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Mark Wright, Alex Incubus, Aceyguns, Dave J (Game Zero)

Interview with Mark Wright, Alex Incubus, Aceyguys, Dave J from Game Zero
by Jo Jo Hamilton at 24 March 2020, 5:49 AM

GAME ZERO have released their 2nd album W.A.R (We Are Right) under Art Gates Records on Feb 28th 2020. The band from Rome, Italy speak today with Metal Temple editor Jojo Hamilton about the new album and more.

Game Zero, hi & thank you for performing this interview today with Metal Temple Editor JoJo Jamilton.

ALEX: Hi Metal Temple, it’s a pleasure to talk together we’re fine, in quarantine at the moment but ok!

When GAME ZERO came together, how did it happen? Did you know each other previously or did the band hold auditions to recruit the existing members?

ALEX: The band took shape in 2013 after a chance encounter with Mark (singer and rhythm guitarist). We immediately dream about a new band with some specific features and we started to write some music. I already knew Dave J and Mark knew Domino (bass player at the time). After few days we recorded a couple of songs which were then added to our first album ‘RISE’.

When you guys released your debut album “Rise” in 2015 you released under Agoge Records, the new release “W.A.R (We Are Right),” has been released under Art Gates Records after signing with the label in November 2019, what prompted the change in record labels?

DAVE J: The desire to expand our musical potential beyond national borders, in particular with a record label with a wider range and above all more dedicated to the hard rock and metal sphere. We immediately found ourselves very well in the Art Gates Records family, both for the professionalism that has distinguished it for years, and for the warmth and appreciation of our music and our concept of band. We expect to do great things together in
the near future!

The new album W.A.R (We Are Right) was released on Feb 28th 2020, how long did it take from the writing of the album to the release? Was this an easy album to write lyrically & musically?

MARK: Writing the songs on this album took us over a year. You know, we are very scrupulous; there are songs that, in the writing phase, come to have 25 or 30 different versions. We have become quite well known for our way of approaching songwriting. I believe that certain bands of our friends also make fun of us for this .. ehehehe

When the bands first single “The City With No Ends” was used in the soundtrack of the animated feature “East End,” the band received several awards, how did this make you guys feel as a band? What was the atmosphere like when you received the awards?

MARK: Clearly, reaching certain goals always makes us very proud and achieving them with our first single ever has been even more incredible. 'The City With No Ends' represents, still today, one of our songs that we are most fond of. Having the opportunity to insert a song into a feature film is something that usually happens to very well-known bands and therefore has given us a very important visibility. Something unexpected for a first album. We are very grateful for this.

The new album W.A.R (We Are Right) has 12 fantastic sounding songs, who wrote the lyrics for the album? Was it one band member or a collaborative process?

MARK: Since day one, I have been in charge of writing the lyrics of our songs. It was not something predetermined according to a particular criterion. I simply believe that, being the singer of the band and being the one who writes all the vocal melodies of our songs, it was just natural for all of us, to let me take care of this aspect. So, we also followed this criterion for the writing of the lyrics of 'W.A.R.'. I don't know if we will change our approach in the
future; at the moment, it seems to be quite good.

When the band played main support to SABATON in their European tour in 2016 in Lithuania, which gave you guys good exposure, how did the performance of the gig go? Also roughly how many people attended the gig?

ALEX: Well, it was a great gig! We came back few days earlier from our first European tour in clubs and it was our first big event. The club was almost sold out with more or less 1000 people. Great energy on and off the stage! People was so kind and enthusiastic of our performance. In that gig we filmed also the music video for our 2nd single ‘Don’t Follow Me’. On YouTube you can see the fantastic energy from the crowd! At today many fans of those night follow us day by day! We also had the chance to know personally Sabaton, very nice people; they deserve all their success!

If you guys could pick any country in the world to perform a tour of the major cities, which country would it be & why?

ACEY GUNS: I would like to come and play in the USA. I think America is the best place for Game Zero music. Cause our music is a modern concept of heavy metal style, and American people usually enjoyed this new kind of approach in heavy metal. Touring around USA would be really amazing in my opinion. In Europe we had a great love from our fans, but people here still like old traditional metal school.

What is the meaning behind the name of the band? What does Game Zero stand for & mean?

