About

I record life. I capture moments. I document myself and others. I use cameras, recorders, lighting, and production gadgets to create motion pictures; training, promotions, short docu-vignettes, music videos, and experimental films.

I compose music from scratch with my hands on guitar, keyboard, knobs, or mouse, with my voice, and from a digital universe of samples and software.

I use computers in nearly every facet of my life and I archive what I've found and created. 

 

Holy Zoo is a digital video and music production company located in the San Francisco Bay Area, founded by Steev Dinkins, born from a group of musicians and prolific artists. Holy Zoo creates motion picture and musical works, fusing visual instincts with musical creativity.


Steev Dinkins
Music producer, digital video producer, guitarist, electronic musician, and media guru

Kenny Pardo
Digital video director, drummer, and actor

Scott Chavez
Musical architect, bass player, guitar player, painter, poet, set designer, and comic genius

 

 

 

Biography: 

Early Years (1980s)

The origin of Holy Zoo was Steev Dinkins joining Freewill in 1988.  Freewill was a San Francisco Bay Area band formed by Matt Diggs and Steve Andker in the mid to late 1980s.  The band had made a name for themselves in the local club circuit and had numerous magazine write-ups, music industry showcase performance interest, as well as brief legal industry representation and shopping to major record labels.  Hours of performance and party footage from this era was captured and released in the 2000s as "Classic Party Madness" and can was published on YouTube in 2010(ref check).  

Harvin Garvel (1992-1993)

In 1992, Steev Dinkins left Freewill to pursue recording engineering, producing and recording demos for local bands such as Amsterdam led by Ronnie Borchert, and to write music independently with Scott Chavez under the name Harvin Garvel.   Harvin Garvel released 2 self funded and recorded albums in 1992 and 1993.  In 1994, Steev and Scott formed a band to perform as Harvin Garvel live, teaming up with Steve Escola on Drums, and Scott Shama on Rhythm Guitar. They played several shows in the Bay Area, but had dissolved by the end of the year.  

Education and Computers (1994-1997)

1994 was the initial song writing of material for the album Full Grown Dog, but in the summer of 1994, Steev had officially started college full time, and made a disruptive and fundamental switch to computer based recording, leading to 2 years of development in production techniques and experiments.  By 1996, Steev transferred to attend San Francisco State University.  He also recorded and produced the album Conspiracy A Go-Go with the band Floodland, founded by Michael St. Germain, and finished the production for the Holy Zoo album, Full Grown Dog.  In late 1996, official production began on the album originally known as Sensitive Beak, which was later renamed and marketed as the self-titled debut album, Holy Zoo.  After working as an intern at Russian Hill Recording Studios in 1997, Steev worked again with Scott to produce the album Mortis Eurithmo, which was created in 6 months and completed in December 1996.  

Acoustics and Career (1998-1999)

Turning away from samples and synthesizers, Holy Zoo took a stripped down acoustic guitar approach to songwriting in 1998 with material that would make its way to forming the 2011 release, Holy Zoo Faire.  This production was halted in summer of 1998 when Steev graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Broadcast & Electronic Communication from San Francisco State University, and went on to work professionally in corporate video.  

Internet and Improv Age (2000-2003)

In 2000, the name Holy Zoo was officially founded for all creative works, and the website www.holyzoo.com was born.  All previous works were re-released branded under the new name, and marketed independently by Jadestreet Records ran by Jeff Dinkins and Steev Dinkins.  Holy Zoo's publishing on Mp3.com was critically received by the community and was a commercial success to the band on an independent level.  By submersing holyzoo.com into the growing - yet short lived - E/N Internet scene, traffic to the website had hit into the 100s of thousands a day.  In April 2001, Holy Zoo won the StileProject.com songwriting contest with a composed song in dedication to the website.  By summer of 2001, Steev and Scott joined forces with former Big Zen drummer Kenny Pardo as a band to play Holy Zoo material live.  The initial rehearsals resulted in many hours of recorded improvisational works.  By 2002, Steev had secured corporate funding and the band moved into a bigger rehearsal space, leading to far more recorded improvisational work with 3 actual live shows.  In January 2003, a compilation of live studio performances was released as Milk & Cookies.  By February 2003, after 1.5 years and hundreds of recorded sessions, Holy Zoo moved out of the rehearsal space.  Scott Chavez and Kenny Pardo began working with Bay Area metal band Krooked, which later reformed as Short Fuse.  

Astronaut Lunchbox and Videos (2004-2007)

In 2004, the production of the experimental electronic instrumental album Astronaut Lunchbox began.  The album was also accompanied by a self-produced music video for Wave Wrangler.  From October 2004-March 2005, Holy Zoo produced a music video for the song, Scrawler, from the 1997 album, Mortis Eurithmo.  In August 2005, Steev was hired to produce promotional videos for San Diego performance artists Soul in the Machine.  After the success of the Scrawler video, Kenny Pardo was approached by San Francisco horror-porn-hiphop artist, MC Meathoook, to work on a video for the song, Miss Carcass.  Production ran from May and ended November with a video release party at the Dark Room where audience injuries occurred.  In June 2006, Kenny and Steev began several performance video shoots with San Francisco dance performance artists, Living Dead Girlz.  In August 2007, video production began on the Living Dead Girlz "Shoes" parody, "Brains".  October 2007, the Brains video went viral on YouTube with over 1.6 million views, resulting in a syndication deal with Atom Films and Comedy Central.  

Holy Zoo Faire and Back Catalog (2010-2012)

12 years after the initial acoustic song writing and recording of 1998, in summer of 2010, Steev started principle drum recording with Kenny Pardo for the album Holy Zoo Faire.  Drum editing, guitar and bass tracking with Scott Chavez ran until early 2011, with final mixing and mastering concluding by April 2011.  Album photography and artwork was finished by November, with the album released by the end of the year.  In January 2012, the albums Harvin Garvel I&II, and Full Grown Dog were re-released on CDBaby, iTunes, Amazon and partners. 

 

Email: shoutout@holyzoo.com

AIM: holyzoo