Interview:2000/05 An Exclusive Interview with Zim Zum
|An Exclusive Interview with Zim Zum|
|Interview with Marilyn Manson|
|Date||May 1, 2000|
|Source||Rock n Roll Experience |
After the departure of original guitarist & co-founder Daisy Berkowitz AKA Scott Mitchell, Chicago dweller ZIM ZUM was appointed to the position of guitarist after a long process of elimination. ZIM ZUM's guitar style is more technical & slicker than anything Daisy ever would or could have played. I'm not slamming Daisy, don't get me wrong, but ZIM ZUM has the style of a pro, while Daisy had an amateur element to his playing that he never really shook even to this day. ZIM ZUM played with Marilyn Manson thoughout the AntiChrist Superstar Tour & even recorded the entire Mechanical Animals CD with the band, up until his departure. There was alot of talk of ZIM being fired, or that he didn't like tha band anymore, but I'll let the interview do all of the talking. ZIM ZUM has been hard at work with his new band Pleistocene, has played on Cher's new CD, played with Leif Garrett, & has remained more active than any other previous Spooky Kid. Here, in an EXCLUSIVE Interview for Rock N Roll Experience is the complete low down on ZIM ZUM - Past, Present, & Future:
Rock N Roll Experience: What is the name of your new band?
ZIM ZUM: It is Pleistocene
RnR E: What does that mean?
ZIM ZUM: Pleistocene basically came from..the original name of the band was Ultra Fag & I liked it, it was kind of what I wanted to go for, no doubt it will catch your attention quickly because in the states the word fag has a different personna about it than it does say in Europe or something like that, So I wanted to use a word that was kind of playing off of having double meanings depending upon where you live. Fag in Europe is nothing but a cigarrette, here in the states it tends to take on a different meaning. I put it in there, & I think that the entire time I was in Manson, the first couple of months I think everybody thought I was the new girl guitar player & then after that it was like I'm the Bisexual guitar player or there was just, every possible thing that could come into play with that, because there was no shortage of rumors in Manson. So I figured, okay, either by the way I look, or whatever, fill in the blank on that one, the word fag came up quite a bit & I figured okay, I'll just make it Ultra Fag. But as I started to see with talking to alot of people from different countries & stuff, you can't even like say the word fag, let alone have it be on television, or have it be on a product in stores. I saw that was going to be a major problem, so I switched it, one day I was looking over a manifesto that was written by the guy who actually came up with the concept of the internet...about half way through it he used the word Pleistocene & it kinda caught my atention because I had heard it before but wasn't quite sure what it meant. I looked it up & basically what came up was that it's the Pleistocene era, it referring to history was a period in time that. it was the 1st mass extinction, the first ice age, the first recorded evidence of art as well, they were basically like cave drawings, but none the less, they were the first recorded art. Then what it was, there was also something that caught my eye, other than it being the first mass extinction, & the first recorded art which were polychrome paintings on cave walls, it was also because of the ice age, it forced man to move into what they referred to as in the explanation as moving into the new world. Basically it had alot of things that seemed timeless even though it was arty in a certainn time frame. Art, mass extinction, the world freezing over, which is kind of the opposite now melting down, & man moving into the new world which everything basically applies to now, it was about November of '99 that I had actually came up with the name with everything moving towards the millenium & nobody having a clue exactley what was going to happen & it seemed like it would be a perfect fit. That's basically the cliff notes version of how the name came about.
RnR E: Do you stil like Marilyn Manson?
ZIM ZUM: Personally or professionally?
