Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Interview: Jamie Hughes from Zombie Cops

Zombie Cops are one of the most exciting live bands on the circuit today. We caught up with one of the bands front-men Jamie Hughes, ahead of the release of their third single "You Do"

AIMR: Who are the Zombie Cops?

JH: We are a bunch of sinister yet lovable rascals.

AIMR: How did you form?

JH: Myself and Dylan met whilst being part of a failed bank heist crew back in 1992, we were both 6 so it's probably why it failed. Whilst on the lam we met Nelius an over friendly petrol attendant who gave us the keys to the station toilet without purchase... Kev was locked inside and we realized that it was the birth of something very special!

AIMR: Where did the name come from?

JH: Band names are a nightmare to come up with as a general rule... I'm pretty sure we had about 40 of them before we settle on this one. We were out together for a meal of food and Nelius said something like "They should just combine two cool movie genres together like Zombies and Cops... Zombie Cops" and we were like "Yes... that'll do nicely"

AIMR: How would you describe the Zombie Cops sound?

JH: I think we described it recently as "Dark blistering Pieces of Pop" which sums it up a treat but it's funnier to say like 'Enya being attacked by wolves while Lemmy fits Price with a pair of purple velvet trousers...'

AIMR: What were your first musical influences?

JH: East17

AIMR: Was there a specific moment that initially inspired you to create music?

JH: Seeing East17 in concert... and wanting to make sure it never happened again!

AIMR: You have two lead singers and lead guitar players an unusual combination in a band how did this come about?

JH: As two singer songwriters that came together it was important for both of us to both have our voices for it to work and it did! I think we're incredibly lucky to have both to be honest. It gives us an added dynamic and I like to think it keeps it interesting.

AIMR: You also have one of Ireland's most respected DJ's on drums How did you hook up with "Irate Soundsystem" and has it opened many doors for you having a ready-made cult figure in the band ? 

JH: Dylan is awesome whilst DJing but he actually had to go through 8 different Crystal Maze type challenges in order to drum for us. He failed one of them but I vouched for him so he got to stay...

AIMR: So far you have released two free singles Taking Lives and Win Some Lose Some. Why did you take the decision to go down the give away alley and do you think it has been beneficial to the band to do so?

JH: I think that at this stage it's important for bands to understand how this all works at this stage... Realistically at the stage we're at we most certainly aren't in it for the money! What's important for all of us is the thought of someone out there listening to our music and enjoying it. On the occasion that someone you don't know comes along and says "I love Taking Lives" it's totally what it's all about. We have people in America getting in touch with us on Twitter saying they love the band and it's all down to having Music Videos and getting the Tracks out there for free. It's mad to think someone on the other side of the world has listened to our music and it has affected them in some way... It's awesome to be honest!

AIMR: Tell us about recording the singles. How did you find the process?

JH: We recorded up North in Manor Park Studios and it was great. With recording the tracks there's always a shit load of prep work and the actual recording seems to just pass you by. It's always an actual joy to do it and if I could I would gladly spend a month doing it. We are currently looking for a suitable producer as it has just been ourselves producing the tracks up to this point and we want new ears!

AIMR: Eoin Heaney who stared in the Ambiance Affair video that won best video at the recent Digital Socket Awards directed the video for both singles How did you find making the videos and how did you feel about entrusting your songs to an outside element?

JH: Eoin (Heaney) is a full blown genius when it comes to cinematography and that's what he has brought to the table with us... It's a lot of fun making the videos but the excitement of seeing it for the first time is where it's at. Eoin has given us short segments of Cinema to accompany our music and we gave him creative control over what he develops for us. I honestly can't speak a bad word about the whole set up and we will be working more with Highly Stimulating Productions going forward.

AIMR: You have built a reputation as being a great live band. What can people expect from a Zombie Cops live show?

JH: A serious amount of energy and some cracking rock music with dual melody and harmony. Also, occasionally Sean Connery shows up and reenacts Highlander with Nelius.

AIMR: Your Cover of Human League's "Don't You Want Me Baby" has become a mini legend. Can we expect to see an official release at some stage?
JH: Ha ha, it's unlikely. We are far too neurotic to keep one cover going. We love arriving in practice and going, "Oh we should do a version of..." some of them we act on, some we don't, most sound shite... we may play it again or we may hit the nail on the head with something else.

AIMR: What music is inspiring you these days?

JH: The thing about ourselves is that we all have fairly varying tastes but there's always common denominators. Dylan is mad into "The Heavy" at the moment but always brings elements of Disco and Electro to his drumming. Nelius loves his Americana and his 90's rock. Myself and Kev have similar tastes and were pulled together by Jimmy Eat World (Bleed American and Futures), Bloc Party and Queens Of The Stone Age. Deftones would also be a huge inspiration with the band overall.

AIMR: How do you rate the Irish music scene at the moment?

JH: It's really interesting. There is a real underground movement where Un-Pop is Pop. Adebisi Shank and ASIWYFA are real "musicians bands"and are two of the biggest Irish bands at the moment. It's showing that Irish people in general have a serious understanding and appreciation for intelligent music and it's exciting. On the other hand there is still only a handful of radio shows playing and representing Irish talent. The ones that do are great but I feel there is still a massive gap on the airwaves for it.

AIMR: Whats next for the Zombie Cops

JH: We have a shed load of gigs in the pipeline. Supporting the Coronas next Thursday in The Button Factory, playing The Mercantile the following Thursday @ The Townhouse Club and then there's a few surprises which we can't talk about just yet. (wink)

AIME: Where did you record the EP

JH: We recorded a few tracks in Manor Park and got to spend some time in Grouse Lodge ( Muse, REM, Bellx1)

AIMR: How did you find the big studio atmosphere compared to your previous recording sessions?

JH: Grouse Lodge is on another level... it's the height of luxury. Luxury which you don't get much spare time to enjoy but still... Playing Marco Polo in the swimming pool at 4 in the morning hammered on Polish beer while listening to 'Jump in the pool' by Friendly Fires was without a doubt one of the highlights of my year.

AIMR: Who produced the EP?

JH: Pretty much ourselves and the engineers we worked with. We really enjoy producing the tracks but we are scouting for someone who suits our style. We're completely open to new ideas in the band and we're all very vocal about when something sounds right or wrong so it would be even better to have a fifth set of ears on it.

AIMR: Can we expect a video to accompany the release of the EP?

JH: Zombie Cops are all about the Videos... we will be releasing the third free single 'You Do' in about a month and there's a video in the can for that bad boy and it's is very awesome if we do say so ourselves. We are also working with Highly Stimulating Productions for them to create cinematic releases to compliment what we do... OOOOH EXCITING!

Go to  http://www.zombiecopswilleatyourbabies.com/ to download tracks for free.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great interview, from big Zomby cops fans in Poland