Zen & The Art of Bicycle Riding

  1. Since the Summer of 2006, my mate Jason and I have invited our friends to come hang out, play music and occasionally record some songs with our musical project ZENTHESIS.

    The early line up included Christian Lee on Bass with the brother/sister team of Rogina and Leo Kooistra on vocals & drums. Perth native Inday Ford joined the musical celebration for a spell, along with a wide swatch of industry friends who would drop by for rehearsals or shows. We were rehearsing at the Helms Deep studio in Culver City where Jason lived with our friend Gitchi Gamba. Helms Deep sessions featured an ever rotating cast of Los Angeles artists, actors, dancers and musicians who would hang out and take part in the all night swirl of rock, world beat, hip hop and funk jams vibrating the rafters.

    In July 2008, after two years of memorable live shows and parties around LA, including an entrancing evening at The Viper Room and a run as the house band at The Stone Bar on Hollywood Blvd, we went on an eight week lock down in our NoHo rehearsal space to begin preparation for our first proper studio album 'Flight Of Foreverman'. With T Roy and Trent Berry on drums and bass respectively, we travelled to Trakworx Studios in San Francisco to lay down the thirteen base tracks for the album in just two days with Producer/Engineer Justin Weis. Returning to Hollywood with the freshly digitized tracks in hand, Jas and I continued tweaking the songs through the end of that summer while the band continued gigging around West LA. We inviting friend and jazz rock musician Robert Branch(The Conduit Trio) and our buddy Kevin Briggs(Molly Gunner) to contribute on various tracks before returning to Trakworx for mastering that Fall.

    Celebrating the release of 'Flight of Foreverman' in March 2009, ZENTHESIS travelled to Austin, TX for a rousing performance at the legendary Shakespeare's Pub where the songs were well received by the jam packed SXSW crowd. FOF has been featured on various international indie rock music podcasts as well as garnering spins on commercial and college radio stations from LA to NY. Flight of Foreverman also spawned two self produced performance videos for the tracks 'Ordinary Trash' and 'Original Sin'.

    Returning to our roots in the Pacific Northwest soon thereafter inspired a surge of songwriting creativity that would lay the foundation for the 'Zen & The Art Of Bicycle Riding' recordings. After a few months of writing, we invited good friend and Portland music maestro Tim Proctor(The Punctuals) along to play a few shows including a big Oregon State Fair gig that summer. He ended up sticking around, eventually co-writing two of the new album's tracks while contributing invaluable musicianship in the form of organs, piano, vocals, guitars and whatever else we could throw at him. In September 2011 we met San Diego native and drummer Tyler Pinto(Rodeo Clowns) who brought along bassist Nick Haas(The Real) effectively completing the lineup that would play and work together over the coming year in preparation for the recording of the ZATAOBR album. ZenT played a slew of live shows around town in first half of 2012(Tiger Bar, Mt Tabor Theater, Kelly's Olympian and Ash Street Saloon among others)before once again returning to our ZenDen in SE Portland to begin recording.

    Trent Berry returned to the mix in March 2013, traveling north to meet us for a festive weekend in Portland to kick off the 'Zen & The Art Of Bicycle Riding' studio sessions. Recorded and mixing continued through the summer with various members swapping songs in a communal style. In October 2013, the completed tracks where sent back to Trakworx Studios for final mastering by Justin Weis.

    'Zen & The Art Of Bicycle Riding' is divided into two acts entitled 'Yin' and 'Yang' with an Interlude featuring an excerpt from Robert F. Kennedy's speech on the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr from April 4th, 1963. The Yin act includes the tracks 'Lost In The Woods', 'Autumn Song' and 'Ascend' which are characterized as softer, yielding and more feminine in nature; with over riding themes of human connection, love and loss. The Yang act includes the tracks 'New Tricks', 'Chisel Away' and 'Crooked' which are considered to represent a harder, focused and more masculine exploration on subjects ranging from capitalist corruption to mental illness. We consider 'Zen & The Art Of Bicycle Riding' as a musical performance piece. It is not meant to spawn radio singles, permeate pop culture or be consumed in commercially digestible bites. This work should be experienced as one would take in a night at the symphony, ballet, theater or opera. We invite you, our fellow tribesmen and women, to listen wholeheartedly and with attention to detail. Be embraced by each note and enveloped in every moment; becoming one with the music, one with the mood and one with the message contained within. ~Namaste~

    # vimeo.com/81547297 Uploaded 253 Plays 0 Comments
  2. A rainbow o' quick clips from our St Patty's day show at Tiger Bar PDX!

    A wee bit o' the tunes 'New Tricks', 'Blessed Electric' and 'Ascend' for yer aural and visual pleasure!

    Its like yer own pot o' zenT gold by golly!

    # vimeo.com/38883797 Uploaded 84 Plays 0 Comments
  3. One and one half minutes of musical bliss for our ZenT family! Spread the word, new album arrives 12/10/13!!

    # vimeo.com/80003518 Uploaded 109 Plays 0 Comments
  4. Jas travels north to brother Kyle's to begin work on his latest creation - FRANKEN V! Cute dog, cold beer, and coolness ensue.

    # vimeo.com/20334202 Uploaded 63 Plays 0 Comments
  5. A video for the single 'Original Sin' off the debut album from west coast rockers Zen Thesis.

    This video features live performance footage from the 2009 Oregon State Fair combined with behind the scenes video at two local wildcat rescue facilities that Jas and Michael volunteer at and some clips from video shot this year at the Oregon Coast.

    Lyrics:

    nowhere else to turn
    no place left to run
    i know where you've been
    i've seen what you've done
    pounding like the heart
    beating in your chest
    leaves you blind and lost
    you can never win
    original sin
    coming back again
    its coming back again

    i won't let you run me down no
    i won't make a sound
    i would choke and drown
    before i let you run me down

    even while you sleep
    can't hide from the dark
    silently it creeps
    the maker takes its mark
    suddenly you're gone
    I'm left all alone
    a sadness never felt
    an anger never shown
    original sin
    coming back again
    its coming back again

    i won't let you run me down no
    i won't make a sound
    i would choke and drown
    before i let you run me down

    # vimeo.com/7119380 Uploaded 346 Plays 0 Comments

Zen & The Art of Bicycle Riding

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