Punk isn’t about a sound, but an attitude. It all comes down to burning the rulebook, bucking trends and breaking from the status quo. In 2020, there might be no better way to rebel than by grabbing instruments, plugging in and lighting up. Zig Mentality certainly agree. They speak loudly and clearly to a young and wild generation as they rock with a 21st century twist. Acclaimed by Brooklyn Vegan and streamed upwards of four million times under original moniker dubé, the Ottawa trio of brothers—Jig Dubé [bass, lead vocals], Liam Dubé [lead guitar] and Quinn Dubé [drums, backup vocals]—proudly live up to their chosen name on their self-titled LAVA debut.
“Zig Mentality means being ready to adapt and grow,” exclaims Jig. “A zig is a sharp change in direction, so we’re willing to keep an open mind and break rules. That goes for the fact that we’re playing rock music our own way. If you come to one of our shows, there are mosh pits, stage diving and crowd surfing, We want young people to benefit from the vibe we offer.”
As kids in the Canadian capital, the boys grew up surrounded by instruments. Obsessed with music, they began busking throughout Montreal and Toronto, “because we were too young to play bars,” laughs Quinn. By middle school, they hosted parking lot performances before and after OSHEAGA Music and Arts Festival, Ottawa Blues Fest and Bonnaroo. “On your way out of the rock concert, you could catch another rock concert,” smiles Liam.
It wasn’t long before residents started calling cops to shut down their outdoor rock shows. The brothers moved the shows indoors, to the homes of their friends, and hosted parties of their own. These gigs became the stuff of local lore and established them as hometown heroes.
In 2017, they unleashed their independent debut single “Pretty Girls On Bikes,” which surpassed half-a-million Spotify streams. The 2018 single “Stoned Love” put up equally impressive numbers, and Brooklyn Vegan proclaimed them, “a tight, loud band, and they don’t shy away from crisp production or big hooks.” In between tours with the likes of COUNTERFEIT. and cleopatrick, they graced the stage of Northern Invasion alongside icons such as Tool and Alice In Chains.
During 2019, they inked a deal with LAVA and hit the studio with producers Sacha Skarbek and Florian Reutter, recording in Orange Lounge Toronto and their own basement. Culling equal inspiration from Queens of the Stone Age as well as Kendrick Lamar and Rage Against The Machine, they emphasized live bass at the forefront, breaking from tradition even further.
“We let the bass and drums run the sonics entirely,” affirms Jig. “We use electric guitar to complement the rhythm without being in-your-face. Rock is so traditionally known for having big guitars. We put more of a focus and accent on the bass and drums. It comes naturally because we love hip-hop. We went from Dead Kennedys to Mac Miller and really love everything in between.”
“I want listeners to feel like they just heard what real rock is,” Jig leaves off. “I want them to walk away going like holy shit now my standard for the sonics of rock is higher.”
In the end, Zig Mentality embody what punk has always been about but with a sound belonging in the 21st century.