Zero Down was a three-piece punk outfit hailing from the greater Los Angeles area. Formed in 2000, the members of Zero Down possessed a sterling punk rock resume, having spent time in bands like Strung Out, Pulley, Down By Law, and War Called Peace. Their debut full length, With A Lifetime To Pay, was released on Fat Wreck Chords in 2001.
At first glance, Zero Down might appear as a typical So-Cal “skate-punk” trio. However, after listening to the record, it becomes clear that their personal politics ran deep and their agenda as a band was equally profound.
As bassist and singer Jim put it, “I formed Zero Down because I’ve always written music and because I’ve always been a fan of music. So many people write songs for so many wrong reasons. My favorite songwriters are fans of music, and I’m still a fan.”
Unlike most of the straight ahead punk acts of that era, Zero Down mixed it up by taking advantage of slower and more complex drum patterns. Jim described Zero Down as having a “Slower, 80’s driving rhythm as well as lightning fast tempos.” Their downbeat brand of punk allowed for the threesome to truly showcase their talents as musicians.
Frontman Jim cited his musical influences as: Social Distortion, Adolescents, D.I., and Bad Religion. As these bands provided a great foundation for a modern punk rock outfit, Zero Down collectively had a vastly diverse musical pool from which they drew inspiration.
Guitarist John listens to many types of music, while drummer Milo prides himself on his jazz background. All of these varied influences added to Zero Down’s dynamic sound and further strengthened their already proven songwriting.
Jim is gone, but he will always be with us. He always wanted to make music, to be heard, and by listening, you made his dreams come true. We are so very grateful to all of you for that, and all of your thoughts for him now.
~The Cherry Family
Drummer Milo says this about being involved in Zero Down, “I was a jazz snob until I got exposed to punk through Down By Law. It was then that I heard the true artistry of punk rock. With A Lifetime To Pay is my favorite recorded work, it’s believable music and it feels good to be part of this.”
Following the release of With A Lifetime To Pay, Zero Down only played a few shows before Jim’s passing.
“We just want the kids to like the record.” Said Jim about the band’s only goal. One listen to Zero Down and that shouldn’t be difficult to accomplish.