Interview: The Zeroes

Earlier in the month, I got the chance to ask a few questions to Willie Lutz, frontman of The Zeroes, a rock band from Columbus, Ohio. The band recently released its debut full-length record, titled Indianola, in November 2018 and is currently touring in support of the record. Follow The Zeroes on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and listen to their debut album below!

Indientry: I know your band is relatively new. Can you tell me a little bit about how you all met and The Zeroes was formed? Do you have history with other local bands?

Willie, The Zeroes: So, the band technically started in my friend Drew’s basement in Cincinnati and we wrote the song “Heroes for Villains”, which ended up on the album. But Drew is busy and in two other bands called Watchfrogs and Saint Bernard. We were kind of jamming on these big, fuzzy, psychedelic chords and riffs and I realized that was the kind of music I wanted to make. I actually had a different drummer in the band until last March, but I met these guys through mutual friends at a house show I was hosting, so they got to see the baby Zeroes before we became the real Zeroes, so to speak.

Who are some of your biggest musical influences?

On our album, the Smashing Pumpkins is really what seeps through. I’m also a huge fan of Neil Young, the National, and Wilco, which kind of pointed me towards more abstract and metaphorical lyrical sensibilities.

Follow-up: If you could play a show with any two artists, living or dead, who would you choose and why?

Wow, I could go so many directions with this. I would definitely have to go with Pavement and Paul McCartney. I mean, we’d be underground heroes for reuniting Pavement, who I adore, plus then we could hop onstage for a giant jam on “Get Back” with Paul, because hey, I’m calling the shots on this show.

What kind of music are you listening to right now? What were your favorite records of 2018?

Lately, I’ve been listening to a lot of shoegaze, like My Bloody Valentine and Ride, but I love anything with interesting melodies and clever guitar work. Like, of this year’s releases, I loved Bottle It In by Kurt Vile, Tell Me How You Really Feel by Courtney Barnett, plus Be The Cowboy by Mitski, because she’s the melodic goddess of the United States.

The Zeroes perform at a house show.

Indianola is your first full-length. Can you tell me a little bit about the inspiration for that record?

It’s mostly from the perspective of a person who’s freaking out all the time, which I think we did justice to, especially in the tracklisting of the album. You get the song “Resident” as a sort-of sarcastic mocking of politics and society, but then it’s followed up by “Golden Year”, which chronicles the difficulty of being honest about your feelings. As you can see, they’re very different narratives.

What was the writing, producing, and release process like for Indianola?

The writing was kind of unique and would be hard to replicate as a band because it’s mostly the telling of my last three years in college, which is why you get a song like “Posters” outlining my own existential crisis. With that said, we only had four days in a studio to track this record, add two on the back end for mixing, but I think that was where Indianola really came to life. We worked at Candyland Studios with Mike Montgomery, who works with bands I love like The Breeders, Buffalo Killers, and Protomartyr, so that really helped us find the sounds we desired. Plus, Mike is just an awesome dude.

What’s your favorite thing about the Columbus music scene, or just about Columbus in general?

The Columbus music community blows my mind, to be honest. There’s this bubbling scene of great rock music that’s emerging through other great, local acts like Snarls and Paper Lung, just to name a couple, so it’s been amazing to be around for the growth of this city’s underground scene. However, my favorite thing in all of Columbus is the Newport Music Hall. That’s the best room to see a show this side of the Mississippi.

I know Indianola  was just released in November 2018, but what’s next for you? Do you have any upcoming shows or releases?

Well, right now, we’re headed out on our Midwest tour to start 2019 and we’re following that with a widespread tour of the states in the summer, so for now, we’re just playing a lot of shows.

Is there anything else important about The Zeroes that I didn’t cover that you think is important for the general public to know?

Follow us on the social medias and we’ll give you a sticker and a high-five!

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