Local Frequency: Bay Area Band Q&A w/ Zodiac Death Valley

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Zodiac Death Valley is a psychedelic rock band with dark, sailor-esque songs about women, whiskey, and drugs that channels the old Barbary Coast heyday. Live, the group's raucous lyrics and in your face behavior makes for an unapologetic good time. ZDV is currently working on its first full length album, which is set to be released in February.

Local Frequency caught up with 3/5th's of ZDV --Niccolo Abodeely (vox/guitar/mouth harp/words), Nathan Ricker (guitar/piano/mandolin/organ/banjo), Jordan Villa {guitar/keys)--at Club Deluxe to chat about band tattoos, fish tacos, and Peter Tosh. (Daniel "California" Burns, who's in charge of bass/mood and drummer/workhorse Landon Cisneros couldn't make the interview.)

If you could describe your sound as a San Francisco neighborhood, which one would it be?
Niccolo Abodeely: Not really in San Francisco, it would be out in the Pacific Ocean, or maybe the desert. We don't really fit in anywhere. We spend a lot of time touring in San Diego. If I had to choose a neighborhood, though, definitely Broadway and Columbus at 3 a.m., where it's really fucking dirty.
Nathan Ricker: I think we have more common in Oakland.

So you all proudly sport ZDV tattoos somewhere on your body. Whose idea was that?
NR: Mine, I don't need to pretend it was a good idea.
NA: Mine is on my left arm.
Jordan Villa: Mine is on my chest also.

What are you guys reading now?
NR: Anything by Steve Erickson. I'm actually in the process of re-reading all of his stuff.
JV: Tape Op magazine. It's all I read.
NA: Alexander Pushkin! The greatest fucking Russian poet ever!
NR: He's alright, there are far better Russian poets.


It's happy hour: where can we find you drinking?
LC: My favorite spot to drink is Ruby Room, Hot Rock, or Trax.
NR: My house. I'm avoiding bars when I'm not working. I don't really drink during the evening. But my days are so fucking boring that I drink--'cause I'm kind of bored at work, I'm stressed out, and I have people bugging me for things all the time. It's a weird life, constantly being asked for something. But If I'm out, usually Danny Coyles.
NA:Drinking whisky at Nate's house

What's a song that's been stuck in your head recently?
NR: "In Spite of Ourselves" by John Prine and Iris Dement
NA: Peter Tosh's "Mystic Man"
NR: That's such a great song! I Love Peter Tosh!
NA: (singing) My man of the past, living in the past and walking in the future. It's like my favorite motto. You have to take elements from everything you look into, and everything that's been recorded, and make it into something new.
NR: Also anything by Jackson P. Frank. He's really hard to find, and no one knows about him. He went crazy and disappeared like 20 years ago. You can't Google him, that's for sure. He put out three or four records. It's really good.

If you could die and come back as a Mexican food item, what would it be, and what's your taqueria of choice?
JV: Shit, that's kind of a personal question. I'd be a fish taco in San Diego. Here, I hit up El Farolito or Pancho Villa.
NA: Jordan is our official San Diego representative.
NR: No Pancho Villa mentioned in ZDV interviews. Yuck!
NA: My taqueria of choice is San Diego. Which is why we tour there so much. I would be a crunchy steak taco with everything on it.

Where are you guys playing next?
Wednesday, Dec. 16 at Elbo Room

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