New Boy Band Zero Gravity features one member from Santa Barbara

Zero Gravity is, from left, Peet Montzingo, Fredrick Rose, Adam Wilhelmsson, Michael Kean and Trevor Dow. Courtesy photo
Zero Gravity is, from left, Peet Montzingo, Fredrick Rose, Adam Wilhelmsson, Michael Kean and Trevor Dow.
Courtesy photo

How do you make a boy band? In the case of LA-based Zero Gravity, you hold auditions. You find five young men —two Swedes and three Americans, one from Santa Barbara —and you put them through boot camp. The result is a group that’s hitting the ground running, singing in tight five-part harmony, and playing a mix of social media and old school touring. When they headline the Santa Barbara Fair and Expo, they’ll be performing for a full hour, and plan to leave the stage having made a ton of new fans.

The group consists of Peet Montzingo from Seattle, who has already gained a following having been on “X-Factor”; Santa Barbara’s Trevor Dow; Fredrick Rose from Stockholm, Sweden, the one who takes lots of selfies; Adam Wilhelmsson, also from Stockholm; and Michael Kean from Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

“Every show is different and you have to prep for different audiences and locations and set lists,” says Michael, adding that the Fair set will consist of half covers and half originals.

“We’re going to sing some songs that haven’t been released and we can’t wait to see the audience reactions.”

Zero Gravity released its first single, “Make You Mine,” in June, a blast of summer fun —One Direction meets the Beach Boys —though it took until October to get an appropriate introductory video out. It shows the boys hanging out and goofing off at a number of SoCal locations: the beach, tennis courts, the back of a convertible as it cruises down PCH.

A second single, “Don’t Leave Me Lonely,” came out in December, and they’ve kept their YouTube channel up to date with covers of pop hits, like Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space” and Ariana Grande’s “One Last Time.”

Over 300 aspiring singers attended the audition just over a year ago in Los Angeles. The five guys chosen were given singing and dancing lessons, and each worked with a personal trainer to get fit.

Though they didn’t know each other before, the boot camp experience sealed their friendship.

“We pride ourselves in knowing that we are best friends first, and that came out of the boot camp,” says Peet.

The group got a big boost by opening for Aaron Carter’s recent tour, and they have been building up their pre-teen fan base by visiting schools and appearing on morning shows. Now they’re branching out to fairs like our own.

The Santa Barbara-connected Trevor Dow grew up in Isla Vista, went to Dos Pueblos, studied dance with Stephen Lovelace and theater with Rick Mokler at SBCC.

“He’s the one who told me to go to LA and just try it,” Trevor says. “And if it wasn’t for him I probably wouldn’t be here.”

Out of the five, it was Adam’s friends who were shocked the most when he told them he was in a boy band.

“It wasn’t something I knew I wanted to do until I moved here,” says Adam. “My friends were shocked I guess, but afterwards, they can see it now. They get it.”

For all of the boys it’s a dream come true, and they are loving their fan base, who call themselves Gravitators. Apart from the band’s Twitter account and those of each individual member, each city they visit has its own Twitter feed. The Zero Gravity Street Teams feature a head fan in each town who helps spreading the word to their friends and working the local angle. They currently have 35 such teams around the world.

“It’s become a whole circle of friendship and family,” says Michael. “At the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about —the fans.”

Zero Gravity
When: 9 p.m. tonight and Saturday; 8 p.m. Sunday
Where: Earl Warren Showgrounds
Cost: $4-$6
Information: (805) 687-0766, www.earlwarren.com

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