Teenage Burnley band Zoltar who cite Foo Fighters, Nirvana and Pink Floyd as inspiration set to launch debut album in 2025

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The four members of upcoming Burnley band Zoltar weren’t even born when some of the groups they cite as their biggest influences, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Nirvana, Foo Fighters, Van Halen, The Buzzcocks, The Hives and The Who, were formed.

Formerly known as The Longside, a recent change of line-up sparked a fresh start, and a change of name. And for those of you too young to know, Zoltar is the name of the name of the automated fairground mystic wish maker in the iconic 80s film ‘Big’ starring Tom Hanks. So why choose the name? Is this the route to where becoming ‘big’ begins?

Joe Robinson (guitar and vocals) says: "Why not? We reckon everyone's seen the film ‘Big’ or has some nostalgic memory of wishing on a Zoltar machine. Blame our parents for exposing us to 80s pop culture.”

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Joe’s fellow band mates are James Golledge (17) on vocals and guitar, Corey Powell (19), bass guitar and 17-year-old drummer Ben McLoughlin.

Burnley band Zoltar on stage live at the recent music festival Blackstock in PendleBurnley band Zoltar on stage live at the recent music festival Blackstock in Pendle
Burnley band Zoltar on stage live at the recent music festival Blackstock in Pendle
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James said: "Me and Joe met at Unity College and were briefly in another band together. I met Corey and Ben at Burnley College - we are all studying music together. I'd manage to convince Joe to join a while ago, because we had written songs before and played in a duo together - he's entertaining, and he can really play guitar. Ben's the best drummer any of us know, and Corey's epic on bass.

“It’s had a few ups and downs getting to this point, but we believe this is it now, we’re sounding much tighter and stronger as time goes on as we’re amassing more and more songs.”

Referencing the name change James added: “We felt it was the right time to just be US and not carry on with a name attached to a former venture. This time last year, aside from myself, the line-up was completely different and I didn’t feel as though it represented us anymore. It didn’t help that none of us are really into football that much, either.”

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Burnley band Zoltar on stage live at the recent music festival Blackstock in PendleBurnley band Zoltar on stage live at the recent music festival Blackstock in Pendle
Burnley band Zoltar on stage live at the recent music festival Blackstock in Pendle

Joe points out that they are writing new material all the time, and when it came to recording it, they wanted it to be about the four of them, without the past references. He said: “We are striving to find our own sound, and start and build a momentum with more gigs and give our own tunes some life - even though we're still playing a few of our favourite covers.”

The lads are working on creating a sound that is unique to them. Corey says: “We're grateful to the bands and musicians who have inspired us but now, this is very much about us moving forward. We want to make music that means something, not just commercial rubbish ... all of our songs sound quite different at the moment, but we want to stand out from the crowd and achieve a sound that's unique to US.”

Influenced by a wide spectrum of songs, from the 60s to current charts, the boys feels that the older tunes are much more in line with how they write their own material and where their deeper influences lie. They feel that the older music has ‘the edge’ with melodies and meaning and, while they might have yawned and what their parents were listening to when they were children, as teenagers have come to appreciate it.

Having recently blown the audience away at two music festivals in Pendle, Barnoldswick's Bands On The Square and Blackstock, Zoltar love performing live. Corey said: “Performing live we just want to be the best that we can be; put together a brilliant set of songs - a mix of our own tunes and some covers - We want to play what we love and have proved that this gives our audience a good night out.”

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Burnley band Zoltar on stage live at the recent music festival Blackstock in PendleBurnley band Zoltar on stage live at the recent music festival Blackstock in Pendle
Burnley band Zoltar on stage live at the recent music festival Blackstock in Pendle

One essential ingredient for a band to work is chemistry and the lads have it in spades. Corey said: “I think people see that when they watch us play live, there's a visible bond.”

And Joe described Zoltar as a ‘proper band’ adding: “We have a laugh, we're mates as well as four lads who write songs together, and that's vital. We know how much work is involved if you're going to be successful, and we're prepared for that.”

And James said that while the group were not at ‘Beatlemania’ stage (yet) they are making the progress needed, adding: “We’re in this for the long haul and we hope to still be touring in our 70s while our tunes are still being spoken about and listened to.”

And next year Zoltar hope to release their first album, so watch this space.

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