“Fell in Love with New York” is one of the biggest hits from The Zolas’ four-song Wino Oracle EP, but the band was beginning to fall out of love during our interview.
The Vancouver-based band is playing the Mercury Room on Oct. 30, but was travelling from Philadelphia to New York to play a show on the night of the interview, Oct. 15. Unfortunately, they got lost and had to cough up significant amounts of money for tollbooth fees in the process.
“It’s more like ‘I lost a bunch of money in New York,’” the band joked. All four members piled into a van, driving themselves and their equipment an hour and a half into unfamiliar territory while speaking to reporters about their upcoming Canadian dates.
The United States is somewhat unfamiliar to The Zolas, who have only toured on the other side of the border a handful of times. It’s refreshing to play in local bars, they say, as if the band is just starting out once again.
“It’s kind of like going back in time, touring other countries,” the band says, adding that the one difference is there are usually a few diehard fans at each show that have been waiting for the band to visit their city. “Those fans know our songs better than we do.”
The diehards have been waiting three years for The Zolas’ next full-length album, and save for two singles released over the past couple of years, Wino Oracle EP is their first taste of new music from the band.
“The EP is almost a bit of a teaser from the new album,” they said, adding that all the songs are written, and the album will be released soon.
“[Our fans] are literally frothing at the mouth right now.”
It’s unclear how many fans are frothing at the mouth, but it is clear that fans are anticipating the album. It’s the first of The Zolas’ records that has been met with anticipation — something the band is still getting used to.
Some bands would categorize that response as a sign of “making it” or achieving a level of success, but The Zolas view success a little differently.
“We haven’t made it, but I think if you asked us five years ago, where we’re at now would be us making it,” they said.
“People say ‘you made it’ like it’s some sort of final destination. You always have new goals.”
“We want to be making it all the time,” they added.
They must be doing something right, considering their recent dates in the U.S. and Canada. Hopefully, they will come back to New York enough to know their way around a bit.
“Which way to the hotel?” one asked.
“I think it’s through that tunnel,” another responded.
“I don’t want to go into the tunnel, that’s for sure,” said another, but with a little more colourful language.
But, after three tollbooths and a few stressful moments, they successfully made it to their hotel in one piece. This adventure ends.
However, The Zolas’ adventure is just beginning, and with their third album on the horizon, the band is poised to make waves in the Canadian indie scene. Maybe they won’t ever “make it,” but perhaps they’d like to keep it that way.
The Zolas are playing at The Mercury Room on Oct. 30.