Zilch. – Interview
Interview with Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (http://petesrocknewsandviews.com)
PD: What type of artist are you?
Z: We’re a 3-piece band who like to have fun on stage and make a lot of noise whilst keeping some melody and pop sensibilities. But it’s a lot of screaming guitar, dirty bass and pounding drums.
PD: Tell us the brief history of yourself.
Z: We formed in early 2018 with the intent of it being a side project, but due to other projects falling through, it became a full-time band. We fleshed some old ideas of Thom’s to begin with and then started writing completely new material and had a set within a couple of weeks. Since then, we’ve released 3 singles independently and tried to play and write as much as we can. We’ve all known each other for a long time and had a lot of common interests in music so thought it was time to write some tunes and drink some beers.
PD: Who are your musical and non-musical influences?
Z: We have a few similar musical interests like old school rock like Aerosmith, a lot of punk, the whole late 80’s and 90′ alternative scene and the heavier side of metal. I guess Mudhoney, Violent Soho, Nirvana and Queens of the Stone Age are up there. Away from music we’re probably influenced by trying to have a good time while having shit jobs and shit brains. We like to laugh and drink mostly.
PD: What are your dreams and goals?
Z: Pretty much what most other bands and musical artists goals are – to be able to live comfortably being a musician, doing what we love doing. Sure, we’d like to have lots of fans and to tour and see amazing places and people, but just having the freedom to play together in a dingy venue is still amazing.
PD: Who writes your songs, what are they about?
Z: It’s become more of a joint effort since the first couple of months of rehearsing together and we’re writing collectively pretty much exclusively now. The bulk of our first material was Thom’s old ideas that never surfaced in any past bands. Cal: Thom writes all the lyrics and I honestly don’t know exactly what he writes about but I know he aims for it to be open to interpretation but it’s not about elves and trolls. T: I guess we interpret the songs differently and I think that’s why the lyrics are more open and less targeted at myself on a personal level. It means anyone can hear the lyrics or read them and put their own spin on it. I mean, isn’t that the reason humans relate to music so much?
PD: How do you promote your band and shows?
Z: Social media. It can be really hard to do as it’s such a precise art with what you post and what hashtags you use, etc. In our experience, some venues leave pretty much all of the promo to the bands. The thing is, there are so many people that love going to gigs, but when the venue doesn’t muscle in on promoting it can make it seem like they really don’t care, which doesn’t make sense. Gig-goers will keep your venue busy and they’ll more than likely come back if the venue has a strong promotion campaign leading up to gigs. We sort of try and specialise in shit memes and crude photoshopping. We don’t want to be taken too seriously or seem too corporate, so it kind of works. I guess we promote the band by being as energetic as we can on stage and hopefully people who watch us tell people they know, word of mouth is effective.
PD: What do you think about downloading music online?
Z: It’s a catch 22 really. It’s great that digital media via purchase and download are so accessible, but there are only a handful of people who will buy both formats – digital and physical. When bands go through the trouble of making CD’s, it’s nice to buy them and support them. So much cost goes into it and I imagine it can be really gruelling for a touring band when people decide to buy it online because it’s cheaper. It’s rare to have music in a tangible format these days, I think we should appreciate it when it comes around. For us, we’re at a point where we just want people to hear our music. If someone chucks us a couple of quid then that’s rad, we’ve got children and animals to feed, but I guess we just want them to come see us play and remember to keep an eye on us for more gigs and releases.
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
Z: Cal: At the moment “In n out of grace” by Mudhoney just coz it’s a fucking belter. But I’ve always said “Lithium” by Nirvana is kind of perfect levels of singalong, noise and guts, or “Hurt” by Nine Inch Nails. It’s awesome and then Johnny Cash would have covered us. Thom: One that I haven’t written yet because it’s probably going to be catchy as hell. Seriously though, I don’t think I’d wish to have written anybody elses songs because I wouldn’t have those songs to influence my writing. Plus, music is definitely a time and place kind of thing – when you write songs, they’re moulded by your experiences as a human being. Crag: Anything that’s good and makes loads of money.
PD: What are some of your pet peeves?
Z: Cal: I guess bands that try and be on trend too much. Trying to be too current means that you probably won’t mean shit in 2 years. Away from music and on a way less fun note, I really hate whaling and the fur trade. Crag: Kidney beans and Coldplay. Thom: Anyone who treats store assistants or anyone in the service industry like they don’t matter. I hate that.
PD: What is your proudest moment in music?
Z: Cal: I got my grade 2 on trumpet when I was 11, that was rad. There’s an annual charity festival in our hometown, where every venue, pub, bar and tattoo shop puts on free gigs for the weekend. This year we played and it was super rammed and a lot of fun. It was nice to be a part of such a big, feel good setup where everyone was having a good time. Thom: My second performance in high school. It was my first time singing and playing guitar in front of anyone and I nearly didn’t do it. I’m proud that I did as I probably wouldn’t be doing this now. Crag: Proudest musical moment is either playing a sold out show at the Kentish forum town or London Scala.
PD: So what are you working on at the moment?
Z: We’re working on an EP due for release in Spring 2020. It’s gonna be really fun. We want to get that in as many people’s ears as possible, gig and tour it as much as we can. After that, we’ll record an album and chuck that at people. We should have a single out a couple of months before it’s released. If you come and see us, you’ll hear it. We’re just not gonna tell you which song it is
PD: Tell us about your next shows and why we should be there.
Z: We have 3 home town shows lined up over December including a New Year’s Eve shindig. We have a few shows nailed on for the new year, the first is in Gloucester at the Dick Whittington – we’re playing in the basement part of the venue so it’ll be an intense, fun set. We have another one on the 23rd at Marrs Bar with Time of the Mouth, Like Giants and Kick the Clown. It’s an Uncover Christmas special which is organised by radio 6. Great bands so you should check them out (and us).