They Called Him Zone – Interview
Interview with Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (http://petesrocknewsandviews.com)
PD: What type of artist are you?
Steve: Are you after a description or a value judgement? Our music’s a blend of mangled rock guitars and sultry electronics. As regards the latter, I guess it’s not for us to say!
PD: Tell us the brief history of yourself.
Steve: Mik and I have been friends for a long time – we both played in rock bands in Leeds at a time when that wasn’t really fashionable, so that established a certain sense of camaraderie.
Then a few years ago Mik played me some tracks he was working on, and asked if I’d be interested in collaborating. Since I’d also become a lot more interested in electronic music, it was fortuitous timing. We’ve released a few EPs, and now we’re putting out our first album.
PD: Who are your musical and non-musical influences?
Steve: It’s a total cliché, but it was punk rock that inspired me to pick up a guitar. Steve Jones, Ron Ashton, Roland S. Howard, to name just a few – those were the people who made me want to play in a band. Josh Homme’s been a favourite guitar player for a while now. And in recent years I’ve really liked Annie Clark’s approach.
I think the anti-hero in Harry Harrison’s Stainless-Steel Rat novels, which I read as a kid, has probably been as consistent an influence on my life philosophy as anyone.
PD: What are your dreams and goals?
Steve: I think, like a lot of people, I’ve probably set my sights a little lower in recent months – just going for a drink with a few friends seems like a utopian pipe dream right now!
PD: Who writes your songs, what are they about?
Steve: The music is a collaborative effort, and Mik writes the lyrics. I guess we gravitate towards the big themes – sex and death – and a bunch of stuff in between.
PD: How do you promote your band and shows?
Steve: A lot of it’s been DIY, using social media and good, old-fashioned flyers when we play in Leeds and Bradford. But we’ve used a couple of different PR companies to publicise releases, such as the album that’s coming out soon.
PD: What do you think about downloading music online?
Steve: I use YouTube and Spotify if I just want to check out something. If I find myself streaming something more than a few of times though, I’ll do the right thing and buy it on some physical format. I do like vinyl – even if I end up listening to the digital download for convenience most of the time, a vinyl record can be a nice object d’art.
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
Steve: I’m sure any one of a number of perennial Christmas hits would keep us in the lifestyle to which we’ve become accustomed. Either that or ‘Your Pretty Face Is Going To Hell’.
PD: What are some of your pet peeves?
Steve: Cant. And instant coffee.
PD: What is your proudest moment in music?
Steve: No one specific event, but you do get those moments in the studio when some kind of magic happens and the hairs stand up on the back of your neck. That’s a good feeling.
PD: So what are you working on at the moment?
Steve: We have our own studio space, so we’ve always got a bunch of tracks on the hard drive in various states of completion. Other than that, just talking to good people like you in anticipation of the record coming out, and pondering how and when we’ll get to play live again.
PD: What music have you available online and where can we buy it from?
Steve: Our debut album – ‘If You’ve Got A Taste For Terror’ – will be out on 4th September 2020. You’ll be able to buy it on our Bandcamp (link via our main site www.theycalledhimzone.com) or from all the usual digital outlets.
They Called Him Zone links:
Band/Artist location – Bradford England
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