Too Many Zooz came to many people's attention when a video of them performing at Union Square in 2014 went viral, introducing the world to a unique style of music of the band's own concoction they call brasshouse.
Trumpeter Matt Doe explains that the past few years since they went viral have seen the band undergo a swift transition from street to stage and beyond.
“I don't know if I'd call it a natural progression, but we went from playing in a subway to playing on stages at festival and venues, putting out records and selling merchandise; doing the whole nine yards.
“Just going from being a subway act to being a world professional touring act is a big change, but it's been a long time coming. Over the years it’s been a battle of endurance, going day-by-day and moving up and up and up.”
Too Many Zooz have become their own type of phenomenon, combining their musical prowess with the exuberant dancing of baritone saxophonist Leo Pellegrino to stand out among the throngs of commuters who bustle through the subway in a daily sea of humanity.
Yet despite their success, which has taken them around the world including playing back-up for Beyoncé for her performance at the 2016 Country Music Association Awards in Nashville, Matt says it was never their intention.
"When we first started we were just playing music and making a little extra cash for food,” he says.
“So at first it was just us experimenting, and it’s cool because we’re getting paid to play music and f@#$ around basically. We were all working as musicians at the time already, but it was a nice additional income and it was cool music that we were having fun playing.
"There was no scheme or masterplan to do this, it just kind of happened.”
Too Many Zooz will embark on their maiden voyage to Australia in November for a seven-date east-coast tour (before they return to play Perth Festival in February) during which they’ll dispense healthy doses of their infectious grooves, along with Leo’s trademark, killer dancing.
“It'll be really cool,” Matt says, “and none of us have ever been to Australia.
“We’ve heard awesome things and I’m really looking forward to it. I think the people will like the show; our live show now is completely different to what it's ever been.”
The band’s self-described genre of brasshouse isn’t easy to define without having heard it; Matt’s melodies punctuated by Leo’s staccato stabs and drummer David ‘King Of Sludge’ Parks’ tribal-infused drum lines, all melded into an unspeakable form.
“A simple way to put it in genre terms would be like acoustic dance music,” Matt simplifies.
“Brasshouse isn’t necessarily the sound it’s more the approach you take to playing the music. It involves a lot of improvisation, listening, blending lines and melodies together.
"It’s like any type of music [but] it's like we've created our own, and it reminds me of Afro-Cuban music where there are certain drum calls, cues and rhythms that you just know from doing it so many times.”
Too Many Zooz play Perth Festival at Chervon Gardens 21 February, 2018.
Thu 16 Nov - The Zoo (Brisbane)
Too Many Zooz 2017 Shows
17-18 Nov - Mullum Music Festival (Northern Rivers)
Tue 21 Nov - Howler (Melbourne)
Thu 23 Nov - Oxford Arts Factory (Sydney)
Fri 24 Nov - Howler Bar (Melbourne)
25-26 Nov - Queenscliff Music Festival