With Slavior Mark Zonder steps back into the limelight. Time to talk to Mr. Zonder!
It seems that it first was Temple Within, now Slavior. Why this change? And what does Slavior mean in general? And what does it mean to you?
Wayne came up with the name TW in the very beginning when we only really had a couple songs. As the song writing developed and we started to develop our sound that was a bit more heavy and raw, the name TW really quite fit. One of the last songs that Gregg wrote lyrics to was a song called Slavior. We all thought it would make a great name as it was strong and original.
The general meaning of Slavior is a combo of Slave and Savior. It can be looked at in many different ways, some good and some not so good. To me it is just the name of an original modern heavy rock band.
I really like the symbol on the cover... Who had the idea? And will you keep it as a kind of logo?
Actually Gregg designed the entire cover of the album. The basic idea is that it was three separate parts that formed one solid object, like the three guys in the band. Yes, it makes a perfect logo.
You are signed to InsideOut who is known as a progressive label. Slavior's music isn't really progressive rock / metal.... Do you feel comfortable on board of the premier prog label?
When we signed with IO we were told by the main people that they wanted to take the label in a bit of a different direction and use Slavior to establish the label outside of the prog genre. At the time it sounded like a great idea and the fact that I knew the people at the label made it even more appealing.
How do you come up with the reggae on Dove? Actually at the first notes I thought of an old Scorpions tune... And how did people react?
I started working on a reggae groove as I was inspired by yes, the Scorps tune Is There Anybody There. I think that was the name. You are the first person to get this. Anyways, I always loved the way they forged the reggae feel with the rock feel and I thought it would make a good song. I think what really makes Dove is the vocal melody and lyrics. The way Gregg sings this is solid gold. There is no reason this song should not be a big hit. I guess that is the labels job to make this happen.
As far as reaction, people either love it and get it, or don't know what to make of it. I think if you listen to music with an open mind, the Slavior album will blow you away. If you listen to the Slavior album and think it is going to be some prog album with 10 minute songs and long keyboard solos, you might not get it.
The album is produced by Joe Marlett?
We started off thinking we were going to use Joe Marlett just to engineer the sounds and mix the album. But as we started to mix, he had several great ideas and I realized that he is actually contributing to the overall sound and really making an impact with our music. At this point we decided it was only fair to give him producer credit along with the band. Wayne, Gregg and I had spent a lot of time doing demos and working out many production ideas as well. So it really was a collaboration of the four of us.
As far as I know you already played a few shows... Please tell us a bit about who's playing bass live?
We have a permanent member in Philip Bynoe. He has played with Steve Vai and the band Ring of Fire with Mark Boals. Needless to say he has played in many other situations as well. He will be recording the next album with us as well as playing live shows. He is a great player and a great guy. ( www.philipbynoe.com )
Are any shows planned? A tour? Perhaps even Europe?
We are actually going to Japan in August for a few shows and press. We have been trying to get on a tour, but it is very difficult because of the money situation and also at this point, most people don't know who we are. We are currently ready to play and looking for various situations. Also we are about half way done with recording demos for the next album. The second album will be a bit heavier and more edgy.
Thank you for the opportunity to do this interview. If you need anything else, please let us know.
Thanks for the quick reply! And for the offer to get back to you... Let's see what happens and if there is more to ask. ;)