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Zao Debut “Transitions” Video, Drummer Jeff Gretz Laments The Effect Mainstream Success Had On Metalcore Scene: “It Destroyed A Lot Of Bands”


Days ahead of this Friday’s (April 09th) release of their new album “The Crimson Corridor, Zao have launched another new single from it. This latest is titled “Transitions” and takes its inspiration from the Isaac Asimov quote, “Life Is Pleasant. Death is peaceful. It’s the transition that’s troublesome.”

Vocalist Dan Weyandt stated, “It’s about eternal return and my place within it.” The below video for the song was directed by Eric Livingston (Dead Cross, Mr. Bungle) and drummer Jeff Gretz had the following to say in regards to it:

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“In general, we are extremely hands-off with artists and video directors. We find people we like and tell them to just do their thing. There is a level of trust there that is extremely important to us. We have been fans of Eric Livingston for a long time and were always looking for a reason to work with him. We sent him the song along with very vague descriptions of ‘Birth, Death, Decay, Nature, Agoraphobic Skies.’ He wrote us back within minutes and said, ‘Got it! Oh, and I think there will be claymation.’ What more could you ask for?”

In other news, Gretz also spoke with Knotfest in a newly published interview and elaborated on how the initial mainstream commercial success the metalcore genre found in 2006 bummed him out:

“…It’s weird because I remember back in 2005/2006 when it seemed like all these bands were blowing up. The crowds were getting bigger, more people were buying the records, but it wasn’t ridiculous and for a band like us to sell 50,000 records was incredible. That was the high watermark.

Back then when bands like Killswitch Engage and Underoath were no. 1 or no. 2 on the Billboard charts and going gold, a lot of people felt that was good for the scene, but we thought it was bad for the scene in a way because now all of a sudden if you didn’t go gold, you were a failure.

We were on tour with Underoath on the ‘Define The Great Line‘ album and all the other bands were really bummed out. All the labels were trying to make you as big as Killswitch, and weren’t interested if you weren’t doing the things you were supposed to do to get that big.

Five years before bands playing this kind of music didn’t expect to sell any more than 50,000 records or play to more than 600 people a night, but it introduced this idea of the commercial goal that was everyone was trying to get to, and if you didn’t get there then you’d failed.

It destroyed a lot of bands that would probably still be around doing totally fine now, and maybe now there are bands in the underground all of a sudden thinking that they’ve gotta get a Grammy, or they’ve gotta do a wrestling theme. That stuff is cool but you shouldn’t expect that.”

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