IF YOU GO
What: Zhopa Mira EP release show with Asleep, We Are Hex, Braille and Sunk In Ships
When: 8 p.m. Saturday
Where: The Lemon Grove, 122 W. Federal St., Youngstown
Tickets: Free; call 330-301-0282
By John Benson
After spending the past decade in the death-metal scene with local band Harlequins Voice, guitarist Michael Andrecic was ready for a change. When that outfit disbanded in 2007 after a tumultuous run that ended during a national tour with a band member quitting, the 2003 Ursuline High School graduate took a step back to re-evaluate his musical goals.
This eventually led to the formation of Zhopa Mira — Andrecic, J.T. Whitfield (bass), Nick Kovalscik (drums) and Boo Porcase (vocals) — which is decidedly not death metal.
“I’ve played in hard-core acts for years, but I always wanted to play with someone who could actually sing with some kind of soul,” said Andrecic, who is also dating Porcase.
“As soon as I heard [Boo], it kind of came together. Her style is very unique. She uses older influences like Ella Fitzgerald.”
Andrecic boasts that the band has a lounge-y, psychedelic-punk sound that fans finally will be able to hear in recorded form with the quartet’s debut effort, the EP “Truculent Ways.”
Among the new tracks the outfit will be playing live at its CD release show Saturday at the Lemon Grove are the high- energy “Jail Bait” and the post-punk “Beastly Savagely.”
The nine-song effort was recorded at Ampreon Recorder in Youngstown.
“The cool thing of working at Ampreon Recorder is it’s right down the street from me downtown,” Andrecic said.
“I already started working on another one down there. I guess it’s just to keep putting music out in the short attention span of today.”
Going for something different appears to be the idea behind Zhopa Mira.
Invariably, a punk/lounge sound must stand out in the Northeast Ohio music scene?
“Oh yeah, I feel like we’re surrounded by a lot of radio rock, and we’re definitely a little off compared to what’s going on around here,” Andrecic said. “I’d say we definitely don’t fit in too many places. For me, coming from the hard-core heavy-metal crowd, it’s been difficult finding shows or a scene where we actually fit in. This is more artsy, I guess, but it’s good. I think people appreciate it.”
Andrecic is confident Zhopa Mira, which played roughly 20 shows over the past year, is about to make a leap from local band to regional touring act.
“I’ve been doing it DIY my whole life,” Andrecic said. “Considering we have a touring van and the studio being so close, we can make this work without bankrupting us, which I think is a smart thing these days. Up until now, this has been a period of learning for the group. Our singer isn’t a veteran of the local scene. This is her first band, so it was like getting our skills together, and the last couple of weeks I’ve been booking some out-of-town dates. I really think we’re ready to go be a weekend-warrior kind of thing.”