Exclusive Interviews Only Found Here at MetalCore!
Odd Zero are a killer band out of NY and here is an email interview with singer
Mike Friedman and check this band out they kill:
MC: Let's get the normal question out of the way. How did the band form and
what is the current line-up?
MF: Right now we are Tay Malloy on bass, Milt Hernandez on drums, Mike Fuji on guitar, and me, Mike Friedman on vocals. tay started the band -- he put out an ad on Craigslist which I answered -- we worked together for a year before getting our first line-up (which was called Afterjackets). We went through a few changes, and this line-up has been together almost 4 years.
MC: How did the songs for the CD you sent me come together? Is it the 1st thing
that you have released and how has the response been to it so far?
MF: We have 2 CDs -- the first was produced by punk/hardcore producer Don Fury, and the second, the one we sent you, was produced by Joey Z of Carnivore and Life of Agony. We have been really happy with the response to both CDs. Our reviews have been really positive, although we do get the occasional rip. And we have been getting radio play all over the world on internet, college and community radio.
MC: How would you describe your music to somebody who has never heard you and
have you felt that all the reviews done on the disc so far have been pretty
MF: I used to describe our music as a shredder guitarist taking a piss on a punk rock song, and Guitar and Bass Magazine called us "metal-tainted punk." Another said we sounded like Black Flag beating up the Vaselines, which I thought was funny. Almost all of our reviews seem to say that we are combining punk and metal in some way, so that is usually what we would say. I feel like our reviews have been fair -- we have been getting really great reviews from our second CD. Our first CD got good reviews as well, but we found out early that some of the pop-punk zines hated us, which bothered us initially, but we have since worn as a badge of honor. Actually several other reviews that were positive, including the one from you guys, seem to contrast us to some of the pop punk or nu metal.
MC: Are lyrics important to you and how does a new song and the lyrics for
it come together?
MF: I basically write the lyrics, and they are very important to us -- we want to convey a certain intensity in our music, and unless we are saying something that matters to at least me, it is hard to do that. I usually do it a few times and the guys will ask me what the lyrics mean, at which point I get that "you are out of your mind" look --which is of course true.
MC: How are you going about promoting the CD?
MF: To us making contacts in the metal community is the best way -- if we read a fanzine or hear a radio show that we like we want to send our stuff out, and hope that the people running those things will promote us. By the way, thank you! We also try to get out to shows for bands that we like.
MC: Plug your website and My Space pages and what are the url's for them and
what will people see and hear when they log into either one?
MF: Best site for us at myspace.com/oddzerony and soundclick.com/oddzero. Also check us out on Itunes, CD Baby, Pandora radio, Rhapsody Radio. You can get all of our songs, and many of our videos, although check out Youtube as well.
MC: Does the band pretty much get along for the most part and what has been
the worst or funniest band fight so far?
MF: We actually get along great, we have almost no drama at this point, except who is driving who to the shows. Probably the worst fights we have are me versus the floor of the clubs we play in because I usually wind up banging my fists or elbows on the floor during a couple of our songs and unfortunately have done some permanent damage to my hands. The funniest band fight I think we got into was with an earlier line-up, when one of the guys in the band threatened to stab me because he thought I was making fun of his mother. I don't remember if I was, although I do not believe I deserved to be stabbed for it
MC: Do you feel your a good live band and have you had a chance to play live
much and are any videos of the band up on the net at all?
MF: I think we are a great, intense live show, although I'm not thrilled with the videos we have at this point. I think we're best experienced live. I also think it's mostly because I am perpetually reminded in the videos of how ugly I am and how good-looking Fuji is. This is an uncomfortable feeling because he stands next to me all show. We have videos up on youtube, myspace and soundclick.
MC: How did you come up with your band name and were any other names considered?
MF: I came up with Odd Zero -- we meant it to represent a weird loser, and
the geeks in us liked the fact that there is a debate over whether zero is an
odd or even number -- that's pretty sad that this is how we like to spark controversy.
We were originally called Afterjackets, which someone in one of our original
lineups came up with -- but it didn't mean anything.
MC: What are some musicians and bands that you are influenced by?
MF: We have always been equal parts punk, rock and metal. So anything that derives in part from the Stooges -- Ramones, Sex Pistols, Black Flag, Pixies, Mudhoney. Also anything that is more from old school metal -- particularly early Iron Maiden. And I think more modern riff-rock like Rage Against the Machine, Stone Temple Pilots and Soundgarden. I think in our next CD, which we are currently in the process of recording, a lot more influences will be apparent, from funk to jazz to straight up rock and roll.
MC: What are the short term and long term goals of the band if there is any?
MF: I think we want to get our next CD out and keep building our audience. I think we all want to stay together for a long time, but we think the best way to make it happen is to look only a little bit ahead -- promoting the next show, writing the next song. I think we all hope we leave some kind of mark on music in some way -- particularly people in the underground community appreciating our music, because those are the people whose opinions we most respect.
MC: Have you sent the disc out to any record companies and if you have what
sort of response have you gotten back so far?
MF: We did originally, and got some offers from independent record labels, but we never got an offer that we liked.
MC: Do you feel it is necessary for a band like yourself to have a band manager
or would you rather do it all yourself?
MF: We tried having a manager for a bit, but in the end, we always feel like we can manage and promote ourselves best. We are open to something if the right offer comes in, but we feel pretty comfortable with a DIY approach -- in the end you do it yourself anyway.
MC: About how much time a week is spent on doing band related stuff?
MF: Good question -- it tends to vary based on what the band needs. I'm always writing lyrics, and I think the other guys are always writing new music -- it kind of depends how the inspiration is hitting us. Sometimes it's not much at all, but sometimes I feel like I am spending 20 hours a week promoting our shows, and other times spending that much time writing new stuff. I know the other guys feel the same -- it pretty much is like a part-time job at times.
MC: If you had your own record company and could sign any 10 bands, which
10 bands which you sign?
MF: Wow -- that is a brutal question because I have no idea if the bands I like would sell records in this current market. I think if we had our own record company, we'd spend some time promoting the talented underground bands that we like or have played with. I think many good labels have developed from a local scene, and there are tons of great bands right now in the NY/NJ area, such as Cyclone 60, Misery, Artikay, and the Bullys. I would also want Suicide, the Stooges, Beastie Boys, the NY Dolls as well as Jane's Addiction and the Pixies.
MC: Have you ever done and cover tunes in the past and if you could cover a
couple tunes which would they be and why?
NF: We once covered "I Will Follow" by U2 but I want to cover "The Destroyer" by The Kinks.
MC: How did you come up with the cover of the CD that you sent me and are you
happy with the finished product?
MF: Tay is a fantastic artist and does all of our cover work -- I really love it and it gets a great response.
MC: What are some things you like to do that are not music related?
MF: Pretty much at this point, when we are not playing or working, we are spending time with our families or raising kids -- Milt and I called each other the other day while we were both mowing the lawn, and we asked, "How the fuck did this happen?"
MC: Is there a healthy metal scene where you live and are there any cool clubs
and record stores that cater to metalheads at all?
MF: Trash Bar and the Delancey are fantastic clubs in the NY area -- there is a great metal scene here, with lots of cool bands. Lots of good history.
MC: When can we expect some new music from the band?
MF: Hopefully our third CD will be done early 2010.
MC: I am out of questions. Horns up for the interview. Any last words the floor
MF: Thanks again to you guys for putting us in the fanzine -- we really appreciate it! Also, to anyone out there wanting to start a band -- do it -- don't let anyone tell you that you can't.