Legendarily influential heavy music act Zao is in the studio working on a brand new album, the follow-up to their 2006 record, The Fear Is What Keeps Us Here. As I Lay Dying frontman Tim Lambesis and Daniel Castleman are heading up the proceedings, together with Zao's Scott Mellinger, for what is shaping up to be another monumental Zao album. "We simply can not wait for everyone to hear these new songs," says longtime guitarist Mellinger. "We have not been on the road since the Demon Hunter and Throwdown tours in 2006, which has given us plenty of time to get our wits about us and to really concentrate on creating the best batch of material we possibly can." Zao's Where Blood & Fire Bring Rest was recently hailed as "one of the most the most influential albums of 1998" by Alternative Press magazine. That album, which introduced frontman Dan Weyandt to the heavy music scene, and followup Liberate te ex Inferis, which introduced guitarist and songwriter Mellinger, continue to be cornerstone albums to a new generation of bands drawing influence from Zao's dark, passionate and creative music. "Zao is a band that has influenced all types of bands in the heavy music genre, from the Deftones and to my band," offers Lambesis. "I'm very excited be a part of bringing them the production their band has always deserved. This record will be the Zao sound that fans and musicians like myself have been waiting to hear for a long time." The lineup for this Zao album is the same as The Fear...: Longtime co-conspirators Weyandt and Mellinger alongside bass player Martin Lunn and drummer Jeff Gretz (From Autumn to Ashes). "Recording Jeff Gretz's drums was the most relaxing and professional studio experience I've ever been a part of," boasts Lambesis. "That guy is a true pro and the standard by which I will judge every other drummer I record at Lambesis Studios in the future." Zao's new album will be released in 2009 via Ferret Music.
Greensburg, Pennsylvania's ZAO have finalized the track listing for their new album, "The Fear Is What Keeps Us Here", due on June 13 via Ferret. The band recorded at Electrical Audio in Chicago with the studio's famed owner, Steve Albini, at the helm. Albini approached ZAO himself and captured their intense energy (with the use of analog tape and absolutely no computer technology!) as he has for countless important bands including NIRVANA, THE PIXIES, HIGH ON FIRE and NEUROSIS, to name a few. "The Fear Is What Keeps Us Here" (view artwork here) track listing: 01. Cancer Eater 02. Physician Heal Thyself 03. Everything You Love Will Soon Fly Away 04. It's Hard Not To Shake With A Gun In Your Mouth 05. Kingdom Of Thieves 06. Killing Time 'Til Its Time To Die 07. There Is No Such Thing As Paranoia 08. Purdy Young Blondes With Lobotomy Eyes 09. My Love, My Love (We've Come Back From The Dead) 10. American Sheets On The Deathbed 11. A Last Time For Everything The limited-edition "deluxe" version of "The Fear Is What Keeps Us Here" will include a "massive" booklet featuring original artwork by Asterik Studios (BLEEDING THROUGH, NORMA JEAN) and a full-length DVD chronicling the making of ZAO's newest album. ZAO were recently forced to drop off the Ferret Music "Under the Gun Tour" due to an injury sustained by frontman Daniel Weyandt. SSOURCE: Blabbermouth
Zao is once again without a drummer as Josh Walters, who just joined the band in late-2006, has officially left the band. Here's a statement from guitarist Scott Mellinger: "Just to let everyone know, Josh Walters will not be playing drums for Zao. He is very involved in his work and doesn't have the time needed to do anything music related. We do have a friend that will be learning some stuff and hopefully be playing with us very soon. Once we solidify the drummer position we will be playing some shows in our area and possibly be playing Cornerstone Illinois. Zao is not dead, We have every intention to do shows and records in the upcoming months. All the support you guys have given us has been awesome and it drives us to keep this alive."
Titles, tags and stereotypes get tossed around in the entertainment world each day but often, inaccurate descriptions can penetrate a segment of society so deeply, the notion fits, right or wrong. Zao decided it would be best to clear up the notion that the group is a "Christian" band in their March Q & A session with fans of the band, stating " It never ends. It's partially the band's fault. Here's our take on it. The concept of a "Christian band" is ridiculous. A "band" can't be christian. The members can be. Well... I take that back, I guess if the songs are all about being a christian, and the band talks about being Christian on stage then yeah... BUT... zao does neither one of those... hasn't since the mid-90's and those members (namely the singer Shawn) are gone. So it seems silly to us... perfect example was on the In Flames tour: 90% of those audiences had NO idea who we are and it never came up because we didn't push it: and to me, that's what I think of when I hear "christian band" and I think a LOT of people think that way. Everyone in Zao has completely independent (and personal, mind you) beliefs. If Dan wants to sing about being a chrsitian I have no problem with that... but the reason that I enjoy the band/being in the band is because it's never that cut and dry. So, there is the confusion. So, "Is the band christian?" No. "Are some of the members christian?" Yes. "Are some of the members NOT christian?" Yes. "This is confusing." Yes... it is."
A preview for ZAO's 6 hour two disc DVD set has been posted here. The set is due out through Ferret Records on November 15th.