Zao Announce September Shows

Zao have announced some September shows. Here’s the dates:

09/19 Morgantown, WV – 123 Pleasant Street
09/20 Reading, PA – Reverb
09/21 Harrisonburg, VA – The Golden Pony
09/22 Greenville, SC – The Radio Room
09/23 Birmingham, AL – Seasick Records (feat. Walls Of Jericho & Shai Hulud)
09/24 Birmingham, AL – Furnace Festival

Zao’s Scott Mellinger Explains Why Ferret Music Albums Haven’t Been Reissued

During an appearance on The MetalSucks Podcast, Zao’s Scott Mellinger discussed the difficulties that the band have faced when it comes to reissuing the albums they released through Ferret Music. Those records include: “The Funeral Of God,” “The Fear Is What Keeps Us Here,” and “Awake?.”

Mellinger said the following:

“So unfortunately every record we’ve released is owned by somebody and a lot of them are owned with people we can’t even deal with. So, luckily, when Solid State was releasing Zao records, Solid State was bought out by Capitol. Capitol then I think gave some ownership over to Universal Music Group. But, Solid State and Tooth and Nail were able to work out a manufacturing deal where we were able to go back and we’re so happy that it worked out this way. But Unoriginal Vinyl and Tooth and Nail kind of work together with us. All three of us work together and they have been re-releasing some of those older Zao records, vinyl reissues.

“Now the Ferret stuff, the sad thing is even Carl [Severson], the guy, our close buddy that owned Ferret, even he is in the dark on a lot of this stuff. Ferret was kind of run as a Sony subsidiary for a little bit and then Warner bought the rights to Ferret stuff. Warner does not… care. [laughs] I don’t know what it is and I don’t understand it either ’cause its not like Zao is some thing that you’re going to make a ton of money on. To me, I’d rather see something be released and everybody makes money instead of them just sitting on records and making them so unbelievably expensive for anybody to reasonably release them.

“But luckily, we did work out a deal with Tragic Hero Records that they did do a reissue of ‘The Funeral of God’ vinyl. And it ended up being a nightmare, but we did do it. There is talk possibly of ‘Fear’ [‘The Fear Is What Keeps Us Here,’ 2008] coming out, which is the whole reason we recorded that record, was for vinyl. We’re really really hoping that will come out.

“But all these different labels, I think a lot of these more underground approach labels like Ferret or Trustkill, those guys got into the whole label scene with good intentions and really wanted to help their friends’ bands and do all this great work. And then somehow weirdly a lot of that era of when we were on Ferret and Trustkill, like all those bands — Killswitch is a good example — [with] all that stuff to really blow up, I think everybody got a bit over their heads a little bit with how that works. So, when you have a band that has the potential to sell as many records as a Killswitch or anything, and prior to them going to your major [label], as your underground wants to spend more money to get them in front of more people and make those bands explode, you get into debts. To me, its not anybody’s fault and there should be no hard feelings, but everything happens and the big guys end up swallowing the little guys because they end up owing so much money for all the stuff they tried to help the bands.

“And that’s the thing too, I think, even with Zao. We’ve complained ‘nobody makes money, blah blah blah’ but labels put their… with Ferret, I saw how much money Carl was spending on getting Zao in front of people. I saw how much Carl spent for the In Flames record he put out [‘Come Clarity,’ 2006]. The guy really, really tried to get bands to break and really work. As a band, I’m not held liable. We didn’t sell as many records as Ferret was hoping but it’s not like they’re going to come back on me like, ‘You owe me $15,000 now.’ Yeah, we’ll never make money but they have to swallow that loss. I don’t know, it’s just a nightmare. It’s a nightmare for everybody involved and it sucks and I really, really wish it would be a lot easier. I wish that as an artist, you’d have a lot more say in what happens to your product… but… it just doesn’t.”

Zao Premiere “Transitions” Video

Zao have premiered a new video for their new song “Transitions.” This track is from the band’s new album “The Crimson Corridor,” which will be released this Friday (April 9). The single was inspired by a quote from Isaac Asimov which says: “Life Is Pleasant. Death is peaceful. It’s the transition that’s troublesome.” Vocalist Dan Weyandt went on to say that the song is “about eternal return and [his] place within it.” Drummer Jeff Gretz also added the following about the video:

“In general, we are extremely hands-off with artists and video directors. We find people we like and tell them to just do their thing. There is a level of trust there that is extremely important to us. We have been fans of Eric Livingston for a long time and were always looking for a reason to work with him. We sent him the song along with very vague descriptions of ‘Birth, Death, Decay, Nature, Agoraphobic Skies.’ He wrote us back within minutes and said, ‘Got it! Oh, and I think there will be claymation.’ What more could you ask for?”

