Tag Archive | "Thom Hazaert"

Drew Fortier Releases Extended Edition of Autobiography

Drew Fortier Releases Extended Edition of Autobiography

By popular demand, musician, filmmaker, actor, and now author Drew Fortier has released an extended and definitive version of his autobiography “Dark, Depressing, and Hilarious: My Bittersweet Journey In and Out of the Music Business”.

This final version of the book, available in paperback as well as hardcover (for the first time), has more than double the content of its initial release including: more tales from the road, a photo section, and an additional foreword by Fortier’s high school friend and Attack of Life: The Bang Tango Movie producer Joe Placzkowski. The book is an over-all more in-depth reading experience about Fortier’s unique and multi-faceted career in the entertainment industry leading up why he decided to eventually and abruptly walk away from it all.

“This book is literally me in its purest form”, says Fortier. “Aside from the cover art and photos, I did everything with no outside help. I edited this book, formatted this book, proof-read this book, and wrote this book out of sheer will and determination just to see if I could and I couldn’t be more happy with the finished product.”

Amazon Paperback Link

Lulu Hardcover Link

Book Synopsis: From cluelessly making a brutally honest and poignant documentary film on the formerly popular rock band Bang Tango, to joining said rock band as a guitarist; musician, filmmaker, actor, and now author Drew Fortier shares tales from his highly irregular and under the radar career in the entertainment industry which also includes: forming the eclectic pseudo all-star band Zen From Mars, starring in the horror film Her Name Was Christa, playing guitar for and eventually making a film about the late Faith No More frontman Chuck Mosley, and becoming a traveling record label executive with Thom Hazaert for Megadeth bassist David Ellefson’s EMP Label Group.

Foreword 1 by: Joe Placzkowski

Foreword 2 by: Thom Hazaert

Afterword by: Tharasa DiMeo

Cover art designed by: Melody Myers

Drew Fortier is best known for his work with Bang Tango, Flipp, Chuck Mosley (Faith No More), Stephen Shareaux (Kik Tracee), and Zen From Mars; which features members of Enuff Z’Nuff, Fear Factory, Flipp, and Kik Tracee. Fortier is also the filmmaker behind the rock documentary Attack Of Life: The Bang Tango Movie as well as the currently in-production Thanks. And Sorry: The Chuck Mosley Movie. Fortier will be making his acting debut as a lead in the upcoming horror comedy film Her Name Was Christa.

Posted in Blog, MusicComments (0)

Drew Fortier’s Autobiography “Dark, Depressing, and Hilarious” Available Now Via Amazon

Drew Fortier’s Autobiography “Dark, Depressing, and Hilarious” Available Now Via Amazon

Bang Tango, Flipp, and Zen From Mars guitarist, Drew Fortier, has officially released his autobiography. Fans can now purchase “Dark, Depressing, and Hilarious: My Bittersweet Journey In and Out of the Music Business” on Amazon at this location now – Click Here!

About The Book:
From cluelessly making a brutally honest and poignant documentary film on the formerly popular rock band Bang Tango, to joining said rock band as a guitarist; Musician/Filmmaker/Actor and now Author Drew Fortier shares tales from his highly irregular and under the radar career in the entertainment industry which also includes: forming the eclectic pseudo all-star band Zen From Mars, starring in the horror film “Her Name Was Christa,” playing guitar for and eventually making a film about the late Faith No More frontman Chuck Mosley and becoming a traveling record label executive with Thom Hazaert for Megadeth bassist David Ellefson’s EMP Label Group.

Drew Fortier is best known for his work with Bang Tango, Flipp, Chuck Mosley (Faith No More), Stephen Shareaux (Kik Tracee), and Zen From Mars; which features members of Enuff Z’Nuff, Fear Factory, Flipp, and Kik Tracee. Fortier is also the filmmaker behind the rock documentary “Attack of Life: The Bang Tango Movie” as well as the currently in production “Thanks. And Sorry: The Chuck Mosley Movie”. Fortier will be making his acting debut as a lead in the upcoming horror comedy film “Her Name Was Christa.”

