O ne of the biggest challenges of the average music journalist is to talk about music as “art” without appearing pretentious. In a world where the #1 song on the charts can be attributed to 16 different song writers, how do you look at music with the same intellectual approach as a Monet painting? Modern music may have lost its artistic punch, but if done right, it still conjures emotions like the great artists of history. This is a motivation that is inspiring Columbus, Ohio’s ZOO TRIPPIN’ to make their infectious blend of genre- bending blues/rock. Since the band’s inception, they have made their mark on the Midwest, releasing three EP’s that fans adore like no other. They are also preparing to release their rst full-length album, “Purple”. T h e b a n d ’s f a n b a s e i s a s dedicated as they are rowdy, like the musical version of a Southern Baptist church. Leading this congregation is vocalist TONY CASA. While his smooth vocal stylings are enjoyable enough on their own, his passion for the music and fans is unparalleled. Beneath his otherwise unassuming appearance offstage, lies a bombshell of bombastic energy and swagger. With performances that demand your full attention, he creates an infectious urge to dance. The band’s sound is also greatly inuenced by guitarists LYNN ROOSE III and DREW DIMITROVSKI. These two take elements of Zepplin era blues and indie pop to create soundscapes that change on a dime and are always perfect for the song. Fans of JACK WHITE and THE BLACK KEYS will enjoy Zoo Trippin’s sound more than most, and Lynn and Drew are responsible for that. Rounding out the band’s core is bassist AUSTIN SMITH and drummer STEVE HATMAKER. These two couldn’t be more different in aesthetic—with Hatmaker hailing from the metal community and Smith having more laid back inuences. Fortunately, they come together to lay the foundation for the band’s non-stop sonic party. Of course, when looking at the people who shape the sound, you must also factor in the seemingly unending group of contributing artists. At any time during a Zoo Trippin’ show, the stage can be ooded with additional horn players, keyboardists, rappers and a whole eet up backup singers. I recently sat down with the band to talk about the new record.