us playing felt right from its beginning, so there wasn’t much debate about bringing him in the band.”

The Absolute Zeros are getting ready to release a brand new EP with seven songs (“and a hidden track for the diligent listener,” Steve says). They started recording back in late January when Austin wasn’t a part of the band and worked him into the tracks later. The recording was done at South Street Sounds, and they had a lot of good things to say about working with them.

“It’s the cheapest and best place to record at in Philadelphia.” Kelvin said. “Jeff [from South Street Sounds] worked hard with us since the beginning and is the sixth member of the band in a lot of ways. We started rehearsing there through Phat Tony [the band’s previous bassist]. He has been working with us since the beginning and knows all of our songs intimately. That makes him the perfect guy to record with because he knows the studio, and what works.”

The band did the basic track work over at South Street Sounds and then they brought them over to Cheeks Studio in Upper Darby for mastering. Now they are adding on the artwork and the EP should be ready for release this month. They should have some CD release shows ready to support it soon, too.

The band has picked up a number of shows across Philadelphia and definitely doesn’t set themselves to only a few venues. When asked why they try to play so many spots, they offered this explaination.
“We want to play everywhere,” Kelvin says. “As long as you can at least provide us with a PA, we’re more than happy to come and play a show.”

“We have played at one or two very strange venues,” Steve says. “We played a warehouse venue in the middle of Fishtown and it was literally just us and this family of hippies who were clearly still living in the 60’s. I had a few friends that were supposed to come but didn’t because all they saw was this old deserted looking warehouse.”

“They sold it to us like it was going to be a really huge rock festival,” Bill adds, “but it ended up just being them and some of their very weird friends. It was Austin’s first show with us, too. Other than that, I loved playing at Fergie’s, Bar Noir, and World Café.”

When asked about good times, the band is quick to recall a show at Brownies 23 East that they feel was their biggest yet. Steve also mentions how meeting and working with the Peek A Boo Revue came about.

“It was pretty much a college bar,” Bill says, “and the majority of the bands that we were billed with played Modern Rock. I don’t think our music overly fit into the mix, but I think that it helped us stand out. The crowd really got into it and we had a lot of people dancing along and enjoying it.”

“Some of the Dancers from Peek A Boo Revue came to watch us when we played at Fergie’s,” Steve adds. “They showed up randomly and have since become one of our biggest supporters. They are interested in trying to do a song with us and we hopefully might be part of their show in the Fall. So it’s really cool to say that we gain interesting fans like them after a show.”

“I love getting dressed up for a show,” Kelvin adds. “One of the last shows we played at World Café Live was a costume party, so I put on a funky coat and went as a Beatle. One of the things that sold me on rock was the fact that Jimi Hendrix was one of the coolest looking guys around. He looked like how he did even in daily life and would just hold onto that image.”

When asked about thoughts on the Philly music scene, the band had the following to say.

“Philly is such a good place for making connections,” Bill starts. “I remember meeting Boy Wonder during one of the first shows we played at World Café Live. He really liked our music and wanted to play a show together. We kept constant contact and now we have played a number of shows together. You need to treat [the scene] as one big community and have fun making music inside it.”

“One of the reasons that I came to Philadelphia,” Kelvin adds, “and one of the reasons that I intend to stay here, is because it has such a great music scene. It has very vibrant grassroots music, and the music scene here isn’t very petty. People who are in bands that are in the same kind of position are quick to help you out and work with you. Everyone gets to know each other and people are very cool with one another. It has a huge community spirit. It also has a really good networking system.”

Aside from getting ready for the new album to come out, the band is currently getting ready to headline The Northern Liberties Music Festival on September 8th. They will also play at The Rusty Rudder on September 27th during the 6th annual Dewey Beach Music Conference in Delaware. They will play Doc Watson’s on October 12th and should be organizing a bus trip to go along with their New York return show at Kenny’s Castaways on October 27th. The band is also looking to get some management behind them.

“We have been experiencing a lot of success by doing everything ourselves,” Steve explains, “but there is only so much that you can do on your own without knowing the full business end of the music industry. Finding someone more used to it would be a long term goal for success.”

