Andy talks to Chris & James V of NITRO ZEUS
Hi Guys, thanks for taking the time to do this interview with me. Can you tell us a little about Nitro Zeus?
James V: Hi Andy! This is Chris the drummer. Well, James V (guitar) and I started jamming about 2 years ago. We started looking for bassist and vocalist around this Time last year and by October the band was complete. We recorded 2 songs shortly after. Crawls and augment (both quite different from each other) I guess we explore different rock sounds. From heavy groove/blues and some punk and some elements of metal. We did our first live show in March. Have about 6 shows under our belt. A few more planned before we move onto our EP release around late September. I guess we’re seeing we’re it will take us and not trying to get too comfortable. We’re onstantly writing songs and thinking of ideas for absurd promo videos for our gigs. Hopefully, we can produce a proper music video later this year. Thatd be cool. Across the band our influences are 70s hard rock/blues, Japanese metal, classical music, black metal. Fairly diverse but (mostly) all guitar-based. I’m just kinda rattling things off while I wait for a flight so hopefully this is alright. It’s a good start I think!
Swedish wave death & thrash metal – not black metal Its taken me a little while to figure out the guitar influences metal wise but yeah Chris has covered us really well
I can definitely hear the punk influence in your lyrics, and the general attitude in the music. How do you set about writing tracks? Is it a collaboration between all members or do you have one or two that come up with all the ideas?
We have a pretty standard songwriting procedure. James V usually writes the epic riffs and structure and brings a nearly complete song. After he shows us we all do our own parts and sometimes play with the structure here and there. Sometimes from the first version to finished song a lot can change. With lyrics James V and Zichxyna work on the lyrics together. They bounce of each others ideas really well and creates the soul of the song really. We really love our concepts and building on them. Some songs may have essentially a part two where the concept/story continues and evolves.
We all really want everyone to have their own part in the process, we feel that when we all bring something to the table it’s really what helps us create our sound.
That is an interesting way of writing, not many bands that I can think of write a part two to their songs, in the form of a concept. I do like songs that have a secondary part, which, in turn depict another part of a story/theme.
Yeah it kind of happened naturally though. I guess some songs had a similar feel and lead to us continuing the story.
How does your sound/style fit into the Australian scene? I know the scene is massive at the moment over there.
It’s hard to tell just yet. We’ve played a few different genre gigs from rock, punk, to metal and the crowd responded well. This is probably something James V and Chris could answer better as I’ve only recently taken a focus on the Australian music scene. But in terms of heavier music there is a massive scene here, there’s something for everyone really.
I know the heavier bands, as I used to manage a few of them. I am sure that your shows will grow once the word starts to spread. What does a typical Nitro Zeus show consist of?
Here’s a quote from James V that perfectly explains musically and our lives. ” Expect pissy guitar, nice guitar, foul language, bass slides, some piano and perhaps some brutal growling vocals on the odd occasion, as required. Some kind blues/metal/prog/rock abomination”
Defines Nitro Zeus perfectly. Although there are many genres incorporated in your music, you still, somehow, manage to sound original.
James V: Thanks Andy! We weren’t really sure how the sound was going to develop and still be able to be identifiable. We’ve had feedback from live gig on our sound and vocals being something different in a positive way. We have recorded an EP for release later in the year. We feel there’s a few surprises for people yet to come as we keep playing live and developing our sound. We change our set of originals to suit different events and to introduce our new songs.
Sounds good to me. To be individual these days is a hard act. How many tracks will be on the EP? I am sure that the EP will find a lot of new fans, not just down under but across the metal globe.
There will be 3 more studio tracks and we will include our first 2 singles as bonus tracks – so it’ll bs a great way to grab a physical copy of all of our releases so far. We’ve got special plans for the artwork and hope it’ll be something people really enjoy. We really look forward to getting our music out there and have been steadily been writing new tracks, many of which we play live. We’ll be releasing a video in coming months to announce the release and give people a bit of a taste what to expect. We hope people enjoy our releases as much as we have making them!
I like it when bands put a lot of time and effort into their releases, something special for existing and potential new fans. A lot of bands just don’t bother anymore and just throw any old image onto their covers. Especially videos, not many bands bother with them either, which is a shame. Video uploads are one of the most important ways to attract new fans via various social media sites. How do you see social media, good or bad for bands?
We enjoy producing content – so videos for us are very fun to put together and show some of our sense of humor. For us its an opportunity to connect to our audience and share our experiences as a band. We created a private group we call club zeus in which we invite people to, people who go to our gigs or have helped us along the way at some point. For us it’s a way to personally thank people for their support and share behind the scenes pics and videos – offer early release previews run competitions – sell discount tickets to our shows. Social media enables bands to connect to the audience in ways that were not possibly/practical in the past. Social media is what you make of it – for us it is a tool and we are still finding new ways to engage with the people who follow us. How social media in a broad perspective with individuals may be a different matter i.e. self-esteem issues, cyberbullying, hate groups etc. Over time the full extent for society will play out I guess.
That is exactly how I see social media. A great way to interact with the fans. I think to many bands take things too seriously. It is good to have a sense of humor and a laugh with what you are doing.
What other plans do Nitro Zeus have for the future?
Really looking forward to our EP coming out later in the year and keep gigging its been a lot of fun so far. If people jump on our page and start watching a video – from the absurdity of our humor a narrative is forming – this will tie into the lyrics over time. Kind of like a broader concept linking everything we do with characters in videos and the concepts if the song. The story has only just started. Chris said it best in another interview – “We’re teasing you slowly”.
I am sure that a lot of new fans will discover your music and have a lot of fun watching the band blossom. Thanks for taking the time to talk to me. I wish you well in the future.
Thanks Andy, it’s been a really good interview. Cheers from TEAM ZEUS