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Zuul Fx

Interview von: arne mit ZUUL, am: 25.03.2005 ]

Was der einstige No Return- Thrasher Stevee und Rain- Gitarrist Blast mit ZUUL FX an den Start gebracht haben, kann sich wirklich hören lassen. Spritzig, eingängig und ideenreich präsentieren sich die Songs von “By The Cross“, dem Debüt der Band. Groove, Melodie und Härte finden sich zu gleichen Teilen vertreten und so entsteht dank abgezocktem und souveränen Songwriting ein unterhaltsames und schön abwechslungsreiches Modern-Metal-Album.


Musicscan: Please state your name and what you do in the band at first.

Zuul Fx: I am ZUUL, the frontman/writer of the band, well at least half of it as i write everything hand in hand with my guitarist Blast.

Musicscan: What was the original goal (or reason) for the formation of ZUUL FX?

Zuul Fx: This is very simple, ZUUL FX is a band that i first founded six years ago. My idea was to go beyond all preconceived thoughts on french bands! ! ! We want to make “taboo-free” music, without being labeled too much because we have multiple influences in the metal scene which is very wide. I met Blast three years ago now and I wanted live musicians mostly, I mean musicians that would know what a real live show is. Guys who could make the audience react! ! ! more than just good musicians or good writers or good studio musicians. We wanted to make music that was in connection with ourselves. Blast and I have felt we were on the same page on a lot of things. We decided to make it happen.

Musicscan: How did you come up with the band name ZUUL FX? Is it a metaphor or a representation for something specific?

Zuul Fx: Not at all, the band’s name comes from my nickname, Zuul, which is my nickname for a long time now. I was doing a completely different style of music when i was a kid and that name sticked throughout the years. It’s my second identity.

Musicscan: I read that you played straightforward Thrash-sounds with your former bands, but ZUUL FX seems to be a little more groovy and in some way less speed and agression oriented. Why did you change direction?

Zuul Fx: We wanted to make a music as large as possible, not just stuck to something too basic. We felt we had to develop a more open music for ages. We had locked ourselves in a spiral that wasn’t satisfying us anymore. We are musicians before all and need to make music that brings out a lot of emotions, that’s our main way of communication. We still make metal and that’s the way we like it ! ! ! If I had to define metal I would say it’s a huge city without any boundaries and that’s why we feel good in it.

Musicscan: What did you guys do differently on "By The Cross" that you hadn't done previously to keep things progressing musically?

Zuul Fx: The guitar riffs are more catchy, the drumming beats more incisive with lots of heavy rollings! ! ! The vocals are more varied with the singing parts alternating with the growls. And of course a massive bass sound. Samples and loops give this modern aspect and the keyboards emphasize the emotions. We really want to make songs that concerns the fans. Our songs are based on various feelings, anger or sadness. We find ourselves in it.

Musicscan: Were there any particular adjustments or things that you wanted to improve upon from a technical aspect or writing?

Zuul Fx: No, at least not now! ! ! and this is something we would discuss altogether with the band. I wouldn’t say anything on this subject until i would discuss it with the other members of the band. We make music as it comes… then we’ll see ! ! !

Musicscan: How do most ZUUL FX songs come to be? What's the writing process like? How long does it take, on average, to finsh a song?

Zuul Fx: We wrote all the songs by Internet! ! ! Blast and I don’t live in the same country, we are 2 hours plane (or 4 hours train) away from one another. The easiest way was to send songs via email. That’s how we wrote the album. We were sending each other the songs and then were discussing them on the phone. Sometimes we were seeing each other to have a drink and finalize things. The other bandmembers met in the studio for the recording of the album!! We gave them the tracks to work on and that was it ! ! ! it’s hard to say how long it takes to write a song because there are a lot of parameters. The most obvious being that we are cautious about not doing anything the others wouldn’t want to play.

Musicscan: Your songs cover a lot of bases - there's something for everyone within the heavy underground I would say. Were you going for a more inclusive approach right from the beginning or is it a result of your progression? Or of your own diverse musical interests?

