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Zach & Viggo: Where Does The Love Go?

By | Published on Monday 13 August 2018

Acclaimed comedy clowning double act duo Zach and Viggo returned to Edinburgh this year with a show that, to my mind, sounded rather different and quite hard to define. I expect good things, obviously, of this collaboration with LA based band Thumpasaurus, but I definitely wanted to talk to them about it, because I needed to get a handle on quite what to expect.

So, I did what you’d expect someone with a media platform and some PR contacts to do. I arranged to have a quick chat, to find out more.

CM: Right, can we begin by trying to establish exactly what kind of show this is? It’s in comedy, yes, but it’s an opera… and it sounds like there are maybe multimedia elements? Tell us what to expect?
Z&V: We originally set out to make a silent clown opera, but it’s evolved into a sci-fi musical with digital elements, choreographed dance sequences, and lots of great tunes. Zach, Viggo and Jonny (director of Zach & Viggo) will be playing all the characters while Thump scores the entire show and acts as a sort of Greek chorus. It is an interactive film for the stage made by dummies for smart people.

CM: What story does the show tell?
Z&V: ‘Where Does The Love Go’ is a story of love lost and love found; an unapologetic all honest examination of self following the first intergalactic space war between Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk.

CM: Does it explore any particular themes? What’s the overall aim of the show?
Z&V: Aside from exploring ‘where does the love go’ we’ve stumbled upon a theme of father-son love. Not really sure how we got here, not really sure what it means, but it’s in the show. We believe this collaboration works best because both Zach & Viggo and Thumpasaurus create from a very non-preachy place, focusing entirely on love and following the fun. When you don’t say anything it allows the audience to project whatever meaning they want onto it, and that’s what we’ve always felt was best.

CM: What inspired this? How did you come to be collaborating on it? What made you think this idea would work?
Z&V: Zach and Lucas (the lead singer of Thump) met in LA a few years ago while dating two girls that were best friends. The two boys fell madly in love with their girlfriends and started hanging out loads. A few months into the friendship they both got dumped and were completely heartbroken. The two boys met up at a diner really late at night, Lucas showed Zach an opera he was working on, and they decided to give it a go. We really had no idea if it was going to work or not but we couldn’t let our ex’s think we were losers, so here we are.

CM: And how did the collaborative process work? Did you actually sit in rooms together or did you work separately and then meld together?
Z&V: It’s an absolute miracle that we pulled this off considering we weren’t all in the same physical location until August 1st. Between January and July, Zach travelled back and forth between London, Australia and Los Angeles to meet up with Viggo, Jonny and the Thump boys to put this thing together. It was written in LA, London and Paris, and was physically thrown together in Edinburgh the moment our first preview started. We’re incredibly proud of what we’ve been able to do and can’t wait to not have to work like this ever again in the future.

CM: Why did you decide this was a good show to bring to Edinburgh?
Z&V: Why would you want to come back and do the same type of show every year when you can literally create whatever you want? The Fringe was built on a foundation of risk-taking, not playing it safe with a boring ass show. The whole point of The Fringe is that it gives artists a platform to bring fantastical shows to life that wouldn’t normally have an audience in the real world. It’s an incredible privilege and you better believe we’re going to take full advantage of it.

CM: Going back a bit, can you tell us a bit about how you originally came to be performing together?
Z&V: We met while Zach & Viggo was touring in LA in November 2016. Someone brought us to a Thump concert and we couldn’t believe how good it was. As mentioned earlier, a few weeks later Zach started dating Lucas’s girlfriend’s best friend (if you’re reading this Camille, please take me back) and we started hanging out more. Eventually we decided to do music and comedy nights where Zach & Viggo would do an hour, followed by a full Thump concert. People started to really dig it so we decided to do a show together. It’s still so ridiculous that this show exists.

CM: Where do you see yourself going in the future? Any unfulfilled dreams or ambitions?
Z&V: Broadway babeeeey! Thump just dropped their debut album, Zach & Viggo boys just filmed a TV show, Stamptown is the greatest independent music and comedy label in the world, and we ain’t going nowhere. Pew pew pew pew pew!!

CM: What keeps you coming back to edfringe? What’s the appeal of performing here?
Z&V: We keep coming back because it’s an incredibly inspiring place to be and we get to learn from the most innovative people across all mediums. This motivates us to be our most creative and experimental selves while still managing to be engaging. We’re also coming back because we like to perform and play music a lot and we get to do that every night so, yeah, that’s cool.

CM: What do you like to do when you’re in Edinburgh, other than performing?
Z&V: HA!

CM: Do you go and see other shows when you are here? What do you recommend from this year’s programme?
Z&V: It’s been harder to see shows this year since we’re doing six shows between us but the best acts in the festival are Sam Campbell, Neal Portenza, Lauren Pattison, Josh Glanc, Tom Walker and Demi Lardner. Those are our ride or dies.

CM: What’s next for this show? Are you taking it on anywhere else after this?
Z&V: We’ll for sure be doing it in Los Angeles in October and we’d love to continue performing this for as long as we can. We truly believe this has legs to be on Broadway or The West End so that’s what we’re aiming for! If you know anyone who can help, please contact us at wheredoesthelovego.info.

CM: What’s coming up next for you after this?
Z&V: Both groups are heading to London and Paris to do some gigs and continue filming Stamptown’s super secret TV project. It’s gone be reaaaaal good!

Zach & Viggo and Thumpasaurus performed ‘Where Does the Love Go?’ at Underbelly Cowgate at Edinburgh Festival 2018.

Photo: Stano Murin