The name of the game is funk. And the Colorado-based quartet Zuba plans to keep it that way.
"We really want to make the music danceable," said drummer Wallace Lester during a phone call from Eugene, Ore. "We do have many different influences, but everyone in the band wants it funky."Lester, guitarist/vocalist Liza (who dropped her last name years ago) bassist Sid Green "Bud" and keyboardist/wind instrumentalist Mark Pauperas - collectively known as Zuba - will play the Cinema Bar, 45 W. Broadway (300 South), Tuesday, June 18. Doors open at 7 p.m.
Zuba's easy grooves brings to mind George Clinton and Sly and the Family Stone as well as some progressive rock riffs apparently touched off by Traffic.
"The history of rock (music) is coming out the surface more and more these days," said Lester. "The music we play has a deep history in rock, and we try to modernize it. We don't want to do the whole retro thing, but it is inspiring to us.
"We all lived in Telluride (the home of the Telluride Bluegrass Festival) and watched a lot of bands make a living," said Lester of Zuba's beginnings. "I saw Liza in another band and wanted to play music with her."
Zuba, which is an insulting term for a waiter used by cooks of a restaurant Lester once worked in, formed in 1991. After a few lineup changes and a move to Boulder, the band began playing and touring.
"We seem to have things backwards," said Lester. "First, we rehearse and tour, then we record. So a lot of the people who buy the album will already be familiar with the songs."
"The New Cruelty" is actually Zuba's third album. The band independently recorded a self-titled album in 1994. It's second is a live recording called "Live Soundboard '95."
"Things are getting easier for us," said Lester. "It's actually snowballing."
Shortly before the completion of "The New Cruelty," the makers of a new Woody Harelson movie, "King Pin," saw Zuba in a Colorado club and asked if the band would make a cameo.
"At first we were suppose to be on the soundtrack, but that required us to sign a contingency agreement - something like a prenuptual agreement if you will - that would give the movie makers control of the songs," explained Lester. "We turned it down. The reason why we're making the music we are is because we have that freedom and we want to keep it."