1.Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the band since the recording and release of the new album?Michael : Well the recording has only just been finished and isn't getting released until Tues 11th March. We've been trying to do as many interviews /promo stuff as we possibly can to try and get the word out about the new album.
Simon : We have been keeping a relatively low profile since we have recorded our new album, but we are now gearing up to promote the release by doing interviews and establishing networks world wide.
2.Recently you have put out a new album, can you tell us a little bit more about the musical direction of the new recording and also how does it differ from your previous ep?Michael : Well the album is exactly that - an album. We put alot of thought into the order of the songs and its better to listen to the whole thing from start to finish. It starts with "Waves" which is quite an epic/longish song which goes against what your supposed to do ie putting your most commercial songs first. We figure we aren't a commercial radio band anyway so we might as well make an album that we like the sound of. We told the producer to try and make it sound as big and fat as possible and to make the guitars sound huge. Theres a few songs where the guitars just sound enormous (which is awesome being a guitarist haha). We've also got a couple of what could be defined as "radio" songs - Talkback Caller and Cosmic Rays which both sit well in amongst all the heavier stuff. The very last track - State of Mind, is another longer epic with a really cool instrumental section at the end. Its the perfect way to close the album. I love the way the album finishes on a single piano and acoustic guitar chord. Its interesting to see that pretty much everybody who listens to the entire thing has their own fave songs and they all vary dramatically depending on who you speak to.
In terms of differing from the previous EP, the "Green Mosquito" ep was recorded, mixed and mastered in 5 days so was kind of rushed. Also it was recorded in a studio which was filled with top of the line vintage valve gear which is all good, but at the end of the day you can only do so much with vintage gear. The new "On Earth" album by comparison took about 10 months to complete on a part time basis. Just getting it mixed cost almost as much as the entire "Green Mosquito" ep cost to make. Plus we got a world class mastering engineer (Leon Zervos - Muse, Fall Out Boy, Maroon 5, Beastie Boys, Interpol, Santana, Dream Theater, Robyn, Rihanna etc) to master it so obviously it gonna sound a little better
Simon : Many of the songs have been hand picked from a vast back catalogue spanning almost 20 years. The older songs have more of a heavier edge while the newer ones have more of a grunge based vibe with a little bit of psychedelia mixed in as well. It doesn't differ a great deal from our previous ep.
3.Can you tell us a little bit more about the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?Michael : Well being a guitarist I have absolutely no idea what Simon sings. I do a bit of backing so I know the words to sing in the backing bits but thats it. Simon is an amazing lyricist. Everytime I read his lyrics I get super impressed. I can't write good lyrics to save myself so I leave that to an expert like Simon haha
Simon : We/I don't write about specific topics as such, but relay "a certain frame of mind" personal experiences that are universal and that many people will relate to. I try to write positive messages with spiritual undertones within our music and also try to express ideals that many would yearn for.
4.I know that the band name came from Greek and Roman mythology, can you tell us a little bit bit about your interest in this topic?Simon : Most of the members in Jupiter Zeus have an interest in mythology, spirituality and even the occult and so it felt natural to go for the "Jupiter Zeus" name. We felt the two names sounded good together and obviously the two names have the same meaning.
5.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?Michael : Well the band has been together for alot longer than I've been with them. I've known them for a very long time though and used to do gigs with them all them time when I was in a thrash/punk band called "Moth" when they used to be called "Nebula" (not to be confused with the US band) . We used to play gigs with them all the time in Perth. I remember going to their "Sadness Vs Madness" CD launch years ago and it was pandemonium. There was a ridiculous amount of people crammed in the room, people jumping off speaker stacks, hanging off the roof etc. Toilets full of vomit and people covered in blood. Was crazy. I'm sure that night would have been a highlight.
We in the process now of writing a full bio for wikipedia which includes all the pre Jupiter Zeus stuff. It really will make for an interesting story.