Drew Fortier and Kik Tracee/Zen From Mars vocalist Stephen Shareaux will be recording a live acoustic album on Friday, August 24th, at Black Circle Brewing Co. in Indianapolis, IN. Physical copies of “Dark, Depressing and Hilarious” will be available at the show.

Along with Fortier, Shareaux will be appearing at the Rock N Pod Expo on August 25th, 2018. Tickets for the event are currently in sale at www.rocknpod.eventbrite.com.

Book cover art designed by: Melody Myers
Photo credit for book cover: Tharasa DiMeo

 

Posted in Blog, Movies, TV and More!Comments (0)

Drew Fortier To Release “Dark, Depressing and Hilarious” Autobiography On August 24th!

Drew Fortier To Release “Dark, Depressing and Hilarious” Autobiography On August 24th!

Bang Tango, Flipp, and Zen From Mars guitarist, Drew Fortier, will be releasing his autobiography titled “Dark, Depressing, and Hilarious” on August 24th, 2018.

From cluelessly making a brutally honest and poignant documentary film on the formerly popular rock band Bang Tango, to joining said rock band as a guitarist; Musician/Filmmaker/Actor and now Author Drew Fortier shares tales from his highly irregular and under the radar career in the entertainment industry which also includes: forming the eclectic pseudo all-star band Zen From Mars, starring in the horror film “Her Name Was Christa,” playing guitar for and eventually making a film about the late Faith No More frontman Chuck Mosley and becoming a traveling record label executive with Thom Hazaert for Megadeth bassist David Ellefson’s EMP Label Group.

Drew Fortier is best known for his work with Bang Tango, Flipp, Chuck Mosley (Faith No More), Stephen Shareaux (Kik Tracee), and Zen From Mars; which features members of Enuff Z’Nuff, Fear Factory, Flipp, and Kik Tracee. Fortier is also the filmmaker behind the rock documentary “Attack of Life: The Bang Tango Movie” as well as the currently in production “Thanks. And Sorry: The Chuck Mosley Movie”. Fortier will be making his acting debut as a lead in the upcoming horror comedy film “Her Name Was Christa.”

Drew Fortier and Kik Tracee/Zen From Mars vocalist Stephen Shareaux will be recording a live acoustic album on Friday, August 24th, at Black Circle Brewing Co. in Indianapolis, IN. Physical copies of “Dark, Depressing and Hilarious” will be available at the show.

Along with Fortier, Shareaux will be appearing at the Rock N Pod Expo on August 25th, 2018. Tickets for the event are currently in sale at www.rocknpod.eventbrite.com.

Book cover art designed by: Melody Myers
Photo credit for book cover: Tharasa DiMeo

Posted in Blog, MusicComments (1)

Filmmaker Drew Fortier To Appear At Nashville Rock n Pod Expo

Filmmaker Drew Fortier To Appear At Nashville Rock n Pod Expo

Filmmaker/Bang Tango guitarist Drew Fortier will be making an appearance at the Nashville Rock n Pod Expo! He is best known as guitarist for Bang Tango, Stephen Shareaux (Kik Tracee), Chuck Mosley (Faith No More), and Zen From Mars; which he co-founded, and includes members of Kik Tracee, Enuff Z’Nuff, Flipp and Fear Factory. He has directed and edited the documentaries ‘Attack of Life: The Bang Tango Movie’ and the upcoming ‘Thanks. And Sorry: The Chuck Mosley Movie.’

Fortier will be on hand at the expo to meet fans as well as offering something very special and exclusive for sale there (which will be revealed in weeks to come)!

Nashville Rock n Pod Expo will also feature Vinnie Vincent of KISS, Thom Hazaert, Mitch Malloy, Brian “Head” Welch, Michael Wagener and many more! The event will feature the best in rock merch from an assortment of vinyl and memorabilia dealers. Additionally, over 25 rock podcasts recording on-site!

