INTERVIEW: The Zealots

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Sledge”?

Sledge was a fun track to write! We had a whole song written and the main riff of sledge was originally just the bridge. We stripped it down to just the riff cuz it seemed to work better than everything else we just worked on.

Did any event in particular inspired you to write this song?

The title came as an idea after we stripped it down when Ryan was at work using a sledge hammer. The riff in the song kinda hits you hard over and over… like a sledge. Be the hammer not the nail.

Any plans to release a video for the single?

We had a video lined up for sledge but decided to just release as an audio single because we got a cool opportunity to make a video for the second single of the record.

The single comes off your new album Only Rocks Live Forever – what’s the story behind the title?

The title of the album came from a time Ryan (guitar) and Adam(drums) were mowing their grandpas lawn. Our grandparents fed us after the yard work and our grandpa loves old westerns. He asked me (Ryan) to click “info” to see what was on the tv. The title was “only rocks live forever”. The concept is the intro of the title track of the album which is summed up … ”it’s not how long you live but how.” We live this out and fate and destiny shoot hands.

How was the recording and writing process?

The writing process was fun! We did it at our own pace this time without running behind or being rushed. When we got to recording it was a different story. Had a few studios we lined up fall through because of schedule conflicts. That ended up putting us out and behind. So we said “well looks like we’re doing this ourselves.” We had a friend (Dan Freitas) help out with drums, Mees van denBurg mix it, and Cameron Mizell master.

The way it all transpired played a huge roll in the naming of the album too.

What role does Iowa play in your music?

The Quad city area we come from has a lot of different influences musically. I don’t know yet how much of a role being a band from Iowa has played in our sound yet. I think we may have a better perspective once the day comes that we relocate and move on. Love our home town! Proud to represent the state of Iowa.

How did Old Western get to influence the writing on this album?

I think in another life we may have all been cowboys on the run in a gang resembling Buffalo Bills. Iowa is also the birthplace of Buffalo Bill. Coincidence?

Do you tend to take a different approach when you are collaborating with someone else rather than in your own?

Collaborations are always fun because the way you do things may change to accommodate the counterpart you’re working with. Always fun seeing how that works itself out or doesn’t. Compromise can move mountains. Always do you though.

What aspect of dreams did you get to explore on this record?

Everyday this band is a dream come true for us. We love doing what we do. A lot of us have never put out a full length before. This is The Zealots first full length as well so a lot of firsts!

Any plans to hit the road?

We have a Midwest tour in June with more dates to be announced.

What else is happening next in The Zealots’ world?

We just premiered our new single for “ Tangerine Dreams” on AltPress!


About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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