“Overall, we have a long way to go since we’re only six months old,” Kelvin adds. “For as many songs that we play in our live set, we still have a whole lot more that we’ll be including. Eventually I would like to play a show where we get to play a real long original music set that goes beyond the usual time length. That way we put on a show that really stands out. And I think we can do it.”

The Absolute Zero’s are –
Kelvin Cochrane - Vocals, Guitar Sabu Rex - Bongos, Percussion Steve La Monica - Bass “Wild” Bill Rose - Drums Austin Madert - Lead Guitar

For Booking Info - theabsolutezerosrock@ - The Compendium September 2007 Volume 3, Issue 7(

"Dewey Beach Music Conference - Our Must See Acts"

Our DMBC must-see acts
Updated Tuesday, September 25, 2007 at 3:44 pm

The Absolute Zeros.



Kickin Grass Band.

Lloyd Dobler Effect.


Mieka Pauley.

Pawnshop Roses.

Hometown: Philadelphia

Day & Time: Thursday at 9 p.m.

Venue: Rusty Rudder Stage C

Genre: Rock/Soul

Who's Who: Kelvin Cochrane, vocals, guitar; Sabu Rex, compound drums (conga/bongo hybrid); Steve La Monica, bass; "Wild" Bill Rose, drums; Austin Madert, lead guitar.

What's In A Name: "Well, our singer's name is Kelvin. If you remember your high school chemistry, you'll know that absolute zero is defined as zero degrees Kelvin ... hence The Absolute Zeros." -- Steve

On Playing The Conference: "We've actually only been together as a band since January 2007, so this is our first time playing the conference. Needless to say, we are extremely excited to have been selected to perform having only been together for a short time, especially on the opening night."

What To Expect: "Any of the lovely young ladies attending our performance can certainly expect to be hit on by Kelvin before, during and after the performance. There's just something about a British accent, I guess."

- Spark! Weekly (

"Acoustic Philly Pod Cast - 6/18/2007"

The Trouble With Love (Single) - Featured on the Acoustic Philly Podcast (26)


" Featured Artist"

The Absolute Zeros
by Brittany Sturges, Temple '08

The Absolute Zeros have only been together for about a year, but already they have formed a tight-knit bond over their passion for music. With the addition of Austin Madert on lead guitar, the quintet (also composed of Kelvin Cochrane on vocals and guitar, Bill Rose on drums and Steve La Monica on bass and Sabu Rex on percussion) finally felt that the band was complete.

Madert joined midway through the DIY recording process of the band’s self-titled debut. However, his timing couldn’t have been better, according to Cochrane. He said, “There were general differences when Austin joined the band.”

For one thing, Rose (who can play several instruments) could concentrate solely on drums. Madert’s addition also allowed the band to expand their horizons a bit more; his guitar skills are a bit stronger, giving Cochrane the chance to concentrate on vocals.

The EP was released in November of 2007 at Grape Street. Since then, they have gone on to play various venues, including The Khyber, Tritone and World Café Live.

When asked about their thoughts on the local music scene, the band had only good things to say, nothing the band unity in the circuit. La Monica added that the venues are “starting to come around too,” especially some of the 21+ venues. He mentioned that places like the Fire (where the band will play in March) is starting to host all-ages shows. They note that places like the World Café Live have a great atmosphere. The four agreed that regardless of the day, the place is always packed with people who have a passion for music—just like themselves.

Cochrane notes that the band is “an all-ages band.” With two members of the band in college, a 21+ show can hurt attendance, as noted by Rose.

“Our college buddies would want to come out, but could only come to the all-ages shows we played [at the World Café Live],” Rose said, “It was a great opportunity for them to come out and finally see us.”

The Absolute Zeros were featured in 2007 on Comcast’s OnDemand Battle of the Bands feature. This is a cable feature that allows viewers to tune in and watch videos of local bands performing two of their songs in front of a live audience.

The band had received word from another band that they were being filmed. Steve went to the show prepared, with a CD in hand. He ran into the producer and handed the materials to him. Within a week or so, the band was selected to be featured on the cable feature.

Cochrane said, “You get really excited about it because you’re going to be on T.V. You tape two songs and it’s gone and over with before you know it.”

Rose added, “You want everything to be perfect.”

