I’m With the Band: Charming Out with Jub Zambra
I’m With the Band: Charming Out with Jub Zambra
It’s official: concert season is finally here and the drums are starting to beat yo! Stuff your scarves in the closet and break out the shorts and tanks, because we’re ready to rock-n-roll with one of Neopia’s slickest bands. Jub Zambra and his fanciful Cobrall stops by Tyrannian Rock 104 to give fans a glimpse of his summer to come.
Jub Zambra and the Cobrall Charmers (JZCC) come from humble beginnings: scraping up only enough coins on the streets of Sakmet City just to get by on. The five-membered band grew up only hundreds of yards from one another, but it wasn’t until their late 20s did they finally meet and decide to jam together. “It was simple mathematics,” affirmed Zambra, eyes glazed over when he thinks about the ‘old’ days before the band made it big. “All of us were on the streets performing but only making bare minimum. We figured that if we did one big performance, that would multiply our earnings by five….and you know the rest.” The band cranked out several singles in a row, landing them a continuous spot on the billboard charts for three months straight. “It’s the rags to riches story, when our listeners yearn to see the underdog come out on top,” states Tyrannian Music Hall’s primary talent booker, Skalpo. “You hardly see anyone come up from the streets like Zambra really has. He has a sense of humility people really connect with.”
Zambra was originally from Qasala, but a downtown in the economy several years ago brought him to Sakhmet in hopes of finding employment and stability. However, the same recession that hit Qasala was soon to move in on Sakmet, and any jobs left soon evaporated completely. Zambra decided to go with what he knew, and that was music. He began playing near the palace and later added a cobrall to his performance. Sisi, as named her, was reportedly won in a poker game. “I definitely saw an uptick in revenue increase as soon as I placed Sisi in the act. I went from maybe 40-50 Neopoints a day to upwards of a hundred. She became my lifeline.” However, those first couple performances weren’t easy. “She didn’t really like all the attention at first….especially when people would cheer and throw coins into the basket. She eventually began to understand though that the more coins, the bigger dinner would be.” Meanwhile throughout the city, several other performers were getting together and participating in Zambra’s success. “Those were my friends. We would all take care of each other basically; when one was on the down and out, we’d help them out. That’s what friends do.”
The five friends, plus Sisi, were soon jamming out everyday. As the band’s popularity grew, they began touring all over the Lost Desert including a very special, sold-out show at Coltzan’s Shrine. It was at that performance that the band impressed someone that could soon pull them out of poverty. That man would be Skalpo, the talent booker for the Tyrannian Concert Hall. “Not a single one of my other projects had ever featured a petpet, and especially not a Cobrall,” Skalpo explained. “Petpets are cute, nevertheless some of them you really can’t just depend on. Sisi was different baby, Sisi was a vein of gold just waiting to be found.” Zambra does note however, that non-professionals shouldn’t try to handle a Cobrall in performances. “It took quite a while to figure out how to even get the coins out of her basket when people threw them in there…she’s now a lot more relaxed when coins aren’t being thrown in her face.”
Jub Zambra and the Cobrall Charmers made their debut in March 2006 at the Tyrannian Concert Hall, playing to fewer than 4,000 spectators. However, that number almost tripled by their 2nd show, and quadrupled by their third. “It’s amazing how much has changed,” says Zambra, with a smile on his face as he overlooks the Lost Desert from his backyard deck. “We all went from nothing to something in a matter of months once we hit the radio. From here on out, none of us will ever have to go hungry again.” And it would be hard to go hungry with you’ve got a five-star chef cooking your every meal. Zambra now reigns as king in his own private, 3000-square foot domain right outside the city walls. Sisi now even has her own ‘Cobrall condo’ out back, complete with air-conditioning and her own wading pool. Merchandise sales alone could now support the five-some, with hats and hard-to-come-by tee-shirts going for thousands of Neopoints. “But we got to stay humble, man, that’s the one thing that won’t ever change. We’re not going to be like some of these groups who let the fame to get to them and then let it ruin their lives. We’re giving back to the community and that helps us stay grounded.”
Zambra and his band run an organization in the Lost Desert supporting underground music. The charity, Magical Music, helps up-and-coming artists who struggle with poverty or homelessness. “If we’re able to just change one person’s life, that’s all we need to keep it going,” reiterates Zambra. “We know we were that one-in-a-million band that got plucked from the streets and made it big. To some of these kids out here, we’re heroes. We want to share the magic with them.”
Besides running Magical Music, the band has a full schedule this summer. They have a worldwide tour planned with Mellow Marauders with stops in Happy Valley, Mystery Island, and Krawk Island, just to name a few. They are also headlining Tyrannia’s Rock Fest with big-names such as Twisted Roses and Moehawk. “And that’s not even the best part,” Zambra laughs. “We’re going to be staging a music camp in Qasala. It will be the first time that most of these kids have ever left the city.” At the end of the camp, the participants will be planning their very own concert, with space being donated by Tyrannian Concert Hall. Tickets will be going fast, so make sure to buy yours now and be entered with a meet-and-greet with the whole band. You won’t want to hiss it.