Pennsylvania's Zolof The Rock And Roll Destroyer have made a name for themselves with upbeat, female-fronted pop tunes. They're about to release their sophomore LP, Schematics, and frontwoman Rachel Minton was kind enough to answer a few questions for us.
PPJ: First, tell us your name and what you do in the band.
Rachel Minton: My name is Rachel & I play keyboard & sing in Zolof.
PPJ: I'm sure you've been asked this a thousand times before, but can you explain where you came up with your band name?
Rachel: True, we're asked this question a lot & I usually lie & tell a more interesting story about how we got the name. But the truth is that one of our original members is a writer (plays/fiction) & he had a character in his writings called 'Zolof The Rock & Roll Destroyer'. But 'Zolof' was a masseuse to the rock star community, so he was actually tenderizing rock more than destroying it.
PPJ: Schematics will be your first LP in about four years. How do you feel you've grown musically since the release of Jalopy Go Far?
Rachel: I feel like we've learned to be more honest with our music. Jalopy Go Far & The Popsicle EP were more pop, as far as content and sound. We're still all about melody & immediate gratification, but these songs are more about being frustrated and feeling kind of crazy. Fun, but honest.
PPJ: Have you ever found it hard to maintain a focus for the band with so many members coming and going?
Rachel: No, not really. Zolof is essentially Vincent and myself & we have different friends that have played with us over the years covering bass, drums & keyboard, but we have always been the creative core of Zolof.
PPJ: You've collaborated with a wide variety of other artists over the years. Who are some of your favorite people to work with, and why?
Rachel: Reel Big Fish, The Loved Ones, Motion City Soundtrack, Will from Straylight Run, Anthony Green & so many more. On recordings or live, collaborating with people you love and respect is a blast.
PPJ: How did you go about writing and recording Schematics?
Rachel: Vincent & myself are the creative core of Zolof. One of us will come up with a melody & build the song around that. We always demo the songs so that we can step back & see how we feel about them and then move forward with writing.
PPJ: How do you keep up the energy of your live shows when you're on long tours?
Rachel: Playing is the only thing that keeps you going when tour gets long and strenuous. I mean, long drives kill momentum, but once you're hanging out and talking with kids at the show it really pumps you up again.
PPJ: Which of your songs are you the most proud of and why?
Rachel: I love all of our songs for different reasons & they've all documented a time in our life, but like a lot of musicians I'm most proud of our newest songs. Again, I think they're very honest and more revealing than our previous releases.
PPJ:What drives you to keep writing and playing music?
Rachel: For myself and Vincent, playing & writing together keeps us doing it. We have such a great time & it's so gratifying. I think that we'll continue as long as it's fun.
PPJ: Finally, tell us three bands you think we should be listening to.
Rachel: The Matches, Motion City Soundtrack, & The Loved Ones.