For years the Squirrel Nut Zippers toured the world, brandishing their instruments in hand and making a racket no one’s seen or heard in decades. Jim Mathus and his co-horts were onto something when the decision was made to break up the Chapel Hill band Metal Flake Mother, throw on suits and form a sort of “hot jazz/Dixieland outfit.” That was according to Mathus some years ago.
But from the 1990s to stepping back in time fusing their sound with 1930s-era swing, gypsy jazz, delta blues, klezmer, and a number of other styles. When the swing revival was in full effect in the late 1990s, that’s when the band found commercial success. After the group’s hiatus, there was a reunion back in 2007, but in 2016 the group would be back at it with new tours and material. The sound of the Squirrel Nut Zippers has returned and the new album, Beasts Of Burgundy, is sure to turn heads and make converts out of new listeners. Currently on tour in support of the upcoming album that has its release on March 23, 2018, I caught up with Jimbo Mathus to talk about the music, the years and the band.