Friday, September 29, 2023

An Interview With Doug Allan from Zero Sum Game Plan

Zero Sum Game Plan creates music that uniquely combines influences from smooth rock/ funk, blue-eyed soul of the 70’s along with retro electronic sounds from the 80’s – blending them into a fresh new, modern libation (best consumed shaken, not stirred).
And get ready to place your refreshment order soon as ZSGP is releasing a vibey, new song on October 15th – it’s called Common Ground! Don’t miss it!

How did you get started, and what has led up to where you are today as an artist?

Been in bands and heavily into music for all my life – formed first one in highschool. Started out as a gigging musician playing in various bands throughout the Ontario bar scene in the 1980’s and played many functions/one-nighters in Toronto during that decade. In 1985/86 was doing a lot of session work writing, singing, recording and playing guitar for CHFI FM 98 in Toronto – was featured on several of their theme songs and across coast to coast network jingles. Eventually taught music in for the Halton Board of Education in the GTA for 6 years before going into the IT business – got interested in computers while using state of the art MIDI. With the recent onslaught of amazing new cheap technology I have gotten back into creating new original music and reuniting with many musicians from early days. Got to do the things you love before it’s too late to do them! 🙂

Who do you feel has influenced you the most as an artist?

A whole bunch: Beatles, Stevie Wonder, Gino Vannelli, Steely Dan, Donald Fagen, Hall and Oates, Peter Frampton, Roxy Music, Weather Report, Billy Joel, Larry Carleton, the Eagles, Linda Rhondstat, Warren Zevon, Dire Straights, Frank Zappa and many others – some newer bands since these people have also got me listening with interest over the years: Nirvana, Maroon Five, Black Keys.

What do you feel sets you apart from other artists and gives you your own sound?

My voice – everyone has their own unique sound and that is the first thing that makes you identifiable. Next would be my guitar playing – style/sound.

What has been your biggest challenge and what do you feel you have learned from it?

That would be to just keep on making music all the time for the fun of it – and don’t put it off – you won’t be on this planet for as long as you might think when you’re young – so seize the moment and don’t stop doing the things you are naturally good at and that you love.

Tell us about your latest project, what have you got going on at the moment?

A fantastic new song is being released on October 15th – it’s called Common Ground and I’m really proud of the way it turned out. Please be sure to add it to your Spotify playlists when it comes out. As well, I just switched DAWs to Logic Pro X and I really like the final sound I ended up with so – it’s the beginning of many more songs that I have underway at the moment.

What advice would you give to anyone new coming into the industry?

Do it for the love of music – give it a shot and enjoy yourself when you get the chance to go for it. If you get to the point where you can’t make enough money to live comfortably then eventually go for another career so you are not starving to death – but always keep your music going in the background. People love music and if you have a special talent for it, it will help you spread happiness to others (and yourself), even if you are just doing Karaoke with the office buddies!

Is there anyone you’d like to thank for getting you to where you are now, anyone you’d like to give a shout-out to?

Yes, I’d like to thank my guitar teacher at Humber College (I took the Humber College Jazz program in Toronto from 1979-1982). He’s no longer alive unfortunately but Peter Harris was a nice guy, gave me lots of good playing advice/tips and helped me as I got to know the music world in my younger days. I still use a lot of the knowledge I gained from my time spent there and from my lessons I took from him. Cheers Pete – where ever you may be!

How can fans find you?

Just google Zero Sum Game Plan, email or message on social media – I tend to use Twitter and Instagram the most.

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