This band will go far, they have a strong potential and a fierce desire, an internationally recognized talent and a rare altruism in the metal environment… I had a chance to interview via mail (September 27, 2011) band’s (very) nice SHAG, bassist of the powerful ZUUL FX, French band of great magnitude that has not finished to offer sacred (good) surprises. ZUUL FX is working hard now on the shooting of two new videos for the new album “The Torture Never Stops” (XIIIbis Records – 2011). The two chosen tracks are “The Torture Never Stops” and “The Song Of The Dead”. The band is also, since the beginning of August, working on the writing of the new album. The release should be early 2012.
MEL DELACROIX: What’s up for ZUUL FX after the concerts of the Hellfest, the Bataclan with Cavarela Conspiracy and another (at Blois, France) with Sepultura ? Any holidays?
SHAG: The holidays we passed contributing different ideas and already well advanced songs that we have in stock. We have made the point on the musical direction of the band and we have been working on new titles. We are also committed to finding new partners for this new “season”.
S: The answer is Yes without hesitation! We are with a lot of ideas and we are eager to bring our output of albums from the past. Not question of course of rush, the next disk to return is scheduled in the short term, but we want to give more time to the creations we have at this time. We have made a few concerts in September but the bulk of our work is in the studio now.
MD: What is your musical direction? still more technical & brutal?
S: You’re right, on “the torture never stops” ( XIIIBIS Records 2011) we wanted to propose a more technical aspect of our music. The fans are not deceived and they recognized well our style “metal rock’n roll”, but they could also enjoy a finer, more technical game and finally, the appearance of “guitar solos”, something that we had a less prior to this album. The new songs are therefore in this vein. Very aggressive guitar riffs, offering often different lines… It is ZUUL FX of 100% !
MD: How would you define that ZUUL FX is different (because it is!) than other frenchs bands, and what you can tell about working in the music scenes?
S: It is a difficult question because to respond fairly, I should know of the other bands aspects… But here we’re often talking about groups that we happen to see only in festivals playing just a short time, so I haven’t have a chance to analyse them, so far… The only thing I can tell you is that to make a “credible” band in the world of metal in France, it is to stay in its place and on the other hand to know precisely how to take the place at the time … Many bands release an album and go up on stage and they are convinced to be at the top… often there is no any challenge between French bands.. That’s why you often see the same concert from one year to another, even if the songs are new… With ZUUL FX we try to offer a well-thought “show”, and to get on stage to do it. We work 90% of the time repeating and creating an atmosphere around the songs so that people will remember our passage in their town, and it works. ZUUL FX is known also for its benefits shows… It may be what makes us different from the other bands…
MD: I know Steeve (singer) is very voluntary, applying a real approach of personal investment in this band (regular positioning in the press, studied look, design & artwork, various sacrifices) which is generally a way of doing professional but very American way. What is your feeling about this? would you be ready to accept a greater media coverage, and why not become a French “Metallica” (For my opinion you could!)?
S: We are of course, in this sense, to all media coverages are good to take. You know, when you develop in a musical “niche” as the metal is, starting from the principle that no one does, you know! Hahaha, so anything that can do for your band, it’s worth wile to take it. There is no big risk in the sense that in any event, those that will interest you, will relatively be in “the target” of your work so it may be positive. Yes we are working on us as we say because we try not to fall in conformity and old complexes of inferiority that the French bands can have in the rock’n roll… The French musicians play well as any other musicians, but they just have to free themselves from all these years of worshiping Anglo-Saxon bands …. It is finished this time. Long live the pub !
MD: Do you live your music? What do you think about the new situation on the sharing of music (various platforms, piracy, decrease in the sale of CDs etc…) do you think it pollutes and plunder the artists? What is the miracle solution (if it exists) for a band of your genre to continue to exist? always more live shows?
