By Liz Hitchcock
Zoo Studio, a band on Baylor’s Uproar Record label, launched its pre-order website for its “The Black and White” EP Monday.
Zoo Studio includes Tulsa senior Max Helmerich on lead vocals and piano, Carroll senior John Steen on guitar and Pearland senior Ben Aguinaga on drums.
Uproar is looking to further the career potential of its artists by now producing full EPs for its bands, Uproar Records president Taylor Ashcraft, a senior from Humble, said.
“This year is the first year for us to release any EPs. The reason we are doing this now is because we want to give bands the tools that they need for when they graduate,” Ashcraft said.
“They will be able to take their careers to the next level with an EP.”
Ashcraft said he is excited for the EP release and that Zoo Studio fits in well with the Uproar family.
“They have a lot of personality and appeal., Ashcraft said. “We saw that and thought we could do a lot with them. They are fun and produce good quality, clean and upbeat music.”
Helmerich said the band is stretching its sound and exploring other types of music with “The Black and White.”
“The album is going to be a lot more of alternative rock, but it also is dipping into an indie style as well,” Heimrich said.
“It is our first solo deal without being incorporated into something with other bands.”
The band’s manager, Winfield., Ill. senior Tyler Michel, said working with Zoo Studio has shown him the progression of the band’s talent and creativity.
“The album is going to be a lot different from what people are expecting. … It is definitely something that people are going to want to buy,” Michel said.
Michel said the title of the album, “The Black and White,” represents the complexity of life and the idea that much of life lands in the gray area— neither black nor white.
“The things that are sometimes the most elegant are clear and simple, black and white.” Michel said. “We are trying to convey this idea through the album, with simple songs and even into the release party.”
The band, along with two opening acts — Sunday Lane and Ty Mayfield — will perform at the album’s release party, from 7 to 10 p.m. April 5 at the Bill Daniel Student Center.
“Sunday Lane is a feel-good poppy sound,” Helmerich said, “but she has tracks that bring an indie side to her music as well …and Ty Mayfield is a piano-pop, rock kid from Dallas.”
A digital copy of the band’s new album can be ordered at the website www.uproarrecords.com/preorder/.
The band has made a variety of packages available that include stickers, T-shirts, a home-cooked dinner by the band or a booking with them.
“We wanted to put something funny up on the website to order, but surprisingly someone already ordered the dinner package. I guess we will have to learn how to cook soon,” Helmerich said. “I don’t think that person will want $100 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.”