You draw inspiration from Arabic/Asian contexts that appear in your music and your artwork as well. How did you get in touch with the subject?
I've been a traditional world music enthusiast for quite some time. I've always had a fascination with ancient culture, geography, mysticism, mythology
and the supernatural. As such, it was a natural progression for this to be the basis of ZAUM.
What is the lyrical concept you pursue on "Oracles"? It's pretty much a concept record, isn't it?
It revolves around the aforementioned points - Arabic/Asian culture with a bit of an unspoken supernatural twist of sorts. The record lyrically gives the
listener a set of boundaries of sorts and from there it's up to the individual to determine the message based on the clues and ideas.
I'm amazed by the fact that you are a two piece, actually I only found out when reading your bio after having heard the record three or four times. What are the challenges
connected to this when performing live?
It's certainly a little more challenging in respect to fully being in the spotlight, neither of us have anything to hide behind musically. That said - the record
was recorded in a way where I didn't want it to be over-layered and then in turn the presentation would fall short in the live form, which isn't the case as you'll witness if/when you have
the opportunity to experience ZAUM in physical form.
ZAUM is a pretty new group but Chris also fronts mighty IRON GIANT while Kyle used to do the same for incredible SHEVIL. What other groups are you involved with and how does the songwriting work in ZAUM?
There are no other bands I'm actively involved in at the moment. SHEVIL recorded our second effort just short of two years ago and it was just released on vinyl (Ltd 100 copies,
hand numbered, available now via shevil.bandcamp.com) in July. Chris also sings in a NWOBHM band called KONJURER in his spare time. I'm actually recording their debut record at present.
As far as writing goes, I'll hit record on whatever - pick up a bass and start playing. Sometimes I'll discover that I've lost myself in a groove or vibe and I'll go back to the recording
and isolate that section otherwise I'll forget it entirely after the fact. I'll typically have all or most of the parts for a specific piece and I'll bring them to the table with Chris for
further structural discussion.
The songs transport plenty of mysticism and I was wondering in how far you are spiritual people on a daily basis? Do you do yoga or shit … you seem to be beer drinkers rather … how come you make these ethereal sounds?
I'm not spiritual in the natural sense of the word at all. I listen to plenty of pure atmospheric music which I suppose I celebrate with a peaceful state of mind.
I actually don't smoke anything or drink beer, though I'm known to indulge in a bottle of Jack Daniels on occasion ;) Chris definitely enjoys the weedian delicacy and his fair share of
beers haha! I think it all comes from within the mind, I find an ultimate state of harmony with the universe when I tap into and exercise ZAUM. I suppose you could say it's my form of yoga.
Considering the work you have done with your other bands I'm really irritated by the fact that Chris said in an interview that he has never
earned a cent - might the I HATE deal also turn out well for your other bands as far as publicity goes or do you all have contracts already?
I HATE have been absolutely fantastic to work with, we're beyond ecstatic to have had this opportunity. Oracles has been reviewed over 40 times now in 18
different countries - the feedback is overwhelming. Our ideal dream is to do ZAUM indefinitely and have it sustain itself, and beyond that who knows. The record industry is certainly in a
sad state, but at least with the resurgence of vinyl in the last 7-8 years, hopefully the public can once again become accustomed to putting value into physical formats of music again.
What is the scene in New Brunswick/Moncton like, which bands rule and how come IRON GIANT opened up for Marilyn Manson? Any anecdotes concerning this one?
Moncton has always had an incredible scene. Bands like ERIC'S TRIP, ELEVATOR TO HELL and THE MONOXIDES came out of Moncton and made a big impact within
North America and for a long time Moncton was looked at as the new Seattle of the music scene. There's always been a ton of real quality musical diversity out of this city and for that we
have been lucky. I think people take it for granted and can't see it for what it is most of the time. IRON GIANT has been a band since 2001 and they ended up snagging that slot opening for
Marilyn Mansion when their support band Die Mannequin from Toronto had to bow out due to an injury within the band - if my memory serves.
Back to ZAUM and "Oracles" many people mentioned OM and YOB after having listened to the record. I'd like to let the artists speak for themselves, what were your primary influences for this album?
