Luna Catches Dengue Fever - and it Rocks!
We first added Zak Holtzman and Senon Williams of Dengue Fever to our gallery of artists in 2008! (We can't believe it was that long ago.) Here's a 2013 update from this hotter-than-ever band:
In the summer of 2012, TOMS invited DENGUE FEVER to participate in their One for One giving trip to Cambodia. TOMS choice to invite DENGUE FEVER was a perfect match for this gifting mission because of singer Chhom Nimol’s incredible story of growing up in refugee camps, destined to immigrate to the United States and front a band of Americans, who meld the sounds of Cambodian Psych, Surf, Afro Beat and Garage Rock into a bopping Odyssey. The band quickly accepted the offer, and Nimol, Zac, and Paul packed their bags for a very emotional ten days, journeying to Siem Reap, Battambang, and Phnom Penh to support TOMS and their giving partners in Cambodia, Cambodian Children’s Fund and Seva Foundation.
DENGUE FEVER has worked with a number of organizations in Cambodia over the years. The music of Cambodia has not been the only inspiration to the band; the people and warmth and charm of this country have also inspired DF to give back in many ways over the years, raising money previously for Cambodian Children’s Fund, Green Gecko Foundation, Cambodian Living Arts, and others. Along with the other cast members, Nimol, Zac, and Paul were able to help TOMS and CCF distribute shoes to those in need, and visit with patients receiving free eye health care, including exams and surgeries, courtesy of Seva Foundation and TOMS One for One eyewear program.
PLUS, they're offering an exclusive free download of one of their songs, Tiger Phone Card, to TOMS fans! Download it here: http://bit.ly/V746r1
And now for that time capsule feature. (We did add a couple of gorgeous new photos by Lauren Dukoff.)
photo by Kevin Estrada
Traveling to exotic places is nothing new for Dengue Fever. The band was formed in 2001 by guitarist/vocalist Zac Holtzman (also of Dieselhed and the Haden Triplets) and his Farfisa organ playing brother, Ethan, who was musically inspired on a trip to Cambodia with a friend who actually contracted dengue fever from a mosquito while there.
Named "Best New Band" by the LA Weekly in 2002, Dengue Fever has graced soundtracks for the 2005 film, "Broken Flowers" the 2001 film "City of Ghosts" and the second season of the hit Showtime series, "Weeds."
Many of Dengue Fever's songs are sung in Khmer and include psychedelic covers by Cambodian artists Sinn Sisamouth and Ros Sereysothea as well as originals that are composed in English and then translated.
Luna's unique style also translates well with this unusual band. Bassist Senon Williams has an Andromeda Phoenix bass while guitarist/vocalist Zac Holtzman plays a Luna Muse which, up to now (2008) he says, he has only used in the studio.
Senon counts "carpentry and romance" among his other passions; Zac enjoys bike riding.
As for sacrifices made in the name of rock, "I never gave up on my passion," Senon explains. "I've traveled the world and made many friends. If living hand to mouth and buying used cars is a sacrifice, bring it on."
Watch for an upcoming Dengue Fever DVD entitled "Sleepwalking through the Mekong," which follows the band through their 2005 Cambodian tour. "I'd like to help the young musicians we met in Cambodia," Zac says.
Check out Dengue Fever at denguefevermusic.com.
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