Banshee Aliouxce - Bass
Birthday: Friday, December 13
Zinc White - Vocals
Birthplace: a family of the Moon
Daily Activity: Zen
KOHTA - Drums
Hometown: a family of the Earth
Daily Activity: MAKE LOVE
Hiroki - Guitar
Birthday: April 9
Dream: The world advancement
WORLD TOUR 2009 Promo
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"I would like to express my thoughts and messages -- even difficult or philosophical thoughts -- with language easily understood by the audience. First, I deliver our messages to people, and then I send the messages further into their mind. This is my "Pop" music." - Zinc White
After listened to their first few songs we knew we had found something special. Zamza, who took their name from a Kafka novel, play a driving form of rock music overflowing with smart emotion. With rousing songs like Satori, MANGA and in a waking dream this four person rock group are well worth a listen to.On April 2, 2010 Zinc and KOHTA from Zamza were kind enough to give an interview to Andrew from J-Pop World. All photos courtesy of Zamza with credits to Wataru Umeda.
Let's start with the origin of the band. How did the four of you first get together?
Zinc: Two years ago, I wanted to put a band together. Hiroki used to be in a band with me and knew Banshee and KOHTA. He introduced them to me.
How would you describe the group's musical style?
Zinc: Alternative, Loud, Straight Rock type. Simple is the best.
Who came up with the name "Zamza" and what does it mean?
Zinc: We got this name from Gregor Samsa, the main character of an absurdist novel by Kafka. In fact, the name is "SAMSA" in German, but it is pronounced as "SA-MU-SA" in Japanese, Kanji. "SA-MU-SA" means "cold" in Japanese, and we took the pronunciation and named the band ZAMZA.
Tell us about the first performances the band did together. What was the chemistry like between you all?
KOHTA: It was the feeling that we just performed the first time together.
Zinc: Our first time playing together was a rehearsal in the basement studio in Banshee's huge mansion outside of Tokyo. We were so excited like four high school kids playing their instruments for the first time. A neighbor called the police to report the noise coming from underground.
In May of last year the group released the album "Manga" in Japan. What were your thoughts on the day of the release?
Zinc: It was a feeling like drinking 100 bottles of Rolling Rock.
How long had you been working on the music? Who all worked on the music with you?
Zinc: I don't look back into my past. In fact, I forget things easily these days. I think I was a member of ECHOES and remember ECHOES was a good band.
What was a typical recording day like for the band?
Zinc: We do recording with lots of discussions like family at Banshee's recording studio. It is like a horror area because it is located next to a green field, and bugs come into the studio. Our rock 'n' roll music was born from our fear of bugs.
KOHTA: We do recording whatever and whenever we feel like it.
How would you compare writing and recording the music on this album to your previous sessions with the bands ECHOES and JUDY AND MARY?
Zinc: There is more intensity and a wider range of tones.
Last November you marked the release of the US version called "Manga Rock" with a concert in New York. Can you tell us more about the event and what you remember most about it?
Zinc: That live performance day was one of the best days in my life. The live performance in New Jersey was good, but I have great memories of the live concert in Manhattan. I was satisfied that the audience in New York got so excited about our music. The audiences were great. They got the fresh air of Japanese rock music. It was the sound of "Manga Rock" but more than "Manga".
KOHTA: There was great weather. We felt that we were not small compared with Americans.
Any plans for a return to the U.S. this year?
Zinc: Our U.S. staff is working on our upcoming live performance schedules. We would like to come to the U.S. anytime, but next chance will be probably in the fall. We sent our CD to Madonna and wonder if she received the CD. We would like to perform with Madonna some day.
Let's talk a little about the music. Death in Life is a very memorable song. Can you tell us more about it?
Zinc: We slashed the rhythm and made the beat as stable as we could. We made the rhythm perfect for audiences to head bang. We also added banshee-like music. Death in Life was composed based on very complex ideas. The song says, "Let's stop living like a dead human". It's hard to translate the meaning to English, but the message is that we are living in a limited world, but we want to live without those limits.
I'll Give You All is a great showcase for the different tempos the band can create in the same song. Can you tell us more about writing and recording it?
Zinc: I did most of the writing and composing the songs. I am careful to make a variety of different tempos and styles. We record until we are satisfied that our music beat instantly catches people's hearts.
In a waking dream has more of a punk feel to it. When you create music to you try to stay within a certain type of musical genre?
"Genre" is like a language, and I don't like to set any borders in genres and languages. I am a novelist, and as such, I don't want to include too many meanings in music. I don't care about methodologies or genres if I find something, for example, a moment becomes eternity. I would like to express my thoughts and messages -- even difficult or philosophical thoughts -- with language easily understood by the audience. First, I deliver our messages to people, and then I send the messages further into their mind. This is my "Pop" music.
Your videos have a wonderfully weird look to them. Can you share some of your thoughts or memories on making them?
Zinc: The music video was made from a combination of Japanese calligraphy and traditional dance. I tried to show the stage of "Zen." Please read the books by D. T. Suzuki. I produced the move with a feeling like grabbing something from empty space (KOKUU, a "Zen" word)...
What are your plans for the rest of the year?
Zinc: Our plans include live music concerts, shooting a movie, writing, and if it is possible, we would like to have live performances in the U.S. We've also heard our album will be sold in Europe.
Let's take a quick trip to the past and learn more about the band. Can you each describe your hometown and what it was like growing up there?
Zinc: My dad was a business person (called "Salary-man" in Japan), and my family moved several times to different places in Japan. I had to move to different schools and learned the difficulty of human relationships when I was a child. In Japan, we call a transfer student in school, "TENKO-SEI," but I think it symbolizes economic growth, and such students increase when the economy is growing. I moved many places. Therefore, I don't have a hometown where I feel where I came from. In a big meaning, therefore, Japan, and rock 'n' roll music is like my hometown. Novels are my mother, and movies are my lovers.
KOHTA: Kawasaki City. No music.
How did you first get into music?
KOHTA: For Life.
Zinc: CCR, ZZ TOP, LZ, Pink Floyd... American Rock was a big influence on me, especially, All Man Brothers, and BTOD.
How did you pick the type of instrument you play today?
KOHTA: No choice.
Zinc: I like natural instrument, such as voice and acoustic guitar.
What are some of the things you remember most fondly from being in ECHOES and JUDY AND MARY?
KOHTA: Big Stage.
Zinc: We could debut.
What about those experiences had the greatest influence on what you now bring to Zamza?
KOHTA: Only the truth moves people's hearts.
Zinc: Hiroki's guitar is very important to me. The sound matches with my voice. The sound has edge and range. It is sharp and thrilling.
Outside of music, do you all hang out together now that you are a group?
Zinc: No. We don't hang out together...
Anyone have a side project they are working on that you want to tell us about?
Zinc: I have movies and novels. Zamza keeps me busy enough for my music.
KOHTA: DRUMMING HIGH!
Do you have anything else you want to bring up or comment on?
Zinc: We would like to do another live concert in New York. We just finished the recording of our second album and would like to deliver it to our fans. It will be released in May in Japan.
What do you want the world to know most about Zamza?
Zinc: We want them know about our high quality of music. We want them to slide on the edge of top Japanese rock.
Do you have a final message to all your fans?KOHTA: Please come to our concert and see our live performance! There is a truth you might be looking for.
For more info checkout Zamza's official site and MySpace page. Leave your comments about this interview and read what others had to say at the following link: Interview Comments