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Looking for info on "Zen Boy"


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  • 2021 Gold Donors

I've been looking for info on a band called "Zen Boy" without much success. They featured on the compilation album "Metal Edge presents: The best of L.A. Vol 1", which i regrettably don't have anymore.

The song was called "Nothin' From The Mojo" and i remember loving it, unfortunately it's been so long that i can't remember how it goes or even band members, i just remember that i really liked it. I can't find anything at all about it or them.

I'm hoping you guys can use your detective skills and help me out.

Does anybody know the song?

 

 

Useless fact - There's another band on that album called "Shake The Faith" whose lead singer is Dave Aragon a.k.a "Diggety Dave" from "Pimp my ride".

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"Shake The Faith" also had Tommy Thayer ex Black "n Blue now KISS as a member as well.

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s_l300.jpg

Yep. That's the one mate.

As i said i can't even remember how the song goes.

Is that your copy?

What's the track like?

 

 

Nope. Got that picture off ebay. Several copies on there.

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Well after a bit of Googling it appears that the guitarist in Zen Boy Matt Bruck has been Eddie Van Halen's guitar/amp tech/PA for a LONG while and from some of the articles I have read Matt used some of Ed's gear to record the Zen Boy demo's. Quote from the EVH article below.

 

"It sounds like you have your guitar plugged into a Leslie on "Not Enough."
"We plugged the Marshall into the Leslie via this preamp box that my tech, Matt Bruck, brought over. He had used it on the demo tape for his band, Zen Boy. He hooked me up and I just played it."

 

Matt can be seen here talking about some of the EVH gear and products:

 

http://bcove.me/agx0bsow

 

Apparently Zen Boy changed their band name to Custom 500.

 

In this video of Shawn Lane and his "Power of Ten" sessions at the 5:35 mark the camera does a close up on the Marshall head he is using and in the masking tape a top the head it is clearly written "Zen Boy". Apparently Shawn and Matt and Eddie where in cahoots in multiple ways... I was not familiar with Shawn but after finding this video and watching a boatload of others the guy (RIP) certainly could play. Humbling.

 

 

Looks like Matt trademarked the name in 1994: https://inventively.com/search/trademarks/74522261

 

Looks as if Chris Lester was in this Zen Boy band as well. He has played with a TON of people and is pictured on an album we are all familiar with Wild Horses-Bareback. On the page linked below Chris played bass with Matt in Zen Boy and then Ultrasoniccrush and then Custom 500 for 2 demos. The other 2 members of Zen Boy were Rich Galdieri and Alan DiSilva.

 

http://www.chrislester.me/chrislester.me/Discography.html

 

Here is a copy of some more history from here: http://www.cdbaby.com/m/cd/lestersounds

 

 

1994 saw Chris join up with longtime Eddie Van Halen guitar tech Matt Bruck in the band ZenBoy. They garnered some label interest but received no bites. ZenBoy played with Van Halen, Skid Row and Brother Cane at The Block Buster Pavillion which had been the site of the US Festival. The members of AC/DC came to see the band at The Coconut Teaser which was a highlight for Chris as well as Eddie Van Halen coming to a band rehearsal. Growing frustrated with the direction ZenBoy had taken, Chris and Matt decided to start a new project with Chris on lead vocals.

The three piece UltraSonicCrush was formed and had more drummers than Spinal Tap. Fortunately none ever spontaneously combusted. Their form of power pop (think Cheap Trick meets The Sex Pistols) predated the success of The Foo Fighters, STP and Green Day. Chris and Matt decided to change the name to Custom 500 and recorded a three song demo with drummer Abe Laboriel Jr (Paul McCartney). They managed to attract the attention of virtually ever major label and played showcases at The Dragonfly and The Viper Room in Hollywood switching between Eric Singer (KISS) and James Kottack (The Scorpions) on drums. Custom 500 was unable to secure the ever elusive record deal and Matt and Chris took a break to re-evaluate their game plan.

 

Looks like Amazon has a grip of these for sale too.

 

https://www.amazon.com/Best-L-Vol/dp/B000006MFZ

 

I can not find any samples anywhere however of Zen Boy or Custom 500.!?

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  • 2021 Gold Donors

Well after a bit of Googling it appears that the guitarist in Zen Boy Matt Bruck has been Eddie Van Halen's guitar/amp tech/PA for a LONG while and from some of the articles I have read Matt used some of Ed's gear to record the Zen Boy demo's. Quote from the EVH article below.

 

"It sounds like you have your guitar plugged into a Leslie on "Not Enough."

