RagingRev is not generally a music blog, but when a band that has influenced me as much as this one has gives me an opportunity to interview them it isn’t an opportunity I can easily pass up. The band in question is the one and only Zao. Originally hailing from Greenburg, PA; Zao was one of the first bands onto the Hardcore/Metalcore scene way back in 1993…many of the newer bands are listing Zao as influences in their music today, making Zao one of the most influential Metalcore bands still kicking it today. Far removed from their original lineup, the band currently consists of Dan Weyandt (brutal vocals), Scott Mellinger (Guitar shredder), Jeff Gretz (Drum destroyer), and Marty Lunn (Ace of Bass).
Zao has influenced me for many reasons, one of the more prevalent being that the band started off as a very hardcore Christian, evangelical band. They were often looked down upon in churches because of the way they sounded or looked, much like I was and eventually faded away from the church and the faith all together. Zao is no longer a Christian band and the change from one to the other is very visible in their music. Their ninth full length album entitled Awake? will be available in a limited release 8000 CD pressing and digital format through Ferret Records on 5/5/09.
I want to thank the guys, and especially Jeff (he helped me get the guys together for this) for making this possible, for giving me the opportunity to ask these questions and for their answers as well. Following the interview there will be a short review of the album and information on buying it.