Meet the band: JJAMZ

by Cristina Black (Brooklyn)

LA musician Z Berg welcomes her best guy friends to her new band.

For the past decade, Z Berg has been known as the lead singer of the quintessential LA girl band, The Like. So it might be surprising to hear that she recently formed a new band, JJAMZ (pronounced “juh-JAMS”), with four dudes. All alums of established LA acts, her new bandmates Jason Boesel, Alex Greenwald, Mike Runion and James Valentine are also her best buds. Their debut album, Suicide Pact, doesn’t hit until July 10th, but fans can tide themselves over with the rousing single “Never Enough.”

We recently chatted with Ms. Berg about her new band, her old band and her signature preference for short dresses.

You’ve all been friends for a long time.
We have! We’ve known each other for about 10 years, which is a pretty significant portion of my life. I’m 25.

How did you meet them originally?
We met through all of our old bands. We used to play with Alex’s band (Phantom Planet), Jason’s band (Rilo Kiley) and James’s band (Maroon 5). They were like my four best friends and we just kind of started playing music for fun. Suddenly, it was a band. It snuck up on us.

That’s the best way, right?
It’s awesome. It’s always been such a dream, so fun and natural. We’re all pinching ourselves. I can’t believe I get to go to rehearsal with my best friends.

So is that it for The Like?
The Like is done for now. I mean, I doubt it’ll ever really be over, but right now we’re all doing our own thing. It’s superfun being in a band with all dudes after 10 years of being in a girl band.

How is it different being one of the guys?
It’s different. For most of my life, I’ve had very few girlfriends, except for my band. I’m not the greatest at communicating with girls, really. I’m like the terrible boyfriend who will never notice that you got your hair cut or know what you need unless you tell him exactly what’s going on. So I communicate really well with guys.

Is there a downside?
There is less sharing of clothing, which is definitely a drawback.

You’re a very girly dresser.
I own one pair of pants and I’ve never worn them. My closet is hilarious. Not only do I wear all dresses, but I’m a true minidress girl. My closet just stops after 30 inches. Every dress is the same extremely short length. It’s amusing.

What’s funny is that your wardrobe is so girly when your personality is so guy-like.
Yes! I think I’m compensating for how low my voice is with how high my hemlines are. It’s like when people put pink bows on top of a baby’s head so you know it’s a girl.