RnR E: Either or
ZIM ZUM: Professionally I haven't paid any attention, it's not really something I set out to not pay much attention to, it's just that I'm sure they are as busy doing recording & whatever else as I am. Since leaving the band I hadn't really seen any of their videos or any kind of music that they've released since then, because it just doesn't have..to like hear the music that I recorded with them played by someone else is just too weird for me. I've never been involved in a situation like that where..hearing someone else play it, so I didn't wnt to have to like sit down & listen to it & critique it, like this is missing in this song, or something like that, so I just really haven't had the time to pay that much attention. Personally I haven't talked to them for a while, I think the last person that I had talked to was Pogo & it was just a brief hello, because there was somebody from their record label here & just randomly I got a phone call on my cell phone, which is kinda funny because you know, it's strange the way the world works because he was sitting in front of me & all of a sudden Pogo was on the phone with me so it was kind of funny. I just really havn't looked back at all as far as like I don't really see ant reason why, socially, we wouldn't get along. I lived with Pogo the keyboard player for about 3 months even after I left the band. So it wasn't like anything was as dramatic as it was made out to be in the press. They did some stupid things, but it was typically, from being in the band, it was media motivated more than anything. There always has to be some deeper meaning to the things that happen & there really just wasn't, I just had wanted to do something else & wasn't as comfortable in that position as I was coming into it. I just wanted to explore some other options & it seemed like a perfect time. In retrospect it seemd like it was actually a much better move than it seemed like at the time. At the time it seemed just like I was just leaving something that was really huge & about to get even bigger & looking back it seems like the chaos that affected my leaving the band has just increased ten fold. It turned out to be a good thing.
RnR E: When it came time to record Mechanical Animals, who played more guitar, you or Twiggy
ZIM ZUM: I played the majority of the guitar. There was like maybe 3 songs that, like any band works, Twiggy does play guitar, he comes up with riffs & stuff that he's just adament about keeping in their original context which is fine, & if for some reason I wasn't really big on the song or I felt that there wasn't anything that I could add to the song without changing what was already there that was fine with me to leave it that way. There was maybe 3 or 4 songs that I really didn't have anything to do with even though I may have played guitar on them in the studio, the writing wasn't there, but 10 I think of the other songs I had quite a bit of writing to do, so Twiggy did play some guitar in the studio, like all of the other Marilyn Manson albums. His playing is different than mine, it's more based on tone & his specific kind of tone..a heavier kind of open tuning tone & mine is a little bit more eclectic just because we listen to different kinds of music so the influences are going to present themselves in different ways. But yeah, he did play, for me when I sit down & listen to the album it's obvious which songs, the songs that don't sound like Manson from the past, it's obvious it's me because even though I had been in the band for I think 2 & 1/2 years prior to Mechanical Animals coming out I was technically like the new guitar player on that album because I had recorded like a few soundtrack things with them & one off songs, but nothing in an album context. If Mechanical Animals sounds really different to everyone, it's because it was the first full length album that I actually sat down & wrote & recorded wit them.
RnR E: Are there any songs left over from the Mechanical Animals session?
ZIM ZUM: Yeah, there was probably about 28 songs, I'm not sure how many songs are on Mechanical Animals, but there was a bunch left over. I don't know if they'll come out, when they'll come out, but there was plenty left over.
ZIM ZUM: Thank you. Actually that song & "Mechanical Animals" to me are the closest representation of if you were to take me out of that band & just have it be physically the way I play guitar, that would be the 2 songs. "Fundamentally Loathsome" was just an idea of a progression that was completely different than typical Manson Progressions & leaned alot more towards the music that I listen to like Queen, & it even, to me, has the musical content of like old Bad Finger songs were it was very orchestrated, but it was played on guitar, it was guitar heavy & had alot of movement to it, alot of changes & it wasn't a typical Manson song. Manson songs are usually based on aggression & less on a deeper emotional content like just natural human emotion content. With the theme of Mechanical Animals it opened it wide up for me to be able to apply myself to playing, so "Fundamentally Loathsome", almost the entire song was based on a riff that I had that had alot of changes in it & I wasn't quite sure if it was going to work, but it did..it worked really well too. Then for anybody that thinks that it was all about the Manson/Twiggy writing process, that song should be enough to...I think it's like a 2 minute guitar solo on the album, so that should pretty much put an end to that because he gave me full freedom. Basically what it was, was it was a pre-written instrumental that he basically just put vocals over & he gave me 2 minutes worth of space to put a guitar solo over on there, so that's one of my favorite songs, that & "Mechanical Animals" are 2 that If there was a song that I would refer anyone to as far as what I play guitar like, those would be the two.
