UK rockers Zen Motel have already graced the pages of Fame (in a recent CD review). That hugely impressive album inspired us to track down the band and interview them.
Here are the highlights from that chat with Zen Motel’s Lee Wray and Daz.
Hi guys, so firstly may we ask how the band formed?
The band evolved rather than formed. It initially started as a side project that morphed into the main concern when our respective bands collapsed and died . Its a constantly changing beast that adapts to survive, It will outlive us all.We at Fame Magazine loved your ‘We Want Your Love’ album. But can you perhaps describe it better to our readers. For example, just what you wanted to offer musically and how much time and energy went into making it become a reality?
With no label advance or trust fund, we had to find alternative ways to finance the recording of the album.
Two of the band members set up web cams and indulged in some, um… ‘adult entertainment’ online, which along with February’s ‘Cranked’ E.P release raised the funds required to record, press and release the album.
To keep budget at a minimum and interest in the sometimes laborious recording process at a maximum, once the basic tracks were recorded we decided to forsake the stale environment of the studio and roamed London armed with a battery powered recorder .
Vocals were recorded everywhere from friends’ bathrooms to abandoned vehicles and a particular infamous hotel. You self-produced the album and your hard work certainly paid off. Are you proud of what you achieved through the album?
Relived to have finished and released the album at last!!!!!.This was our forth attempt to make this record, having abandoned previous efforts due to lack of funding, line up changes and that bitch called life getting in the way.
Proud, for a independent band like us to gain the incredible reviews we have, and to even feature in the likes the The Sun and Classic Rock has really inspired to unleash an even bigger and better album. Maybe 2013 will be the year of the underdog.
What is next for the band, we heard a new EP and perhaps an album are in the works?
Baring death or imprisonment The new E.P should be out around April with a new album to follow late in the year and possibly a further album compiling previously unreleased tracks, bonus tracks, E.P tracks all freshly mixed and mastered. We’re also helping out another artist with pledge music campaign during the spring.
Who inspires Zen Motel musically?
o.k., here is the pretentious answer….we respect any music that is not solely produced for profit and is a true expression of self, we are more influenced by the world around us than any particular band or musicians.
I didn’t pick up a guitar to be like anyone else blah blah blah….the truth is our tastes and influences are so ‘uncool’, we wouldn’t even begin to embarrass ourselves by listing them.
How do the band go about writing a new song. Have you any methods of systems you use to construct a new piece of material?
We never sit down to write a song, they tend to just appear, usually when you least expect them and least want them. Generally Whoever writes the song knocks up a demo then emails it around the band and it’s generally met with ridicule, contempt and derision..a few pass the democratic band test and are allowed to be fully fledged Zen Motel songs.
Have you any tours planned for 2013 and are of the UK’s music festivals in your sights?
We havn’t the connections or bank balance to play the festivals at the moment, but we plan to play some shows later in the year after the next batch of recordings.
We’re not rushing back into the live circuit , it can be a heartbreaking and soul destroying experience, we’ve spent the last ten years playing every shithole in the country and really neglected the recording side.
You are now signed to US label A&G. Does that open the door to the US for you?
I feel a door analogy come on..o.k…we have a publishing deal with A&G, so it may not open doors but at least we can now see the door, and it’s possible to peer through the cracks. Although we have little or no interest in what lurks on the other side…door analogy over.
Finally may we ask you how the band wind down after a gig?
Lee – I usually hide in a dark corner somewhere
Daz – liquid and cigarettes
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