This is Part One of our 2012 Summer Tour series of interviews. Today we are interviewing Zach Burba who will be touring with us as our drummer for the next month. Zach grew up in Phoenix and currently lives in Seattle. He plays in an awesome band called Iji and also makes really cool comics. You can check out his work at dogvibrations.com.
Zach has been on tour with us before, in 2008 as part of the Unlimited Enthusiasm Expo when he was drumming for Math the Band, he’s an all around cool dude and amazing musician. We are pumped to spend the next month with him.
Paul: What’s you favorite kind of pie?
Zach: Cherry Pie
P: Are just saying that because of the Warrant song?
Z: No. I’m kinda of saying that because of “Sweet as Cherry Pie” by Sade. And because of Twin Peaks. I really like to go to the diner from Twin Peaks and order cherry pie. It’s the actual diner from Twin Peaks and it’s outside of Seattle.
P: What are you most looking forward to about this tour?
Z: I feel like you guys are well versed in our nation’s food and I mostly looking forward to exploring that with you guys.
Joe: Anything specific that you’re looking forward to?
Z: I’m excited to go back to Ben’s Chili Bowl. And to go to Pink’s for the first time and see how it compares.
P: Which human being on earth do you think is most likely to be a wizard?
Z: I’m gonna say Julian Koster of the Music Tapes. I’ve just had some amazingly magical run-ins with him. He played this one show at a house I lived in. It was just before we moved out and the show started at 2am and he performed until 4am and there was just some amazing magic that happened that night.
P: You were on tour with us during the Unlimited Enthusiasm tour in 2008 when you were playing drums for Math the Band. Do you have a favorite moment or recollection from that tour?
Z: I think my favorite moment from that tour was actually not an official Unlimited Enthusiasm show. It was when we had an off-night on the tour and Jason Anderson’s band played this killer block party in Pendleton, Oregon. The mayor was there and it was just a really cool to see these people going wild in the streets.
Another awesome memory was this extremely weird show in El Paso. Low attendance, but extremely positive vibes. It was a really special show.
J: Are you into any sports?
Z: Yeah. I think in a very loose way, I’m into all sports. I think my favorite sport is basketball. I like to play basketball at night.
J: Can you slam dunk?
Z: Depending on the height of the hoop.
P: Who’s your favorite NBA player (doesn’t have to be current)?
Z: I’m gonna go with Larry Bird.
P: Nice. Do you have a favorite city to visit when you’re on tour?
Z: I like a lot of cities. I think almost every city is equally exciting. Some of my favorite places are obviously places where I have great friends. Like Santa Barbara, CA, and Providence, RI.
J: How much of this year are you going to spend on the road?
Z: I think it will be a total amount of about 5 months of touring. I did 2 months of touring earlier in the year with Iji (my band) and playing drums with Terror Pigeon Dance Revolt! And then after a month on tour with you guys, I’ll be on tour for another month and a half with Iji and James Rabbit.
J: How many instruments can you play at the same time?
Z: Play well?
J: Yeah, give me your setup.
Z: Four. If I’ve got 4 limbs and a mouth, I’d give myself an instrument per limb. I think my ideal setup would be one foot on a kick drum, one foot on a guitar (laying down), one hand on a piano and another hand holding a saxophone. Mouth blowing in the saxophone.
J: I noticed you had some very smooth raps the other night. When did you learn to rap?
Z: I learned to rap when I was in 3rd grade and I first started listening to the radio by myself. I would be in my room and listen to R&B. Lots of TLC and New Edition. Both bands that did not do entirely rap but would frequently use a rap breakdown which is a beautiful song tool.
J: Can you skateboard?
J: Can you ollie?
J: Can you do tricks?
Z: I just like to roll with it. But I can roll down the ramps and stuff.
P: Are you any good at MarioKart?
J: What character do you like to play?
Z: Toad. Actually Princess Peach.
P: Have you played it on the Wii at all?
Z: No. I only play on the N64.
J: Did you know that you can unlock Toadette on the Wii?
J: Yeah. She’s awesome.
P: What are 3 songs you would put on a mixture for a girl you like?
Z: “Cool it Now” by New Edition
“I Needed Your Love” by Luther Vandross
“Home” by Bone Thugs n Harmony
P: What are 3 songs you would put on your own “Get Pumped Up” mixture?
Gypsy by Fleetwood Mac
What a Fool Believes by the Doobie Brothers
Bad Sneakers by Steely Dan
P: What’s the coolest roadside attraction that you’ve visited while touring?
Z: The Thing…you will never be the same.
J: LIGHTNING ROUND!
Quarter notes or triplets?
Z: Quarter notes
J: Sky or space?
J: Field of vision or Field of Dreams?
Z: Field of Dreams (emphatically).
J: Anti-freeze or Mr. Freeze
Z: Mr. Freeze
J: Emu or ostrich?
P: Dungeons or dragons?
J: The Cranberries or silence?
Z: The Cranberries. But if you had asked me that 2 years ago I would have said silence.