"Zoofunkyou is a psychedelic funk band coming out of Chicago that specializes in booty-shakin’ improvisational jams. Drawing influences from people like The Grateful Dead, Alabama Shakes and Jimi Hendrix, they achieve psychedelic euphoria through introspective lyrics, swaggering, screeching guitar licks and an extremely tight rhythm section. The finished product sounds like early Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac meets Tame Impala with a dash of modern jam band influence. The band is comprised of Derek Dare, the only original member on vocals and guitar, Matthew Coglianese on bass, Jake Hennessey on drums and relative newcomer, Bryan Scheinkopf on lead guitar.
Zoofunkyou started out as just “Zoo” in the summer of 2012 and was originally a three piece made up of the current singer Derek singing and playing bass with electric guitar player, Damon Karner and drummer, Noor Albana who are both no longer in the band. They had started playing together just by jamming for fun at a friends house. By the end of the summer, Derek decided he wanted to stop playing bass so he could focus on guitar, so they recruited Matt Coglianese who had a steady foundation in jazz and blues. The band stayed this way for a few years, playing some shows at The Abbey before it was tragically burned down. In 2015, Jake Hennessey was recruited as a custom percussionist, who would later replace Noor on the drum kit. They changed their name to Zoofunkyou in early 2016 in order to be found on social media easier and in October of that year, Bryan Scheinkopf filled the vacancy of lead guitar player. The majority of the current band members either attend or have attended Columbia College Chicago.
The band uses music as a means of escape and purification. They aim to “reach people through music, and to influence them to be kinder/better people to the other people in their life and in the world." Making music is also therapeutic for them. Bryan explained that when playing together they try “to be completely present within the musical space we're creating, rather than just playing for the sake of making noise.” If all goes as planned, Zoofunkyou will be regulars on the festival circuit in the next few years. They hope to build a strong fan base in order to be able to continue to make their music and travel the world.
With the psychedelic scene being as strong as it is in Chicago, the boys have built good relationships with other local bands. You can often find Zoofunkyou playing with the likes of Blue Dream and Mungion at venues like Subterranean and House of Blues Chicago."
-Patrick Golden, Music Garage, Chicago