Name an accomplished drummer whose playing, without any other clues or context, you can recognize within a few measures of any given song. John Bonham? Keith Moon? Dave Lombardo? Elvin Jones? Point taken, but anyone familiar with Zach Hill's rabbit-footed self-taught expressionistic approach to the kit would have to add the Sacramento, California-based drummer, songwriter and artist to that rarefied list. "I've always been more interested by people like Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page, Ornette Coleman and John Coltrane to name a few, than by other drummers," he explains. "Those non-drummers' ideas and free-form expression are what I'm trying to apply to the drum kit." But, it was the music Zach was introduced to while watching skateboard videos as a youth that formed his earliest influences.
Hill earned his stripes as a co-founder of the Sacramento-born duo turned quintet, Hella, with whom he's recorded four albums and a number of EPs, split releases and compilation tracks. But, Hill's resume as a drummer boasts a mind-melting number of collaborations. From his work in the Deftones offshoot, Team Sleep, to his jazz-oriented gigs with Wilco guitarist Nels Cline and members of Sun Ra's orchestra or Prefuse 73, to his roles backing Mike Patton, harpist Joanna Newsom and the Mars Volta's Omar Rodriguez-Lopez, to name but a few. His creative compulsion unbridled, Zach's visual art is featured in the packaging of many of his musical releases, as well as on the premium quality 30 singles Lil' Scuzzy and Scuzzball t-shirts that we're honored to present to you.
Zach Hill designed two t-shirt graphics for the Altamont spring 2011 collection. He also recorded six exclusive tracks that have been released on the record that came with the Spring 2011 catalog.
â€œBoth of the images that make up the scuzzy shirts come from scanning a garbage bag , blowing it out and making the bag appear metallic or platinum in form. I see this as a metaphor to my experience with skating growing up and skate culture in general. Taking other peoples trash and everyday objects and turning them into priceless tools of self expression and sources of personal inspiration. The gutter is within everything i do and at the core of my motivation to rip itâ€.