Zach & Dylan Zmed have show business in their blood. The sons of actor Adrian Zmed (Grease 2, T.J. Hooker), the duo fronts The Bird Dogs, a Los Angeles-based quintet that performs The Everly Brothers’ songbook. On Saturday the band makes its debut Birmingham appearance with a performance at the Lyric Theatre. The audience can expect to hear the Everlys’ numerous hits sung in harmonized vocals eerily similar to those of Phil and Don. Recently, Zach Zmed spoke about the duo’s upcoming tour via phone.
Weld: How did The Bird Dogs concept take flight?
Zach Zmed: I was the one that was always playing music and my brother was a fine arts major and we had separate peer groups. There came a point when I’d be sitting around working on some music, and I always wanted that high harmony. I’d ask him to sing something so I could hear it. It sounded so good that we decided we should keep doing it. We decided to learn some [songs by] Crosby, Stills and Nash; The Beatles, and The Everly Brothers — and we found that The Everly Brothers stuff was the most challenging. We decided to go headlong into it to become better singers. Someone suggested that we should put together a promotional video to see what happened, and now it’s happening.
Weld: Even though The Everly Brothers catalog is a big part of the pop music fabric, do you find complexities as you break down in the songs in detail?
Zmed: Yes, actually. They’re so good that it sounds kind of easy. When we started to learn the stuff and do it the way they do it, we realized that it’s unbelievably difficult. There’s so much subtlety that it comes down to the timbre of their voices. When they sing together, it sounds bigger than two people. They were more meticulous than a lot of other groups at that time. It’s almost borderline classical. [Laughs]
Weld: Given that you are focusing on one catalog of material, how do the songs stay fresh to you after you’ve played them repeatedly?
Zmed: I think it’s really about staying present. Even though we might be singing it for the 100th time, if we’re staying present it’s like singing it for the first time. I think that it’s such demanding music vocally, there’s really no way of resting while doing it. We’re working really hard so that keeps it present in many ways. There’s no way to phone this show in. We have to give it everything we have to do it right.
Weld: How would you describe a typical audience at one of your shows?
ZZ: So far it seems like most people are between 40 and 80, but there are younger people, especially at festivals. Everybody can enjoy this show — it’s a family show and it’s classy music. I don’t think there’s any limit.
The Bird Dogs will perform at The Lyric Theatre on Saturday, June 18. The show begins at 8 p.m. For more information, visit lyricbham.com.