Buy your tickets NOW at www.rocknpod.eventbrite.com

About Nashville Rock n Pod Expo
The 2nd annual Nashville Rock n Pod Expo takes place Saturday August 25, 2018 at Nashville Palace in Nashville, TN. Bringing together rock podcasters from all over North America, vinyl/memorabilia vendors, and rock personalities and celebrities; the Nashville Rock n Pod Expo is a celebration of all things rock n roll and podcasting. Get all the latest info on the event at www.nashvillerocknpodexpo.com.

Posted in Blog, MusicComments (0)

Zen From Mars (ZFM) Enters The Mixing Stage On Highly-Anticpated Debut Album

Zen From Mars (ZFM) Enters The Mixing Stage On Highly-Anticpated Debut Album

Zen From Mars has officially begun mixing their long awaited debut album. Posted by Richard Easterling, who is mixing the record, a behind-the-scenes teaser has emerged from the studio! The band features vocalist Stephen Shareaux (Kik Tracee), drummer Mike Heller (Fear Factory, Malignancy), the legendary Chip Z’Nuff (Enuff Z’Nuff) on bass and backing vocals, guitarists Brynn Arens (Flipp) and Drew Fortier (Bang Tango), and Kate Catalina (The Showgirl of Rock) on keyboards. The debut album is tentatively set for a 2017 release.

Connect with the band on social media via their official Facebook page.

Posted in Blog, MusicComments Off on Zen From Mars (ZFM) Enters The Mixing Stage On Highly-Anticpated Debut Album

EMP Label Celebrates Dangerous Toys “Dirty 30” With LP/CD Reissues

EMP Label Celebrates Dangerous Toys “Dirty 30” With LP/CD Reissues

Hard Rock legends DANGEROUS TOYS, who formed in Austin, TX in 1987, celebrate 30 years as a band in 2017, and EMP LABEL GROUP is celebrating with “Dirty Thirty” Remastered CD and LP reissues of the back-half of the band’s catalog including PISSED, THE RTIST 4MERLY KNOWN AS DANGEROUS TOYS, AND XX: LIVE.

Formed in 1987, with WATCHTOWER vocalist Jason McMaster, DANGEROUS TOYS released their classic Self-Titled release, and the follow up HELLACIOUS ACRES, via COLUMBIA RECORDS, before going independent for their follow up 1994’s PISSED, and 1995’s THE RTIST 4MERLY KNOWN AS DANGEROUS TOYS.

The band has since remained active for 30 years, playing shows and releasing a string of independent and live releases. Meanwhile McMaster also stayed busy in several other projects including Broken Teeth, Ignitor, and Evil United, who all have current and pending releases via EMP (Broken Teeth’s 4 on the Floor hit stores in April.)

Said vocalist Jason McMaster, “This stuff never came out on vinyl, I am blown away that it will finally happen. PISSED and R-TIST never really get the push they deserved. We were proud of the material and this worth celebrating. I can’t wait to get these myself”

EMP’s Thom Hazaert adds, “I’m a huge fan of Dangerous Toys, and so is David (Ellefson), so we’re super stoked to be able to reissue some of these landmark releases from their catalog. I’ve worked with Jason off and on and for over a decade, with Toys and Broken Teeth, and he truly is one of the hardest working guys in show-business, and nowhere is that more apparently than in Dangerous Toys. These new versions look and sound great, with updated art and packaging, but still staying true to the vibe of the original.”

The first reissue, the seminal 1994 LP PISSED will hit stores September 8th, and is available for pre-order now on Deluxe Gatefold Double LP, CD, and in several bundle configurations from empmerch.com.

Posted in Blog, MusicComments (0)

HALFWAY THERE: Mark Slaughter On Breathing Life Into His Captivating Solo Album!

HALFWAY THERE: Mark Slaughter On Breathing Life Into His Captivating Solo Album!

Known for his soaring rock vocals, Mark Slaughter has spent the better part of his life creating good ol’ fashioned rock ‘n’ roll. With a plethora of hits under his belt from one of rock’s most memorable decades, he could easy spend his days underneath the glow on the stage lights continuing to thrill audiences around the globe with the songs he made famous. Let’s face it, its a good gig if you can get it but it takes a lot of blood, sweat and tears to get there. With that said, Mark Slaughter is not the type of artist content in resting on his laurels. In fact, he will be the first to tell you he won’t be fading off into the sunset anytime soon.

