About John Zay
John Zay aims to bring his listeners on an journey. With a message of spiritual evolution through shamanic exploration, his songs create epic climbs through lush sonic landscapes. On his latest album “Mind’s Eye”, John Zay’s raw emotive expressiveness is evident in his heartfelt lyrics, passionate vocals and stellar guitar playing.It was in LA that the 14 new songs for the album were conceived and recorded. Influenced by his work with a modern day Peruvian Shaman & learning about Indigenous Ceremonies with sacred plant medicines, John Zay relays direct experiences of deep emotional and spiritual transformation within his new music. Through shamanic journey space he was exposed to the ancient wisdom of nature and spirit and believes that this reconnection is essential for our collective awakening through these rapid and tumultuous times.
John Zay grew up the youngest of 4 boys at a house in the suburbs of New York City where he was exposed to a wide variety of albums from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. He developed his passion for music with groups like Led Zeppelin, Yes, The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Genesis, The Police, Jimi Hendrix, U2, Rush, and David Bowie among others. Later his influences diversified including rockers like Alice in Chains, Soundgarden, Jane’s Addiction, Living Colour and PJ Harvey, the soulful stylings of Seal, Curtis Mayfield and Bob Marley, Drum & Bass from Britain as well as Jazz Fusion and Ambient music. All of these influences and more through a modern slant can be heard in John Zay’s current musical stylings.
A John Zay show is a unique experience. The music is rich and moving incorporating Progressive Rock with cross-genre elements like Reggae, Drum & Bass, Ambient Soundscapes, Eastern Melodies and Tribal Rhythms. Both the live shows and recordings feature performances from a steady cast of phenomenal musicians including drummer Tobias Ralph (Adrian Belew, Tricky, The Crimson Projekt), bassist Rico Bowen (Madonna, Julian Lennon, Stevie Wonder), Jan Ole Jönsson also on drums (Die Toten Artze, Caracho), and Dan Policar on Keyboards (Sean Paul).
John Zay began his professional music career in Brooklyn, New York in 2001 where he founded of the group Speed Of Life with drummer Tobias Ralph and Bassist Taylor Bergren-Chrisman. In 2004 the band released their debut album “Mainstay” which was put into regular rotation on over 160 college and commercial radio stations in the spring of 2005. In January of 2007 the band released their follow up album “Catalyst” followed by an extensive 2-month tour spanning both the east and west coasts and across the U.S. Also while in Brooklyn, John Zay opened his studio Activesoundz where he recorded and mixed for many local artists including well known indie singer-songwriters Jen Urban and The Box and Tom Rhodes. John Zay also played guitar with Steve Madden sponsored Rock-n-Sole winner Mehuman Jonson touring in a host of venues around the U.S. Including The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Webster Hall in New York City and the El Ray Theater in Hollywood California.
In 2007 Zay relocated to Los Angeles where he established himself as a producer in his own right. He most recently worked with the legendary Angelo Moore (aka Dr. Madd Vibe) of Fishbone recording and mixing his new album “The Angelo Show” as well as creating and launching his successful Kickstarter campaign. John Zay also had the distinct honor of having Angelo contribute Gospel Vocals and Saxophones on the songs “Step Into The Love” and “Wanderlust” off his “Mind’s Eye” album release. Prior to that he worked with actor David Faustino (Bud Bundy/Married with Children) recording for his new hip hop projects on Old Scratch records. John Zay also worked with his brother Robert Maschio who played The Todd on the hit TV show Scrubs producing his comedic hip-hop track “The Todd Song”. Additionally while in LA John Zay produced a wide variety of music for TV commercials for companies, internet campaigns and several documentary films through his production company Activesoundz.
In 2012 John Zay relocated to Hamburg, Germany where he spent a year consistently playing live shows with a full band. He also recorded & co-produced an album for local band “The Mighty Rollers” as well as finishing the mixes on his recordings from LA. John Zay spent most of 2013 in Sagres, Portugal where he set up shop to release his album “Mind’s Eye”, played a host of solo shows as well as spending time writing new music for a future release. He also began working on an exciting new video series called “Natural Sonic” where he’s filmed playing and overdubbing on songs live at various incredible outdoor locations in the beautiful Algarve region of Portugal. Currently John Zay is in Brooklyn, NY finishing up a new release while getting ready to hit the road in 2016.
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