Saturday, September 22, 2007

Interview - Zolof The Rock & Roll Destroyer

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.

Thanks again to Rachel for answering these questions, and to Mike Cubillos at Earshot Media for arranging the interview. Make sure to catch Zolof on tour with Motion City Soundtrack now, and to pick up Schematics on September 25th.

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