INTERVIEW: Zoax (19/04/2016)

Forming from patches of defunct (or, at the time, soon to be defunct) bands back in 2013, the rise of London alt rockers Zoax until recently has been a steady yet certainly notable climb. Already the band have several festival appearances under their belts, two well received EPs (the latest of which making it to #4 in our list of 2015’s best EPs), and currently opening up each date of what will be Funeral For A Friend‘s final ever tour before packing it in and calling it a day.

Not only this, but the band are set to turn those tides of success into crashing tsunami sized waves with the release of their eagerly awaited self-titled debut album next month. We thought it only fitting to have a wee chinwag with frontman Adam Carroll to talk about sharing the stage with FFAF for their closing performances, what their album is going to bring us, and why we should shut up and pay attention to them.

DP!: Good day Adam, how’s it going in camp Zoax today?
Adam: Absolutely splendid thanks. Over the last 10 hours we just sang Kumbaya. Might treat ourselves later to some toasted marshmallows and spooky stories if you and the team would like to join?

DP!: Absolutely! Thanks for the invite! You guys are just about to wrap up the final dates of your support run on Funeral For A Friend’s farewell tour. How’s the tour been faring for you?
A: It is the one. Two nights in each city playing sold out shows, it’s the absolute dream.

DP!: You’ve also been joining the band onstage for when they perform ‘Juneau’. What has it been like being such a close part of the band’s final chapter?
A: It’s easily the most surreal chapter of my career so far. It’s such a huge honour to be even supporting them on this tour, but to be asked to sing one of their biggest hits, it’s a childhood dream come true.

DP!: As such a prolific and iconic band for the UK rock scene and beyond, how do you guys feel about FFAF coming to an end? Have they been a notable influence towards Zoax at all?
A: Obviously it’s gutting, but FFAF have done and given so much for this scene, and have made a successful career. I always hate seeing bands that influence me come to an end, but everything in life has to at some stage. We are just so grateful that we can be a part of this celebratory finale, and we can’t thank them enough for everything that they’ve done.

DP!: Returning to your story, you’ve got your debut album on its way in just under a month. Excited?
A: Naaaaaaaaaaaah, let’s just go back and talk about FFAF will we? We can’t wait!!!!! And we are so incredibly proud of it. A debut album for every band is always an amazing chapter in their story.

DP!: You’ve decided to release the record as a self-titled effort. What made you land on this? Do you feel this package of songs truly represents Zoax as a full entity?
A: Well, if there is ever a time to make it a self-title, it should be on your debut I feel. Yeah, I do truly believe it represents what the sound of this band is truly about. We wanted to make it sound and feel like how it all is at our live shows. That was one of the main goals.

DP!: Where does the record pick-up from last year’s EP, ‘Is Everybody Listening?’? For us, we ranked it as number 4 in the top EPs of last year, so quite a bar to surpass in our eyes (or, ears).
A: Well, first off, thanks so much for that. Number 1 this year then, yeah? I know where you live… just sayin’. We truly believe that this record is a far bigger leap over the two EPs.

DP!: So far, live debuts aside, you’ve only given us ‘The Bad Blood’ as a cut from the album. What made you decide on that track to lead us into an introduction to the album?
A: We felt it was the right track to kick everything off with. It carries the sound of Zoax that people know us for without giving away all the surprises that the rest of the record has to offer. ‘The Bad Blood’ has also been going down a storm on this tour, which is a great sign.

DP!: Are there going to be any surprises on the record that we’ve not seen from the two EPs? A take into Kate Nash, Whitechapel, or even Huey Lewis & The News (maybe Huey Lewis & The Zoax) territory could be an unexpected turn of events.
A: There certainly is. There’s a lot of different music styles throughout the entire record.

DP!: You’re a very active and involving band when it comes to your live performances, often jumping into the crowd and standing shoulder-to-shoulder with the audience. Does that act of involvement ever come into play beforehand when you’re writing and creating music?
A: We just like to do what feels right to us, and we feed a lot from the crowd. Looking out and seeing the audience dance and smile makes the whole band want to get involved. It’s the way a live show should always be. So, when we write, we like to imagine how the audience would react. It works really well for us.

DP!: So far you’ve already been confirmed for Camden Rocks and Download Festival. Are there any other festival appearances that we can expect to get our fill of some Zoax action whilst we’re there?
A: 2000 Trees and a few more that we are waiting to be confirmed at the moment.

DP!: For those who aren’t too familiar with Zoax, have only heard you guys on the FFAF tour, or are strangers to you all together, why should everybody listen to you once your album hits the shelves?
A: Because it’s music, and music is the greatest thing on planet earth.

DP!: Is there anything else that you’d like to say or share before we close things up?
A: You are cool.

The band will release their self-titled album on May 13th 2016 through Century Media Records.

You can pre-order it now from Amazon (here), and iTunes (here).

You can keep up to date with the band online by following them on Facebook (here), Twitter (here), and Instagram (here).

Interview by Zach Redrup (@zachredrup)