In early 2017, Mark Slaughter announced that he would release his sophomore solo album, “Halfway There,” via EMP Label Group, the U.S. based label of Megadeth bassist David Ellefson, in May of 2017. Produced and co-mixed by Slaughter with John Cranfield (AFI, Andy Grammer), with art by famed horror/album artist “Mister” Sam Shearon (Rob Zombie, Iron Maiden, KISS, Clive Barker) “Halfway There” is a stunning return to form for Slaughter. The album channels the familiar hard rock sensibility of classic-era Slaughter releases like “Stick it to Ya” and “The Wild Life” on “Hey You” and emotionally-charged title track “Halfway There,” with a mature, progressive, metal-bent, evidenced on cuts like “Devoted,” “Conspiracy” and “Reckless.” The record serves as an unrelenting showcase of Slaughter’s seemingly never-ending vocal abilities, but a glowing testament to his perpetually underserved prowess as a songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, handling all production, engineering, songwriting, arrangements, guitar, and the bulk of the album’s instrumentation himself.

Jason Price of Icon Vs. Icon recently caught up with Mark Slaughter to discuss his journey as an artist, the challenges her faced along the way and bringing his vision for his sophomore solo album, “Halfway There,” to life.

Let’s start at your formative years. What went into finding your creative voice early on?

Growing up I was influenced by The Beatles. As I went into the ‘70s, I was listening to everything from Boston to Led Zeppelin to Peter Frampton. Everything that was hot back then is still cool today! Obviously, KISS had a big impact on all the kids of that time, along with Black Sabbath. Those type of bands are what influenced me greatly how I came up. I became a guitar teacher out of high school and then one day I got a call to put my guitar down and be a singer. That was where Vinnie Vincent’s invasion came in. That is kind of how it all happened and I keep going in that same direction. When I left Vinnie Vincent, we started the band Slaughter. Chrysalis picked up my option from Vinnie’s original deal and here we are this many years later, still out there playing those same songs and having a good ol’ time with it!

When you look back on those early years, a lot changed along the way.

Ya know, it was very different in the way that there was radio. Radio had a lot more impact on people. The computer age, so to speak, changed a lot of things. Originally, radio was your main way of finding music and your introduction to so many new things. Record stores were the introduction to what was cool and what just came out. A lot of that has changed. Record stores, for the most part, are gone and radio has lost its impact. People have more options with streaming and having the things they know they like on their iPods as opposed to being introduced to something that just came out. It’s the same thing with this new record I just completed. Getting the word out there is difficult. You just have to put it out there and see what happens. There is really no red button like there used to be back in the day where you could push it and educate people on new music. That’s all gone.

Where do you look for inspiration?

I will literally have music wake me up in the middle of the night. I make music because I love it. Inspiration really comes down to good songs and songs that have some type of emotional attachment to something that has happened either in my life or something that I know someone else has gone through in their life and can connect to. Songwriters are storytellers, so I find myself doing exactly that. Musically, as you grow, if you work at it, which I certainly do, I have gotten better with age because I’m trying to become a better musician, songwriter, producer and engineer. I’m really proud of this new album, “Halfway There,” because I think it has a lot of heart to it.

Tell us about the headspace you were in when you started to bring this record to life.

I did a solo record, “Reflections In A Rear View Mirror,” prior to this new album. I think it was one of those things where my band was out playing with Vince Neil and while they were doing that, I was at home writing and producing. It was just a natural progression of things and I felt the stuff I was writing was pretty good. I was writing for television and film and I started thinking about doing a new album and seeing how it would go. That is kind of how it went with this album but the difference is that I am doing it on Dave Ellefson’s label. It was a chance to do something with someone I have known for a very long time, along with working with a label with real distribution. It was just the next step up and it’s important to get the music out there and tell the stories. Again, music is kind of the reflection of where we all are in life. I think music is the soundtrack of your life and hopefully I have hit a few chords with people and it helps them reflect into where this thing is coming from.

