14 Oct 2019
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Zed - Interview: Zed

08 Aug 2019 // An interview by Axl Scott

Zed recently announced that they will be celebrating 20 years since their debut studio album Silencer was released, with two intimate shows in Auckland and Christchurch. With outstanding hits such as Oh! DaisyGlorafilla and I'm Cold, there's no doubt that there'll be thousands of people lining up to seeing Zed live once again. Axl Scott from Muzic.net.nz talked to the band about how Zed formed, what has been happening for the past 20 years, and what the future holds for them. Here's what was said:

It's been 20 years since the release of Silencer, what has happened since then, in a nutshell?

Nathan: It’s hard to believe it has been 20 years, but on the other hand loads has happened since then… As a band we had one amazing adventure travelling/performing in the States, Europe and Australia performing with loads of bands we love. Then in 2005 we took a break to all try different things. Ben, Andy and Adrian formed Atlas, I travelled to live and perform in the UK, some of us got married, had children and we all continued either making music or having it be a part of our lives in one way or another. Adrian and Ben both own and run eateries (in Christchurch and Akaroa, respectively), while Andy and I run Hum Studios, making music for TV and advertising.

I know Andy Lynch has played in Atlas and The Feelers, has anyone else performed with any other bands?

Nathan: I did a solo album, then an album as Paper Plane. There haven’t been any other major collaborations.

Favourite track of yours and why?

Nathan: My favourite track is probably Hard To Find Her - it was a song we’d worked hard on to make as catchy and feel-good as possible, plus it was a song I’d written about my future wife, so it has special memories attached!

Who has been the most iconic band you’ve performed with?

Nathan: Coldplay was the biggest highlight for me. We opened for them on 12 shows around Australia and then Auckland - they were already massive, but we knew they were destined to be one of the great bands of the 21st century.

What lead to the awesome news of a reunion? Will it be the original line-up?

Nathan: All the original members have stayed in touch over the years, and it was probably an offer to play for the All Blacks before a game against the Lions in 2017 - a one-off performance that saw us walking out in front of a packed stadium at Eden Park that gave us all the bug again. Having 45,000 people really enjoy your music is a pretty amazing experience.

What led you guys together to form Zed?

Nathan: Adrian, Ben and I became friends through music at Cashmere High School. We’d seen Bic Runga graduate before us and go on to do great things, and began jamming together - inspired by what she’d achieved and wanting to do something similar, only with loud guitars instead of quiet ones ;)

So, it was originally Supra, but then changed to Zed. What does Zed mean?

Nathan: We liked the simple, catchy nature of the name, plus that it had a connection to our homeland of NZ. It was one of loads of names we threw around and just seemed to stick. Plus, Ray Columbus (our manager) loved it, and he was a pretty convincing guy!

Who is Glorafilia?

Nathan: Glorafilia is a fictitious character that Ben dreamed up one day after having seen a book on his mum’s bookshelf with the same title. It’s actually a form of craft involving needles and thread...

What was it like to take down Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Robbie Williams as number one album?

Nathan: We had been pretty nervous in the lead up to album release week. There were some massive albums out at the time doing some serious business on the charts - the volumes of sales back then were pretty unbelievable compared with nowadays. We weren’t sure we’d beat both of them as those albums had so many hits on them already and we were just a local band, but the support we got was incredible, and sure enough we held on to the top spot for not just one week, but two.

What drew the inspiration for Renegade Fighter?

Nathan: I wrote that song in about 15 mins, and part of it came to me in the shower! I think there’s meant to be something about warm water on the back of your head the sparks creativity…

I see that you are going to be playing in Auckland and Christchurch, any plans for the rest of the country? Who will be opening your shows?

We would love to get around the rest of our two wonderful islands and visit all the places that were so good to us all those years ago at some point - but we’re making these first two shows extra special, so nothing else is planned right now. We are still deciding on a support act at the moment!

Who are your favourite NZ musicians/bands?

Andy: I’m a massive fan of Pdigsss from Shapeshifter. Such a great guy and man...man that voice! Nick Gaffaney from Cairo Knife Fight, Someone I have played with on and off for years. Is there anything this man can’t do! To summarise in one word…. Genius. Kings, what a talent and work ethic. Tiki Taane, musical engineering machine! To many others to list.

Who would you say are the bands musical influences?

Andy: I loved the Stone Temple Pilots growing up, Cat Stevens, Bob Marley, Led Zeppelin, Jamiroquai, lots of soul music, Miles Davis. I always had a real love for Cuban and Brazilian music. All of Zed appreciates music from all over the spectrum.

What advice would you like to give other budding musicians/bands?

Nathan: Always try and remember why you started playing music in the first place, the sheer joy of it, making sound, expressing things and bonding with others over it. I mean...how cool is that. How lucky we are!

What is in your CD collection at home?

Andy: Currently Welcome To Jamrock by Damian Marley and Stars by Shapeshifter.

Do you have a message you were trying to push through with your albums?

Nathan: Nothing you could define overall; I suppose every song has a little story unto itself going on. Some more cryptic than others.

If you had to be confined to one room for 6 months what CD would you take with you?

Andy: Hmm that’s a long time, I definitely take some tropical sounding compilation, so at least I could pretend I was in the tropics somewhere.

What has been your most memorable show to date?

Nathan: There’s been so many. One particular show in Hamburg, Germany on a huge floating stage in the middle of a lake in summer comes to mind

Which one of your songs are you most proud of, and why?

Andy: Probably Hard To Find Her and Postcard. I really enjoyed recording those and they still sound great to this day.

Have you got any tips for dealing with nerves before a gig?

Andy: I find not hanging around the venue waiting too long before playing helps. Often I’d go for a quick run before getting ready that was a great way to get centered. And Joking with the band, making light of situations is simply the best.

You can purchase tickets to their Christchurch and Auckland show here:

 

About Zed

Wherever you are and whatever you're doing, when Zed's Renegade Fighter comes on the radio, you'd better keep your guard up - because this song packs a punch! From the first chords of its overdriven guitars, to its clever harmonies, to the final echo of its hook-heavy chorus, the debut track from Zed is equal parts menace and vulnerability, charm and arrogance. In short, it's 100% pure Rock n Roll, no imitations accepted.

Originally formed while they were still students at Christchurch's Cashmere High, Zed is the dream child of Nathan King, Ben Campbell and Adrian Palmer, all of whom found they shared a passion for guitar pop - fuelled by their parents old Beatles records, a bit of Crowded House, and radio stars Supergrass and Radiohead.

Sometime back in '96 though, daydreams and air-guitar weren't enough, and like thousands of young bands before them, the three began getting together in each others bedrooms for band practice.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Zed

Releases

This Little Empire
Year: 2003
Type: Album
Silencer (Bonus Disc)
Year: 2001
Type: Album
Silencer
Year: 2000
Type: Album

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