I'd say my biggest influence during and just previous to the time of writing this album was LUSTMORD. Other bands like BATHORY, GHOST, THE BODY, TANGERINE DREAM,
MELVINS, IDES OF GEMINI, WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM, Brian Eno, BORIS and of course OM definitely all played a factor. Funny enough, the Om comparisons we get seem to get stem mostly from
our single, "Omen" which I actually wrote on an acoustic guitar and shelved in 2007 prior to ever having heard OM! I was late getting on board with that band - I only discovered them when I
got a package from Southern Lord in the mail in late 2008 or 2009 they included a whole bunch of promo posters, one of which was for "Pilgrimage" and thought to check it out. OM are easily one
of the top 3 active bands so the comparisons to them don't bother us in the least, we're flattered. You have to consider, how many 2-piece drum and bass bands with a doom/atmospheric/world
music influence are there?
As such, the OM comparisons are inevitable. SLEEP are total Black Sabbath worship and they wear it on their sleeve with pride - people are influenced by what
they like is the true simplicity of it. As far as YOB goes, strangely I've never listened to a whole song of theirs before! Not out of dislike, just due to circumstance.
I do love the new "Lumbar" record though.
Do you think innovation is something which is a necessity for ZAUM or do you focus one writing a catchy tune?
I try not to let any external factors affect whatever the creation dictates. Patience is definitely a virtue of ours so I suppose that is a necessity.
The only thing I truly consider is whether it feels like a special trip for me. Whether anyone likes it, I really don't have any control over and ultimately of course, you can never please everyone (but hopefully yourself).
Did you drop any songs because they wouldn't fit the concept of the record? Are there any mission statements, rules or anything like that everything has such a conceptual design … there must be some rules at least …
There were at least a couple of songs that we had been working on that I have recorded somewhere that didn't end up making it to the record. We completely forget them at this point, they may very well be revisited this fall when we sit down to write/record our new record. We have a new song fully written which hasn't been recorded yet and it seems as though it's going to clock in around 18 minutes - time will tell!
Are they any dates scheduled for Europe?
Yes indeed there are! Here are the tour dates as of now for 2014.
Sept 17 - Liège, BE @ TBA
Sept 18 - Antwerp, BE @ Music City
Sept 19 - Mönchengladbach, DE @ Wetschewell *
Sept 20 - Cologne, DE @ Limes *
Sept 21 - Tilburg, NL @ Incubate Festival
Sept 24 - Copenhagen, DK @ Stengade
Sept 25 - Linköping, SE @ L'Orient ^
Sept 26 - Lund, SE @ TBA ^
Sept 27 - Jönköping, SE @ Insikten ^
Sept 28 - Oslo, NO @ Vulcan Arena #
Sept 30 - Dresden, DE @ Chemiefabrik
Oct 1 - Berlin, DE @ The Jägerklause *
Oct 2 - Rostock, DE @ Jaz *
Oct 3 - Brno, CZ @ Boro
Oct 4 - Bardejov, SL @ BAŠTA - Culture Centrum
Oct 6 - Timisoara, RO @ Atelier DIY
Oct 7 - Bucharest, RO @ Club Underworld
Oct 8 - Szeged, HU @ Live Music Club
Oct 9 - Sarajevo, BIH @ FisKultura
Oct 10 - Beltinci, SI @ Ambasada ŠKM
Oct 11 - Linz, AT @ Kapu
Oct 12 - Bistrica ob Sotli, SI @ Klub Metulj
Oct 13 - Maribor, SI @ Gustaf Hall - Pekarna
Oct 14 - Pilsen, CZ @ Divadlo pod Lampou
Oct 15 - Vienna, AT @ Arena ~
Oct 16 - Jicín, CZ @ Bar Na Starym
Oct 17 - Leipzig, DE @ TBA
Oct 18 - Hannover, DE @ TBA
^ denotes with Ocean Chief
* denotes with Grant National
~ denotes with Mantar
# denotes with Hymn
You can order ZAUM - Oracles on CD/LP/Cassette or Digitally via http://zaum.bandcamp.com