RnR E: As a guitar player, were you content with the Manson songs considering that there were no solo's for the most part?
ZIM ZUM: It was kind of weird, I had never really learned a song from beginning to end, I was never one of the people who felt that in order to excell as a musician you had to sit down & learn note for note somebody else's playing. To me it seemed just the opposite, I would learn maybe a couple of chords out of certain songs that I liked & then immediatley apply those to something else & just write something original, so there was 2 albums, Smells Like Children & Portrait.. to sit down & actually have to learn songs from start to finish was really weird for me, especially it being someone else's playing, but I learned like the Portrait album, I was basically forced to learn the entire thing in 1 week because I had about 1 week's notice on the audition & Daisy's playing was different than mine in that it was more sticato & based on harmonics interjected & like sounds & samples, like the typical older Manson stuff was very..not quirky, but very sticato & like jerky sounding...
RnR E: It was amateur sounding
ZIM ZUM: Yeah, I mean it was new & it was kinda different, but it was unique, but I can also see some of the stuff like in Daisy's playing to where he was basically getting that from, I would hear thing like Robert Fripp type stuff, basic Robert Fripp, trying to lead into doing things less on chords & more on using the guitar as noises & harmonics & stuff like that, so basically I just sat down & learned it & then as I had finished that & got the gig in the band I was there in the studio the entire time that they were recording Antichrist so I was kinda happy with the general tone of Antichrist because it was completely different as each of the Manson albums were, they were just completely different than the last one so it was like sitting down & learning..like Trent (Reznor) played guitar on some of the stuff, Twiggy played on it, Antichrist had just about everybody playing on it, Tommy Victor (Prong), so it was like learning about 6 different guitar players ways of playing, but as applied to one band. It was a little weird...
RnR E: I didn't know that Tommy Victor from Prong played on Antichrist
ZIM ZUM: He recorded like a little, like some of the noises, like one of things that lst maybe about 2 seconds on some of the songs. There was a bunch of people, like Trent, some of the noises & stuff was just randomly anyone that was there in the studio.
RnR E: Can you tell me any good Twiggy stories?
ZIM ZUM: I think that in general, the idea that the public has of Twiggy though all of the random stories is exactley the way he is, he doesn't really hide anything from the genereal public, because most of the exploits that he has are usually in a bar or on the floor of the bar, so I mean that's generally Twiggy.
RnR E: Are you still close to anyone from the Marilyn Manson band other than Pogo?
ZIM ZUM: Well, I mean I haven't talked to any of them in probably atleast 6 months if not more we just generally don't talk, they're in the studio, I'm in the studio, everybody is kind of focused on moving forward so it's basically just left at that, I haven't really been to L.A. in about a year so it' s not like I'm Living in Chicago & then I'm Living in L.A., I don't run into them everyday.
RnR E: Out of all of the songs that you played live with Manson that you didn't write, which one was your favorite to play?
ZIM ZUM: That's a good one, We did some alternate versions of songs that I always liked doing, we did an alternate of "Mr. Superstar" that we only did a few times, but it was a half tempo ballad version of that which just litterally came about at a sound check, we had a show that night & we just randommly played it slow anf ballady sounding, acoustic sounding at sound check & played it live that night just to see what would happen. "Little Horn" I like just because it was based on certain parts of the show, like coming out I liked "Angel with the Scabbed Wings", we went through the obligatory songs that you have to play & then there was a certain part of the set that came around during the "Antichrist" with the Podeum, from that point on I like the just about anything that we played because it was all aggressive, "Little Horn" was definitley probably one of my favorites just because it was the way the crowd would respond to it.
RnR E: How did you get involved with Fernandez Guitars?
