To get an accurate portrait of Earl Zinger and gain a complete
perspective on this mysterious musician, I would first recommend
reading reading an except from the work of Dr. Arnold Brakenbridge,
Emeritus Professor of Musicology.
According to Brakenbridge, Zinger started in his career in the
late-40s working with William Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg and
Jack Kerouac and later worked with and influenced such legends as
Bob Marley, King Tubby, Lee Perry, and more. During his middle
years he worked on vocal arrangements for Earth,Wind, and Fire,
played with Sugar Otis, became mates with Gil Scot-Heron, worked
with Afrika Bambatta, The Meters, and made a huge impact during
his work with Eric B & Rakim and contributions to A Tribe Called
Quests Low End Theory. Later in the 80s and 90s he took
his drug knowledge from his beat days to Ibiza, hung out and introduced
the Happy Mondays to Paul Oakenfold and that is really just a some
of the selected highlights. His current album Put Your Phazers On
Stun, Throw Your Health Food Skyward, is a collection of all his
styles he has mastered over his long career and some dashing tales
he lived along this long and distinguished musical career.
Contrary to Brackenbridges discoveries at Berkeley, others
seem to think that Earl Zinger is really Rob Gallagher of Galliano,
Two Banks of Four, Gilles Peterson M.C. etc. So before we fry you
with facts, here is a recent interview with Earl Zinger from his
secret Red Egyptian bunker in north London.
So how did your Earl Zinger persona
I dont know how it did come about actually.
Earl Zinger has been there for many years -in the midst of time-
but hes been around for a long time. In fact I now think Rob
is a figment of the imagination of Earl Zinger then the other way
around. It definitely feels like that at the moment anyway.
Why didnt do an album as The
Rob Gallagher Five or something like that?
Yes the various personalities of!
The Zinger bio is a riot.
Well the story goes is that Arnold Brackenbridge was in trouble
at Berkley and was found having sexual liaisons with one of his
students and needed some money so the only way he could make any
money was by exposing Earl Zinger. See he was the only one that
really knew about the Zinger story so thats what he did. However,
him and Zinger havent spoken for many years. He shown a light
in the shadows where no light should of really been shown!
The album covers so many genres and
really seems to be a lot different then any of the Galliano or Two
Banks of Four material.
Yeah but its only if you think music being kind
of as distinct parts I suppose. I think people specialize in parts
maybe for mixing purposes and doing sets but when I go out am I
usually with Gilles (Peterson) anyways and he plays right across
the board. If Im MCing with him, hell play kind of one
mad Latin tune into some drumnbass and everything else.
Its pretty natural for it to all come out natural and mashed
up and in the mixture anyway. I like to mix and blend...
Yeah there is a lot more humor on this
project as well...
Yeah well you go out with a bag and you squeeze people
till something good come out and you take it home with you. You
find a bit of bass under a chair and some lyrics somewhere else,
throw it into the computer and there you go. Im trying to
pioneer the bushel sound.
You ever heard of covering your light under a bushel?
Yeah well I specialize in the bushels. I try and get as many bushels
under the light as possible. Im a pioneer in the bushel- I
specialize in self-regression. I hide the light but sometimes it
pokes out. So you know if people like it they must really like it.
So with all these genres your covering,
whats next? Will there be any new ground uncovered in the
future? Has everything been done?
No not at all. London is probably the worse place
to say that ever. I mean we rode the garage now and were getting
into the next phase. Broken garage (laughs) jungle hybrids. But
you know what I quite enjoy with the Zinger stuff is that it just
kind of like specializing in second hand cars. None of them are
really polished and theyre a bit rusty. But you kind of get
them out there and make sure there is enough petrol in there and
send them off. So its not so much about genres or anything
else. Its just about getting the tune enough oxygen to get
to the end but not a lot more then that.
Yeah, I was checking out the album and
was thinking I just love this Sound of Music vs. Neil Diamond on
Yeah I do a good Neil Diamond impression actually!
Have you heard Cant Get You Out of My Head? Its
on my Red Egyptian label as well by Lenny Kostanza who is reportedly
Frank Sinatras plumber from New Jersey in the 50s and
after his first hit he did a version of a 1956 Capital demo called
Cant Get You Out of My Bed and now hes having
a bit of success under a slightly different name. Ive got
the original on Red Egyptian now. Its just come out. See we
have the Red Egyptian bunker deep in northeast London and we have
things going on like the Secret Waltz club that goes on Sunday nights
for club victims that have been on a vast amount of uppers over
the weekend-they come and waltz around- kind of the opium vibe you
cant get find in New York or London. Then there is Lenny Kostanza,
the Earl Zinger stuff, and the latest release that I just finished
is Angelo Hectic doing For All the Girls Ive Loved.
Wow, are you involved in those projects?
oh..um...well I like to oversee them. I was there
in the Red Egyptian choir room- directing the various stars of northeast
London where they can all be found walking during obscure times
of the night bringing inspiration from the streets.
I know you did some Earl Zinger singles
early on. Do you think this is going to become your primary focus?
Are you still going to continue with Two Banks of Four?
Im doing that as well at the moment. So there
is another one of those coming, then there is the Earl Zinger stuff
and there the Red Egyptian compilation of various artisans coming
out. There is also a bunch of artists wanting to do things under
other names, various DJs and people so Im messing with
some different names.
So whats the story behind the
You know what that is more then anything. That is
me listening to people and theyve given me their stories.
Some of that was written in Miami actually. The bit about rub
the bank, looking hostile, trying to put a Vics inhaler up my nostril.
There was a party in downtown Miami, I cant remember who was
Djing but he came at me with a Vics inhaler- a sort of raving essential.
He was trying to stick it- actually that was on Escape to Ibiza
but it happened in Miami. The world of dance-floors are sort of
blend together sooner or later. Wether its Ibiza of Miami,
the dance-floor logistics stay the same. Soon I dont think
there is going to be that much of a difference between the two anyway
although there is never as many english.
Are you going to perform this material
I am actually. Im doing stuff next month with
Charlie Dark, Mr. Dark from Attica Blues. Hes going to be
Djing and Ill do my stuff so well see how that goes.
In September they want to do more of a band thing so were
going to look and see how it goes really- just have a laugh- do
some dates supporting Coup in Germany and various things like that.
Just cut a load of instrumentals on acetates and away we go armed
Are you going to be doing any videos?
In July actually there is going to be a video for
Escape From Ibiza.
You have to do a video for Saturday
Yeah I could just take one of those old super eight
cameras and just run around with it. You know, I should of done
that. Maybe Red Egyptian will go into video production! There is
another geezer I know that did a poem about sunday morning football
and its all about that culture which unlike anything youve
ever seen before and were going to try and do a little video
for that during the World Cup. Yes, Ive got to get into films.
Ive got a meeting with Brad next week, Brad Pitt wants to
do something on Red Egyptian. He can star is Saturday Morning
Rush! Him and his six-pack. In Zingerland it can all come