How would you describe Zillah’s music to someone who has never heard you before?
(Tim Rasmussen and Rob Coverdale, guitars): I’d describe it as chaotic, progressive and brutally abrasive.
Where does your songwriting inspiration come from?
We have quite a lot of varied influences on our style. Our main influences are probably bands like Voivod, Neurosis, Burnt By The Sun, Botch, Mastodon and more recently Swarm of The Lotus. All pretty original bands that have their own sound and identity – I’d say we’re inspired by that kind of originality and also try and create a unique sound.
Do you think metal is a misunderstood genre?
Not really. I guess a lot mainstream press and reviews tend not to understand it, patronise and mock it unfairly at times and just don’t get it or realise how big it is. It can be frustrating but the way I see it you’re either into metal or you aren’t and we all don’t need to explain it to anyone that doesn’t get it. There’s plenty of us metal fans and it’s such a strong genre with so much depth and variety that it never gets tired and it doesn’t matter if it’s not got a wider following than it already has.
How healthy do you reckon the Scottish metal scene is at the moment?
I think it’s been better – there’s not as many extreme and heavy bands as there were a few years ago or gigging as much but there are some really good bands still around. Cancerous Womb and Scordatura are two death metal bands that are playing a lot and I’ve got really into Acatalepsy from Edinburgh recently. There’s probably quite a few newer bands I’ve not heard yet though.
How did you get into metal in the first place?
[Iron Maiden‘s] Live After Death!
You’re based in Edinburgh, which has been dogged by talk of venue closures recently. Do you think the city’s music scene is dying a death?
There’s definitely fewer good venues now, and some of the bigger ones and even the smaller ones have some frustrating curfews and so on, but I wouldn’t say its been a problem for local gigs. It’s just a bit harder to get more of the established bands with a bigger pull to play here rather than Glasgow as a result.
And finally – what gets you up in the morning?
The constant noise in our heads in the form of riffs and melodies that is always there whether we like it or not. When you get up each morning and pick up your guitar and jam out a few ideas, it’s something that happens. It sounds cheesy but when you do this, when you write music, it chooses you – you don’t choose it. So whether you like it or not, when you get up in the morning, there is usually a riff there that is screaming to get out of your head and on to a fret board. Sometimes it’s a curse as you might get up and have something else that’s important to do, and all you can think of is that amazing riff in your head. In saying that, if those riffs weren’t there, you’d never get that feeling of satisfaction when you finally hear it in its completion with the entire band. And that makes it all worth it.