In a world were there are so many bands to keep track of I want to bring my two cents in presenting you to this interview with ZIG ZAGS. Answers from Jed.Anders Ekdahl ©2019
Every band has to introduce their music to new people. What is it that you want people to get from listening to you guys?
-We’re making music for our teenage selves and everybody else’s teenage selves and maybe even some actual teenagers. Although I have no idea what actual teenagers like these days and just to be safe I have no intention of trying to find out.
How hard was it for you guys to pick a name? What had that name have to have to fit your music?
-We looked down at the shoes we were wearing and they said Zig Zags. It’s a brand of cheap shoes. People call ‘em “Winos” we were originally called “Them Crooked Vultures” but then we saw there was another band with that name.
Everybody is influenced by certain things. What band(s) was it that turned you on to the kind of music you play? What inspires you today?
-This latest record was inspired mainly by the bands we listened to as kids like Metallica and Slayer obviously. In the van on tour we listen to a lot of country music like Waylon Jennings and Billy Joe Shaver and then of course lots of Dylan and Neil Young and then a lot of freaky jazz stuff. I’m starting to hit that white middle age rock guy who’s getting into jazz period.
When you formed did you do so with the intent of knowing what to play or did you do so from the point of having a band name and then picking a sound? How did you settle on the name/sound combo?
-The band started as a two piece acoustic just to mess around in the basement. There is a record by a band called “Fresh Maggots” and I wanted to have a band that sounded like what the cover looked like. Two guys fishing basically. We looked around and everyone was kinda doing something similar so we just turned the amps on. I hadn’t played guitar in about 10 years when we started and the drummer had never played drums before. A few records and members later and it’s not even remotely close to how it started.
I believe that digital is killing the album format. People’s changing habit of how they listen to music will result in there being no albums. Is there anything good with releasing single tracks only?
-I haven’t thought about it but we just did a split 7” with Mike Watt where we covered a Minutemen song. It took us a few weeks to figure it out and record 1 song so I wouldn’t want to do a whole album of that.
What part does art-work and lay-out play when you release new recordings? How do you best catch people’s attention?
-We have used artists from all over the world S. America, Indonesia etc…I love getting art from kids that came up with something inspired by the music. Artwork is always the hardest part. I know what I like but I don’t know how to explain it. We got lucky on this new album when we found the photo that became the cover. It sums up the time and place where the band exists.
Has social media re-written the rules on how to promote your music? Or do you go about doing promotion the same way?
-I feel pressure to understand how to use Facebook and Instagram and I feel like I don’t know what I’m doing and when I try to figure it out I ultimately end up frustrated. I try not to post anything unless it’s information I feel like people need. I got in a fight with a guy the other day who was trying to figure out where we were playing and I need to just stop responding all together.
When you play in a band, does that make you feel like you are a part of a scene, of something bigger and grander?
– I feel like we are part of a scene in the sense that we have friends in bands that I text and we complain about shows and not making enough money and bass players etc… but stylistically we are not part of any scene and I like it that way. We can play a show with anyone and we do frequently we’re on some “garage rock” fests as well as “metal” and whatever we’re a rock and roll band like Motörhead. I don’t ever think to much outside the band though or what it means to anyone but us.
How much of a touring band are you? Is touring/gigging still a great way of spreading the word of the band?
– We have been on tour or cancelling shows since May and we will go through November this year so I think close to 70 shows in 2019? I don’t keep track we just go as much as we possibly can and as much as people want us. I think you have to tour if you wanna call yourself a band. Or else it’s a “project” or a “hobby” but we are a simple band with simple ideas and a lot of energy so for us it’s a necessity.
What will the future bring?
– Probably a complaint to Norwegian Airlines over the $600 they charged us to check 3 bags.