The Zero Boys 

Genre: Punk/hard rock

Vicious Circle may just prove to be the most influential album ever to come out of Indiana. More than 25 years after Indianapolis hardcore punkers the Zero Boys released this landmark album of Midwestern punk fury, the album still sells copies and is nearly universally revered due to its innovative (at the time) mix of Johnny Thunder’s swagger with the more militant West Coast sound.

With an appearance in the recent American hardcore documentary and with all the band members involved in pretty much every corner of the local music scene, the Zero Boys is about as active today as it ever was, albeit in different, varied ways. Although original guitarist Terry Hollywood died a few years ago, the mach II version of the band with Vess Ruhtenberg in Hollywood’s slot has been well-received, selling out one-off gigs across the country.

Bassist David “Tufty” Clough is co-owner of Future Shock and also owns Radio Radio. Drummer Mark Cutsinger plays in at least three bands at any one time. Ruhtenberg is touring behind Evan Dando in the Lemonheads and has joined up with former Majhas alumni in the killer local group Action Strasse. Lead vocalist Paul Mahern has worked in the studio with everybody from the Why Store to Iggy Pop and currently operates the White Ark, where he’s working with Red Light Driver, Kaiser Cartel and Sloppy Seconds. He also practices and teaches Kundalini yoga.

Mahern sees little difference between yoga practice and punk rock. “When Iggy sings, ‘Raw power got a healin’ hand, raw power can destroy a man, raw power is more than soul, it’s got a son called rock and roll,’ he is talking about that same life force that is Kundalini,” he says.

Ruhtenberg was almost giddy with the excitement of a couple recent gigs: one with the Lemonheads at the Vogue in February and a January gig at Spin with Action Strasse. Of Action Strasse, he declares, “The Strasse! Das ist mein lieblingsgruppe!” which, roughly translated, means, “The Strasse! That is my favorite band!”
Look for a Zero Boys show or two this year.

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