ZAO were the first super HEAVY band i ever got into. I grew up listening to the Rock n' Roll my dad had playing like Lynyrd Skynyrd, Creedence Clear Water Revival, Deep Purple etc, and when i was old enough i found punk rock and alternative, ie. Pennywise, Suicidal Tendencies Rancid & Deftones. Basically bands that were on cheap compilation cd's that i could afford as an awkward teen with minimal friends. I wish i still had those Punk O Rama & Warped tour comps. Anyway, when i started playing guitar i would buy the Guitar World Magazines to learn as much by myself as i could, and there was an interview with Steph Carpenter (of Deftones) in one of them doing a rig run-down or something and he mentioned one of his influences was this band i'd never heard of called ZAO. I immediately went to the record store i would later spend 12 years of my life working, and picked up a copy of their compilation of early material, called "Legendary". I didn't get it at first as it was way fucking heavier than anything my precious teenage ears had been subjected to, but i persisted and finally "got" it. I mean, who does hand claps in the verse of a super heavy song? ZAO. Who still has the heaviest guitar tone i've ever heard? Zao. Who still make flawless albums? ZAO. I am super stoked that Scott Mellinger took part in this. ZAO opened up a whole new musical world for me that I never knew existed. Holyshit.
1. Is there a record that changed your life? If so, what is it?
I’d say it was Metallica Master of Puppets, that record is the whole reason I play guitar in a metal band. It blew my 12 year old mind
2. If you were locked in a room for the rest of your life with endless food, water and a turntable, but only had FIVE records, what are they?
Radiohead OK Computer
Johnny Cash live at Folsom Prison
Neurosis Through Silver in Blood
Metallica Master of Puppets
3. Have you got a "White Whale" or is there a particular album you are having a hard time tracking down?
Maybe 1st press of the Beatles White album in mono
4. I won't put a number on it, but off the top of your head, what are your all-time favourite artists?
Wow that’s tough I mean Johnny Cash got me started on a path in music my grandfather started that love, ELO, Fleetwood Mac, Radiohead, Sunny Day Real Estate, Roy Orbison, Neurosis, really loving this band YOB recently.
5. What has the rest of 2019 got in store for yourself / ZAO?
Actually got a lot coming here soon I have another band called Pack that’s starting to play a good bit, we have some ZAO recording and touring coming up, I love doing the family thing so hanging with my wife and daughter as much as possible, and of course giving all of my vinyl a spin regularly.