Video Premiere: Zuli, “Better All The Time” Live
Is it just me or is it a good time to be a fan of psychedelia?
As a kid, I could never put such a fine point on it but the warbling chords of songs like “Crimson and Clover,” bands like The Zombies, Jefferson Airplane, and, later, the meanderings of Pink Floyd, all burrowed inside my brain like a fever and never left. One of the first records I reviewed for Stereo Subversion was from Philadelphia pysch-band Asteroid No. 4, and from there it’s been onto newer acts like Temples, Tame Impala, and Unknown Mortal Orchestra, all of which take me back to those initial forays into psychedelia.
Zuli is the latest band to land on repeat in my headphones and they are in good company. The brainchild of New York native, Ryan Camenzuli, Zuli’s 2015 five-song EP, Supernatural Voodoo, bears the mark of a permanent summertime playlist and late city nights in speeding cars. Camenzuli, formerly of the band Wild International, befriended Miles Seaton of veteran band Akron/Family who helped hone his musical direction. Seaton, is one hell of a force to have in your corner, and some of the intensity of Akron/Family has rubbed off on Zuli–especially in the frantic, menacing video for his song, “Better All the Time.” Zuli created a live video, walking the streets of San Francisco, to accompany the song and it’s original video. The live video is as engaging as it is catchy. No fair giving too much away, but, suffice it to say, “Better All the Time” will leave you with a better appreciation for the music video as art form–and make you long for pre-YouTube days when MTV actually played music videos.
SSv recently spoke to Camenzuli about the new video and his inspirations for creative endeavors.
SSv: Tell us about the inspiration for the video.
Camenzuli: When we made this video, my friends in Genmotion (who helped me make the music video for “Better All The Time”) were on a cross country road trip and I flew out to visit them on their stop in San Francisco. The trip was meant as a mini vacation, but we decided to head down to the mission one day and see if we could make a live video. When we started filming, we were only able to get 2 takes of the song before we had to leave due to a bunch of homeless guys trying to get money as “extras” in the video. Regardless it was still fun and I thought the video came out really well.
SSv: What kind of guitar tone are you looking for in your music? The EP Feels very psych and 60s influenced.
C: 60’s Psychedelic music definitely influenced some of the tones that I wanted for the record, but I think it varies from song to song. Usually my vision for the tones will change once I start recording, my main focus with guitar playing, though, is writing intricate lines that fit in well with the songwriting.
SSv: Who are some of your inspirations for making music?
C: When I was younger my biggest inspirations were the guys in Akron / Family and Animal Collective. Those were the bands that really gave me the first big push to start working on writing and recording. I’m still influenced by those artists but now I’ve broadened my horizons. One artist who I’ve recently been very inspired by is Dave Longstreth of Dirty Projectors. He writes incredible guitar riffs.
Check out both videos below, the live and the original, and listen to the EP on Bandcamp.