Saturday, June 28, 2014

Interview with Etta Zero

Hailing from the tiny Principality of Liechtenstein, Etta Zero first graced these pages a little over a month ago courtesy of their (recommended) full-length endeavor "The Last Of All Sunsets". Combining elements of heavy rock, groove metal, electronic rock, traditional metal and even pop(!) this four-piece band likes to defy expectations and leave fans with the sensation that they have indeed witnessed something both new and bold! It is therefore my pleasure to present a recent interview that I conducted with this unique act! If you have not read my review of their new album then you can check that out right here: 

Andy (A)-First off I just want to thank you for taking the time to answer a few questions for us and for our readers. Could you tell us whose who and describe your band for those who might not have had a chance to hear your music yet? 

Etta Zero (EZ)-We‘re from the principality of Liechtenstein, a tiny country between Austria and Switzerland in Europe. We‘re four guys: voice, guitar, bass, drums; a typical band mixed with electronic parts. It’s always difficult to describe our music to third parties. We‘re not located in any scene, we‘re not really a Rock band, not really a Metal band, we don‘t fit in one particular genre, but we‘re nevertheless all of it somehow. But it‘s always easier to listen to the music than talk about it. We have a compilation video on YouTube with snippets of every song, I think that‘s the easiest way to get an idea of it. Just search for the band and the album name. 

 A-What made you decide on the name Etta Zero? 

EZ-We were named Downfall until 2010 but we decided to start from scratch. When we initially started in 1999 or 2000, we didn‘t know an other band with the same name, but meanwhile there were bands with that name in Finland, Germany, France, even the United States, so it would have been difficult to release something under that moniker. We just wanted a fresh, new name, with no implication of any specific musical genre. Etta Zero means nothing particular, but it can mean everything on the other hand. At first glance it‘s just a female first name with something added. Just like Audrey Horne or Billy Talent or... you name it, it‘s no big deal. 

 A-Your new album is a splendid collection of rock and heavy metal music, all of it boasted by electronic elements.  Are there any particular numbers though that stand out for you guys? 

EZ-I always have to name „Heaven Is Closer“ on this topic. It contains everything we‘re standing for. Harsh guitar riffs, catchy vocal melodies, rhythmical elements and a melancholic electronic part in the end. The song ends with a nice piano melody, first accompanied by the band, later on its own and at the end with electronic elements coming in. The lyrics deal with death, but in a positive way. Death can be a release, there‘s this line saying „I say farewell to all of you my friends - loved every minute here, but this is the end“. On the other hand it‘s a nice way to say goodbye to an audience, so we always play that one at the very end. 

A-According to your bio the recording sessions for "The Last Of All Sunsets" were wrapped up in 2012. While there were some problems prior to its completion, was there a reason why it took so long to get it on shelves after it was finished? 

EZ-The album was finished in December 2012, the mastering was done in February 2013 and after that we tried to get a record deal. It took some time to handle everything because we don‘t have a management, we do it all by ourselves. But we‘re happy we finally signed with Dr. Music Records, because we keep full freedom of art; they let us do whatever we feel is right for us and they‘re a great support so far. 

A-Lyrically-speaking your debut album is rather deep. Could you tell us about that? 

EZ-"The Last Of All Sunsets“ is a metaphor for the end. Usually the end is something you look at with a negative approach, but on the other hand a sunset is something beautiful. The lyrics on the album are about that contrast between good and bad, beauty and death, the end and the recommencement. Does something really end or is it just the origin of a prelude? Is everything bad really that that bad or do always exist two sides of the same coin? It was important to me that the lyrical content fits to the music. 

A-How have longtime fans reacted to the new release? 

EZ-We‘re a bit more groove orientated on the new record, more rhythmic elements, heavier guitars. But as far as the reactions go, everyone seems to like it so far. At least no one told us the otherwise, haha... 

A-Etta Zero started over covering the classics from  a host of 80's synth-rock bands. What bands would you like to see cover Etta Zero classics if given the choice? 

EZ-Haha, that‘s a good one. I‘m not sure if all those bands are happy with the covers we did, so I guess it‘s not in our hands really. If you don‘t change the lyrics you can do whatever you want without permission. And if someone feels like doing an Etta Zero tune: you‘re welcome, we‘ll appreciate it very much! 

A-Studio albums are allows one thing, but I have to ask. What makes Etta Zero succeed on the live stage? 

EZ-Ah, that‘s tough. What is the reason you go out and watch a band on stage? Is it because you want to get entertained? Or do you love the music? Or is it because you just want to have a good time? I don‘t know, but I know one thing: no one plays our songs like we do, that‘s for sure. So if you like our music and want to come out and have a good time, we‘re your  band! 

A-Who are some the bands that you've shared the stage with so far? 

EZ-Due to  one of our bandmember’s serious illness we couldn‘t play much since 2010. But we played a festival here in Liechtenstein last year with Pretty Maids and The Beauty Of Gemina. And there was another festival back in 2010 with The Sorrow and Emil Bulls on the bill. 

A- From the sounds of it you've conquered Europe. When do you move on to the rest of the world? 

EZ-We would love to play everywhere, but we don‘t have a booking agency yet, so it‘s not that easy to get the opportunity to play. But if someone wants to book us and it‘s organizationally feasible, we‘ll be there! 

A-Name the one place that you would love to play at if possible? 

EZ-I‘m an 80ies child, so I would love to travel back in time and play the Monsters Of Rock festival in Donington. That would be awesome. (Editor's note: I couldn't agree more! That would be beyond epic!) But I‘m not sure if the audience would‘ve liked us there, hearing all those stories about flying mugs full of piss, haha. 

A-What does the rest of 2014 hold for your band? 

EZ-We‘re going to shoot a video for one of our songs soon and I really hope we can play as much as possible throughout Europe. And it would also be great to release the album worldwide. 

A-Where can our readers find out more about Etta Zero and purchase a copy of "The Last Of All Sunsets" for themselves? 

EZ-You can visit our website or like us on Facebook. At the moment we just have a deal for Europe, so the physical disc is available in the United States only as an import. But we do all the digital stuff ourselves, so you can download it on iTunes worldwide. 

A-Final thoughts?  

EZ-I would like to thank you for the opportunity to do this interview! We‘re very thankful for any attention we can get and websites like yours keep the music alive. Oh, and thank you very much for your kind review of our album, we appreciate it very much. And to all of your readers I‘d like to say: thank you for your time discovering new music!

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