An interview with Madison psychedelic rockers, Fin Zipper
by Mike Huberty
One of the fun parts about living in a college town like Madison is the influx of musicians who come into the city for school, constantly bringing new energy to a music scene. While university students often stay in their bubble and don’t venture out to the rest of the live scene, FIN ZIPPER has been exploring the edges of psychedelic rock all over town. The band is Seth Hasseler and Jon Porter on guitars and backing vocals, Dan Graf on drums, and Alex Ferron on low-end and lead vox (who plays a lot like another Madison band with jammy tendencies, THE GUPPY EFFECT’s Joe Leonard, and come to think of it, I’ve never seen them in the same room!) With a growing live schedule and a Southern tour planned for this Spring (over Break, natch!) FIN ZIPPER is looking to break out of the college rock bubble and make a dent in the Madison jam and rock scene.
MI: College can keep you pretty busy, especially because most of you are majoring in some kind of engineering, what brought you to music?
FZ: We all independently dreamed of being rockstars. It seemed like options were limited to playing an instrument or immediately giving up on the dream. Also, scoring chicks was a main motivator.
MI: Who are the bands that you guys all listened to together? Any particular shared interests that led to you wanting to play together?
FZ: We all bonded over classic bands like Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Steely Dan, Salvador Dali, The Beatles, The Who, The Monkeys, Jack White but some modern artists that really speak to us too: Vulfpeck, Mac Demarco, Tame Impala, Pond, Jacuzzi Boys, Twin Peaks, and The Lemon Twigs (who actually came over to jam after their show last week!)
MI: So, what song is the best introduction to the band? Which track do you think represents you guys the best right now?
FZ: “Sold My Soul” - We’ve taken the band in a little more funky direction since, but this is a core classic. It’s about trying to understand how this world works and thoughts/experiences I had trying to make it on my own for the first time.
MI: Unique band name. What’s the story behind it?
FZ: While Seth was living in Los Angeles, he came across a shark one day near the Venice Beach Boardwalk. The phenomenon of a shark fin cutting through the ocean reminded him of a zipper. There it is: Fin Zipper
MI: You guys are a relatively new band but you’ve branched out beyond Madison. What’s your favorite show so far?
FZ: At our tour stop in Minneapolis, we played a Friday night show at the recently re-opened Viking Bar. Intimate Space, groovy people and high stage made this one our favorite performance. Plus, we had a bunch of our goons from Wisconsin surprise us at the show.
MI: So, anyone who’s stopping out at the show on St. Patrick’s Day at The Frequency, what kind of trouble are they going to get themselves into?
FZ: Grooving. While our album has a bit more of a psychedelic rock vibe, we pour a ton of energy into our shows and really bring the heat. We love getting our audience vibing to the music — we definitely feed a lot off of our fan’s energy.
MI: Tell us about the tour you guys are planning over Spring Break, why do you think Nashville is the place to go?
FZ: We just got together to plan the tour earlier today. We’ve been reaching out to bands and venues on the route. We open up the gates headlining a show at The Frequency March 17 with Sleeping Jesus and Jessica Manning. On the way to Nashville, we plan on checking out Milwaukee, Chicago, Bloomington, perhaps a stop in Louisville before we kick it in Tennessee for a few days.
MI: Here’s your chance to make a pitch: anything you want to say, things you need to say to the world that we haven’t already covered? (Feel free to plug anything you’d like!)
FZ: This band would not be possible if it wasn’t for our kick ass friends and family that support us and groove out at our shows. We work hard to do what we love. We’ll be in the studio soon working on our next album, so stay tuned for tunes!