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Jimmy Durand (Zed Yago)

Interview with Jimmy Durand from Zed Yago
by Amy La Salla at 06 November 2004, 12:20 AM

The 1980's. A decade full of powerful Heavy Metal tunes. A decade where sub-genres like Power Metal appeared, especially in Europe…especially in Germany. One of the first Power Metal bands to make their presence well known to those who were always on the lookout for something good, for something (power) Metal were Zed Yago. Unfortunately though the band of powerful female vocalist Jutta Weinhold, guitarist Jimmy Durand & Co. only released two albums before splintering, From Over Yonder (1988) and Pilgrimage (1989). The year's 2004 and Zed Yago have returned with their post-Jutta singer, Yvonne Durand, to kick some butt! Here's what Jimmy Durand had to reveal to Metal Temple Magazine!

How did the band form, and what’s the significance of the name Zed Yago?

Zed Yago was formed by our first female singer and myself. She brought the first story of Zed Yago and I brought the sound and the music. Zed Yago is the daughter of the flying Dutchman, a lady who brings back the lost fantasy.

The first two albums are a real triumph to Power Metal, treading new ground where most bands in this genre are quite derivative.  To your ears, do these early albums still sound fresh to this day? Are there any plans to re-release them?

The time between From Over Yonder, the first CD and The Unvisible Guide our last is 20 years. We think the sound is more harder and modern but it’s our style. We loved our old stuff and the new songs of Zed Yago.  

Zed Yago is one of the first bands to effectively mix Metal and classical. Was this a conscious decision by the band?  Were there any concerns about this unconventional style of Metal?

It’s an unconventional style? We play the European style, heavy rhythms with strong elements of Classic and Rock. So we are the creators of Dramatic Metal.

Any memorable tour moments from your performances in the 1980’s?  I seem to remember you guys touring with W.A.S.P. and their stage show is of course always interesting…

Thank you, but the new stuff is more powerful and more ass kicking, you know?
The close reason is finished
The hell was full so we came back yeah

In the early 1990’s, the band went on a long hiatus. Was this strictly Jutta wanting to go solo, or were there additional reasons?

She left our band, Zed Yago, to make a solo project, that’s right.

How did the idea of reforming come about?  It’s a great thing you guys got back to making music together!

We started back in the year 1997. We played with our new female singer Yvonne on some big festivals in Germany. We looked for so many years for a very good female singer and we had found her. Yvonne is more powerful than all, you will love it, I’m sure!

How did you meet Marzo?  Fans accepting him well?

Marzo is a great bass player, he is our young star in this band and a good guy. Looks crazy but he is !

Were you surprised when Yvonne showed interest in being the new singer for Zed Yago?

Yes, that’s right. It was not so easy to find a very, very good female singer. Yvonne loved the old Zed Yago and the style. Yvonne reformed the new Zed Yago and all our fans in the world that wrote lovely letters to our fan club also helped. So we thank you back!

How will your upcoming disc, The Unvisible Guide, differ in sound from your earlier releases? Has your method of song writing changed at all since the early years?  Will it be a concept album?

The Unvisible Guide is the name of our new CD. We finished the production but we have not signed to a new label to release this CD. It’s a concept of the story of Zed Yago on her way to find the lost fantasy.

Are there any plans to replace Gunnar, or will you be tackling all the guitar duties from now on?

Gunnar was fired by our first female singer, it was 1999. After this break I’ll play all guitars by myself and we’ve also found a great Hammond / keyboarder, Hansi Kecker. The sound is the same, like the guitars for example, but more heavy than before.

Do you compose your songs first in German and then translate them into English?  For instance, when you perform overseas, might Yvonne sing in German instead?

No, we compose in English, that’s the language of Zed Yago.

Were you surprised to see yourself mentioned on web sites all these years after Pilgrimage was released? What’s your take on the Internet?

www.zed-yago.com is our new home. The Internet is the new way to fix bands and fans. Because it’s faster and more effective than the old mediums.

Would you ever consider releasing a live DVD?  I, for one, am dying to see this as it is very rare for genuine Metal bands to get anywhere near where I live.

Yes we will. We have 3 brand new videos and we’ll put them on the new CD. So there are going to be songs and movies on The Unvisible Guide.

Will The Unvisible Guide be released on SPV/Steamhammer, or are any other labels in mind?  Are you surprised by the strong fan response to your reunion?

No, the problem now is we are looking for a new label company and we hope to find a new one. The Unvisible Guide is finished but not released.

What would you most like to tell the fans reading this right now?

We are really back!!! We will find a way to all our fans in this world to see you back on our shows.

See you soon,
Jimmy Durand, a member of Zed Yago



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