 

"We plugged the Marshall into the Leslie via this preamp box that my tech, Matt Bruck, brought over. He had used it on the demo tape for his band, Zen Boy. He hooked me up and I just played it."

 

Matt can be seen here talking about some of the EVH gear and products:

 

http://bcove.me/agx0bsow

 

Apparently Zen Boy changed their band name to Custom 500.

 

In this video of Shawn Lane and his "Power of Ten" sessions at the 5:35 mark the camera does a close up on the Marshall head he is using and in the masking tape a top the head it is clearly written "Zen Boy". Apparently Shawn and Matt and Eddie where in cahoots in multiple ways... I was not familiar with Shawn but after finding this video and watching a boatload of others the guy (RIP) certainly could play. Humbling.

 

https://youtu.be/UV5IczyDYQU

 

Looks like Matt trademarked the name in 1994: https://inventively.com/search/trademarks/74522261

 

Looks as if Chris Lester was in this Zen Boy band as well. He has played with a TON of people and is pictured on an album we are all familiar with Wild Horses-Bareback. On the page linked below Chris played bass with Matt in Zen Boy and then Ultrasoniccrush and then Custom 500 for 2 demos. The other 2 members of Zen Boy were Rich Galdieri and Alan DiSilva.

 

http://www.chrislester.me/chrislester.me/Discography.html

 

Here is a copy of some more history from here: http://www.cdbaby.com/m/cd/lestersounds

 

 

1994 saw Chris join up with longtime Eddie Van Halen guitar tech Matt Bruck in the band ZenBoy. They garnered some label interest but received no bites. ZenBoy played with Van Halen, Skid Row and Brother Cane at The Block Buster Pavillion which had been the site of the US Festival. The members of AC/DC came to see the band at The Coconut Teaser which was a highlight for Chris as well as Eddie Van Halen coming to a band rehearsal. Growing frustrated with the direction ZenBoy had taken, Chris and Matt decided to start a new project with Chris on lead vocals. The three piece UltraSonicCrush was formed and had more drummers than Spinal Tap. Fortunately none ever spontaneously combusted. Their form of power pop (think Cheap Trick meets The Sex Pistols) predated the success of The Foo Fighters, STP and Green Day. Chris and Matt decided to change the name to Custom 500 and recorded a three song demo with drummer Abe Laboriel Jr (Paul McCartney). They managed to attract the attention of virtually ever major label and played showcases at The Dragonfly and The Viper Room in Hollywood switching between Eric Singer (KISS) and James Kottack (The Scorpions) on drums. Custom 500 was unable to secure the ever elusive record deal and Matt and Chris took a break to re-evaluate their game plan.

 

Looks like Amazon has a grip of these for sale too.

 

https://www.amazon.com/Best-L-Vol/dp/B000006MFZ

 

I can not find any samples anywhere however of Zen Boy or Custom 500.!?

WOW. Thanks for the effort mate. It looks like i might have to repurchase the Metal Edge compilation in order to hear that song again. Thanks again mate.

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I own the Zen Boy demo cassette.....I can check it for any info you may need.

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  • 2021 Gold Donors

I own the Zen Boy demo cassette.....I can check it for any info you may need.

 

Looks like you've got a rare one there.

What's it like?

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I own the Zen Boy demo cassette.....I can check it for any info you may need.

Looks like you've got a rare one there.

What's it like?

 

 

 

I'll have to break it out and listen to it again, as I haven't heard it in 15-20 years. I do remember that it came out in like....93 or so, and the mix of grunge and hard rock was starting to filter in on bands. There's wasn't grunge sounding.....but I can't place their sound. I'll listen to it and report back with song titles, etc. I got it because they were listed in the Rock on the Rise section of Metal Edge. I bought every band's demo that way back then....lol

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  • 2021 Gold Donors

 

 

I own the Zen Boy demo cassette.....I can check it for any info you may need.

 

Looks like you've got a rare one there.

What's it like?

 

I'll have to break it out and listen to it again, as I haven't heard it in 15-20 years. I do remember that it came out in like....93 or so, and the mix of grunge and hard rock was starting to filter in on bands. There's wasn't grunge sounding.....but I can't place their sound. I'll listen to it and report back with song titles, etc. I got it because they were listed in the Rock on the Rise section of Metal Edge. I bought every band's demo that way back then....lol

That's great mate.

Looking forward to your review.

From memory they had a bit of a funk vibe, but i may be wrong.

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Pulled it out and am listening to it as I type.......

 

Songs listed:

 

1. Nothin' from the Mojo

2. What if I Told

3. Gun

 

First off...the demo is WELL produced and engineered. Great sound......has a Zeppelin vibe, albeit heavier......

