The Burroughs Release Unifying Single, “Zero Sum Game,” and Talk 303 Music Vol. 4

With the launch of 303 Music Vol. 4, we have compiled a series of interviews with the amazing local artists who are part of this special release. In each segment, artists will discuss what being on this vinyl has meant to them, the importance of the song that they chose to be featured, and talk about what life has been like as a musician living through the events of the past year. Check out 303 Music Vol. 4 to see all the amazing talent that made it on this year’s record, including this article’s interviewee, Johnny Burroughs of The Burroughs who have recently released their new single “Zero Sum Game.”

The musical sound of Colorado is one that is shapeless in form, and that poses infinite potential. The state houses a community of virtuosos that span across countless genres, and that breath of talent can only be fully realized when these diverse artists come together. This can be seen on the 303 Music Vol. 4 record, where twelve artists with distinct styles are featured and celebrated. It can also be seen in the flesh with the rallying cries of amazing bands like The Burroughs.

Coming together is at the heart of this soulful unit, with the band consisting of nine members that all come from varied backgrounds. Cultivating the talents of each member over the course of seven years has led the band now passing their ideas of unity onto our community through message and action. Songs like “We Got to Stand,” featured on 303 Music Vol. 4, speaks to our communal need to stand up for all those who are in our community. Likewise, their efforts working on their Bands Give Back initiative saw them raising over $9,000 for increased music access and educator support for youth in Greely – Evans school district 6.

Photo Courtesy of The Burroughs. Photo Credit to Michael Oliver.

Now, sweaty soul music returns once again to Colorado with the Burroughs’s new single “Zero Sum Game.” This song proves that the Covid-19 pandemic has only served to strengthen the band’s mission of bringing people together by way of positive messaging. The chorus, which states that “there is enough love for me, and there is enough love for you, it is not a zero sum game,” is a testament to the bands core value of unity. Whether taken in the context of the moment of the song’s release, or on a grander scale, the intention of the song is clear. The Burroughs are here to unify the world’s collectively discordant minds with love and soul.

Accompanying the single is a music video that further elevates the song with imagery that highlights the power of a singular voice and how it can be amplified in the company of others. Vocalist/drummer Mary Claxton sits at the center of the scene, both literally and in her voice, as the camera pans in and out to reveal an everchanging display of band members. Claxton’s vocal performance brings warmth to the song as her physical presence is luminous with her backlit facade. It is a scene that plays well with the message of the song as the most fun parts of the video are undoubtedly when you can see the band as a whole vibing to their wholesome groove.

The Burroughs’ newest release adds to their catalog of uplifting songs that are here to carry us into a positive summer. The band has already announced tour dates to bring their own brand of soul music to the region and looks to be picking back up where they left off before the Covid-19 pandemic. The events of the past year undoubtedly impacted the band, but they are making their return in person and with projects like the 303 Music Vol. 4 vinyl.  To speak on the past year and what it has meant to be a part of 303 music vol. 4, we sat down with Johnny Burroughs to learn more.

303 Magazine: How has the past year affected your music endeavors and what are your plans for the future?

Johnny Burroughs: As with all other bands, our whole existence as a band suddenly stopped.  The camaraderie and friendship that we built our band on were paused and we were unable to connect with and uplift our fans in person. What the pause did do was allow us to take a step back, and refocus our creativity and priorities.  And now we are about to release the best music we’ve ever made to the world.

303: As a musician in Denver, what do you think our musical identity is and how has it changed over time?

JB: I would place the musical identity of Denver as hard to pin down.  It has evolved so much in the last 10 years and is really at the beginning of something really great.  I am excited to see what incredible artists from Denver are impacting the world in the coming future.

303: Why is the song you submitted for 303 Music Vol. 4 important to you?

JB: “We Got To Stand” is a very important song to this band. It carries our message of unity and lifting each other up, in spite of the fractionalization and hate that can permeate our society.

303: Can you tell me about the backstory of this song and how it came to be in its final form?

JB: I wrote the song almost three years ago now. After witnessing the rhetoric of hate that was beginning to be accepted as ‘normal’ in our country, I was frustrated with those in power and all of us that allow it.  I was walking around my hometown one day, and the lines “We got to stand, each man, and woman of the land.  We got to live for this life again,” began to loop in my mind.  I took that and wrote the verses to call out the people in power promoting hate, and those of us who let it happen. The chorus calls us all to unity and respect. To sing for each other and take a stand as one.

303: What does being on 303 Music Vol. 4 mean to you?

JB: It really is an honor to be included on the 303 Music Vol. 4.  Growing up most of my life in Colorado, 303 has always been a staple for great Colorado music.  Not to mention the great artists included in this album.  We are in fantastic company.

To keep up to date with The Burroughs, visit their website at, and you can see them perform live on June 13th at City Park Jazz. To purchase 303 Music vol. 4, visit our local retailers Love Vinyl Records, Paradise Found Records, Twist & Shout, I Heart Denver, Mutiny Cafe, or buy online at Vinyl Me Please.