1- Hello, thanks for answering to our questions. What are you guys currently up to?
Right now we are taking a little time to relax after finishing the new CD and playing a few local shows so we can focus on doing press to promote the new release and our CD Release show in Seattle in January. It’s been great working with our label Minotauro Records and Clawhammer PR Team for promotion so far so we’re looking forward to 2015 being a great year for us.
2- First off, could you make some history of the band?
Zero Down was formed a little over ten years ago by myself (Lenny Burnett – guitar, vocals) and Mark «Hawk» Hawkinson our singer in Seattle. Long time friends from the scene here we just wanted to work together and see were it would go. After going through a few line ups, Ronnie Banner and Tyler Lindsey signed on to be the rhythm section and figure out who we were as a band. We recorded our first full length CD «Old Time Revival» in 2005 with Fred Speakman completing the line up on second guitar which was a mixture of 70’s Rock, 80’s Punk and Classic NWOBHM Metal. We followed that up with «Good Times At The Gates of Hell» in 2008 with Ed Repka art and got to open for a ton of great National acts like Accept, UFO, Prong, Diamond Head, etc… At that point exit Fred on second guitar and enter Matt Fox (Bitter End, Dr Unknown). Definitetly moved to a more metal influenced style and got back in the studio to record «Looking To Start A Riot» in 2011. After 10 years of commitment beating the drums for us Tyler said adios and Chris Gohde (My Sisters Machine) entered the fold. After a year of writing and playing live with the current line up we headed back into the studio with Martin Feveyear to record our upcoming release «No Limit To The Evil.»
3- How could you describe your sound?
Our sound has certainly gone through changes over the years as we had all these different influences in the beginning but I definitely think the last two records have become more focused and have a stronger sense of identity. There is certainly still some 70’s rock influences like Thin Lizzy in our sound but we are definitely an updated version of the early 80’s classic NWOBHM type bands. Think Accept, Priest, Maiden, Scorpions (Animal Magnetism, Lovedrive era), etc and you get the idea…Hopefully we do it with our own twist and capture the rawness those bands had before they got slicker and more commercialized in the mid-late 80’s.
4- What are the band’s main musical influences?
Ha…ha well I think I just answered the next question but our biggest influences collectively are definitley that Classic Metal Era of 78 – 83 really. You name it…From Diamond Head to Riot, Saxon to Mercyful Fate, list goes forever. We all definitely were way into the Thrash movement that came next but I don’t really hear much of that in our music.
5- How is the feedback for your new album being?
The record is just starting to get out there as the release date isn’t until Dec 15thbut everyone that has heard it so far is really digging it. I know we feel its our strongest release so far and the guys at the Label love it so..so far so good.
6- And are your personally satisfied with the final outcome?
Personally, totally satisfied. You know you start out on a journey of starting to write a batch of songs. One by one each song starts taking shape and its own identity. You play them live and see how they feel , make some adjustments and then before you know it you have enough to record a full length. You do as much preproduction as you can so you know you are prepared and then you go for it. I think pretty early on in the tracking I knew it was going to be strong and we had good sounds. Martin knows us so well and what type of sound we want so it was easy really. Great friends making music. I think it shows in the final product. It sounds like a real band playing some kick ass classic metal. How could I not be satisfied!
7- How could you describe this opus in just 3 words?
Classic Fucking Metal
8- How has the production process for your new release been?
I tell you this has been such an easy process to record this record, get the art done and get it all over to Minotauro and let them do what they do the best. Everything from working with Ed Repka on the artwork, Mike Savoia on the band photos, Priya Mahanti on layout design, Martin in the studio, Glenn & Marco at the Label, its been so easy and fun. Sometimes it can all be just a big frustration trying to get everything organized and done on time…but we are lucky man. Awesome people around us have made making this record such a killer experience.
9- And how do you use to work on the songwriting?
Songwriting in this band is definitely a group effort. Ronnie and I bring in the lion’s share of the material to work on but once we start hashing out the initial riffs and
song structure everyone becomes involved. Usually Ronnie and I will have pretty clear idea of whatever song we bring in as a general road map musically, but from there we beat it to death as a unit until we are happy with the music. From there we start working on the vocal lines and melodies. Sometimes we might have a vocal melody line in mind for the verses or chorus when we bring it in but it really doesn’t get fully realized until the music is structured and realized. Lyrics are a combination of Hawk, Ronnie and myself. Basically whoever has a vision runs with it usually…same with vocals ideas. Chris and Matt definitely get there two cents as well when we are working on the arrangements. I mean its critical that everyone feels a part of the song in my opinion no matter who may bring in the initial ideas.
10 – Finally, what are you near-future plans?
Well we are really excited about this new record and doing what we can to get it out there for people to hear it. However we can do that is what are plans are. I know we would really like to get over to Europe to tour for the first time but until then we will be playing in the States as much as we can and doing as much press as we can.
11- That’s all from our side, thanks again for taking your time to answer our questions. If you now want to add some final words; feel free to do it.
Just want to thank you and all the people that this reaches. The music industry is a tough scene out there now and more than ever it depends on the underground scene and zines like this to get the word out and help not only support the bands but keep the fans involved and connected. Metal is never gonna get the exposure it deserves but that’s ok. We are all connected because we love it and not because someone says it cool or popular! It’s a part of us whether we like or not! Horns way high!