Check out the Zolas at Republik on November 9th! Hope to see you all there! XOXO Christine
Talking to Ladywood Music from Montreal, where they were spending some time rehearsing in between shows, Zach Gray (left) from The Zolas chatted with us in between bites of a smoked meat sandwich about their latest release, touring around the country and what he believes is the secret to happiness.
You guys have been on tour for quite a while with Hollerado, how has that experience been?
They’re a good group of guys. They’re a good band and they’re the type of people that manage to be a lot of fun while also being consummate professionals. And it’s fun to travel with guys like that because you get better sounchecks in, you get a better sound. Touring is a skill- you get better at it as you go and once you’ve done a few tours, you become more comfortable with it, and I think both our bands are at that stage right now.
What do you think you've learned from touring?
I think I've learned that you are always going to crave a way of being that you’re not. One of the best things that I ever wrote- once in a while you write a line that just totally expresses what you’re thinking and feeling perfectly and the song You’re Too Cool has a line that says “on the road I dream of home, and when at home I dream of action” and that’s pretty much what touring teaches you. You really look forward to going away and seeing all these new places and meeting new people, but all it takes is a couple weeks for you to think of all the things you can’t do on tour that you can do at home. And I think the secret to happiness is going back and forth between the two all the time.
“Youre too Cool” is one of The Zolas best tracks and one of the best recent tracks about the Vancouver music scene (mainly the Biltmore) and the touring lifestyle of the band, off of their first record Tic Toc Tic
I guess you always kind of crave what you can’t have.
Yeah when you think about it, the only thing that matches the feeling of leaving home after you’ve been home for a long time is going on an adventure. The only thing that matches that is coming home after an adventure.
Do you think being on the road so much and touring so much has changed the direction the music has taken? You’re music has really evolved over time and do you think touring has had anything to do with that?
I don’t think it’s necessarily touring no but we do get to know each others musical tastes a lot better when we’re touring. Your musical tastes get thrown into the well and everyone sort of contributes and injects their appetites into what you’re all listening to and it comes out in the music.
You're kind of forced to be creative?
You’re forced to get excited about new things.
What kind of new music are you excited about right now?
Well the new Arcade Fire album, the new Danny Brown album, we listen to a lot of rap. I don’t know what that means for an indie band.
Zach is all sorts of excited about the new Danny Brown album...and to be honest so are we. Take a listen to one of his classics "Grown up" below, and read a review of the infamous rappers newest release "Old" here.
I wanted to ask you about the Knot in My Heart music video and how you felt about being a stop motion character? It’s a really beautiful video but it seems like the process just would have taken forever.
It sucked. I hated that. I hated every second of it. It was so long. Especially because we were expecting it to only take 3 nights, which is long enough but it took like 6 days. It’s not a super high concept video but I think we put a lot of effort into making it look good. We were doing normal stuff during the day and putting in long hours writing or whatever and afterwards, instead of going to bed or chilling out we went to film more of the video. You end up standing in the street for 8 hours from dark until the sun came out moving an inch and a half every 4-5 seconds. It was long exposures because we only used native light. It was like standing there doing glacial tai-chi in the street. By the 6th day we were all so out of it and I’m pretty sure if somebody accidentally killed another person we would have been able to get off on grounds of insanity. Apparently if you kill someone after 3 days of no sleep, it’s legal.
The slinky, ultra-catchy tune makes good use of stop-motion effects, as singer-guitarist Zachary Gray and pianist Tom Dobrzanski slide through a city as if on conveyor belts. Check out the striking but labour intensive video below.
Check out the Zolas at Republik on November 9th! Hope to see you all there!
Fun Fact: Zach has previously said that The Zolas second record Ancient Mars feels like “a Grizzly Bear record, if Grizzly Bear sold out.” Here’s his fav Grizzly Bear track. from their 2009 album Veckatimest.
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