Simon : We really try to have fun on stage and attempt to display passion of our music and a degree of professionalism. Feeding off the crowd is part and parcel of the whole experience. One of our best shows goes back to the late 1990s when we were known under a different name (Nebula) supporting Paradise Lost in our home town Perth.
6.Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?Michael : We are looking into touring options at the moment. Living in Perth, Australia makes touring incredibly difficult due to cost being the worlds most isolated capital city. There is no opportunity for us to tour here so we look over the horizons to different countries. We would love to do some shows in the US and Europe especially some festivals. If anyone has any propositions send a message through either our website or facebook page.
Simon : We would love to play some shows overseas, but we are doing the wait and see approach. Any opportunities that present themselves to play at certain music festivals etc, I dare say we will "pounce" on them.
7.The new album came out on Magnetic Eyes Records, can you tell us a little bit more about this label?Michael : Magnetic Eye Records is a label based in Albany, New York which is run by Mike Vitali who is the guitarist in legendary underground stoner rock bands "Ironweed" and "GreatDayForUp" both of which are some of my fave bands around. I was bored one night and googling Ironweed and an interview with Mike came up and I read how he was starting a label so I instantly tracked him down and sent him some stuff.
The other bands on the label which are similar to us include Ironweed, Summoner, Akuma and they've also released vinyl stuff for "Owl" which is a side project of Chris Whyse from "The Cult". I saw Owl in Los Angeles a few years ago by co-incidence and thought they where cool as.
Simon : They are an independent label based in Albany, New York state. We are thrilled to have signed a 2 album deal with them.
8.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of heavy rock?Michael : We still in the process of getting ourselves out there and the world is a fkn big place. People from all over the world seem to discover us somehow and I have no idea how they do it. It seems that certain people have a listen and then totally get what we are doing and get completely into us 110%. We get people from all over the world sending us really enthusiastic emails and FB messages saying how much they loved the "Green Mosquito" ep etc and they have a fave song they really dig etc which is totally cool.
Simon : Early days yet, but early indications suggest that this record will be well received.
9.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?Michael : The songs for the next album are already written. I foresee the next album having alot more experimental stuff on it. Jeremy (bass) and myself are right into electronic music so I would imagine there may be elements of drum & bass etc in there along side some big guitar riffs. It would be good to make an album which has a heap of different styles mixed into it but still has the energy of rock & metal etc
Simon : We are still keen to re-record many songs from our vast back catalogue for our next album, but we won't be scared of doing some experimentation with different sounds such as acoustic and even techno sounds. I still believe we will retain heavy guitars and rock vibes because that's what we love to play.
10.What are some bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?Michael : I like everything from early Metallica through to dance music and absolutely everything in between. Basically if it's good I'll like it. Today I've been listening to The Mark of Cain (who are a killer Australian band), Daft Punk, Stone Temple Pilots & Soundgarden. Oh and I listened to Black Sabbath when I went jogging this morning.
Simon : We are influenced by many bands and genres, but it would be safe to say our main influences are from the 60s/70s rock/metal era. Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple etc. Even Pink Floyd and the Beatles are huge influences of our sound. These days I personally like to listen to Australian bands such as Tame Impala (also from Perth) and even The Temper Trap.
11.What are some of your interests outside of music?Michael : I love flying planes. I've been fortunate enough to make that passion my day job as a pilot. Travelling is something I also can't get enough of. I try to go to as many strange and different places around the world as I can at every opportunity.
Simon : Most of the members have kids so obviously family based activities are a must and important to maintain. Personally I like to engage in horticultural pursuits such as growing herbs etc I think it is important to get involved in other things/hobbies in order to maintain a sense of balance.
12.before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?Michael - Thank you so much for taking the time to interview us. Make sure you like our facebook page www.facebook.com/jupiterzeusrock and our website www.jupiterzeus.com . You can contact us there for gigs etc.
Simon : Cheers for the interview and interest in Jupiter Zeus!
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