Hooks of Zeds Dead Will Paint a Mural at Larimer Lounge Today

DC and Hooks (Dylan Mamid and Zach Rapp-Rovan), the duo known as Zed’s Dead, first became friends because DC needed someone to paint a wall in his garage.

“He had a garage that people would hang out in and listen to music, and he wanted his wall painted,” says Rapp-Rovan. “He hit me up and we started hanging out.”

Five years later, the two are touring the world, bringing their eclectic EDM to sold out arenas. There’s not as much time as there was back in the pre-fame days for painting, but Rapp-Rovan hasn’t been able to really let it go. That’s why tonight, as he did last year, he will be taking spray paint to the side of the Larimer Lounge for the official Dead Rock’s Pre-Party.

The pre-party, hosted by the comparatively intimate Larimer Lounge, will feature a DJ-set by the duo as well as a live graffiti session by Rapp-Rovan as he paints a new mural on the side of the venue.

“This year I’m going to do one that’s going to say ‘dead rocks,’” he says. “We’d love to make this a tradition, and make the graffiti part of that.”

Painting is almost as important to Rapp-Rovan as music, and the two are intertwined, he says.

“Music is all about conveying an emotion and idea and art is about that too,” he said. “Graffiti is all about motion and flow and music has that too.The letters have certain rhythm to them.”

Rapp says he got into graffiti when he started listening to hip-hop when he was younger. Graffiti is one of the four elements of hip-hop (along with B-boying, MCing, and DJing) so for him it was a natural progression as a hip-hop fan.
“I was always into hip-hop and that’s one of the reasons I got into graffiti,” he says. “It was closely tied to the music I listened to.”

Rapp-Rovan has been painting longer than he has been making music. When he was younger it meant bombing freight train cars and bridge underpasses. A hectic touring and production schedule has all but sidelined his artistic pursuits, which he says he was “deep into” for a while. But he still likes to paint when and where he can.

“I always like to paint anywhere I go,” he says. “When I’m traveling it’s cool to leave your mark on a place.”

The mark on the side of the Larimer Lounge will certainly be a special painting, as will the pre-party for Dead Rocks at Red Rocks, a place Rapp-Rovan calls “one of the best venues in the entire world.” The show will feature Dillion Francis, Paper Diamond and others. It’s not known if any of the supporting acts will make an appearance at the pre-party, but the event does list “special guests”

“Fans are going to get to come hang out with us in this cool little environment,” he says. “We’re just gonna mess around and play some stuff we might not play at the show. It’s going to be fun.”