By Thomas S. Orwat Jr.
Hailing from Victoria, Australia, Zombie Motors Wrecking Yard is a reckless, nasty and weed-loving five-piece band that blends the influences of Stoner rock, ZZ Top, and AC/DC, with a heavy dose of Sex, Drugs, and Rock 'n Roll. This hard hitting quintet consists of members: Ran- vocals, Darren - Guitar, Coop - bass, Marc - guitar, Leigh - drums. Zombie Motors Wrecking Yard will be unleashing their uncompromising and contagious, new album, 'Supersonic Rock n' Roll,' this February 24th, on Napalm Records.
What follows is an exclusive Rock Music Star interview with Zombie Motors Wrecking Yard vocalist, Ran.
RockMusicStar: Hello Ran. Thank you for checking in with us here at Rock Music Star. Let's start off by talking about the formation of Zombie Motors Wrecking Yard. How, and when, was the band formed? How difficult was it to find musicians that believed in your mission statement for the band?
Ran: Coops and Daz actually started the band, basically just getting stoned and jamming. This grew with Marc and Leigh coming on board. I was actually last to come along. Daz, Marc and myself had actually ridden (shovel heads) to an xmas party at HD development in the city. The topic of stoner rock came up, and I was saying how I missed playing music, as it had been a while since I had been in a band. One thing led to another, and here we are today. They actually tried a bunch of vocalists, but nothing clicked. I joke that i wasn’t the best choice, just the only choice. But, the guys assure me I don’t suck too bad.
RMS: Is fronting Zombie Motors Wrecking Yard your full time job, or do you an additional occupation?
Ran: My job, as such, is being a tattooist- that usually pays the bills. We all have jobs. Music, to date, does not cover much more than beer and fuel. But, we would love to just tour and record, and certainly would embrace that if we could make it happen. Daz owns a Harley repair business and builds bikes. Marc is also a bike mechanic, but currently does building. Coops is a teacher, and Leigh owns his own car parts business. Anything outside pop music really doesn’t make much money here in Australia; even then, not many local acts make a living from playing music, especially original songs.
RMS: Who do you consider to be your major influences?
Ran: We would all name different acts. For me…. musically- Ministry, The Cult, Sepultura, Kyuss, Static X, White Zombie, Marilyn Manson, Motley Crue, INXS, COC, AC/DC, the list could go on. Also, horror films- zombie films, of course- feels a bit cliche to say that, but, I dig B-grade stuff; old and new. Even Aussie films like, Madmax, of course, and Running On Empty. We all dig bikes ’n cars, and I think that shows. We have pretty much all built our own cars and choppers; Marc has a blown XC Ford. Daz, Marc and I have shovelhead Harleys; all home-built. I race and build race cars, Daz does some drag racing every now and then, and Leigh built a show level XA Ford, also.
RMS: Zombie Motors Wrecking Yard is based out of Melbourne, Australia. What is the rock music scene like there? Is your style of Stoner blues rock popular over there?
Ran: You know what? It’s pretty healthy, despite the government fucking most music venues by allowing pokie machines and fucking up opening hours, etc. Aussies like rock ’n roll n metal, so really, you cannot stop us. Stoner certainly has a following- I guess we are not just stoner- so we mix with a lot of heavier bands, even though we are not full metal. Our obscurity and ability to not be one thing is a good and bad thing when setting up lineups.
RMS: How popular is Zombie Motors Wrecking Yard in your hometown? What size venues do you play?
Ran: The funny thing about many bands from Australia that you may know of is, when we play here, we don’t always get huge crowds, but in Europe or USA- it’s huge. We play small venues; our crowds are anywhere from 100 people to 500, but it just depends. We are relatively new on the live scene. We book our own shows, so we don’t have the luxury of a booking agent. Cherry Bar in Melb is one of the main places we play, and indicative of the kinda thing we do. Our first show was in an alleyway at a chopper show. I think that suits us fine… beers, bikes ’n ladies.
RMS: Your new release, 'Supersonic Rock ’n Roll,’ is an epic, sleaze-filled gritty ’n raw masterpiece. How long did it take you and the band to master this perfect, contagious mix?