If only the night of the show had went as smoothly as getting there. With two songs, the band felt prepared; during mid-performance, Cochrane’s mic collapsed. However, the band kept their cool, as the singer adjusted his height to try and keep singing. With no sound man on site to adjust the mic, things could have been a bit discouraging. However, the band noted that the editing process was able to overlook that issue, instead concentrating on other members during the duration of the collapsed microphone drama.

The band also recalled issues with a drumstick and a distortion pedal; however, they don’t dwell on it. If anything, they chalk it up as a learning experience. Being a relatively young band, they’re quick to support fellow musicians, like Boy Wonder, and note the importance of networking and team efforts in a band.

The local musicians have a positive outlook and zealous dedication for music—something that is needed to survive in today’s music scene.

The Absolute Zeros will be playing several shows in the area, including a show at Fergie’s Pub this Friday, a charity event at Drexel for cancer research on March 6 and an all-ages show at the Fire.

For more information on the band, visit>.

You can contact Brittany Sturges at

- Campus Philly

"Absolute Zeros Erupt Absolutely - Origivation Magazine June 2008"

"I'm a rambler man," the Absolute Zeros' frontman Kelvin Cochrane warns me by way of introduction, half-joking and half-apologetic. Moments later he proves true to his word, launching into a particularly epic account of his band's formation that spans years and hopscotches liberally across the globe. After hearing him touch on everything from youthful rock n'roll dreams in the Isle of Wight, to a musical apprenticeship in Amsterdam, to auditioning Craigslist hopefuls in Philly rehearsal spaces, you get the sense that a) the guy's not kidding about behing a rambler, and b) the Zeros are way more interesting than any rising local band has any right to be.

Of course, The Absolute Zeros are a band that lend themselves well to a certain sweeping scope and a tendecy toward digressions. The band's members span generations ("well practically generations," says Cochrane): the younges members, Bill Rose and Austin Madert are Drexel students in their early twenties, while the oldest, Sabu Res, is in his mid-fifties) and bring with them wildly divergent experiences, both musical and personal.

Their sound dips into any number of familiar genres without becoming stuck in any: aheart portion of acoustic blues and soul here, a heavy dose of classic rock and folk there, sprinkled perhpas with a touch of mid-90s alt-rock for good measure. Oh, and let's no forget the band's border-crossing as well: Cochrane is a British transplant, with that instantly charismatic accent to prove it.

This diversity would be irrelevant if it didn't amount to a functioning band, Cochrane explains. "We're all good personalities, and we're all concentrated on the same thing - that is making our music, making it the best we can. Age moves out of the way when we're playing, and differences in our backgrounds, our ages, our experience - none of it means anything."

At the core of the Zeros is Cochrane himself, the primary songwriter, vocalist, rhythm guitarist and its founding member (along with Sabu Res, the band's percussionist and something of a bongo virtuoso, beatnig the skings since the age of 6). A veteran musician, he originally hails from the Isle of Wight in Great Britain, where he grew up playing in local bands before embarking on what is perhaps the ultimate teenage rock fantasy: "escaping when I was 19" with his brother's band "to conquer mainland Europe." Even better, Amsterdam was where he eventually landed, and spent eight years there, honing his skills "in a wonderful environment for musicians."

Cochrane wound up playing with Sabu Rex, oddly enough, by marrying his daughter. Venturing to Philly for the first time to meet his then-father-in-law, the two did what any self-respecting pair of musicians would do: "we jammed together. I had some songs (that would later become Absolute Zeros tunes) already written before I cam to America, others I wrote soon after arriving." The Absolute Zeros were born on the spot.

Rex is the Zero's X factor, as Cochrane readily admits. The band often treads well worn musical turf, and even with the member's obvious technical chops and Cochrane's ability to write some memorable melodies, they might risk being tagged as talented but nondescript if not for the presence of Rex's distinctive percussion.

"In my mind, Sabu is what sets us apart. He's a complete individual in terms of his personality, not to mention his musicianship."

Read the rest of the article at - Origivation Magazine - Published by Brian Cronin

"Philly Spotlight - The Absolute Zeros"

Absolute Zeros (1851 Records)

Someone much smarter than myself once told me that variety is the spice of life.