MARK: it was not a simple process, nor a short one. We thought about it a lot. We immediately shared the idea of inserting the 'game' concept within the name but we did not find any solution that fully convinced us. Then we learned of a game of chance called 'Zero Game' (better known as 'Zero Spiel', in German). We liked it very much because it was a game of roulette in which the one who came closest to zero won. This aspect intrigued us and amused us, it seemed a game that wanted to somehow subvert the rules. Thus was born the name GAME ZERO which, moreover, we liked immediately also as it sounds. I can't tell you who the final idea was, it was really a collective decision.

When the band played Faine Misto music festival in 2018, what was the crowd attendance like? Did you have a large following by the time you played the festival?

ALEX: Faine Misto is one of the biggest and coolest Festival in Ukraine steadily growing during these years! Big bands like Powerwolf, Arch Enemy, Tarja, Guano Apes and more played there; people over there are really welcoming and warm! All these mix gave us the chance to play a great show! We had hundreds of very nice pictures shot that day! Fans were great and we found great empathy with them!

During the making of the new album W.A.R (We Are Right), were there any set backs or problems in the creation of the album or was it smooth running process?

DAVE J: Actually, the compositional approach was not as easy as for "Rise"; it took several months to find the right balance, as we wanted to accentuate the heavy component of our music and to obtain a more modern sound, in step with today's times. This clashed with the varied and boundless musical background of each of us. This time, in particular, we have taken full advantage of the ease with which Mark (singer and guitarist) creates melodies of fast assimilation, intersecting it with the great ability of Alex (solo guitarist) to immerse them in very detailed guitar arrangements (for each song we have recorded many guitar tracks!) and match them with explosive guitar solos; Dave (drummer), compared to the previous album, has worked to make the rhythms more overwhelming and above all more varied and to take care of the global arrangements of the songs in a modern
approach. Surely our approach to the song form has remained unchanged, therefore it will be easy to recognize in each song the verses and the refrains, also to make the music more suitable for the live context. This time, however, we dared much more in the arrangement, adding unusual or unexpected parts, without however trespassing on prog music.

What’s next for GAME ZERO? Now that the new album is out do you plan on touring any time soon?

ALEX: At the moment (March) it’s difficult to plan the touring season. Due to Covid-19 Virus all shows we planned for the new album promotion were cancelled! We hope that this bad situation will end as soon as possible so that we can live our lives with joy and freedom!

Of the 12 song on the new album, do you guys have a particular favourite track each or is there a consensus over the choice of a favourite song?

MARK: I don't want to answer for the other guys in the band but, as for myself, it is really difficult for me to identify a specific song as 'favorite'. It would be almost like having a favorite child … well, let's face it, for a father it would be very difficult to think of something like this … But I can say that each of our songs, perhaps, fits more with a certain mood, this it is certainly true.

ALEX: I can’t wait to play live ‘We Are Right’ that have one of the most extreme sound we ever written at the moment. I suggest also “Blow Me Away” where I had fun with solos and guitar harmonies.

DAVE J: We are all very satisfied with every single track that came together in "W.A.R.", you won't find any filler inside it. Nevertheless, surely there are songs that find greater consensus among us such as "We are right" (with the pompous final chorus) and "Believe" (with its very "Nickelback" style), in fact both are two singles released with relative video. Then there are some tracks that are inevitably preferred by some of us, for example I love "We are right" for his many nervous changes of pace and fast tempo and "You choke me" for the crazy drum solo in the middle section!

ACEY GUNS: My favourite song of the new album is the track "Goodbye". Because the song has a really good riff, powerful chorus and an amazing interlude with an unexpected clean part. We performed this song live last year during the mini tour with Amorphis and I saw I lot of people who enjoyed the track. This song is the perfect example of the new Game Zero full length.

Where would you like to see GAME ZERO in say the next 5 years? What do you want to accomplish in that period of time?

DAVE J: Well, with regards to the live dimension, we would certainly like to play on more important stages, especially in territories that are still unexplored for us, for example in central Europe and the USA; our big dream would also be to bring our music to the east, especially to Japan. We would also like to hold a second headlining tour after the 2016 one. Five years are very long, in the meantime we would certainly like to put at least a couple of albums in the pipeline, given the success that "W.A.R. - We Are Right" is having for now.

GAME ZERO, I’d like to thank you for taking the time to perform this interview today & may I wish you guys all the best for the future.


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