Friday, December 15, 2017
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Magnetic Zeros singer comes full circle with St. Pete show

You've likely heard Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros' Home by now, either on TV commercials, late-night talk shows or YouTube.

What you may not know is that Jade Castrinos, the co-writer of the song that features her husky voice, once called Tampa Bay home.

"I was born in St. Petersburg and I lived in Treasure Island until I was about 3," she said. "I have a lot of family up there."

She still remembers her favorite locales, too: Treasure Island, of course, and the beach, as well as an area by her grandmother's house that children called the "secret garden." Her family then moved to California, where she would eventually meet Zeros frontman Alex Ebert.

Now Castrinos will have a homecoming of sorts when her band comes to Jannus Live with Clap Your Hands Say Yeah on Monday. She played in a band with her father George since she was 11, noting the band resembled the laid-back nature of the Zeros, but now her father's current group, Saint James Band, will open her show.

"My dad and I were just having a lot of fun and playing cover songs, messing around," Castrinos said. "In this band, we have a lot of fun too. We just jam everybody's new songs and kind of be free with that."

That free-spirited nature is even reflected in the story behind the group's biggest hit. Castrinos said Home was written and a demo was recorded in Ebert's apartment after spending a day in the park together.

"That day, Alex and I had gone for a walk in this park called Elysian Park and I think I accidentally lost a shoe or something, so Alex gave me a lift on his back and we were just having fun," she said.

Castrinos' presence may seem more noticeable on the band's new album Here, singing on tracks like That's What's Up and Fiya Wata, but she said that is more because every member participated in the album more, instead of the success of Home.

"The first record was mostly Alex — he'd mostly written that alone in his apartment," Castrinos said of 2009's Up From Below. "We've become more of a band since then."

In fact, Castrinos said the band's combined songwriting output was so profuse they decided to make two albums instead of one; Here is the first, with the second slated for release sometime next year.

"That's when everybody really sort of became prolific," she said. "I think like 40 songs were made in total with everybody's new songs."

Castrino said the history of the Zeros has been one of gradual evolution, leading up to their St. Pete show.

"Sort of one by one, the band came together in perfect order and time," she said. "And we're on our way to Florida, little by little."

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