His band may be called Dying Famous, but lead singer Zane McGinley didn't plan on dying famous when he started out.
"We were just a garage band having a good time," he said. "We really weren't serious at all."
That changed when filmmaker Michael D. Gough--who won an Emmy in 2013 for the Idaho Center Auto Mall commercial "Shoot for the Moon"--offered to manage the hard rock band. He moved into McGinley's house, encouraged the musicians to rehearse regularly and eventually had the idea to film the group's early days.
"He's like, 'I'll film your tour. I'll film you finding a drummer, forming your band. I think there's a story here.' I was like, 'I think you're crazy,'" McGinley remembered, laughing.
But Gough was right. The documentary Dying Famous premiered at the Egyptian Theatre in October 2011. Although Gough and the band have since split, Dying Famous has played numerous shows in Idaho and along the West Coast. The band signed with Tate Music Group last August, recorded its debut album 40 Minutes Late last October and will play the Knitting Factory on Saturday, Feb. 1--the band's 102nd show, by McGinley's count--with local hard rock groups Fly2Void and Breakdown Boulevard.
Looking back at the documentary, which records his band's rocky first seven months, McGinley feels a certain respectful distance.
"I'm glad that we captured it when we did," he said. "You don't really see the formation of a band a whole lot, so it had a unique perspective. You know, we went through some crazy things that I'm glad that we're done with. But it's been crazy all along."
As proof, Mcginley cited Dying Famous' 2011 stint as the house band at Woody's Bar and Grill in Twin Falls.
"Man, we got away with murder down there," McGinley said. "Oh, it was great. People peeing in hallways. We got banned from Motel 6 down there."
Dying Famous doesn't plan to lose focus, though. The group hopes to hold an album release show on April 8 and precede it with three in-store signings at Hastings locations in Boise and Nampa. After that, McGinley said, the band will tour again and "hit as many places as we can, places we haven't been before, like San Francisco."