Meet the Band: Bro Dylan

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MEET THE BAND: Alex Zinni (vocals/guitar), Matt Burtonshaw (bass) Mike Miller (drums)

SCHOOL DAYS: The members of this local act first met when they were in third grade. "We all wanted to be in a band so I assigned roles to the guys," says Zinni. "I learned guitar and we formed a band and played for a couple of years and then broke up." About year ago, after not playing together for seven or eight years, the guys met up and booked a few gigs and started playing locally.

A NOD TO DYLAN, SORT OF: The name was chosen on a whim. "We had some gigs booked and the day before the show we didn't have a name so we made it up on the fly," says Zinni. "We're not huge Dylan fans. I like the hits. We're not crazy Dylan fans. We were referencing Bob Dylan, but it's half of a joke and half of a desire to create an alter ego for the band." The band cites Lou Reed and Velvet Underground, Miles Davis and Death Cab for Cutie as inspirations. "We like anything that has a loose, free-form vibe to it," says Zinni. "We're not crazy about nailing everything down. We used to do a lot of jamming, but we got bored with that. Now, we play the songs as you hear them on the record, though there's a new element."

WHY YOU SHOULD HEAR THEM: The new album, Crisis, is a concept album about a character struggling to find hope in his "vapid existence." "[The album is about] getting lost in the material world and then realizing that we're on a physical plane," says Zinni. "The crisis is that the main character is working for the man and going through all this stuff and what is it worth. Each song is more or less its own little crisis." The garage rock-oriented "Quiet" has a White Stripes vibe to it, and "Lock the Deadbolt" features howling vocals and a noisy guitar riff. The group effectively slows the tempo for "Getting Even," a woozy ballad. The band recorded the album locally at Lava Room. "Basically, I had a lot of songs written for a while. I brought them to the band and the process for some of them was spur of the moment," says Zinni. "You don't want to record and write on the spot, but it turned out really well. We recorded in under 15 hours." The band has a few songs ready for the next record. They plan to take a "more deliberate approach" for that album, which they hope to release sometime next year.


WHERE YOU CAN SEE THEM: Bro Dylan performs with Ohio Weather Band and Sol Fox at 9 p.m. on Saturday, May 28, at the Beachland Tavern.

About The Author

Jeff Niesel

Jeff has been covering the Cleveland music scene for more than 20 years now. And on a regular basis, he tries to talk to whatever big acts are coming through town, too. If you're in a band that he needs to hear, email him at [email protected]
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