As you mentioned, the new album is titled “Halfway There.” What can you tell us about it and what it means to you?

The song itself, “Halfway There,” the whole principal of it is that when it comes to your life, sometimes you are halfway there from nowhere. The song starts off when I was young and it was a really simple time and then, basically, as life goes on and you start losing your parents and so forth … it’s about the whole dance of life and where things go. The next verse talks about when a child is born and then your child goes away for college. It’s about all of those things. The ending of the song, the singer/myself, is talking about when you are gone and you have passed away and I’m with my mother, so to speak. It’s then talking to the child saying, “You’re halfway there.” Life is very short and I think that is the whole message of “Halfway There.” Life is short and you have to really enjoy it and you have to take it all in while you can!

Tell us about your songwriting process.

Sometimes there would be a guitar riff that would set me off in a direction and the song would write itself. Other times it would start from a lyrical idea. I used to, back in the Slaughter days, the music came first. We would put the track down and I would see if I could put the bouncing ball to it and find the melody that worked with the song. Today, I approach songs from all sides. I think the most important part of it is keeping the believability and honesty in the music all the way across the board. On my solo records, I’m playing guitar and bass, orchestrating arrangements and engineering. I’m doing it all myself here and that’s certainly a lot different than when you are in a band and you decide to go in and make a record. Overall, the process takes a little longer but the labor of love is something you are really close to. When you do a record with a band, you kind of look at it as your child but as a solo artist when you do it, it becomes even more personal because it’s just you and that child.

Building on that, what was the biggest challenge you faced with bringing “Halfway There” to life?

As you know, vinyl is very hot right now. People are rediscovering long playing records. The most challenging thing for me is … usually I go on and on and on and get this ear candy and do all these different things. To put it in the sweet spot between the 18 and 22 minutes per side, that you can actually get away with, forced me to write songs in a certain way. With all that in mind, I would think, “OK, this song is not going to fit on this side of the record.” I really made it as a record as it played down. That is a totally different thought process than when you just record. Even back in the day, Vinnie Vincent was an album but Slaughter’s first record wasn’t even on vinyl. It strictly went to compact disc and cassette right out of the boot. At that point in time, they were phasing out vinyl completely because CD was hotter and louder than everything else. Now, vinyl is 25% of the marketplace! This is one of those things where I really wanted to get the artwork right and along with the EMP label, we have some artwork that really represents the record well. It’s set up as a vinyl record. That was very different for me and probably the biggest challenge because there were a few songs where I said, “That’s not going to work on the record.” I would just pull the plug and put them off to the side. I have other songs that aren’t on this record because they didn’t fit it and the timeframe.

I want to ask about the artwork for “Halfway There.” How did you cross paths with artist “Mister” Sam Shearon and what did he bring to the table?

Thom Hazaert from the EMP Label Group had worked with him in the past. He is a very well-known artist and he is phenomenal at what he does. A friend of mine came up with the original concept and I told Thom about the concept and the artist went forward. He did it in a very photo-realistic way as opposed to a paste-art style that many designers come up with. It’s a really striking image and I’m really proud of how it represents the record. I think it illustrates the in-between zone we are all trying to find where we are at our best. That’s pretty much what it is!

Getting back to the songs on this record, which came easier and which were harder to nail down?

Honestly, I can’t say that any of them were painstaking to nail down. The songs came very easily to me. The challenge came from getting the quality of the recording to the way I hear it in my head. That is what took more time than the actual songwriting process. A lot of these songs were written in about an eight-hour period. In fact, some of the original recordings are off the demo. Demos are basically now masters in the beginning because you are putting down a good quality performance right from the beginning and it’s not like you have to go redo it. As I’m singing things off the vocal sheet, that is pretty much what the vocal is. I didn’t sit around thinking, “OK, I’m going to re-sing that or redo this.” I really just kept it on a very down to the roots basis of doing it. As far as the songs coming easier or harder, they all came pretty easy. They tracked really well and it came down to getting the order of the song and the idea of what the album represents. That was the key point.

