Sunday, October 28, 2012


Earlier this month, I got to chat with Zach Gray, the lead singer & guitarist of an awesome BC band known as The Zolas when they came to Toronto for a show with Hey Ocean! After the interview I stuck around to see their set and they were fantastic live.

Here's one of my favourite tracks, "Knot In My Heart"

 I wrote an article for, which will be up in a little while, but in the meantime, here's a bit of Q&A from the interview -

Q: You’ve been touring with Hey Ocean! – how’s that going so far?

Zach Gray: It’s so good.  Our band and their bands, we all known each other from back home. There are so many different ways that we know each other. Like I went to high school with two of the members of Hey Ocean! and everyone just all plays in different bands in Vancouver. That scene is really woven together so it just feels like hanging out with your friends all over Canada, which is a dream come true in a way.

Q: Do you guys feed off of each other then?

ZG: Everyone’s really positive in both bands. There’s usually one person who doesn’t really want to be there, who misses their boyfriend/girlfriend too much or has a bad back or hates getting sick – because you do get sick when you’re around so many people and going around from venue to venue. And those people often bring everyone back down to reality, but it’s been this sort of Shangri-La tour so far.

Q: What’s the biggest difference between your newest album, Ancient Mars, and your first album?

ZG: The first one was a lot more piano heavy, it was meant to showcase a band that played really well together. That was with another group of people that we loved, that was with Aiden Knight and Ali from Mother Mother. It was just our closest friends who played the instruments we needed. That one sounded like a band in a room playing the songs as they were meant to be played. I think we were going for an organic Kinks sort of vibe, but we totally failed at making it sound like The Kinks. That was sort of the reason going in. This one we didn’t want to make it sound like that at all. We wanted everything to be sort of throbbing and lush and then also minimal at times and icy. We wanted textures and aesthetics; we wanted music that filled your ears when you listened to it in your headphones when walking somewhere.

Q: What’s the atmosphere like in the studio?

ZG: I’ve never thought about that. I’ve haven’t been around enough other recording experiences to know how ours is unique. I think we always pick really positive, fun people and we have a really good time. We choose our moments to get as drunk as possible and we choose our moments to be as sober as possible. Usually you want to fore build it first, then lather on some intoxicated performance and then the next morning you listen to it and evaluate it. Sometimes it’s genius and sometimes it’s utter trash.
Q: Where do you get your songwriting inspiration?

ZG: The last 2 albums have been about just living in the city, living in the air that we live in, just past the turn of the century. And the way young people look at the world, and the way young people look at ourselves. And our relationships. Optimism versus pessimism which I think is a constant battle that we all have to face and we lose it more then we win it - me too. That’s sort of what coloured the album and what I wanted to write about.

Q: What has been the biggest challenge so far in your career?

ZG: Honestly the biggest challenge I think is finding people who love doing this. There are some people who start as musicians and some do really well, but a lot of people have never really asked themselves do you want to live like this. Even at its best, it’s not a conventional lifestyle, it sort of runs against some goals people have for their personal lives. So the hardest thing has been finding people who we love as musicians, who are like our soul mates as musicians, but who also want to be doing this.

Want to find out more info on The Zolas? Check out

- Christina
Follow my adventures on Twitter: @christinaaa28

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