Obviously the members of The Absolute Zeros heard a similar maxim, because if there were one way to describe the band it would be “diverse.” The Absolute Zeros vary in everything from age, race and most importantly - musical style. Signed to 1851 Records in March 2009, the band should now have incentive to bring us much more of their unique combination of rock, funk and soul.

Started by Kelvin Cochrane and Steve La Monica in 2006 the band has made quite a name for itself. Catching the ear of local critics, the band was soon added to Clear Channels “New!” on demand radio, bringing their music to the masses and to ears across the world.
After the loss of their drummer, Sabu Rex, in December of 2008, the band decided to continue making music. The band is back to playing shows and recording. You can catch them on November 14 at the M. Room in Philly for The Parsnip Revolt’s CD release party.

The Absolute Zeros bring so much to the table that even if you are not a rock, funk or blues fan, you can find something positive to say about their music. They are absolutely worth checking out in 2009, whether it is at a show, on Clear Channel on demand or even downloading their debut album on iTunes. [Dave Quaile]

- Wonka Vision Magazine -

"March 9, 2008 - Featured on Hometown Heroes (93.7 WSTW - Delaware)"

Our single, "We Can Sell You Anything" was featured on 93.7 WSTW's (Delaware) "Hometown Heroes" program which aired from 9-11 on 3/9/08


"WSTW is proud to present Hometown Heroes, a weekly program spotlighting the best music from the Delaware Valley! Hosted by Mark Rogers, Hometown Heroes is broadcast every Sunday, 9-11pm. We play the music and provide information about where you can see these bands perform live, how to get their music, and how to contact them. We'll even bring some of them into the studio to perform live on the air." - 93.7 WSTW (Delaware)

"7/11/08 Preview - The Absolute Zeros Live @ Doc Watson's"

By Kate Bracaglia:

I probably should have been born in England, given my thing for British accents. Nothing makes me swoon like a hearty “Cheers Mate!” and I firmly believe rock songs simply sound better when infused with the touch of London (or Manchester, or Brighton, or Liverpool, or even Whales.)

That being said, I suppose I was predisposed towards Philly-based blues rockers the Absolute Zeros, whose lead singer Kelvin Cochrane (note: Absolute Zero = 0 degrees Kelvin) was born and raised on the Isle of Wight. A British invasion influence is clear in their music, which combines the rollicking bravado of the Stones or Zeppelin with the wry quirkiness of the Kinks or the Velvets and guitar-wailing of Clapton.

The band members range in age from 21 to 50, resulting in a wide variety of influences and tastes. Describes bassist Steve La Monica, “Our sound is mainly rooted in the classics, but each one of us has separate interests, ranging from old mo-town to jazz to blues to funk to metal, that we bring into the fold as well.”

La Monica himself is formidable on the bass, and percussionist Sabu Rex is a master of the bongos. Throw drummer “Wild” Bill Rose and lead guitarist Austin Madert into the mix, and you have yourself an impressive act, whose history of high-energy, sold-out shows has been winning fans across the city.

Check out the band at youtube ( performing live at Grape Street (RIP) in 2007 and catch them live this Saturday at Doc Watson’s Pub.

The Absolute Zeros at Doc Watson’s Pub, Saturday, July 12
216 S. 11th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147
215-922-3427 - / Greater Philadelphia Tourism and Marketing Corp

"Weekend Preview - The Absolute Zeros 7/12/08"

Here is a Philly band to check out if you haven’t already! My first impression led me to compare them to the Black Crows, somewhere between alt-country rock, classic rock, Brit-rock, Chris Robinson included. But there is a bit of a funk edge to it, too - It gives the music a sort of ‘loose’ feeling. It doesn’t feel overproduced, or like it is trying to be too perfect. It is the antithesis to all the ‘manufactured’ top40 rock music out there. In fact, they were one of 15 finalists (of over 500 entries) selected as the possible opener for Coldplay. Voting ended earlier today, but you can still watch a video of their live performance at World Cafe Life. And you can see them live tomorrow night at Doc Watson’s. They’ve got a bunch of their friends from St. Joe’s coming, so it should certainly be quite the party. -


Self Produced Debut EP (self-titled) - 11/16/2007
Track List
1. Dead Flowers
2. Higher Place
3. We Can Sell You Anything
4. Obstacles to a Full Life
5. Diamond Nomad
6. Trouble With Love
7. Don't Get Me Started



