This new feature is called No Place Like Home. The point of it is to interview bands about their hometowns and why they love where they’re from. When traveling it is always best to have a local to direct you to the spots worth spending your time and hard earned money.

When one of our readers travels to a place that is foreign to them they will have some solid recommendations from an awesome source, one of their favorite bands!

I know I look forward to checking out some of these places and am sure that there are many others who would be interested. Eventually the intention is to have a full blown travel guide here at B.G.M.!

Back in 2015, Illuminasty Records put out one of my favorite cosmic journeys packed up into a slick double LP.  That, of course, being Weed’s Our Guru Brings Us To The Black Master Sabbath.  A wonderful blend of weird and trippy making one hell of a rock record.  Looking back on the many o’ nights I spent letting my imagination drift off with that Weeed record it’s only natural that Zen Mother teamed up with Illuminasty.    

There is music that pushes boundaries and then there is Zen Mother.  

I Was Made To Be Like Her is their debut record.  You wouldn’t bat an eye if it were an original soundtrack to some supremely surreal film.  Once you drop the needle on this puppy your imagination won’t just drift off, it will run wild.   

“Tsunami Song” opens up like the new wave version of “light as a feather, stiff as a board”.  A sense of ritualistic gathering calling something to wake up.  Once the guitar kicks in it is hard not to think Trent Reznor would be proud.   Episode 8 of the Twin Peaks reboot was some of the most daring and ambitious television I have ever seen.  David Lynch takes you on a journey through what he thinks it would be like in a nuclear explosion.  Visually and audibly.

Perhaps this is the soundtrack Lynch would have used to take somebody into the magnificent power of a tsunami.

When the second track, “Animal, Vegetal, Mineral”, came on I could have sworn I accidentally stumbled on a never-before-heard Blonde Redhead jam.   An eerie dream not quite as abstract as the rest of the record that sets up a decent into slight madness that is found on track three “Perfect”.

Zen Mother makes spiritual and otherworldly music but it’s roots are rock.

There is a lot to process when taking in Zen Mother.  The result of their melding of the minds is a blend that leaves a lot of room for exploration. I Was Made To Be Like Her offers plenty of space for internal reflection but doesn’t hold back on some in your face moments of experimental rock.  Some standouts for that side of things are “Mantra”, “Strange Mother” “Get High Now”.  Innovation runs high with this band and I anticipate we will be treated to a lot more from them in the future.

Rating: 4.5/5

Pick up a copy on standard black or limited edition clear 12” wax over HERE.

I would like to thank Monika Khot and Wolcott Smith for taking the time to answer my questions despite being in the middle of tour!  If you are in one of the cities they are visiting please don’t miss this band!!

Where does Zen Mother call home and how long have you been there?

Seattle. 3 years.

Are there any attractions you would consider touristy that you would also consider a can’t-miss for visitors?

There’s this great alleyway by Molly Moon’s ice cream in Capitol Hill where you can smell urine and ice cream at the same exact time. It’s incredible. But really.. the ferries are worth riding. We spend a good chunk of time on the ferries, and are always in awe.

If you are hosting friends or family for a weekend, where would you bring people for grub?

Seven Stars Pepper in the International District is ZM’s favorite restaurant.

A key to any hometown is a local watering hole.  Any spots that you like to go for drinks?   Breweries, dive bars, distilleries…whatever floats your boat.

We usually drink in our parking lot by the train tracks, but we when we go out into the world we like to go to Al’s in Wallingford.

Music is life.  What music venues should people be checking the calendars for shows to catch?

The Sunset Tavern is a really nice bar/venue to exist in dim lighting and see bands—excellent sound. The Chapel in Wallingford is a spot where sonic expansion most frequents. Kremwerk is great for dystopic electronic milk basement vibes. DIY spots are obviously the best places to see raw and insane talent, but because certain someones wanna ruin and/or harm these spaces, I won’t mention them.

After working up a sweat at a good show are there any late night spots to grab a bite or a night cap?

Purple Dot Cafe in the International District is open late and has good dim sum…

The morning after can be rough.  Where is your go-to for breakfast and/or coffee?

Glo’s is semi-cheap and amazing.

To get out of town life, what are the nature based options surrounding your city?  Any good hikes, camping and other fun outdoors stuff to do?

That list is vast and hard to recall. To name a few though: Summerland Trail (east of Mt Rainier), Mount Si, Snoqualmie Falls, Rattlesnake Ridge, Lake 22, Blue Lake, Hoh Rainforest—most of these places are 30 min-3 hours away.