John, you and Lance have both played with Rick Springfield – is that how you two know each other?
Ziegler: “Yeah, I started working with Rick, and Lance was playing bass, so we became friends from that experience. Volto! started in 2003, and the original bass player maybe played half a dozen gigs with us. In 2004, he decided that he wanted to do more bluesy stuff. I started thinking about all of the bass players I knew, and I always thought that Lance was rock solid; I thought it would be interesting to see him coming from a very pop place to working with Danny, who is so experimental. And it worked. The first time they jammed, it was awesome.
What is your musical common ground? When you get together, what bands or albums do you talk about?
Ziegler: “I met Danny in 1999. We used to hang out in this jazz club over in Studio City. We became friends, and he told me that he played in this band Pygmy Love Circus. I told him, ‘Man, I love that band. If you ever need a guitar player, let me know.’ After he finished the Lateralus tour with Tool, we got together and fired up the band up again. It’s kind of like biker rock, real straight ahead stuff – Thin Lizzy, Motorhead. But we also found out that we liked the jam stuff from the ‘70s, like Jeff Beck and Billy Cobham, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Weather Report – stuff like that.”
Carey: “We listen to prog rock, jazz-fusion. I think we draw inspiration from lots of different places, which is cool – you don’t want to all be coming from one place. I’d say our real meeting place might be Tony Williams, Cobham, Bill Bruford and Allen Holdsworth. We’re pretty eclectic.”
What about Rick Springfield? [Both men laugh.]
Carey: “That’s about it. Yeah, Rick, well, that would be John’s inspiration.”
Ziegler: “Hey, if you’ve ever seen Rick Springfield live, he brings it. The guy is a showman.”
Carey: “I’ll bet he is.”
I have seen him live, and yes, he does give it his all.
Ziegler: “He’s like Pete Townshend meets Elvis. He smashes the guitar, jumps in the crowd – he’s all over it.”
Carey: “You gotta love that.”