An Interview with The Zebecks
The Zebecks are a four-piece Indie Rock band hailing from the North East of Scotland, releasing catchy, riff-heavy music. We caught up with them to discuss their plans for world domination…
Describe your music in three words.
Daniel: In three words I would describe our music as ‘energetic’, ‘raw’, and ‘jangly’.
Who’s in the band, and what do you each play?
Daniel Thomson: Vocals, rhythm guitar
Hayden Peace: Lead guitar
Max Robertson: Bass guitar
Aiden Smith: Drums
How and when did the band form?
Daniel: Aiden and I have known each other since we were around four years old. We were always big music fans and once we were in Secondary school, I started playing guitar and he started playing the drums. After jamming cover songs and performing in school for a few years we eventually met Hayden, recruited him, and then Max a few months later. The group really began to take shape then and that’s when our first original songs such as Violet came into fruition.
Where can we listen to your music?
Tell us a bit about your songwriting process.
Daniel: Well, our songwriting process definitely varies from track to track. For Violet, our newest single, I had written the entire lyrics and put the chords behind them before the band had even heard it. I then took the song to Hayden who wrote the lead part. After this, it was Aiden with his drum pattern and then Max embellished the root-note bass riff I had, which made it ten times better. However, with some songs the entire instrumental is written before I even put pen to paper. I much prefer the variety as it freshens our rehearsals up and keeps things interesting!
Name three other bands / artists that you’d say have influenced your music.
Max: My top three favourite bands are The Libertines, The Clash and Arctic
Monkeys, as I think they each influence my songwriting quite heavily.
What do you listen to on the way to a gig?
Aiden: ‘Outside’ by Catfish and the Bottlemen is a classic song that we
play in the dressing room to get us hyped before going out on stage. This
tradition was started way back when we first played at our school talent
Which of your songs do you enjoy playing the most?
Aiden: The song I enjoy playing the most is Aztec Gold because the drum part is one of the more challenging ones to play. It’s very lively and I get to go wild at the end of the song to finish which is always fun.
If things go exactly to plan with the band, what would you like to achieve?
Aiden: In the near future, we aim to just get to play some more live gigs and hopefully play bigger and bigger venues over time in front of larger crowds. A future goal for us would definitely be getting signed by a label and being able to record a full album.
Which bit of music gear could you not live without, and why?
Hayden: I can’t live without my Dick Dale inspired Jazzmaster. It has got to be the best Fender model on the market. I have my guitar set up like his because I also play guitar upside down.
What’s your favourite brand of music gear, and why?
Hayden – My favourite brand of music gear has to be Fender. Most of the band’s music gear is Fender, and it hasn’t let us down yet!
What was your best gig ever, and why?
Aiden: I think the best gig we ever played was when we got to play a set
at our town hall in front of friends and family. Everybody was up dancing
and even singing along to the tunes, which was amazing to see. It was our
first taste of playing live in front of a crowd and we all loved it.
Name your top three gig venues.
Max: My top three gig venues would definitely be Glasgow Barrowland, Aberdeen’s P&J Live and the Ironworks in Inverness because that is where I saw my first gig and ever since then I’ve wanted to play there.
What’s your personal favourite song you’ve released (or are about to release!)?
Hayden: My personal favourite song we have released is Violet for sure. It was the first song we wrote together as a band so it’s pretty special for me. In my personal opinion it’s also our strongest song off of our upcoming EP ‘Out of the Dust’ and it showcases us as a band pretty well.
If you could only listen to one artist for the rest of your life – excluding yourselves – who would you pick?
Max: If I could only listen to one band for the rest of my life it would have to be The Libertines. This is because they were the band that introduced me to music and the one band that I’ve been listening to for most of my life. Just everything about them; lyrics and musically they hit the spot every time!
How do you promote yourselves? Is there any method you’ve found that has worked particularly well?
Daniel: The best way we have found that creates extra hype around our tracks and gets us more streams/shares is recording and releasing a music video to accompany the song. Our best pal Leon Miele studies filming and is honestly so great at what he does. He puts in 110% for everything he does with us, and we can’t wait to record more with him. The music video he recorded for Violet came out on Friday the 25th alongside the song.
How has lockdown been for you musically?
Hayden: If anything, lockdown has been great for me musically. I’ve spent the entire time playing and practising guitar and getting familiar with home recording. Of course not being able to play with the band has not been so great but hopefully the days of no-band-practice are behind us now.
What’s next for you? Any gigs or releases coming up?
Max: We have a few gigs coming up, some in our hometown and in Glasgow.
Daniel: Our next gig will be at Downtown in Elgin supporting Skylights on the 6th of August. Coincidently, this is the same day our debut EP ‘Out ofthe Dust’ comes out so we will be releasing it with a bang!
Have you ever shopped at Kenny’s Music? If so, what did you buy?
Daniel: When I first moved to Glasgow, I needed a really specific part for my record player and had no idea where to look. I went into Kenny’s Music and the staff chatted away to me and directed me to exactly where I needed to go to get one. They really made me feel welcome in a city that was new to me and definitely made me want to visit again.