The Zen Engines is a band and music project headed by Gregg Kirk, who currently hails from the NYC metro area in the US. The content of their three releases — “Obrigado,” “Everything” and “Break Open” — is the result of Kirk’s decade-long battle with Lyme disease and his subsequent visit to John of God’s Casa de Dom Inácio de Loyola in Abadiania, Brazil. While there, Kirk experienced a major reduction of his symptoms and a spiritual awakening that gave fodder to almost every song on these releases.
Originally from the Philadelphia area, Kirk got his start playing with Philly legend Robert Hazard shortly after Hazard penned “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” for Cyndi Lauper, and then Kirk went on to form his own bands, including The Killtoys and Shovelhead.
The latter group battered the Philly region with their post-grunge sound in the mid-90s and shared the stage with an impressive list of bands including Fugazi, fIREHOSE, Goo Goo Dolls, Godflesh and Dread Zeppelin. In 1996, A&M Records paid for them to record an album and then subsequently dropped them.
In 1999, Kirk moved to the NYC metro area where he built his own recording studio and formed a songwriting partnership with Austin, TX native Timothy Abbott. The two created The Figurados and released two critically-acclaimed CDs: “Divine Spirits, Holy Smoke” and “Lesson Two,” which the band supported by playing live in both the Austin and NYC areas.
When that project came to a halt in late 2010, Kirk embarked on his healing pilgrimage to Brazil and within days new songs began to emerge. Originally the focus of the tunes was self-healing, but Kirk soon realized that the music and vibrations could have a powerful effect on others and that has become the major focus of all Zen Engine releases… to raise the vibrations and healing of anyone who hears the music.
After founding The Zen Engines, Kirk also founded and developed the Ticked Off Music Fest (a Lyme disease benefit concert series that holds events all over the country) and the Ticked Off Foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that raises funds for Lyme patients in financial and medical crisis.