HAZLET, N. J. — In the suburbs of Central Jersey, Julian Fulton and the Zombie Gospel’s music was rocking a recent underground show in New Brunswick so hard they practically woke the dead. Since then the band has been working diligently to make its presence known amongst the emerging underground New Jersey-alternative music scene. In this day and age it takes hard work, dedication and sacrifice, and maybe some doodling, to accomplish a certain goal. With this in mind, JFZG is doing everything right.
Front man Julian Fulton joined forces with his younger brother Aidan to play percussion and sing, along with his girlfriend Kristine Donovan behind the keys who also provides backup vocals. Soon after, close friend Russell Eia was recruited to play bass and wrap up their unique sound. With these four cornerstones, JFZG feel that the bands last few performances have been “stronger than ever” and the feedback from the crowd is “making their presence known.”
“I think they’ve revamped the local music scene with implementing different instruments,” Megan Stone said, a 21-year-old avid fan from Hazlet. “They’re a fun band that makes you want to throw the cd in, roll all the windows down, drive down the parkway and have the person next to you grooving along with you.”
Exquisite timing and the drive to make music were at the core of the formation of Julian Fulton and the Zombie Gospel. Julian, the remaining ‘Zombies’ and fans alike, all believe that the band has the talent and drive to make that long-standing impression on the market. Not only does it require the ability to produce great music to leave a footprint, it also takes a unique yet fitting title.
In 2011 after seeing a flyer for a battle of the bands, Fulton took matters into his own hands and signed himself up. The only problem was he did not exactly have a band formed. “I figured this would help get the ball rolling with my music career and convince others to help me,” Fulton said. “My brother Aidan and girlfriend Kristine had been playing with me since I was 17, but I wanted to expand the sound.”
Their sound is indescribable but can be ‘labeled’ as experimental indie rock. JFZG’s main influence is the Beatles however the band takes pride in a variety of their musical intake. They play by their own set of rules by always changing up the style that no one can explain simply. “Sometimes an outside opinion provides for a more honest description, but I’ve often found that people are in the same boat as us — they can’t explain it [our music],” Donovan said.
This band takes their music into a level quite-possibly where no one had ever gone before; they experiment, yet maintain harmonies which keep the crowd singing along. Every show is always different but their fans, who cannot describe their sound, are always singing the lyrics. “Junkie Song” pulls you in with an upbeat piano reminiscent of a Fifties prom night while telling the horror of a heroin addicts journey for the perfect dope. When engulfed in the harmonies of “Wishing Well (A Fool’s Waltz)” listeners feel as if they are traveling in a dream. The rest of JFZG’s EP, “Heart and Arms” will traverse listeners through a new world of music.
Gathering support from their family and sacrificing what they must to feed their need to produce music, the Zombie Gospel knows they would not be anywhere without their fan base. “Their support and love for our music was present from the start and has only gotten stronger,” Fulton said. “Before I could even appreciate that I was a part of a legitimate band, people were attending our shows donned entirely in zombie attire, screaming and dancing harder than anyone else’s fans.”
Future plans for JFZG including touring the nation and abroad on a regular basis, with Bonaroo Music and Arts Festival in Manchester, Tenn. at the top of the list. The summer of 2012 yielded their first EP, “Heart & Arms”. Fulton explains they are in the final mix of a new single, “Two Little Thieves”, and have plans to release an album with in the next year that “really demonstrates who we are and what we’re about.”
Fulton leaves readers and future listeners with a tidbit of advice for any future endeavor; “Never let setbacks get the best of you, because there is a never-ending amount of setbacks when trying to be a musician… take all those negatives as lessons learned, and keep on keeping on.”
Remember to always support local musicians. To catch this revolutionary experience visit Julian Fulton and the Zombie Gospel’s website at www.facebook.com/julianfultonmusic.