Story & Photography by Kail Rose
Recently, we stumbled across a brand new band from the Los Angeles area that completely blew our minds. Collectively known as ZFG, Jules Galli (lead vocals), Trev Lukather (guitar), Sam Porcaro (bass) and Josh Devine (drums) have broken all the rules (nay, ignored all the rules) and have created something uniquely excellent. Friends from different music projects, they decided to collaborate in the studio for fun. “Our sound was not forced. We didn’t have a direction or any rules to follow. We just wanted to hang out in the studio and play, have fun; no commitment. After we finished Holehearted, Jules called me and was like: ‘dude... this is special.’ It was like the universe aligned. And now we’re here on our first tour” says Trev. With undeniable chemistry, they meld anthemic, hook-filled melodies, funk rock guitar riffs and groove rock beats. It’s a winning combination with substance, grit, and soul.
Trev and Sam hail from rock royalty; the sons of Toto legends Steve Lukather and Steve Porcaro. Jules is our mystery man, hailing from France and Josh Devine, drummer of One Direction fame, round out the lineup. I ask them how they even got connected, since starting a band wasn't the original goal. Josh and Trev were roommates in LA and Sam and Trev had known each other for years through their parents. “We were all doing separate projects but Josh and Trev decided to get into the studio purely for fun.” Trev says; “Sam and I, it took us 27 years to play together. We’ve known each other forever; I used to always go to his jam band shows.” Jules, a mainstay in music circles in LA, was a casual acquaintance. They were even following each other on Instagram. Trev takes the credit for finding the stunning vocalist; “I just wanted some crazy, out-of-this-world vocals and Jules popped up.” He sent Jules a DM. Having never contributed vocals to a rock track, Jules was blown away by the instrumentals he was sent and decided to try it. He says; “it was the best DM ever.” The band wasn’t really whole until Sam came into the picture. “Jules and Sam brought the flavor; the funk, R&B, jazz vibe, the groove. Myself and Josh; we’re like the rock kids,” says Trev; “so I just got a little crazy on top of that with guitar.” “Creatively we don’t let anyone stifle us; we don’t try to sound like anything in particular. It’s a no-rules approach and I think that comes out in our music.” Jules says; “we just really friggin play.”
I ask about the name. Zero Fucks Given was their session name for their first day in the studio. “It just kind of stuck. At first it was Zero Fucks Given (in full), but it got shortened to ZFG. It just feels good and it’s ambiguous enough” Trev informs me. “It was almost a mistake; we used it as a session name because the whole project was just no rules, no plan, no direction” says Josh. Trev pipes in “yeah, he went from One Direction, to no direction.” “At least it’s definitely not the wrong direction” rebukes Josh; to which we all heartily agree.
Like their namesake, their genre and style takes a laissez-faire approach, first and foremost answering the question: does it sound good? ...Damn good? They’re attenuating to genre buckets almost as an afterthought; the finished product is certainly rock, but it leans on the best of alternate genres and eras; infusing R&B, funk, pop, jazz and alt rock with the inkling sounds of decades past. It’s a truly 'Z-F-G' approach that yields a big sound, catchy songs and an epic live show experience.
They have just recorded their third single here in Austin, produced by Matt Noveskey of Blue October. Jules speaks of their time in the studio; “It’s so cool that we’re doing this song on the road in the studio here in Austin. It’s the first instrumental they reached out to me with, so it’s full-circle that now we’re on our first tour, here we are recording this very first song.” Trev chips in; “the first idea we ever messed with Jules with, we finally recorded that this week. We tracked the entire song in five hours; everything.” They go on to allude to their upcoming album, slated for April. “We’re writing a ton.” say the guys; “after this tour we’re just going to get into the studio and write a ton more.”
Beyond that, it’s all touring. Trev announces; “We’re opening for Toto this summer; Germany, Poland, Hungary, Italy. It’s been an absolute dream; the Toto fans know all about Sam and I. It’s been a lifelong dream; now we’re opening ten shows for Toto.”
Their second single Special, has landed #2 Most Added spot on the Billboard (BDS) Mainstream Rock Indicator Chart, #1 Most Added on the Foundations (SMR) Chart and sits in the Top 10 Greatest Gainers on the Billboard Indicator and Foundations Charts. The band is currently on tour with Adelitas Way and The Winery Dogs. See dates here. Their first album is slated for an April 2019 release and they’ll be on tour opening for Toto in Europe in June and July.