Ringo Starr Releases New EP, ‘Zoom In’ Of Songs Recorded At Home
Ringo Starr has released a brand new, five-track EP of songs, called Zoom In, recorded in his home studio between April and October 2020.
The Beatles‘ drummer collaborated with songwriters and producers and an ever-widening group of musicians playing on the songs — some socially distanced and joining him safely in his studio, always exercising an abundance of caution, and others working on their parts remotely. As often happens in the recording process, the circle of friends grew to include friends of friends and created something that has a unique chemistry.
“It just unfolds,” Ringo said of the recording process, “when I start making a record here in LA at home — somebody knocks on the door, or I reach out and ask someone if they want you to come play, it’s like magic really how it all comes together.”
Joining Starr were musicians Nathan East (bass), Steve Lukather (guitar), Bruce Sugar (synth guitar), Benmont Tench (piano), Charlie Bisharat (violin), Jacob Braun (cello), and Jim Cox (string arrangements and synth strings).
Dave Grohl, Ben Harper and Jenny Lewis also joined Starr in the home studio, and all contributed to the first single, Here’s To The Nights. As Ringo recalled, “Diane sent me this song — she sent two actually — and I loved the sentiment of it. She sent it in a chord I like to call ‘F demented’, it was very high, so Benmont Tench transposed it into a key human beings can actually sing — that’s how we started with that song. We wanted to add a lot of voices singing on the chorus and so she asked her friends and I asked mine, and not only did we get a lot of people singing on the record, we had a lot of fun, which is how I think it should be, and I got to know a few new friends.”
Watch the official video for Here’s To The Nights Below.
The title track, Zoom In, Zoom Out, was penned by Jeff Silbar and features The Doors‘ Robbie Krieger on guitar. Ringo recalls, “Zoom In is all we do, if we do anything, these days during the pandemic. So I wanted to call this ‘Zoom In,’ which I think is great for this day and age. For this record, I wanted to get people I hadn’t worked with before, so for this track we invited Robby Krieger. I love living in LA because so many fine musicians live here and you can do collaborations like this. And we are all making the same plans – I’ll see you after the pandemic!”
Sam Hollander wrote and produced Teach Me To Tango, sending Ringo a nearly completed track onto which he added vocals and, of course, drums, “I called Sam Hollander because I had so much fun with him on the last CD I made. He sent me two songs and I chose this one. I told him he could produce it and put it together. What was great was when I was doing my vocals (Sam lives in New York so I did my part in my home studio here in LA), was there was one part of it and I felt there has got to be a drum fill there! So the credits now read ‘Ringo vocals and 1 drum fill’”, Ringo laughs.
Ringo co-wrote Waiting For The Tide To Turn with his engineer Bruce Sugar, adding Tony Chen and his extensive reggae roots; “This was something my engineer Bruce Sugar started, but it didn’t have a lot of words, so we wrote it together. I did my version of reggae and what was great was we had Tony Chen, who played with Bob Marley and lives here in LA, come over and play on it. He said, ‘hey Mon, that you on drums mon?’ and I said yes, and he said ‘great drums mon, very reggae!’ and my heart swelled! It was so great coming from him.”
With four tracks completed, Ringo thought the EP was done. That is until Steve Lukather came over, with his friend and musician Joseph Williams, as Ringo tells the story: “We had four tracks — and then Lukather came over and brought this semi-produced track, Not Enough Love In The World. The sentiment of it — not enough peace in the world, not enough love — I could not not do it — I had to do this track. So I put the vocals on, the drums on, Steve played a bit more guitar, Joe added some harmonies, and it all came together. It was the quickest track we did on the record.”
The EP is available here.