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Once upon a time, Zen Fuse Box was the Meare's Pond Quartet. The Quartet (then unnamed) convened sometime in the 1990's as an occasional jam-type-thing, although nobody really knows exactly when, where or why. Steve and Rich had recorded together prior to the formation of the group, having recorded two successful (although virtually unheard) instrumental singles - "Tide Pool" and "Old Ed's Eye." Legend has it that there is another track entitled "Leap Frog" floating around, although no one can remember how it goes.
Sometime after Steve and Rich's initial instrumental adventures, Peter showed up. The group can't remember their first meeting, but everyone is confident that it was mostly pleasant. The Meare's Pond Quartet got its name over the Y2K New Years holiday. The name was influenced by the film O Brother Where Art Thou, a beer or two, and the actual Meare's Pond. As the MPQ, the group released its first limited edition recording Pond Scum in early 2000. Pond Scum contained early MPQ weirdness, including the tracks "Baby, I Been Lookin' All Over for That Lost Eyebrow" and "Jammin' in D's Neighborhood."
The MPQ's second CD Sleep Through This, was released in 2005, also as a very limited edition. In addition to some fine cover tunes, the CD also included original MPQ material such as "Oh Boy (Crazy People)," "Holes in my Nose," and "Goodnight Candace." Sleep Through This was followed up by 2007's A Sharp Poke to the Eye, which again contained a healthy dose of cover tunes, augmented by the original tunes "Variations on Ahh Voodoo Jooray," "Polar Bares," and "Shuttlecock." If you want to drive your local record store owner mad, demand that he locate copies of these CDs for you.
After years of performing primarily cover tunes, the MPQ decided to record an album of all original material. Work began on Zero Down Time (although nobody called it that yet) over the New Year's Eve holiday of 2008 where the guys played their original tunes for each other and recorded some rough demos of "In the Twilight," "Strollin" (which was at that time called "Absence" at least by the guys who didn't write it), "Secrets You Keep," "Like This" "Linger" (which became "Roses Red"), and "This Song Has No Name" (which was thankfully renamed "Dreamland").
The main recording session for Zero Down Time was a marathon weekend in February 2009. Steve, Rich and Peter convened at MPQ studios and spent three long days recording the basic tracks for the album, breaking only long enough to eat some chicken wings. Given the breakneck pace of the recording, it was only natural that the album was entitled Zero Down Time. Over the months that followed, Steve mixed the tracks, overdubbed some additional parts, and edited the material down to the CD we all know and love.
The guys finally decided that Meare's Pond Quartet should no longer be their name after realizing that the joke, which nobody got, was no longer funny. Therefore MPQ became Zen Fuse Box on January 1, 2010, after an intense band-naming session. Names that were considered included Dogs In Helicopters, Moon Circle, Jukebox Timebomb and Random Groove Disorder. Since the band couldn't agree on a name, it was put to a vote by the band and their immediate family members, and Zen Fuse Box was born. Zero Down Time was finally released in December, 2010.
Music from Zero Down Time was featured on the UK's "Amazing Radio" program and the album was well-received by those who heard it. Shortly after the release of the album, the band started a long-term collaboration with PCDT, a dance group headquartered on the east coast of Florida. The band's first collaboration with PCDT was a performance of the song "Back Home" which the band played live, while accompanied by the dancers from PCDT who had created their choreographed vision of the song. The collaboration between ZFB and PCDT has continued through the years and will continue into the future.
The band spent most of 2011 through 2014 sporadically working on their sophomore album Dogs in Helicopters. While the guys generally used the same approach to songwriting, each member bringing in fully realized compositions, or fragments thereof, to receive the ZFB treatment. Reviewers have commented that the band's writing and arranging took a big step forward with "Dogs" and the band slowed down and spent more time living with the songs before finalizing their commitment to CD.
In the hiatus between the releases of Zero Down Time and Dogs in Helicopters, the band released Confused: The EP, which contained two tracks from the first CD, two works-in-progress from the second CD and some previously unreleased rarities.
The band followed the release of Dogs in Helicopters with a series of download-only singles. The first was Taylor Swift Broke Up With Spotify, followed by the fraternal twins Old Ed's Eye (Are You Representing Beyoncé?) and Old Ed's Other Eye (for Team Jay-Z).
As of this writing the band is hard at work on its third full-length CD, which will be a collection of cover tunes done ZFB style.