 

First song (the one you love) has a great chug riff and has some swagger. Excellent vocalist.

 

Track two starts off with a cool acoustic guitar and slides along in quick tempo with an Extreme vibe....some smooth gang vocals and a sweet melody.

 

Track three starts off acoustically again and builds up and then kicks in big time. This is a rawkin' track.

 

Surprised they didn't put out more tuneage.....good stuff.

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I see you love Lynch Mob....and I can see why you dug that tune....definitely has the Mob swagger and groove.

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  • 2021 Gold Donors

Pulled it out and am listening to it as I type.......

 

Songs listed:

 

1. Nothin' from the Mojo

2. What if I Told

3. Gun

 

First off...the demo is WELL produced and engineered. Great sound......has a Zeppelin vibe, albeit heavier......

 

First song (the one you love) has a great chug riff and has some swagger. Excellent vocalist.

 

Track two starts off with a cool acoustic guitar and slides along in quick tempo with an Extreme vibe....some smooth gang vocals and a sweet melody.

 

Track three starts off acoustically again and builds up and then kicks in big time. This is a rawkin' track.

 

Surprised they didn't put out more tuneage.....good stuff.

 

 

Thanks so much for that mate, really appreciate it.

It's good to get confirmation on the quality of the track. I'll definitely try and pick up the "Metal Edge" compilation again. Cheers.

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  • 3 months later...

Hey guys,

I was in Zenboy, UltraSonicCrush and Custom 500. Just to clear up some things. Zenboy never released a CD unfortunately but we did have a few demos floating around. The one with "Nothing From The Mojo" was mixed by Mike Frazier (if I remember correctly). Later we worked with Mike Plotnikoff who has gone on to be a respected producer.

Matt and I then put UltraSonicCrush together after Zenboy split up. It was a very different style of band because I became the lead singer. Custom 500 was basically just a name change from USC. USC had a 3 song demo and CUSTOM500 had two 3 song demos.

I mentioned in another thread that I don't think Matt used Ed'S Marshall on any of those recordings. I was there for all of them and would have been very interested in that. It could have happened but I really doubt.

The Marshall with Zenboy written on it was Matt's. So if Shawn Lane was using one with Zenboy written on it I would be pretty sure it was Matt's.

Thank you for your interest in the bands and good luck finding the demos. I don't think I even have them any more.

The last thing I will say is that if people are still looking for the "magic ingredient" in Ed's tone, it really is his hands. People don't want to believe it but it's the truth.

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  • 2021 Gold Donors

Hey guys,

I was in Zenboy, UltraSonicCrush and Custom 500. Just to clear up some things. Zenboy never released a CD unfortunately but we did have a few demos floating around. The one with "Nothing From The Mojo" was mixed by Mike Frazier (if I remember correctly). Later we worked with Mike Plotnikoff who has gone on to be a respected producer.

Matt and I then put UltraSonicCrush together after Zenboy split up. It was a very different style of band because I became the lead singer. Custom 500 was basically just a name change from USC. USC had a 3 song demo and CUSTOM500 had two 3 song demos.

I mentioned in another thread that I don't think Matt used Ed'S Marshall on any of those recordings. I was there for all of them and would have been very interested in that. It could have happened but I really doubt.

The Marshall with Zenboy written on it was Matt's. So if Shawn Lane was using one with Zenboy written on it I would be pretty sure it was Matt's.

Thank you for your interest in the bands and good luck finding the demos. I don't think I even have them any more.

The last thing I will say is that if people are still looking for the "magic ingredient" in Ed's tone, it really is his hands. People don't want to believe it but it's the truth.

Thanks for the reply mate.
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  • 1 year later...
On 7/12/2016 at 11:54 PM, JLPRocks said:

Pulled it out and am listening to it as I type.......

 

Songs listed:

 

1. Nothin' from the Mojo

2. What if I Told

3. Gun

 

First off...the demo is WELL produced and engineered. Great sound......has a Zeppelin vibe, albeit heavier......

 

First song (the one you love) has a great chug riff and has some swagger. Excellent vocalist.

 

Track two starts off with a cool acoustic guitar and slides along in quick tempo with an Extreme vibe....some smooth gang vocals and a sweet melody.

 

Track three starts off acoustically again and builds up and then kicks in big time. This is a rawkin' track.

 

Surprised they didn't put out more tuneage.....good stuff.

I remember reviewing the demo for my zine.  Still have a copy of the demo.   Wish I had a Tape player to convert the tape to MP3.  

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  • 2 years later...

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