Ran: Well, thank you. It was a difficult birth, haha. Gavin Parker, who produced the album, was kinda given a difficult, and often confusing task. It started as an EP in Ballarat, that he was going to do between writing computer game scores. Then, we signed to Napalm- so it became an album. In that time, he moved from that studio and begun building his own. So, as happens when building things… budget blows out and shit takes longer. So, we recorded in his lounge room, in steel factories, all over the shop. Final vocals on half the album and mixing, etc, was finished at his studio in Williamstown. You know what? It was fucking hard. I struggled with the process, as I like to get shit done. I’m unrelenting; I’m doing this interview at 6am Saturday morning, was mixing new clip between work and hanging with the lady, before I go out to party for my brother-in-law’s 30th, then will get out and do more prep work on my race car. I just don’t stop. So, waiting for a studio to be finished, or to get in and do vocals, etc, did my head in. Daz and I went head-to-head a bit, but I think that last year helped us get the ground work for if this does blow up, or for touring. We all get that we want this, we get that we have different ways of achieving a result, and all deal with stress differently. The bonus for us is if people dig what we made. We wanted this to hook you in. We wanted choruses, you know; we dig tracks you can sing or yell along with. I love finding a riff in a song- when it just jumps out and you’re like, “Damn, give me more.” The riff is god in this band; we write around the riff, we come back for it, and we want to make each one better than the last.
RMS: How would you describe the typical Zombie Motors Wrecking Yard fan?
Ran: I’m yet to see a typical fan, you know. I’m surprised. As of yet, we don’t have a demographic. Young and old, male, female. It’s still growing and finding its feet, I reckon. We get full-blown metal heads, to punk, to stand-in-the-corner stoners. What’s cool is, it’s not a sausage fest. We usually find it’s a mix of ladies and men.
RMS: 'Supersonic Rock ’n Roll' is released through the Napalm Records label. How did the deal with them come about?
Ran: Yeah, it is, which is pretty badass. Well, our mates, Mammoth Mammoth, were on tour in Europe- and I believe Seb from Napalm Records- asked the guys if any cool bands they should check out were about. For some reason, they said us, haha, and that got the ball rolling. I remember Seb wanted promo shots, art, and tracks, and all we had were some demos, photos taken on an iPhone, and some poster art. But, he must have seen something he liked, as here we are. We are pretty stoked that they picked us up, as honestly, they only really work with established acts. And, despite us not being spring chickens, this band had done really nothing. I believe, to date, we have maybe played 20 odd shows. Our demo video clips did have a lot of views, and that, I think, showed people were into what we are doing, and wanted to see more. But Seb, Mona, and Moni from Napalm have been great in helping us get up to speed on how things are done now.
RMS: Do you have any plans to tour in the USA or Europe anytime soon?
Ran: Fuck yeah. Nothing locked in, but we are chomping at the bit to get out and about. It’s one of the reasons we jumped at signing; so we can tour outside of Australia.
RMS: What are your views on marijuana. Do you feel that it should be legalized like alcohol?
Ran: Mate, I think, it grows in the ground, no one should be able to say you can’t pull it out and do with it as you please.
RMS: Has your opinion on the USA changed at all, since Donald Trump has been elected as President?
Ran: Bwhaha. Well, I can only talk for myself; not everyone in the band. As we all have different ideas on things like politics, etc. Me, I think he is a racist pig. But hey, I’m not American, so really, is it my business? We all love so much about America, and we all want to get over there. American culture has influenced Australian culture a great deal. I think you have good and bad in all parts of the world. My hope is that, what ever happens, that it leads to a better world to live in and co exist with. We don’t really write about politics, or want to preach our view points on that, as a band. Music- while it can be an amazing influence on people to change how they think, or spread important issues- we are more about spreading the fun, the chaos of just not being a cunt, yeah. You can be loud, and swear and carry on, and not be a dick. It’s important to give people space, not force. Sure, one on one, I’ll tell you what I think if I’m asked. I have pretty strong ideas on things, but you can get lost in trying to change the world into what you view it should be. This is rock ’n roll, and it’s meant to be some fun, and outlet. We want you to leave our show, thinking, “Fuck yeah, what a blast;” for you to forget about the shit things in the world for just a moment.
RMS: Any last thought for our viewers here at RockMusicStar?
Ran: Just, thanks for the support and love. We fucking love that you guys, and other fans of music, get out and share what we do. We are here to fucking share our love for getting the opportunity to make some music and play it to you guys. It’s pretty fucking cool, really.
For more on Zombie Motors Wrecking Yard, please click here.