By Alexa Solis
One album. Thirteen songs. Thirty-four artists. Reno rock band Bazooka Zoo’s recently released “Time Capsule” is filled with collaborations between musicians from all over the state of Nevada and the members of Bazooka Zoo.
Orchestrated and produced by vocalist and guitarist Zac Haley, also known as Bazooka Zac, the record is intended to display the talent of artists from a variety of genres and cities in Nevada. Haley was dead set on creating a piece of art that was able to transcend genres and showcase the talent that lies hidden in the mountains and valleys of the Nevada desert.
“This is a truly one-of-a-kind record for the state,” Haley said. “It literally brings together all of the genres we have here. For real music lovers, this is going to be the record to get to know your local community a little better.”
As Haley settled on the idea of a massive collaborative album about a year ago, he began arranging trips to meet and record with artists. After sending the participating musicians demos, Haley packed his recording equipment in a backpack, booked flights and took road trips to ensure that artists throughout the state would be heard.
“It was awesome, but also extremely time consuming,” Haley said. “It was such a truly unique experience, and I can’t believe it’s actually done. I’m still really excited about this one on principle. It’s got flaws, we’re just kids, but I’m excited to see what people think.”
T h e a l b u m has set records for the band. Since its release on Feb. 5, “Time Capsule” was played 2,500 times within 24 hours of its release, according to Haley. Bassist Mac Esposito attributed that to Haley’s push on Facebook to promote the 34 different artists in 34 days. For Haley, it was important to bring the diversity of the album to the forefront and put it on full display.
Established Reno musicians, such as Mark Sexton of the Mark Sexton Band and activist and rapper Pan Pantoja lent their respective talents to the album. According to Haley, working with musicians of that caliber was one of the most rewarding parts of the project.
“Time Capsule” marks the start of a new chapter in the band’s career. Bazooka Zoo, together since 2012, is in the midst of a transition. The foursome is writing new songs with recording dates set for August, planning a tour and just wrapped up shooting two music videos. Not only is there a bevy of activity for the band, but the blues-rock style that fans have come to know the band for is changing dramatically.
“I think that this album is a good representation of where Bazooka Zoo’s sound is heading,” Esposito said. “When I joined the band, they already had an hour and 15 minutes of music that was very hard rock, blues based and now we’ve been writing new music that’s more groove and beats, and more electronic-oriented. ‘Time Capsule’ is definitely an electric album. It’s got electric drums on it, and a lot of synthesizers and all that.”
Though Bazooka Zoo is changing, Haley was clear that the record was not really about Bazooka Zoo itself, but instead a greater goal of bringing together the sounds of Nevada in a way that had not been done before.
“I think that the album is incredible,” Esposito said. “It’s an incredible project. It’s an incredible idea, and I don’t know anybody else, I haven’t heard of anybody else doing something like what [Haley] has done. And what [Haley] has done is made an immensely collaborative work of art.”
Johnny Bailey, lead vocals and guitar of Rigorous Proof, was a collaborator on the closing track “Shoot the Moon,” and found the entire experience to be enriching and fun. Bailey noted that there was a sense of camaraderie among the artists involved even though most recording was done separately.
“Every last person who contributed did a great and amazing thing, and I think that as time goes on Bazooka Zoo’s ‘Time Capsule’ will be a testament to just how talented Reno and Nevada as a whole is,” Bailey said. “[Haley is] one of the only people to bridge the gap between all the artists (rappers, musicians, EDM producers), and I think that speaks for itself.”
Alexa Solis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @thealexasolis.