When you look back on your career, how have you evolved as an artist? Are there clear milestones?

I think that some of the chordal arrangements serve as milestones. Again, as you get older, you get a little more complex. I really don’t think about them. I just kind of put the music down. I look where I have been and say, “That’s a good place and this is a good place as well.” I don’t overthink it. Art is never finished, it’s abandoned. That’s the hardest part of all this stuff! You have to call it a day at some point and then move on to the next song or project.

Where are you headed musically?

Musically, I think I will continue to write, play and grow as a musician. That’s what we do. I have obviously done the nostalgic stuff with Slaughter and we still go out and play the old songs people know and love. On my own, I still like to make music and to be an artist that is a current artist as well. I think that is really where I’m at with all of this.

Many young artists can look to your career in music as an inspiration. What is the best lesson we can take from your journey?

I think it comes down to keeping the believability in your writing, along with the honesty of who you are. At one point, Michael Jackson’s manager lived out here in Nashville and I got to know him and talked to him quite a bit. He told me, “Ya know what, man? You know what your problem is?” I said, “No, what’s my problem?” He said, “You’re too accessible.” After all the years he did Michael Jackson, he really had Michael stay away from people and made it so when he was around people he was a star. I never want to be that person. I just want to be the guy next door who loves to play music. I’m telling the blue-collar story. That’s just who I am and what I do. I think that is really where music is for me and how I look at my persona. I’m just a regular guy who loves to make music. Hopefully, my music and my songs impact the same way they have impacted me.

Speaking of your songs, you are known for a ton of memorable tunes. Which songs in your catalog would you like to be remembered for? Which songs should people just discovering your work hear to get an overview of you as an artist?

As an artist, your art starts in your early years. The songs that have stuck out, I can tell you by royalty statements what people are into! On the Spotify side of things, we are getting about 8 million plays a year on “Fly To The Angels” alone. I would say that is certainly a song that has somehow resonated with a lot of people and somehow found its way into a lot of people’s lives. That is one I would pass on just because I know the numbers don’t lie. With the new music, I would say to check out the new album. It’s a really good, old school rock record with a lot of heart in it. There are a lot of influences from the things that moved me as a young kid and made me the musician I am. Those influences came in and weaved in and out of my life. You might hear that and go, “Wow, that’s really like that and that is really like that … ” But to a young kid, they probably haven’t heard some of that. So, go find it and figure out where those influences came from because we are all connected and you can certainly hear that musically!

The album drops in May and I’m sure you have a busy summer ahead. What does your schedule look like at this point?

I’m playing with Slaughter live and we are doing a lot of fly-in dates. There will also be a few Mark Slaughter dates that will lean toward this new music that I’m doing. For the most part, I’m not running too far from where I came from. I like to play the new music and I like to keep that challenge of pushing myself as an artist, so that’s what I’m gravitating toward. You can find all the dates at www.slaughterusa.com and www.markslaughter.com.

Before I let you go, I have one last question. I know you lend your voice to some great charities. What can we help shine a light on?

There are a couple charities I support. One is St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, which is a really, really great charity. I have gone to the hospital many times. That is a charity where 86 cents of every dollar goes to the charity and doesn’t get stuck in administrative costs, which is something I really appreciate. I also support The Red Circle Foundation which helps out some of our vets and 100% of the money goes right to helping those people. Both of those charities are amazing, so definitely check them out and, if you can, donate for sure!

Thanks for your time today, Mark! It was a pleasure!

Thank you, Jason! I appreciate your time.

Mark Slaughter’s ‘Halfway There,’ which is now available for pre-order, will hit stores on May 26, 2017 via the EMP Label Group. For all the latest info on Mark Slaughter, visit www.markslaughter.com. Follow his continuing adventures on social media via Facebook,Twitter and Instagram.

Posted in Blog, Celebrity Interviews, Featured Stories, MusicComments Off on HALFWAY THERE: Mark Slaughter On Breathing Life Into His Captivating Solo Album!

