MIKE O'BRIEN FROM ZEUS ANSWERED SOME QUESTIONS FOR MSB OVER EMAIL, CHECK IT.
So Zeus formed for the sole purpose to play a show you were asked to do and ended up touring with Jason Collett… Did you ever think that you would be playing more than that first gig, let alone with a member of Broken Social Scene?
It's true that we played our first show and decided on the name Zeus because I was asked to play a show, but really Zeus was a unofficial recording project prior to that. We did'nt have any expectations going into it we were just following our instincts as we do. It was'nt really a stretch to be playing shows with Jason since we had all been playing with him before that and my previous band (Paso Mino) had played shows with him as well.
What made you guys decide to step out from the shadows and start making music and touring as Zeus alone?
Carlin and I have been making music together since we were in High School so the decision to make music together again was less a decision and more a way of life for us at this point. In terms of deciding to tour as Zeus that decision came after we had recorded a bunch of songs that we were really excited about and naturally were inclined to want to perform them.
How does the onstage experience differ now that you are your own band?
Well I've always had "my own band" in some form or another, but if your wondering what are the differences between performing as Zeus and backing Jason Collett then that's something sorta hard to describe. Playing Zeus shows is unlike playing in any other band I've ever been in, there is a certain excitement and energy that happens between us on stage that we get really juiced on and hopefully that translates into a rip roarin rock show.
Are there any aspects from doing the back up thing that you miss sometimes?
I like playing with Jay, and I know that's always there if we ever feel like making music together, but I'm completley musically fulfilled right now.
Do you see yourselves as music Gods? Or rather, the king of the music Gods?
Only the most pretentious, arrogant arsehole would answer yes to that question. It's just a name ... Do Oasis see themselves as a lake in the middle of the desert?
Why did you choose the name Zeus? Are you big Greek mythology majors or just huge Marvel Comic nerds?
Neither, it was just a word we used alot at the time to describe how stoked we were about the songs and recordings we were making. ie. "This sounds like Zeus"
Phil Collins or Peter Gabriel?
You’re set to release Hot Under The Collar/Aeroplane on December 7th, and this is only the first in an “open-ended run” of these types of singles, how much material do you have at the moment to keep you going with these and how often do you write/record new stuff?
With 3 songwriters in the band we all have a back log of material to pull from. Also with having our own studio to record at it makes it relatively easy to keep releasing new stuff. We could essentially keep releasing stuff as long as we felt like doing it, or as long as we felt that the songs were worth putting out.
How do hometown Toronto fans compete with fans around the world?We have had alot of support from people here in Toronto so it's always fun playing shows here. Having said that we've had some pretty awesome crazy shows in other places. People are people anywhere you go, it just takes the right atmosphere or environment and it can be a great night.
Are you excited to go to Australia? Have you guys toured over there before?
None of us have ever been beofre so, yeah we're really excited to go. I for one am particularly stoked because my brother is living in Sydney at the moment so I'll be able to have a good bro-hang with him in addition to the rockin we'll be doing.
Who’s your favourite artist on Arts & Crafts? And you can only pick one!
Timber Timbre ... I think Taylor made a really killer record and with Mika and Simone in the touring unit they really create an atmosphere with their music. Their wicked!
So you sent your album Say Us back in for another mastering in order to make it sound more like vinyl?
That's not exactly what happened. We did have our record mastered again because there was something about the original mastering job that wasn't quite what we had envisioned. After that we had our MP3s ripped from the actual vinyl so that when you download the album from ITunes or if you buy a vinyl that comes with a digital download code you get a digital version of the song that is essentially recorded off the vinyl. This adds a little more warmth and vinyl sound to a digital media which are by nature cold sounding.
I had never thought about the shuffle thing before from an artists’ point of view and find what you guys said about shuffling ruining the artists intentions very true/interesting… when you guys are listening to music in the van on tour or just in your every day lives do you ALWAYS listen to albums from front to back then? Or are you guilty of ignoring artists’ intentions sometimes too? ;)
I have nothing against shuffle in general, in fact I find I end up listening to more of the stuff that I would'nt necesarily gravitate towards otherwise. I think that with the populartiy of the IPod and shuffle mode or playlists that there has been a decline in the enjoyment of the album as an entire piece. When your sequencing a record (deciding what order to put the songs in) you consider how they flow into each other and the album ends up working as an entire work unto itself. I think both ways of enjoying music are valid. But when you take the time to put on a record and just listen to it and sit look at the artwork and read the liner notes, that can just be a fun thing to do, that's all.
Do you think it’s just the initial listen that deserves the front to back approach (hehe dirty) or regardless of how many times you’ve heard the album it deserves to be played exactly how the artist put it together?
What ever happens to strike your fancy at the time.
THANKS A LOT TO MIKE O'BRIEN FOR ANSWERING AND AARON FOR HOOKING THIS UP.
IF YOU LIVE IN TORONTO COME OUT TO SEE ZEUS AT THE HORSESHOE TAVERN THIS FRIDAY (DEC. 3RD)
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