Project/Object: The Mother of Live Zappa Reinvention
The members of PROJECT/OBJECT feel that Frank Zappa is one of the 20th Century's
greatest and most important composers, and they are on a mission to bring his
music to the masses by faithfully recreating the live Zappa experience.
PROJECT/OBJECT formed in the early '90s as an offshoot from an annual Frank
Zappa birthday celebration that took place in guitarist Andre Cholmondeley's
basement in New Jersey. As the event grew in size and popularity, PROJECT/OBJECT
decided to take their show on the road, performing Zappa's music in more cities
and larger venues, with a growing set list from every era of Zappa's 30-year
recording career. The band strives to stay true to Frank's vision of constantly
challenging the musicians and the audiences.
During Zappa's 1984 and 1988 tours, members of PROJECT/OBJECT became friendly
with Ike Willis, the legendary 10-plus year Zappa vocalist and guitarist whose
career with Frank began in the role of "Joe" on the quintessential
Zappa album, Joe's Garage. In 1995, the members of PROJECT/OBJECT sent a tape
of a live show to Ike and he was impressed enough that he agreed to come out
to the East Coast to join the band onstage for a few gigs in the New York area.
After that tremendous first outing, Ike agreed to repeat this experience in
Ike felt the members of PROJECT/OBJECT were able to recreate the fun and excitement
that he felt with Frank Zappa on stage. Many other Zappa alumni feel the same
way, which has also inspired them to perform with the band, some for entire
tours. Since 1998, when the band first took their act on the road, the following
alumni have performed with the band: Willis, Napoleon Murphy Brock, Jimmy Carl
Black, Ray White, Don Preston, Bunk Gardner, Denny Walley, Mike Keneally, Arthur
Barrow, Ed Mann, Roy Estrada, Billy Mundi and even Al Malkin. Other notable
artists they've collaborated with include Phish’s Jon Fishman, Capt. Beefheart/Jeff
Buckley guitarist Gary Lucas, Chuck Garvey, Al Schnier and Jim Loughlin of moe.,
New York City big band leader and "Zappologist" Ed Palermo, and Dweezil
Zappa drummer Jerry Cucurullo.
Frank Zappa was extremely influential to many musicians and bands, especially
many jambands, including Phish, moe., and Deep Banana Blackout. While many jamband
fans are aware that Frank Zappa was influential, they are largely unfamiliar
with his music. Of those who are familiar, many were too young to have seen
him in concert. PROJECT/OBJECT is the closest they will get to the live Zappa
experience, and the band has been enjoying increasing support from this growing
2001 was a big year for the band with their first coast-to-coast tour that
included huge debuts in Denver, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, among others.
The band also sold out the 1,000-capacity Irving Plaza in New York City on Halloween
while raising $10,000 for prostate cancer research.
In every new market they visit, PROJECT/OBJECT converts the curious into dedicated
fans. They want to remind old Zappa fans of the way it used to be and let younger
fans, who never experienced a Zappa show, see and hear the way it was.