ZEN FROM MARS: Drew Fortier Offers A Glimpse Inside The New All-Star Band

ZEN FROM MARS: Drew Fortier Offers A Glimpse Inside The New All-Star Band

ZFM-groupshot-2016-1

Over the past several months, rumblings of an all new all-star band were just beneath the surface. In early August, music fans were teased with a mysterious video featuring intriguing new music. The video posed the question — “Who is ZFM?” At long last, the cryptic group stepped out of the shadows! ZEN FROM MARS (ZFM) features vocalist Stephen Shareaux (Kik Tracee), drummer Mike Heller (Fear Factory, Malignancy), the legendary Chip Z’Nuff (Enuff Z’Nuff) on bass and backing vocals, guitarists Brynn Arens (Flipp) and Drew Fortier (Bang Tango), and Kate Catalina (The Showgirl of Rock) on keyboards.

ZFM joined forces more than a year ago and worked on a full-length record in secrecy until now. Ready to introduce themselves to the world, the band released a video for their debut single, “New Leaf,” which can be seen below. “New Leaf” will be available for purchase this Friday, August 12, 2016 on iTunes and Amazon through Thom Hazaert’s THC Music, a subsidiary of David Ellefson’s EMP label. The song was mixed by Matt Wallace (Faith No More, Maroon 5) and mastered by Maor Appelbaum (Faith No More).

As very few details are known about Zen From Mars, Icon Vs. Icon reached out to guitarist Drew Fortier. As a result, he offered insight on the formation of the band, their songwriting process and what the future may hold for them.

How did the members of Zen From Mars cross paths to form the musical force we see today?

All I can say for right now is that a whole bunch of different situations and circumstances lining up perfectly snowballed into ZFM forming over a year ago.

Where does the name Zen From Mars originate?

The name actually came from Stephen [Shareaux]. I remember when we first started demoing songs, I was at one of Chip Znuff’s shows in Chicago, and Kate [Catalina] was there as well. Stephen had texted me with “Zen From Mars … band name?” We all loved it!

The band worked in secret for more than a year. What made now the time to reveal it to the masses?

We all just knew it was the right moment really. We had actually shot the video for “New Leaf” back in January. With the way everything lined up and had been completed, we felt that there is no better time than right now.

When working together, what was the moment you found the chemistry and realized this would work?

The first time Stephen sent one of my acoustic instrumentals back to me with vocals on it. It was absolutely a surreal moment. Ironically, the first song was “New Leaf.” The acoustic demo still gives me chills to this day. I’d love to get it out there some day because I think people would dig it a lot. Also, the music I created for “New Leaf” actually dates back to when I was in high school! So, I guess technically “New Leaf” is 12 years old! The music for it at least. [laughs] But the way the songs came together was truly amazing and it felt so natural for everyone. The dynamic in the band is almost too perfect, especially when we’re in the same room playing these songs.

There is no shortage of talent with this project. What have the other members brought out of you in a creative sense?

Every member of ZFM has brought something absolutely unique and amazing to the table — Mike Heller’s brilliant drumming, Kate’s beautiful and otherworldly keys, Chip’s incredible Beatle-esque bass lines, Brynn Arens’ out of this world guitar parts, and Stephen’s beautiful lyrics and melodies. Combining all of these elements has just been the most amazing thing. It’s almost hard to explain, but you will hear the whole picture soon enough!

zen-from-mars-feature-2016

What made “New Leaf” the song to introduce the band?

It was actually the first song finished a little over a year ago now, and just the message in the song was perfect to make our initial statement as a band. Launching a new project is never easy.

What are some of the challenges you faced?

The challenges at first were the fact that the band is literally scattered all over the country, but we found the perfect solution to where we were all able to record our parts individually, so technically we all produced ourselves. Aside from that, everything has been unfolding naturally in the most perfect way.

What has the songwriting process and recording process been like?

It all starts with me and Stephen, I usually create a fully structured instrumental on acoustic, then I send it to Stephen, and he adds his words and melody to it, turning it into a song, then we send it to Mike to lay down final drums, then I lay down my final guitar parts, Chip and Kate lay down their bass and keys respectively, then we give it to Brynn to add his personality and character to the song, which is truly the cherry on top. Then BAM! A ZFM song is born!

