After recently reviewing their album Super Atomic Werewolf Chicks on Motorbikes (out on January 25th with a launch party at the Grapes Wine Bar in Gravesend), I thought now would be a good time to catch up with Zombie Met Girl and see what they have in store for us. I for one will look forward to seeing them venture up here to Scotland. Much as my usual musical taste is a bit different to what they produce, Zombie Met Girl sure as hell got more than my seal of approval. Best of luck to them with this album and subsequent tours.
Simple things first – where are you guys from?
Gravesend in Kent.
How long have you been playing together as a band?
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
A mish-mash of garage/surf/punk/rock ‘n’ roll, but without the Les Paul through a Marshall technique, I guess. Over the years I think we have definitely developed our own sound.
Zombie Met Girl are about to release your third album Super Atomic Werewolf Chicks on Motorbikes on January 25th. What can you tell us about it and how would you say the sound is compared to that of your previous albums?
It’s probably more diverse than the previous two offerings. We definitely took a few more chances with some songs that maybe people wouldn’t have expected us to come out with. There were some that didn’t make it to the final track listing, which is unusual for us because we normally throw everything on! Tonally, we wanted it to have a rawer, more in-your-face, garage sound with fewer overdubs.
Super Atomic Werewolf Chicks on Motorbikes is distributed by Roulette Records. How did this come about and are you happy with everything so far?
We played a gig in Deal and as soon as we came off-stage, Roulette Media approached us and asked us if we had any representation. We’ve only just finished dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s, so it’s early days, but so far so good!
Where was the album recorded and where was it mastered? Did you use the same team or did you try something different with this album?
We’ve actually recorded this album about three times! The first time we tried it was live, in a hall, with just a couple of carefully placed mics capturing everything, which on the whole didn’t sound great. Then we recorded quite a few tracks in Frazer’s studio (where we recorded the previous album, Music For Dead Beats), but just ended up chasing our tails, trying to make it sound “right” when fundamentally it wasn’t. At a complete stand-still, we decamped to Perryvale Studios in London with the intention of crashing the whole thing out in three days. We got all the tracks down, but somehow the mixes sounded a bit flat, so we took the multitracks back to Frazer’s studio and remixed them there. As a result, the finished album actually contains tracks from all three sessions. It was mastered by Graham Semark at Cyclone Music, and hangs together remarkably well, all things considered!
You are very active on the live front, from local pubs and clubs to having played on major festivals like Rebellion and Bearded Theory. What should we expect from a live show and what is the experience like playing in front of a crowd for the band?
Expect high energy rock ‘n’ roll! You can’t play those numbers half-hearted, they’re ‘all or nothing’. You put us in front of a crowd and we’ll make something happen, and the buzz we get back from it is the reason we come out.
You are about to have your album launch on January 25th at The Grapes Wine Bar in Gravesend. Will the album be played in full or do you have a few old and new surprises for the fans?
No, we won’t be playing the whole thing just yet, but we’ve put together a blistering 45 minutes that we honestly feel is the best set we’ve had for ages, and yes, there are a couple of surprises in there.
What are the lyrical themes of the songs from the new album? Is there a main lyricist?
They’re mainly bemoaning the “Look at me”, quick fix, buy more shit, famous-for-being-famous, vacuous, social media hungry black hole that modern society seems to have fallen into. Having said that, it’s also loosely wrapped around the concept of a fictional B-Movie entitled Super Atomic Werewolf Chicks On Motorcycles. Me and Tim write the lyrics both together and separately. Because we exchange a lot of books, music and films etc, we tend to be on the same page artistically.
How often is the band able to get together and rehearse in the studio? Where do you get together and record?
We try and get together every week to do something, even if it’s only to have a few beers. 2019 is already much busier for us!
How were the songs constructed in the studio? Are there the main songwriters of songs that take care of everything or is ZMG a band where all members contribute to the songs?
The songs are already written before we even set foot in a studio! We’ve no set formula for writing songs. Sometimes I’ll come up with a lyric and melody that we write music to, sometimes Tim will write the music and I’ll put lyrics to it, or possibly he’ll have most of a song together that just needs tinkering. Other times Frazer will come to rehearsals with a guitar riff which we’ll jam until a song comes together.
Being a four piece band and having different musical influences within the band, is there sometimes a lot of negotiating in the studio or do you feel you are writing the music you want to for the band?
Yeah, it can get quite tense at times. Ultimately, compromises have to made, which in the end actually make the result more interesting. Everyone has valid input into the songs, and a simple suggestion that Steve might make about a chord sequence can change the whole dynamic of a song for the better.
How hard has it been to juggle the touring side of things with the everyday jobs? Do you have plans to go on bigger tours and further afield in 2019?
Well, it helps that three of us are self employed!
How hard is it for a band like ZMG to survive in the current climate where bands have to tour non stop and sell merchandise in order to bring money back into the band?
Yeah – we’re certainly not in it for the money! If we were, we’d have given it up a LONG time ago.
Being from Gravesend, are there any other bands from your local scene that you would recommend?
Well, there’s Terminal Heads and 80’s anarcho punk legends Anthrax, 15 minutes down the road in Medway you’ve got Jim Riley’s Blues Foundation, Kris Dollimore…
A fun question to end this interview. If you were a DJ and were allowed to bring 5 CDs to the party, what would they be?
- Popular Favourites – Oblivians
- Static Age – Misfits
- Exile On Main Street – The Rolling Stones
- Gritty Shaker – David Holmes
- Stone Roses – Stone Roses
Any last message for our readers here at Moshville Times?
Come and see us and buy our shit.
Super Atomic Werewolf Chicks on Motorbikes out January 25th