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Zao Hope To Reissue “The Fear Is What Keeps Us Here” On Vinyl


While Zao have been diligent with reissuing their catalog on vinyl over the years, there’s still a few gaps which fans remain hopeful will eventually be filled. Among those missing records is their Steve Albini produced 2006 album, “The Fear Is What Keeps Us Here“. Asked about that recently during an appearance on the The MetalSucks Podcast, the group’s guitarist Scott Mellinger explained that label complications have hampered some of their plans thus far. He stated:

“So unfortunately every record we’ve released is owned by somebody and a lot of them are owned with people we can’t even deal with. So, luckily, when Solid State was releasing Zao records, Solid State was bought out by Capitol. Capitol then I think gave some ownership over to Universal Music Group.

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But, Solid State and Tooth and Nail were able to work out a manufacturing deal where we were able to go back and we’re so happy that it worked out this way. But Unoriginal Vinyl and Tooth and Nail kind of work together with us. All three of us work together and they have been re-releasing some of those older Zao records, vinyl reissues.

Now the Ferret stuff, the sad thing is even Carl [Severson], the guy, our close buddy that owned Ferret, even he is in the dark on a lot of this stuff. Ferret was kind of run as a Sony subsidiary for a little bit and then Warner bought the rights to Ferret stuff.

Warner does not… care. [laughs] I don’t know what it is and I don’t understand it either ’cause its not like Zao is some thing that you’re going to make a ton of money on. To me, I’d rather see something be released and everybody makes money instead of them just sitting on records and making them so unbelievably expensive for anybody to reasonably release them.

But luckily, we did work out a deal with Tragic Hero Records that they did do a reissue of ‘The Funeral of God’ vinyl. And it ended up being a nightmare, but we did do it. There is talk possibly of ‘Fear’ [‘The Fear Is What Keeps Us Here,’] coming out, which is the whole reason we recorded that record, was for vinyl. We’re really really hoping that will come out.

But all these different labels, I think a lot of these more underground approach labels like Ferret or Trustkill, those guys got into the whole label scene with good intentions and really wanted to help their friends’ bands and do all this great work.

And then somehow weirdly a lot of that era of when we were on Ferret and Trustkill, like all those bands — Killswitch is a good example — [with] all that stuff to really blow up, I think everybody got a bit over their heads a little bit with how that works.

So, when you have a band that has the potential to sell as many records as a Killswitch or anything, and prior to them going to your major [label], as your underground wants to spend more money to get them in front of more people and make those bands explode, you get into debts.

To me, its not anybody’s fault and there should be no hard feelings, but everything happens and the big guys end up swallowing the little guys because they end up owing so much money for all the stuff they tried to help the bands.

And that’s the thing too, I think, even with Zao. We’ve complained ‘nobody makes money, blah blah blah’ but labels put their… with Ferret, I saw how much money Carl was spending on getting Zao in front of people. I saw how much Carl spent for the In Flames record he put out [‘Come Clarity,’ 2006].

The guy really, really tried to get bands to break and really work. As a band, I’m not held liable. We didn’t sell as many records as Ferret was hoping but it’s not like they’re going to come back on me like, ‘You owe me $15,000 now.’ Yeah, we’ll never make money but they have to swallow that loss.

I don’t know, it’s just a nightmare. It’s a nightmare for everybody involved and it sucks and I really, really wish it would be a lot easier. I wish that as an artist, you’d have a lot more say in what happens to your product… but… it just doesn’t.”

Zao‘s twelfth studio album “The Crimson Corridor” was released this past Friday, April 09th.

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