ZIM ZUM: When I had first joined Manson I had worked previously at a guitar company & I had made a bunch of guitars, so I had guitars, but with the different songs there was alot of different tuning & alot of different ways to play them so I needed to get more guitars. I think I had about 14 or 15 guitars about that point, but not all of them were guitars that I wanted to bring on the road & smash so we started looking into some smaller companies that would actually work with me just because of the Manson reputation most of the companies were like no, we don't want to be the guitar endorser of satan so it was actually kinda comical because I really don't see what guitars have to do with religous politics, but anyways after the first couple of companies were like, no, or the first company offered like 1 guitar a year for 2 years & I'm like, I would need a guitar a night for a tour so we generally blew hat off & I looked through a guuitar magazine & looked for the smaller ads from some of the smaller companies that had cool guitars & researched it a little bit, got in touch with them, because I had figured okay, maybe these smaller companies would need me as much as I need them & Fernandez came out like within a week of contacting them & gave me 6 guitars off the bat & then before we started the tour they made me custom signature guitars & just the general committment they had in supporting it, they know that their guitars are going to be out there & people are going to see them, they just worked out perfectly. They took the time to do the guitars to my specs & generally what I had done was I had given them a guitar that I had made & said get as close to this as you can come & they were the company that came closest. Even up until this day, I just got a Lucite Guitar, It's completely see thru, I don't even know if they released that guitar here in the states, but even to this day, Fernandez is as supportive as they've been since day one.
RnR E: Were you fired from Marilyn Manson or did you quit?
ZIM ZUM: The basic story goes that we were rehearsing for a European Tour after the recording of Mechanical Animals & basically once the songs were recorded the general tone of the entire band changed, so I felt, okay, you've got me in there, everyhting was perfect while we were recording all of the ideas were coming, & then mixing it, it was done being recorded..things changed because you had an album. I was presented with some paper work that was just percentages & things of that nature that there was just no way that I was going to sign & it basically came down to that. Ginger got Mono, we cancelled the European tour, we had about 3 or 4 weeks of open time, I jumped on a plain, came back to Chicago, contacted a lawyer, went back to L.A., told them what my position was & that I felt that I had been in the band long enough & had contributed enough not to be screwed like that, so basically it was either get all of these details ironed out or stay in the band & just deal with it, so I preferred to just get everything in order & leave, because there was no way I think it could have really continued on a amicable basis, so I said I would stick around until they could find somebody & work out all of the details & stuff like that, but basically I was done & it was completely amicable, any statements to the press like the MTV release, I let them know in advance exactley what I was going to say, everything was fine, & then I think it was maybe 2 weeks later that it kinda cought me by surprise that they had flopped on the agreement that we had had, I agreed that it would be amicable, I don't think I've ever talked Shit about them since leaving, It's just generally that they flopped on it & that i heard all of this stuff..oh he was fired because of this reason or that reason, & I'm like are people really going to believe that the second time around? Everybody knows what happened to Daisy, they know the routine, so I think that they generally underestimated the intelligence of their own audience in believing the same story over & over again. Everybody knows how it works basically in Manson, it comes down toi them wanting it to be a certian way & as long as everybody else in the band in aggreance to that, everything's fine, but when somebody doens't agree that is just unacceptable, & then you'll see somebody leave. preferred.
RnR E: Was all of the tales of Drug use in Marilyn Manson true?
ZIM ZUM: The drug use was rampant in the band when i was in the band. I would find it hard to believe that it's any different today. The drug use never really affected anything, if nothing else it got things done quicker. That was one of the factors too, there was no way that things could continue like that & be productive. I left the band & since the day I left the band I've been completely sober so it was just certain elements of when mixed together just, it's living in L.A., it's Hollywood, it's the whole buying into that vibe, it's acceptable, if you're in Marilyn manson it's even more acceptable, who cares what anbody thinks, it wasn't something that was hidden from the publics eyes at all, if we were gonna do it nobody was going to hide anything about it because who's gonna say hey maybe you gus shouldn't be doing that, but it was never anything more than like social, it was something that ws taking it's toll all the way around. Seperation & looking back was one of the best things to happen as far as that goes, because there's no way that I wanted to see or wanted to be another rock clique casualty, it' not the way I wanted to go out.
