Zen Rising – One Rockin’ Band – Kamloops Photographer Jo LeFlufy

Despite the fact that it took me over a year to realize an old friend from high school was the lead singer of this awesometastic rock band, I must say I’m thrilled that I did finally figure it out!  I actually thought the lead singer was another Todd who also married into the Trouton family! Oops.

For those of you Kamloopsians (and peeps from elsewhere) who haven’t heard of Zen Rising, you’re in for a treat – I was amazed by how good they are and I couldn’t wait to shoot some pics of them and brag them up on my blog and on the web waves in general. I’d say their main style is rock, but they perform such a range of songs at their live shows that it’s hard to classify them as just one genre. They even did their own pimped out version of a Lady Gaga song the night I did their shoot. Sweet nectar of the gods!

The night I went out to shoot them was my first time seeing them live and I was impressed with their energy and enthusiasm – so much so that I can’t wait to go and see them again, but this time without my camera and preferably with an ice cold beer in my hand…so, since I am pregnant, it may be awhile until I can fulfill that particular requirement!

Instead of just gushing about them, I thought I would do a little profile/interview with each band member so you can all get to know them as well as listen to some of their music. I have decided to showcase one band member per post so this doesn’t end up being such a long post that you end up sending me hate mail about how much I love hearing the sound of my own typing voice!

I’ll start with Todd Paulmert because he is a friend from way back and because he’s the lead singer. Todd was always one of my favorite people in high school because he is such a genuine, laid back, funny guy. The most amazing thing about Todd is that he’s fairly shy, but put a microphone in his hand and he transforms completely – confident, loud, sexy (sorry Marie, I had to add that in!!!), magnetic and captivating all at the same time. I believe he was meant to sing and it’s really apparent in the persona he portrays on stage. The best thing about him, though, isn’t that he’s an amazing singer with a unique voice (which he is), but that he’s still the same kind, lovable guy that he’s always been. I think it really says something when a person can hold on to the fundamental aspects of their personality – the parts that make him unique and likable – throughout the course of a lifetime. Todd is one of those people and I feel lucky that our paths crossed again.

I asked all of the guys a bunch of questions and, based on the answers, Todd was definitely the one who is the deepest thinker of the band. I thought his responses were fantastic – well thought out, from the heart and genuine.


What inspires you?

It changes everyday. People, experiences, and simple daily events. I can’t say that one individual thing or person inspires me. I might gain inspiration from anything from a major global event to something as small as a music video, or tidbit on the comedy channel.

What is your favorite song by the band and why?

Hmmm…sorry to be so obscure once again…I can’t say I REALLY have a favorite song. There is always a specific song that we as a group connect on any given night. Things just click to the point where the hair on the back of my neck stands…and that is, at that time, my favorite song.

What do you like most about performing?

Brutal honesty here…the live show portion of what we do as a band is trivial to me really. The music, the lyrics and the feeling of the right time, the right place and the right energy matter to me immensely. I will be totally honest and tell you that I have yet to FEEL that the crowd truly connects to the meaning behind our music. There is so much that is happening on stage, so much distraction with the lights, the costumes, the loud guitars…people are hearing me, but not listening to what is being said. When we write, we really do write of life experiences and the effects these experiences have and the feelings they create. Granted, not all songs have a direct relation to each and every member, however we connect on that same level with the common understanding. A cool, catchy riff matters too, but essentially, what I am SAYING matters more to ME. There have been seconds when my eyes have met with someone in the crowd that I KNOW gets it…I starve for more of that.

What is one nice thing you can say about each member of your band?

What can I tell you about Erik… Erik is someone who NEEDS this. This is his outlet, not to get away from his wife or take a break from his son, but because he is driven by passion. Erik needs this as his mental release, or stimulation…his “mental skydive” to truly put it into perspective as I see it.

Dustin…Honestly, Dusty really does have something “Zen” about him. If there was a force…Dustin would be one with it. Nothing will impede or distract him from his dreams and I am glad to be a part the journey.

Mark…The silent, experienced skeptic. May I stress this is not said by any means in a negative manner. He has once taken the path we seek to follow only to find that the final destination was less welcoming than anticipated. Mark brings us realism with real experience.

And there you have it folks – honest thoughts from a genuine, down to earth guy who loves to sing and create music.

He may not have a favorite song by the band, but I have several and I’ll post the links to a couple of their songs at the end of this post. For now, though, here are a few of my fave shots of Todd doing his thing up on stage.

And for those of you who would like to hear a little bit of their music, here are my two favorite songs from their album This Life.

  1. Dreaming (Toni’s song) ZenRising-ThisLife-05-DreamingTonisSong
  2. I believe ZenRising-ThisLife-08-IBelieve

I’ll be profiling the other three members of the band, Erik, Dustin and Mark in the next few days. Please feel free to send the link to these blogs to everyone you know who loves music. The more exposure the band gets, the more fans they will get and, well, fans make for happy band members!!!!

Good night my friends. I wish you all enough…

3 thoughts on “Zen Rising – One Rockin’ Band – Kamloops Photographer Jo LeFlufy

  1. What a FANTASTIC blog supported by AMAZING photos. Jo – the world is a better place because of your photos……….and I’ll take that to the grave!

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