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Interview - Fran Lorkovic (Zlang Zlut)

Interview with Fran Lorkovic from Zlang Zlut
by Daniel Fox at 14 August 2014, 8:57 AM

Channeling waves of weirdness and obscurity, not the first time around for these guys or for Metal Temple for hosting an interview with an oddity musical act. ZLANG ZLUT favoring Rock N’ Roll as their true vibe but in their own personal input. Daniel Fox talked to Fran of the band regarding the new release along with the more facts of the bands present and past.

Greetings Fran, thank you for this interview opportunity! First, tell us a little about the band. What does "Zlang Zlut" mean? It's quite an interesting name.

It’s up to us to be thankful actually, for the great and reassuring review you gave us. The band has existed for 4 years now and started with a jam session. We had recruited a bass player also actually, but he never showed up so we fooled around a little, just the two of us. We had been playing in a Free Rock project together already before, playing entirely freely improvised concerts. So jamming together wasn’t anything new. But I hadn’t sung yet. That evening, I grabbed a mic and we messed around with various funny things, including all kinds of Rock’n’roll reminiscences. It was a lot of fun and we kept on doing it till we actually started putting songs together. The bass guy kept not showing up, so we figured the band will be just the two of us.

”Zlang Zlut“ means „Too Long Too Loud“ in Swiss German. The story is that Beat, the Cellist, had to repair his bass amp and the guy in charge told him the AC part had burned down. Being stunned, Beat asked how this was possible, and the tech guy answered: „What do I know??? Zlang Zlut gschpiilt (you played too long and too loud)!!“ We kept quoting that line so often, laughing our arses off that finally we decided this is how the band should be named.

You and Beat both have extensive musical backgrounds; what inspired you to want to create a hard rock group?

I knew Beat was a Rock Fan. But I didn’t think there was enough common ground taste-wise for working in a band except for knowing he was a big AC/DC-fan like me. Plus at the time when we started, with two decades of intensely playing it I thought I had seen it as far as heavy rock goes. I was more interested in Experimental/Fusion/Jazz type of music and had just released a wildly experimental album with a band called Syg Baas.

Beat on the other hand was hell bent on finally kick-starting his Metal career, haha!! So I first sort of gave in and then started liking his massive Cello sound plus the idea of playing and drumming simultaneously which seemed like a nice challenge.

Upon first listening, I noticed the 'guitar' had an odd inflection to it; alas, an electric cello! Is this an oddity just for fun, or is the unique timbre deliberate?

Nothing is deliberate in this band haha!! The main reason why we use Cello instead of guitar is that Beat has spent nearly 50 years playing the Cello opposed to zero time playing guitar. So we make the best out of this shattering fact haha… The way his Cello sounds through the amp is powerful enough not to have to hide behind guitarists. And since it sounds similar to a guitar but not identical, it gives us the chance to use even certain clichés and get away with them as they somehow turn out sounding fresh. We’ve even had guitarists coming to our gigs saying: „You’ve got the guitar sound I never got!“

I adore "Revolution Baby", and I'm loving the classic rock vibes from it. How important is classic rock to the sound of Zlang Zlut?

Good to hear you like the song! Well, Beat was born in 58 and me ten years later, so we grew up on Classic Rock. So the importance is undeniable. Although I should add that I truly hate certain Classic Rock bands and some songs should be banned for decades, being as over-played as they are.

It's my understanding you have both been part of many projects in the past; are you both still dividing your time, or has Zlang Zlut became your main focus?

As you know, more often than not, having a band in Rock’n’roll is financial suicide.
So we have to invest time elsewhere to earn the money that we can invest into Zlang Zlut. But the band is existential and has become our undisputed artistic center and home long ago.

I noticed you play drums and sing at the same time. Perhaps a novice question, but I have always wondered how the two can be done simultaneously without great difficulty. How do you manage that?

It’s a great question. I wouldn’t claim I’m NOT doing it with great difficulty haha…

But what helps is that I have a history as a drummer and a history as a singer. Adding singing to drumming then is just adding another element of independence. Sort of like a third foot or hand. It’s a lot of fun. So then, like anything else, you just do it and get better at it and passion drives you along.

Who are your greatest influences as a vocalist?

Bon Scott, Ozzy Osbourne, Ian Gillan.

The debut album actually has a bassist on it this time. The EP did not include a bass track; why the decision to include one now? Who plays it?

There were four songs where our recording engineer Deezl Imhof suggested we use a different bass than the Moog Taurus Pedals that we used on the other ones. We tried low Piano notes and other stuff, but then decided we’ll simply use a bass guitar. We chose „Baschi“ Hausmann because he’s a mutual friend and Deezl had worked with him several times. He loves our stuff, too, so that helped. He came into the studio, took his shirt off and nailed it all in minimal time. So it all fit very much.

Do you ever plan on having a session bassist for live shows? I saw a clip or two on the internet, and noticed you perform perfectly fine and tight without one.

We’ve continuously thought about bringing in a third guy, we still do occasionally, but less and less so. We’re just comfortable the way we are and people keep confirming us there’s nothing missing in a live situation. Except stripping girls.

Thank you for agreeing to the interview; how will you two spending the rest of the year as a band? Perhaps working on some new material?

My pleasure. We’ll be playing more shows, among others supporting US Stoner Rockers „Karma To Burn“ on their European Tour in Switzerland and France. We’ve started working on new material a while ago and it’s been continously included in our live set since because we feel that the more the new material is being played live, the better it’ll sound in the studio. We’ll hopefully start working on the new album early next year.


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