RnR E: How come you chose to keep the name ZIm Zum?
ZIM ZUM: Because basically I own the name. Coming into the band there was a bunch of Fucking whacked names that I'm just glad that it didn't go in that kind of direction. Zim Zum was the one that was generally agreed upon & leaving the band I felt because it was personna that I had taken on that was different from the rest of the band & had alot more to do with me than the general themes of what Manson was about. If Manson was to leave the band you're not going to all of a sudden see an album by Brian Warner, Same thing with Twiggy, he's not going to all of a sudden become Jeordie & that's just who they are, it's who they've become, they've given themselves the opportunity to reinvent themselves & name themselves which no one really has that option. I bought the name outright from manson so that it would be mine. If I chose to use it or not to use it, regardless, it would be mine. I just felt if I was to leave & do something seperate, it was open so originally in keeping the name it was kept because we had discussed the possibility of somewhere down the line of Mechanical Animalas tour of coming back which in retrospect, it probably would have never happened because once you make the seperation & attorney & stuff get involved there's just no way, but the name is mine, so I basically just decided to use it, everybody knows it, it's familiar, it's just who I am.
RnR E: Were you in the band LSD & did you ever record with them?
ZIM ZUM: Yeah, but I don't think (the recording) was anything that ever saw the light of day, randomly I'll get like an email or something every now & then from someone who will say they have a recording, or something like that & it could be. I ws actually a freshman & Stanley & Bill E. the singer & bass player from LSD were seniors at the highschool the I wen to & one of the first bands that I actually saw live other than Billy Squire who I think was the first concert I'd seen. But I saw a band play that was called Bottoms Up & they were just so ROCK & blatant 7 doing things like 5 or 10 years before anyone else even thought of doing it. They had like a Cheap Trick vibe to them which was like a more down to earth sort of obnoxious white youth kind of thing, not nazi white youth, just general white kid music that just talked about normal things & was like all of those things & I was just blown away by it. 5 years down the line I started sharing a rehearsal space with them & the guitar player left & Alex was a really good friend of mine. We had swapped positions in bands before so the first band that I had seen that had left a huge impact on me & had the opportunity to actually be in & I jumped at that one. I left because they wanted to move to L.A. which is kind of funny, I ended up having to move to L.A. anyways. They moved to L.A. to kind of do the club scene & create a vibe about this homeless singer & everything that went with that & I just felt that along with some of the other members that were in the band, the original members of the band at that time weren't really into the L.A. move either, so the drummer & myself actually stayed here & Stanley & Bil E. & some of the other guys went out to L.A. & the rest of that is history. Record deal, video, then obscurity.
RnR E: Would you ever play with Manson again?
ZIM ZUM: I don't know, the circumstances would have to just be..I think everybody is just alot more mature since then, expanding into different things, it would depend, it would depend on the circumstance, I wouldn't say no, i wouldn't say yeah, maybe.
RnR E: Do you have any new music recorded yet?