Zao Premiere New Song “The Final Ghost”

Zao have premiered a new song titled “The Final Ghost.” This track is from the band’s new album “The Crimson Corridor,” which will be released on April 9.

Frontman Dan Weyandt commented:

“This song begins as a recollection of two separate events that I witnessed and interpreted as great testaments to the illusion of power. It then shifts to the idea that even the most powerful entities on Earth are always at the mercy of death and nature as well as questioning the core reasons behind our need to survive as individuals.”

Drummer Jeff Gretz continued:

“Some songs just fall into place. The mid-tempo driving ‘Zao plod,’ as I like to call it, is us in our natural state. This is just one of those songs that pretty much never really changed from the early writing/demos until the end. It just always was.”

Guitarist Scott Mellinger added:

“I was trying so hard to write a simple super crunchy riff but did not want to do the typical palm muted stuff. I started experimenting with layering a bunch of pick scrapes and string scraping stuff. Totally came out better than I expected. The little guitar melody in the chorus was another one of those parts that seem to just magically come into existence without trying. Some parts take days to work out and others minutes.”

[via MetalSucks]

Zao Premiere New Song “Ship Of Theseus”

Zao have premiered a new song titled “Ship Of Theseus.” This track is from the band’s new album “The Crimson Corridor,” which will be released on April 9.

The group commented:

“If you are not aware, or are not caught up on ‘WandaVision‘, the Ship of Theseus paradox is this: If Theseus had a ship, and over time individual parts are slowly replaced until, eventually, no original parts remain, is it still the same ship? Also if you make a NEW ship out of the discarded parts? Which is the real Ship Of Theseus? Or is it neither? Zao is nothing if not self aware.”

Frontman Daniel Weyandt added:

“This song is an enigmatic tribute to the long surreal history of Zao and its shared parallels with the Ship of Theseus paradox. It also explores the idea that the band is somehow an entity in and of itself beyond its members past and present.”

[via Metal Injection]

Zao Premiere New Song “Croatoan”

Zao have premiered a new song titled “Croatoan.” This track is from the band’s new album “The Crimson Corridor,” which will be released on April 9.

The group commented:

“In 1587 a group of 115 English colonists arrived at Roanoke Island off the coast of what is now North Carolina. The group was led by their governor John White who later sailed back to England to gather more supplies. White and his ship were subsequently caught up in a war with Spain for three years. Upon finally returning to the colonies, White discovered that every single person from the initial journey, including his wife and children, were gone without a trace. The only clue left behind was a wooden post with a single word carved into it: “Croatoan”. The whereabouts of the settlers are unsolved to this day.”

Vocalist Dan Weyandt added:

“Based off its origin and without clear definition, the word ‘Croatoan’ embodies an unsettling feeling of helplessness to me. This song is a vehicle for that feeling and relates it back to dissociation and being lost in strange dimensions and dreams.”

[via Decibel]

Zao Reveal Track Listing For New Album “The Crimson Corridor”

Zao have revealed the track listing for their new album “The Crimson Corridor.“ That effort will be released on April 9 and pre-orders are expected to launch on March 5.

“The Crimson Corridor” Track Listing:

01. “Into The Jaws Of Dread”
02. “Ship Of Theseus”
03. “Croatoan”
04. “The Final Ghost”
05. “R.I.P.W.”
06. “The Crimson Corridor”
07. “Transitions”
08. “Nothing’s From”
09. “Creator/Destroyer”
10. “Lost Star”
11. “The Web”

Zao Team Up With Speciation Artisan Ales For “Croatoan” Beer

Zao have teamed up with Speciation Artisan Ales to create their own beer called “Croatoan.” The beverage is named after a song from the band’s new album “The Crimson Corridor,“ which will be released on April 9. The group commented:

“The folks at Speciation Artisan Ales are not so secret metalheads. When our 2019 tour took us through Michigan we gathered to blend a beer. The resulting blend of two oak barrels was named ‘Croatoan‘ after a song on our upcoming album. Croatoan is an exceedingly complex wild ale with notes of vanilla, herbal gin botanicals, tart cherry and charred oak. The can art is by our very own Dan Weyandt.”