Zola Turn was a power pop/alternative rock band from Burlington, Vermont. They were one of the most well known bands to come out of the Burlington area besides the jam-rock band Phish. The band became a hit with its 1999 single "Tastes Like Nothing" off their album Ninja Jane (originally featured on an earlier 7" record) which landed them MTV tours, national exposure and eventually a big time record deal.
Zola Turn formed in late 1995 when guitarist Alice Austin and her sister Julia Austin joined up with vocalist/guitarist Jenn Karson and drummer Ann Mindell. In 1995 the band recorded "Side Saddle," and got immediate local radio play. In 1996 Ann left to pursue a masters degree in social work and drummer Rachel Bischoff joined. After two more recording projects including Cousin Battie and a self-titled 7" record, lead singer Jenn Karson left the band to work with music and sound in other artistic formats. Alice and Jenn had shared songwriting and lead singing roles up to this point, but Karson sang and wrote a majority of the songs.
The band moved on as a trio with Alice now writing all songs and taking over all lead vocals. After years of successful touring and top 10 Radio Airplay alongside bands such as Blink 182, Marcy Playground, Green Day and Sugar Ray, Zola Turn was getting noticed by the record industry.
In January 2000, Zola Turn was signed by Randy Gerston, the music-film mogul who had just completed work on the massive sound for the 'Titanic (1997 film)' for Gold Circle Films. They were signed to Gold Circle Enternament, Inc., the parent company of Gold Circle Films, a Los Angeles based company that was formed in 1996 by Norm Waitt, one of the founders of Gateway 2000 computers.
Ninja Jane was to be re-mixed and touched up by legendary producer Andy Wallace and then distributed by Sony-BMG's RED Distribution.
During this time, drummer Rachel Bischoff parted ways with the band and was replaced by multi-instrumentalist Jeff Moxley, formally of the Boston band Ms. Pigeon.
After playing the Gold Circle Films showcase at South By Southwest 2001 in Austin, Texas with label-mate Glen Phillips of Toad The Wet Sprocket, the band started working on new songs as well as preparing for a national tour.
Very soon after, and before any work was done on Ninja Jane, serious corporate changes had taken place at Gold Circle almost overnight. A new president was appointed and declared that Rock n' Roll was out and he wanted to focus solely on R & B music.
This meant that Gold Circle Films had breached their contract with Zola Turn and were still obligated to honor it. With that, the band then headed to Chicago, IL. in the summer of 2001 to record an album with Flaming Lips producer Keith Cleversley. Unsatisfied with final result, the album was printed and then shelved while the band searched for a new direction.
Zola Turn officially disbanded in 2002.
In 2005, the three remaining members formed The Lavas, a new band with a heavier sound than Zola Turn, but just as catchy and melodic. Their 2007 album Wall to Wall, which was recorded entirely on their own at their studio the Bottling Company, is currently getting rave reviews from all over the world.
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