Zuul Fx: There are definitely our own diverse musical interests to take into account. What we like. We come from the 90s scene. From Sepultura to Soulfly or Fear Factory, Bay Area thrash, death metal, swedish death, hardcore and every other metal style that can be ! ! What I mean is that we come from the metal scene in general. ZUUL FX is a new band, our pasts only led us to what we are now…

Musicscan: What do you feel you accomplished after finishing your work on “By The Cross”? Does it feel good to see this record be available in stores soon? I think it’s not released over here yet…

Zuul Fx: It’s a good start for us. Seeing our album in stores now after two years of preparation and a new life really gives the feeling that we haven’t done all this for nothing! ! ! it’s our reward. Moreover it sells ok in France for the moment, which is pretty cool because the market here is disastrous. People don’t buy CDs anymore. But i guess it’s the same everywhere…

Musicscan: What has the feedback been so far? Here for Germany I only have read a couple of positive reviews, so people seem to like the record…

Zuul Fx: We’re happy with the reactions. In the UK our album has great reviews in all the magazines. We do a lot of interviews it’s pretty cool ! ! ! We would never have thought we would have 4Ks in Kerrang ! for instance. Even Terrorizer likes the album! ! ! In France the medias are solliciting us more and more. We are going to be featured in certain magazines that are almost mainstream. We don’t do mainstream music though, our music is kind of brutal and inaudible for normal people. We are proposed shows and TV Awards. I think you’re gonna hear about us for quite some time...

Musicscan: Do you feel that the record is a pretty good representation of bands sounding as of right now?

Zuul Fx: Absolutely! ! ! we wanted a large and aggressive road roller sound and thanks to our producer Francis Caste we have achieved what we had in mind. We eventually found a metal producer in France and the craziest thing is that we are all about the same age, 24 years old. I think the new french generation is redoubtable. More and more bands emerge and are really professional.

Musicscan: How would you sum up this release in short words? What does the listener has to expect?

Zuul Fx: « By The Cross » is an emotional and angry album, and to label it although i don’t like doing this i would say that it stands at the crossroads of Slipknot, Fear Factory and Soulfly. The songs are perfect to play live, efficient, immediate and dense.

Musicscan: What would you like listeners to get out of the album as a whole?

Zuul Fx: I’d like them to keep in mind that this album is full of emotions and definitely sincere! ! !

Musicscan: I don't have access to any lyrics in my promo copy of the CD, so could you explain who writes what and what sort of themes the band chooses to deal with?

Zuul Fx: There are different themes in this album. « By the Cross » shows some human aspects and feelings like injustice, hate, rage, vengeance, suffering, melancholy sometimes and the sadness that every human being has deep inside. I wanted to put all those feelings in the music and the lyrics, to talk about our everyday experiences, in a society where everything is based on Judaeo-Christian rules and all that goes with it. For instance the fear of the cross above our heads that keeps us quiet in case we would like to follow another path. I wanted to talk about this because that’s where i come from and i wanted to picture this on the cover of the album too. In the foreground the hands on the bars is a metaphor of the control our society exercises. The Christ in the background is like an indelible stigmata, always there. Whether you are atheistic or of any other religion this atmosphere covers the whole world. This is not an album about religion but more about how we live because of that religion dominating the western world. I pictured people like you and me, heretics, people hurt deep inside, who are only existing by following the society rules, no different from the others, living without any excess. If those people had the force to search for what they truly believe in, they would be astonished and afraid of what they can do. But they would also realize that they are kinda blocked if they make a move different from what they’re expected to do.

Musicscan: What scene if any do you guys consider yourself a part of?

Zuul Fx: I think the one where bands like Machine Head, Fear Factory, Slipknot and Soulfly belong ! ! ! it’s funny they’re all on the same record company. There is an identity in this record company that I like. It’s become a style. Maybe because Sepultura has been my driving power when i was a kid and had this huge entertainment thing that has always fascinated me. Machine Head with its road roller side and that crazy sound on « Burn my eyes » which was very new at the time! ! ! Fear Factory with its precision and Burton’s voice which was also very innovating. I think we grew up with all these people who taught us how to enjoy life and music. We come from their culture and we are integrated to their sound.

Musicscan: The current extrem-scene in France seems to be very active, but only few bands seem to have international ambitions. I think of bands such as Black Bomb A, Inside Conflict etc. and of ZUUL FX of course…

Zuul Fx: Yes indeed, bands nowadays want to go further. We don’t have to be shy like most french bands used to be, music here is ready to compete with the other countries. We have examples and we’re ready to go on !!

Musicscan: Your biggest wish to happen for bands future?

Zuul Fx: Tour ! ! ! Tour ! ! ! Tour ! ! ! Tour ! ! ! Tour ! ! ! Tour ! ! ! Tour ! ! ! Tour ! ! ! Tour ! ! ! Tour ! ! ! Tour ! ! ! Tour ! ! !

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