ZIM ZUM: Yeah, we have probably at this point there's about 40 songs that are completely finished, there's a catalog of about 100 songs that the music is done, we spent about 5 months in a studio here in Chicago & then moved everything into the studio in my house so thing are alot more creative & productive here, but we do have a total of 3 discs. Each disc has a different concept, how the discs are going to come out, what label they're going to come out on hasn't been completly inked at this point, I'd love to do a double album as our first album. At this point we've just been sheltered off from everything. Randomly I'll do an interview, this is probably the first one that I've done in 4 - 6 months because of being in the studio. We've pretty much cut off any contact to the labels just so that we can focus in on recording & filling out the band as far as live musicians, starting rehearsals, nothing about Pleistocene is going to be standard. The first show that i want to play, I would prefer it to be a show that's on the internet, maybe a handfull of people that were picked through some sort of contest or something, or a crowd of random homeless people that we could find, just to fill out the crowd & then jsut broadcast the show for free on the internet. I just don't want to do things stock & standard because everything these days seems so blue print of 4 months ago, slightly different, everything is just so the same & so stale & industry motivated that anything that I can do to kind of shy away from that, breaking it down to not trying with the 1st labels that offer as good as a deal as it might have been, just so I can keep control, it doesn't have to be the standard way of a huge band , I mean Metalica doesn't even have to come out with a new album to do a huge 2 month tour. It's stuff like that that doesn't make any sense to me, what's motivating the tour? Where is the music? Bands putting out 2 albums within a year just to keep the touring name out there & stuff, the boy bands, the industry conceived bands & stuff like that, bands, I use that term loosley with them, performers, is just so odd that like, I hope that soom everyone just wakes up & goes I can't believe I fuckin bought a Britney Spears album because it's just not healthy, It's not good.
RnR E: Did you ever release ZIM ZUM signature guitar pics?
ZIM ZUM: I didn't really release anything, although there were 4 Dunlop released in Japan in like a weird box set. It was only released in japan & I only did it because of the caliper of the other guitar players pics that were in there, like Robert Fripp & Adriene Bellew & Alec Lifeson & Steve Vai, & Joe Satriani. If they felt that they should put my pics in there, I'm not going to be the one to say no if they wanna put me in with those people. I did release them over there. The pics that were in the box said signature series on them, there were 3 different pics, one had a shock symbol on one side & said ZIM ZUM on the other side, they were all purple, One had Zim Zum on one side & the old school spooky manson logo on the one side & then there was the signature series that I actually never used, they were just released.
RnR E: How old are you?
ZIM ZUM: I just turned 30.
RnR E: Happy Birthday
ZIM ZUM: Thank you, I mean I'm almost gonna be..well June was my Birthday, but I still latch on to the just turned 30 thing.
RnR E: What do you think of KISS retiring?
ZIM ZUM: I don't know if I'm alone in this thinking, but didn't Ozzy retire a couple of times too? I think now more than ever, the last thing, regardless of the money & the 10,000 albums they've released, I think what the worl needs now is KISS. Bands like that, that can just sell out huge arenas & do huge shows because they deserve to be in that position; I couldn't support KISS retiring, If they toured every year..look at the Rolling Stones, the Rolling Stones are going to do a tour next year, KISS should definitley still be touring. Because it's an alternative to what you can see these days, it's not a drop tuning with rap over it, it's just KISS, It's just good songs that never really followed any kind of a trend, other than maybe some of the weird disco albums (Dynasty & Unmasked) in there, See, I don't buy into it really because I don't think It's going to be the last time. They had lost the make up & reinvented it & took on the make up again & the had huge tours. I can support some of the things that they're doing outside of the band, Paul Stanley doing Broadway Shows & stuff like that, this is probably stuff that they've never really had the time to do that maybe now the opportunity is there. I'd love to see KISS in different formats.
RnR E: How was the OZZFest tour
ZIM ZUM: OZZFest was cool, what I remember of it, Pantera was on the tour, so that amount of just general highschool kaos that was going on during that tour. Pantera & then us going on back to back, dressing rooms next to each other, it was fun. For me, typically going to like a white trash highschool & everybody in the hall way was wearing some sort of Black Sabbath T-Shirt & then for like 15 shows in a row sitting on the side of the stage & watching Black Sabbath, having Tony Iommi Sign one of my smashed guitars & he offered to let me use one of his guitars, giving me hand fulls of pics, & then asking me sign things for his kids...thats the kind of stuff that transcends being in Manson, it's very humbling just because It's Black Sabbath. That was priceless.
RnR E: How do you want the fans to remember you?