"Having a special quality that allows for one's music to stand out from the crowd can really help make a band shine. Such diversity is one of the strong points behind The Absolute Zeros. Not only does their music cross many styles, but their members cross many generations and walks of life. When put together, they all make incredible music." Bill McThrill, The Compendium Vol 3, Issue 7

Formed from the unlikely union of UK beach town singer/guitarist Kelvin Cochrane and North Philly percussionist extraordinaire, Sabu Rex, The Absolute Zeros have been a staple in the Philadelphia rock scene since late 2006. The band spent much of 2007 and 2008 building their fan base and performing live in Philadelphia in support of their debut self titled EP (available on iTunes). The Zeros' dynamic live performances quickly earned them a reputation of one of the most promising new acts in Philly. Following a successful year that included rave reviews in local press, radio airplay and TV appearances, 2008 ended in tragedy when founding member Sabu Rex unexpectedly passed away on December 1, 2008.

Following a period of mourning, the band decided to carry on in honor of Sabu. The band was quickly signed to Saint Joseph's University indie label, 1851 Records and began working on new material while re-working old favorites to fill the void left by Sabu's trademark percussion.

The summer of 2009 marked another big change for the band with longtime lead guitarist Austin Madert leaving and drummer Bill Rose putting down his sticks to take the role of lead guitarist. Mike Sharkansky, the newest member of the band, stepped in as the new drummer. Along with original founding member Kelvin Cochrane and Steve La Monica, this new lineup brings a refreshing new energy to the AZ live set and fresh inspiration for new songs. With an already established presence in the Philadelphia local music scene, the Absolute Zeros are ready to bring their music to new fans while at the same time keeping things fresh, interesting and always fun. With a standout performer nod at World Cafe Live's Philly Rising already under their belts (12/7/2009), the Zeros are ready to re-emerge in 2010 as one of Philly's most promising acts.

Contact info
Booking - Steve La Monica - 610-834-7780

Videos available at

Selected Press Quotes (full articles available under press):

��Diversity is one of the strong points behind The Absolute Zeros. Not only does their music cross many styles, but their members cross many generations and walks of life. When put together, they all make incredible music." - The Compendium, Vol 3, Issue 7 � September 2007

�The Absolute Zeros have a positive outlook and zealous dedication for music�something that is needed to survive in today�s music scene.� �, February 2008

�If at first the Absolute Zeros sound like just another classic rock-influenced local band, listen again�they blend modern rock moves with Hendrix-heavy guitar, bluesy digressions and James Brown-style funk. It�s a sweaty and dynamic combination�� Philadelphia Weekly, April 16-22, 2008

�..The Zeros are way more interesting than any rising local band has any right to be�their sound dips into any number of familiar genres without becoming stuck in any�� Origivation Magazine, Volume 7, Issue 4 � June 2008

�Splashy AM rock like that made by Philly band The Absolute Zeros is a perfect match for long, hot summer days.� Philly Edge, June 25, 2008- (Track of the Week � �Whisper in the Storm�)

"A British invasion influence is clear in their music, which combines the rollicking bravado of the Stones or Zeppelin with the wry quirkiness of the Kinks or the Velvets and guitar-wailing of impressive act, whose history of high-energy, sold-out shows has been winning fans across the city" - Kate Bracaglia, - July 11, 2008

Career Highlights

March 2007 � Selected as Standout Performer at World Caf� Live�s �Philly Rising� weekly showcase

June 2007 � Performed in an industry showcase sponsored by Thorpe Productions/Origivation Magazine, and the Dewey Beach Music Conference

September 2007 - Headlined the Northern Liberties Music Festival w/Downtown Harvest; Showcase performance at the 6th Annual Dewey Beach Music Conference and selected as a "must see act" by Spark! Weekly

October 2007 - Filmed by Comcast cable and featured on Comcast on Demand in Philadelphia in the "Get Local" highlight section (air dates 12/1/07-12/28/07)

December 2007 � Selected as a Standout Performer at World Caf� Live�s �Philly Rising� monthly showcase and invited to perform at the �Best of Philly Rising - 2007� annual showcase

January 2008 � Performed at Best of Philly Rising 2007 � Sponsored by Wor