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Interview - ZP Theart (I Am I)

Interview with ZP Theart from I Am I
by Danny Sanderson at 27 August 2014, 12:15 PM

When he first started to get into Metal music almost a decade ago, Danny Sanderson relied on a steady diet of SLIPKNOT, LAMB OF GOD and DRAGONFORCE. The latter in particular was something he loved. In the years since that time, the band's singer, ZP Theart, has left and subsequently formed his own band, I AM I And today, some 7 or 8 years after first hearing "Fury of the Storm", Danny gets to speak to the man who sang on that track about the new I AM I record, lineup changes, supergroups, and the importance of Science-Fiction and Fantasy in Heavy Metal. 

Hi, this is Danny from Metal Temple and today I have the pleasure of interviewing ZP from the band I AM I. How are you doing my friend?

I'm doing really good man.

So, are you looking forward to playing the show tonight

No, I'm just here for the beer. \[laughs] Yeah, of course dude, fuck yeah!

So is this the first time you've played Manchester or have you played before?

No, we've played Manchester several times. This is the first time we've played the Radcliffe Civic, and it's the first time we've been at SOS! Good times!

You released "Event Horizon" in 2012, and since then you have released two singles. Can we expect a full length from you anytime soon?

Absolutely! We're actually in the studio at the moment, and this is the only show we're doing for a while. We're very busy in the studio as it goes.

So, is there any tentative release date at the moment or am I being cheeky in asking?

No, it's not cheeky at all! We're still working on it, but we're hoping to get it ready by the end of this year or the beginning of next year. Maybe we'll release a little taster or something beforehand just to see how it goes down.

While doing the research for this interview, I noticed that a lot of the people who have been involved in this band have been in other acts like Manowar, The Quireboys and Power Quest. How does it feel to work with musicians who are in such great acts?

Yeah, I think it counts against them. \[laughs]

That's actually a great statement to lead onto my next question; You and Rich, the drummer, are now the only original members of the band. You're entire string section has left the band, unless I'm mistaken?

Well, one guy was fired, and the other two…

Were also fired?

Left. \[laughs] Yeah, you got it! Rich is the guy who's got his head on his shoulders, that's why he's still here. It's on his fucking shoulders.

Well, obviously I can see that you've got new members, so what are they like?

They're still here! \[laughs] Fucking yeah, dude, they wouldn't be here otherwise.

Next, I was just wondering if I could ask; Rich used to be in Power Quest, and obviously you used you sing for DragonForce…

\[laughs]

So I was wondering whether you consider I AM I to be a "Supergroup"?

No, not at all dude. We're just a bunch of guys having a really good time. Super-people have super-egos. So yeah, we're answering the question from before again.

That is a good point. A lot of bands that identify as "Supergroups" tend to have an incredibly inflated sense of self-importance. Also, another band that you are associated with is Pentakill, which is based on the game "League of Legends. So how did that all come about?

Yeah, it's really interesting, and it's been a lot of fun man. I got approached by them two to get involved in this project, and there's a lot of great musicians involved in this. When they gave me the background information on what the band was about, it was a no-brainer. There's some really cool people involved, and they're all making some really cool music. Yeah, fuck, it's a cool game and the kids are really into it.

Yeah, it's a great sort of topic is fantasy and sci-fi. For a lot of kids who are just getting into this kind of music, having those elements in is a great way of drawing people in.

Yeah, definitely. After the releasing the songs that we've done together, a lot of people who gave feedback on it were sometimes saying stuff like "Oh my God, I don't really like Metal , but this stuff is awesome!" So yeah, it's definitely doing it's bit.

It's one of those topics that is incredibly relevant to Metal, especially Power Metal. I've heard of a band, I've forgotten the name, but they are basing all their albums around a series of books that the drummer is writing \[EDIT: The band I'm talking about is Lorenguard, a symphonic Power Metal band from Indiana, USA] And obviously, I don't know if you listen to Black Metal, but there's a great band called Caladan Brood who base their music on the Malazan Book of the Fallen series by Steven Erikson. Do you think that Science-fiction and fantasy play a huge part in not just Power Metal, but the overall Metal landscape?

Yeah, it plays a part in quite a bit of Metal actually. The whole fantasy thing, with the massive swords, bows and arrows, magic and the muscly men fighting. It's all about the muscly dudes. \[laughs] Holy shit, there's quite a bit latent sexual stuff surrounding that…we might have uncovered something there! \[laughs] But yeah, it does play a lot in the whole Power Metal and Heavy Metal thing in particular.

What can we expect from your show tonight?

Just the usual sort of shit dude! We're going to go out there and kick some serious ass tonight. We've got some really good musicians with us tonight, and it should be a really good show. It's a fantastic venue as well.

Yeah, it's brilliant! I've been here today and yesterday, and the whole thing has been great

Yeah, there's also a lot of really great bands playing today, so that's a definite bonus. It's all good, really great music.

So, after SOS Festival, what are your plans for the immediate future?

Studio work. We're really busy with that, and we've got a lot of work to do in that department.

And after the album is ready, are you planning any tours or festival dates?

Obviously, once the album comes out, there's going to have to be the whole procession of media stuff, running around, that whole thing; But that's towards then, that's not the priority at the moment. Our main priority, of course, is creating the music, making sure that it's cool, and up to a decent standard, and then, you know, on and on.

And finally, do you have a message for your fans before we go?

The wheel is rolling mother-fuckers, new shit is on the way. Hang in there!

Thank you so much for the interview dude, it's been a pleasure! Have a great show tonight.

Excellent dude, cheers! I'll see you down the front!



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