S: Unfortunately we cannot make living by our music. The current trend of the organizers of concerts is to believe that they are the ones that fix the prices for the bands. You know, you need to know to be nice with someone who offers you to play a night for 500 euros at the other side of France or in Belgium… Forgive me the expression, but this is a fucking stupid way to think. If they want ZUUL FX that’s fine, but ZUUL FX has a price. And although this “award” is quite reasonable it’s always “too expensive” to them… Those guys just want that you come and play for nothing … What they want is only your name on the poster for the people, but about the rest they do not really care. And then what? The public finds an average concert and the next year the same event gets only half of the audience than before, and that means less money for the bands. This is a vicious circle … ZUUL FX suffers a little of it indeed, because the concerts for a band like we are (or could represent) only 75% of our benefits. For the rest, the CD piracy doesn’t do too bad to a band like us … But the perverse side of this is that the labels become timid and you are not getting the service that you’d deserve… And I swear to you that it is irritating in the long run to see fans in the concerts who complain not finding your album when they wanted to buy it! Therefore it’s quite normal they download it … and it is not me who blame them for that! I do not think that there is any miracle solution around … but to have more “balls” in the music business wouldn’t harm it! Hahahaha !
S: We would be delighted! A video game, a film, a tv-serie… Yes it would be perfect! The film could be a good horror film full of zombies, or a good policeman with car prosecutions of Mad Max… This would be the top.
MD: Tv, drummer, singer, bassist, Space Pirat, you’re very eclectic! What are your other talents or your future desires (musical ones or others)?
S: I started when I was young with the battery, then the guitar, the song, the bass… It was a fairly normal process when you’re interested in music in general. My wife gives me courses of Viola (violin) at the moment and I must say that I love it … You know, sometimes I dream whether I should only sing and flat all the song ideas that I have in my mind… but it is really very hard! All the instruments of the world are nothing compared to the one that you have in your throat… the vocal cords are a mystery to me… Hahaha ! but now you have to explain me how you are aware of Space Pirats! Hahaha…! but there were also other names: Human BBQ and Flying Pizza for example… Finally, ask my wife about my hidden talents (malicious wink…)
MD: You are the very ambitious and still young and spirited band. A (true) concept album or a double album with progressive inclinations would be conceivable? When you’re listening to the last “The Torture…”, it tells me that you dare to express yourselves…
S: I haven’t forbidden anything, that’s true, but I do not think that the “progressive” side is for us right now. ZUUL FX prefers the “songs” rather than riffs. Our titles are deliberately short and often with classical structure “verse – chorus”. This is what we love to do. Effective songs with catchy choruses. We have a very “pop” approach in the musical creation. Let the progressive to those who know it better than we do. But who know, maybe some day…
MD: Political question: a few months ago was held in France the presidential election, do you have a positioning and/or comments to this date (I did not say “revocation…”)… any perspective? You are in sync with the times or is there any hold on your artistic work?
S: You know, it has no effect on our decision-making on our artistic work, fortunately… Personally I hate bands with political claims. They that call themselves “revolutionary” and who spend their time to spit on the Government, is especially unbearable for me as the extreme-right (or left elsewhere) bands who sing their ideas… That really pisses me off…! The music is not for it. They use music to convey ideas but not in a creative sense … And many times they are bands that have no talent so they are forced to write protests etc…It often happens in the rock genre… but fortunately it’s rare in the metal…
S: This is my very personal opinion, and the other members of ZUUL FX don’t certainly think in the same way as I… But I thought about well to your question, and indeed it is very hard… But I have just asked me whether, despite all the good albums of lots of different bands that I like, what are those which I am never bored about…so you want three? OK, then of course I would give you: Def Leppard “Pyromania”, Killswitch
Engage “The End Of Eartache” and Motley Crue “Too Fast For Love”… But hell, it’s too hard to limit it to only 3 albums!
MD: I leave to you the words to close this interview…
S: The final words are always difficult but I would say that all this small world of the metal would be nothing without the public. It’s not the demagoguery that I do here, but I just think that if some people replied to these questions: “who do I buy disks”? “why do I go to the concerts?”, so maybe the public would surely be more happy and more important: more numerous. Friends of the business, just know to make pleasure to those who live. Stop to fuck off the public, bye disks of quality and come to see the shows !
MD: Big Thanks Shag !
Interview by Mel Delacroix
For more information, please visit: http://www.zuulfx.com
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