ZIM ZUM: It won't fall into a remember thing, maybe down the line I could probably answer that question because I'm far from being finished. I think it would have to be the idea of them being open to the fact of that just because I was in Manson that's not just me, that's just one side of it. It wouldn't really fal linto a remember thing, maybe 20 years down the road when I don't want to do live shows anymore, unless it gets to the point of KISS then I'll tour until I'm 90. I would actually prefer them to forget some of the things I've done in the past & just keep an open mind to something new & put the amount of time between the time I played in Manson till now - to put some space between it, to let people be opebn to the idea that that's just one part of what I do. I don't think it would be a remember thing, I'm not going to give them a chance to forget.
RnR E: Is there anything I haven't asked you so far that you want to say?
ZIM ZUM: This is actually the first interview that I think I've done in a while that I even did any kind of Manson questions. I figured because of the space that I have put between it.. I have not answered all of the Manson question, I think you covered everything. I think that everything that I'm doing these days is leaning much more towards the future & less in the past. I put everything Manson in context, any of the crazy stories & all the rumors that I was fired was just laughable now because in the long run it doesn't really make a difference. What I'm doing now with Pleistocene...Manson was a stepping stone to get to this point..I thought LSD was tghe end all band & then i got the Manson gig, when I left Manson I played with Cher & then my Mom thought i was famous, I did remixes for Korn & there's alot to be done still. The Manson part of it was just one chapter. I did the Leif Garrett thing too which, with him, I didn't even really know who he was other than he was thing guy who hung around the Manson camp & after being in the studio & helping this guy kickstart what was basically a forgotten career, I saw it as an opportunity to be on MTV & VH1 at the same time which was nothing but marketing genius. Leif Garrett, marily Manson, Cher, Korn all at the same time. Leif, thanks to the tabloids & his general lifestyle, he made any of the guys in Manson look like saints. He was just a mess. Teen Idol is not a good tag to have..that was a learning experience to see people like that who are playing for a gazillion people & then continue with that lifestyle even though they're not in the public eye...sooner or later it's going to catch up to you & that is just kind of a sad case.
RnR E: How would you describe your new band musically?
ZIM ZUM: I played everything on the album, all of the instruments & even did some of the lead vocals on it...it's exactley like the cumalative of all music that I've listened to but I really went out of my way to make it different. If there was anything that even remotely sounded like something today on it I scrapped it. It's synthesizer heavy & it's based around a format of older prog rock bands ( King Crimson, Brian Eno, etc.) where there was no center of the band, it was all of the individuals playing together because if you put the emphasis on the entire band & less on the individual it's just that much more powerful. It does have heavy guitar, but it's always different. There's no set format on it. It's having the ability to just play guitar the way I like to play guitar. There's electronic drums, acoustic drums, there's synth guitar, there's 6 string guitar, there's 5 string baritone guitar, just reinventing what people really think of as heavy, heavy doesn't have to be a sound, it can be more of an attitude.
RnR E: Do you manage the band Dope?
ZIM ZUM: There was a rumor flying around that I manage them but it's not true. When they weren't even Dope, it was Simon & Edsil the singer & keybaord player who are brothers, they lived in New York & when we would come into New York they were guys that were just always around. I don't even remember how the connection was made at first, they were pretty rough & in just a bad position...selling drugs to buy equipment & stuff which could be the way that I met them. I saw these guys who were really trying to do something & like the people who do end up breaking through they needed it, they needed it really bad & yet they're risking everything just to do music. They asked me to help them to work on some of their songs & I was going to produce their album but I ended up recording Mechanical Animals so my priorities had to be in order there, but I let them use my name as currently being produced by ZIM ZUM on the cover of their disc so when they sent it to the labels it got their foot in the door which made it easier for them & they're doing quite well now. That concludes my interview with ZIM ZUM. I would likethe thank ZIM & his people (you know who you are) for setting up that interview. I really was pleased to hear ZIM had a band & would be releasing new music soon. Most of all, ZIM ZUM is a really nice person to talk to, there was no ego, no attitude, no rock star BS involved...ZIM ZUM deserves to be a rock star & believe me when I say...you definitley haven't seen the last of him.