Ex-Dragonforce singer ZP Theart has been striking out on his own with new band I am I. OneMetal caught up with singer ZP and bassist Neil Salmon to talk about the new project after their set at this year’s Bloodstock Open Air:
OneMetalOK, gentlemen; Question The First. Where did the name come from? Am I detecting a subtle Queensryche influence?
ZP:Actually no. We’ve had that question before, it’s definitely not a Queensryche thing, it was a nutty fucking dream I woke up from one morning, and the last thing I could remember was the words ‘I am I’ echoing through my head.
OneMetalSo it came to you in a dream! Quite metal.
ZP:Well, it doesn’t happen that regularly because… well… I don’t dream very much.
OneMetalSo can you tell us a little bit about how the band formed, and how you came together?
ZP:Well, I needed to party and I needed people to party with me. I needed the right guys, I got the right guys, and now we’re partying, dude, and it’s going from strength to strength.
OneMetalGood, good! Obviously, you’re quite well known for your previous band, so have you found that as you’re starting to promote I Am I, you’ve got something of a ready made fanbase? People who like Dragonforce, are they gravitating to your new band?
ZP:There’s a lot of that happening, and a lot of people were curious to see what I was going to come up with. I think a fair few of them were pleasantly surprised.
OneMetalHow’s the response been in general?
OneMetalExcellent. Event Horizon’s only just come out, so I assume you’re still in the promotional cycle for that, have you found time to write more songs? Do you write in between gigs or do you sit down and dedicate a chunk of time to writing a full album?
Neil:Songs are being written all the time, we’re trying many different things at the moment. A few things we’ve tried haven’t been successful, but as you heard today, we played some pretty powerful songs, and we’ve got a few more up our sleeves. Just wait, and in future, something else is gonna come out.
OneMetalTell me a little about your personal influences then, cos this is slightly different from what you were known for doing before, a little bit more rocky perhaps?
ZP:Its slowed down, its breathable, it gives every musician a gap to play it, its just…
ZP:Less frantic! It’s rock n’ roll, you can tap your foot to it!
OneMetalRather than doing a little dance?
Neil:Oh you can dance to it too! It’s very organic.
OneMetalSo that’s what you wanted to create with it then, something a bit more rocky? Who are your personal influences, as a vocalist?
ZP:Um, I love Sebastian Bach, I think he’s probably one of the greatest guys out there, as a frontman, and he’s got an amazing recording voice. I’m a big Bon Jovi fan too, I think he’s a phenomenal songwriter. Whether people think it’s gay or not, I don’t give a shit you know, the man writes really good tunes. There’s Def Leppard, theres Motley Crue, there’s Tesla, there’s a whole bunch I could never fucking name them all!
OneMetalVery much into your ‘80s hard rock then? So, do you find, playing at a festival, crowds are a bit harder to win over, being as it’s people walking past who might not necessarily be there for you? Or do you find that as it’s a festival, everyone’s up for everything, and you get a better response?
ZP:That’s what makes it challenging, to convince people to shut up and give you five minutes, and actually listen, and when it actually happens, and it starts coming across like it did today, it’s fucking phenomenal and you know you’re onto a winner. We did that with our debut show, no one had ever heard the album, we released two songs for people to hear and the album came out a day before we did the show, and people came and were fucking… I think they had no idea what to expect; they didn’t know what the songs were going to be like, they’d never heard any of it. [chuckles]
OneMetalYou must have been pretty nervous going into it blind like that.
ZP:You know, it’s challenging. It’s a challenge, bring it on.
OneMetalIt takes balls to do that, not having put anything out before and doing the first gig.
ZP:Well, I’ve got a bunch of boys that’s got balls aswell, so… [puts on American accent] we got a whole bunch of balls on stage, boy!
OneMetalThat’s what you need for rock and roll, isn’t it?
ZP:Yeah, all the way dude, all the way!
OneMetalWell, that just about wraps me up, is there anything you’d like to say to the good readers of OneMetal?
Neil:September 17th, we’ve got an album release in the stores, if you go to IamIofficial.com you’ll get a special collector’s edition USB stick, with a whole load of other material, photos, videos, things like that.
ZP:You can even get it on itunes, I believe.
Neil:Itunes? Nah, Go to IamIofficial.com.
ZP:It’ll be everywhere, it’s time to do it, so let’s do it right.
OneMetalIndeed, well said.
I am I’s website: http://www.IamIofficial.com