As soon as I heard the song, I loved that “New Leaf” pulls from past eras but sounds fresh at the same time. This song is the sum of its parts and everyone’s past experiences. With that said, is that the overall vibe with the material you created or are we in for some surprises along the way?

Thanks so much man! I am so glad you’re diggin the tune! And let me tell you this, each ZFM song is a completely different shade of the band. True individuality as a cohesive unit. “New Leaf” is a cool hard rocker with some pop vibes to it. The next song we plan on putting out still gives me chills whenever I hear it. It’s called “Aflame.” The best way I can describe the song is if “Wicked Game” by Chris Isaak made love to the music of “Waterfalls” by TLC while Type O Negative watched! [laughs] That’s the best way to describe it.

Fair enough! “New Leaf” is a taste of what you have planned. Where are you in the process of completing a full album?

We are close to finishing up recording, we are just taking our time with it and going at our own pace, and loving every single minute of it!

Check out the video for Zen From Mar‘s debut single, “New Leaf,” below. Connect with the band on social media via their official Facebook page.

Posted in Blog, Celebrity Interviews, MusicComments Off on ZEN FROM MARS: Drew Fortier Offers A Glimpse Inside The New All-Star Band

Who Is ZFM? — New Info Surfaces On A New All-Star Force In Rock

Who Is ZFM? — New Info Surfaces On A New All-Star Force In Rock

ZFM-2016-tease

Earlier this week, we were alerted to the formation of a new rock ‘n’ roll supergroup when a mysterious teaser video was released. The question is — Who is ZFM?

Mitch Lafon of One on One with Mitch Lafon will be revealing “Who is ZFM?” as well as debuting the music video for their first single “New Leaf” on Tuesday August 9th.

Aside from a few hints provided to Mitch, all that is known at the moment is that ZFM is a new 6 piece band from the U.S.

Speaking exclusively to one of the guitar players for the band, Mitch learned that:

“Here are a few hints that can be said at the moment: The project has been in the works for over a year now. We have been working very closely with Thom Hazaert, who runs David Ellefson’s “EMP” Record Label as well as Thom’s own “THC Music” which is a subsidiary of Ellefson’s “EMP” label. Each member of ZFM are from very popular established bands spanning from Power Pop to Technical Death Metal. The man who mixed the single has produced and mixed some of the most popular and influential albums of the past 25 years. One member of the band has appeared on David Letterman twice. Our other guitarist was once managed by Kiss manager Bill Aucoin. ZFM’s drummer, who performs with a very popular and influential metal band, will be performing at Heavy Montreal this weekend.”

He also added: “Once people find out who is in this band, it will certainly have a strong reaction and we are all excited to finally announce the existence of this project which has been in the works for a very long time now.“

Stay tuned to One on One with Mitch Lafon on Tuesday August 9th for the announcement and single/music video release.

Source: One on One with Mitch Lafon, Icon Vs. Icon

Posted in Blog, MusicComments (0)

A New Rock Supergroup Is On The Horizon! — Who Is ZFM?

A New Rock Supergroup Is On The Horizon! — Who Is ZFM?

ZFM-2016-tease

Today, we were tipped off to a brand new supergroup that has been secretly toiling behind the scenes for many moon. The question remains — Who is ZFM? While we still aren’t sure, a little bird dropped us some hints to the identities of the players involved. Here’s what we know:

• One member of the band has been on David Letterman twice.

• The person who mixed the song has produced some of the most popular and influencial albums of the last 25 years.

• The band members are spread all across the country.

• The drummer plays for a very popular industrial metal band as well as a technical death metal band.

• The bandpass been working closely with Thom Hazaert (who runs David Ellefson’s EMP label).

• A hint at the full band name Z_ _ F_ _ _ M_ _ _

Check out a teaser video, which surfaced on the web earlier today, and let the speculation begin!

Posted in Blog, MusicComments Off on A New Rock Supergroup Is On The Horizon! — Who Is ZFM?