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NEU PUNK w/ “Cubic Zirconia”

Submitted by on Sunday, 31 January 2010No Comment

Huddled around bowls of sushi rice and bottles of Sake in a hole in the wall Sushi-ya on East 7th Street, three of the four of members of NYC’s Cubic Zirconia are letting it all hang out.

The East Village spaced-out RnB acid house revivalist outfit Cubic Zirconia is just getting started. The three founding members Nick Hook, Todd Weinstock, and Tiombe spent the last ten months file sharing and co-creating songs between the hours of 9pm and 5am fueled by high-grade java and premium sake. The result is what Tiombe affectionately refers so as “Soul white boy nerdy disco dance house fun party time music.”

Between them they have been signed and successfully released records on Warner Brothers and have dipped their toes in the Elektra records pool. They are currently poised to release their new collaboration in a whole new way. Rockstar 2.0. Todd was a founding member of the seminal post-hardcore act Glassjaw and has spent the last 15 years of his life on the bus, off the chain, and in the spotlight. He met Nick in St. Louis where Nick was delivering New York style pizza. The two bonded immediately and the result was the thinking man’s dance rock sensation Men Women and Children, also released on Warner Brothers. Nick remembers, “I moved here (NYC) with 2 ounces of weed in my trunk and no employment. I never did get a real job.”

Five years and several hundred shows later Nick and Todd are content to be writing music in a new and truly collaborative way, free from the constraints of a stifling and outmoded business model. They saw Tiombe perform at the East Village epicenter of euro-electro-pop fusion Nublu one night and were immediate fans. “ I wrote her this long e-mail” Nick recalls “and never heard anything back. I was like ‘She hates us for certain.’” Truth is that Tiombe was writing, performing and orbiting her own sun and admits to only recently reading the e-mail—after already agreeing to be in the band. The three of them were set up on an artistic blind date by a mutual friend, and, the rest has been a blur of late nights, hangovers and collaborative band camp.

The process goes like this: Nick (the nerd) starts with a beat. “ I like to write things that invite maximum participation” he muses. Todd plays guitar and writes chord progressions, and Tiombe sings and comes up with lyrics and melodies. What makes Cubic Zirconia unique is each member’s willingness to allow their band mates to tinker with and in their area of specialization—an egoless communal approach to writing and performing born out of mutual respect.

With the recent addition of the new “laid back and mellow” member of the band Daud—a drum corps trained precision percussionist and keyboard player fond of making “fuck faces” at the girls in the crowd, Cubic Zirconia are directing their fully operational Deathstar at honing their live show to a laser fine assault on the senses combining programmed loops, live midi-synth/percussion pads, guitars and an array of toys that would make Daft Punk proud.

“I like to write music when I’m stoned out of my mind on my own” Tiombe brings it all back down to the street level, “But I sang in church choir growing up. In junior high, I got in trouble so I had to go to arts school. I ran off the day before Christmas Eve to Watts California to hang out with my home girl’s boy who had just gotten out of prison. I got stranded out there and had to come back.”

The physical embodiment of punk rock, and DIY attitude, She decided to focus on music at arts high school. “I Got my BFA at the New School studying music theory, graduated and signed to Elektra as Tiombe. After 9-11 I got dropped and then released bootlegs of my music. I toured with an act called Platinum Pied Pipers (PPP) and was nominated for 2 worldwide music awards, I was doing soul music but most of the places I was going were punk rock crazy party places.” The Sake is kicking in.

“Before I joined Cubic Zirconia I started wanting to write music that was about my life–shit that I talked about every day—not sit down and try to write a song about something. I wanted to have the same dialogue in my songs that I had with my home girls every day. And then I met these guys.

FREE “Cubic Zirconia” mini mix download HERE!!!

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