Zilch. are a raucous alt-rock 3-piece from Worcester, UK who have been on the live scene since September 2018.
They harness melody, groove and positive angst in their songs to create a dangerous balance.
As a live band, they’re loud and energetic, delivering a sonic punch drenched in distortion and sweat.
About The Band:
For any of our readers who are unfamiliar with yourself / yourselves tell us a little bit about your band / project.
we’re a three piece from Worcester in the West Midlands. We play dirty, poppy, heavy grunge type tunes. Bits to sing along with, bits of moshing.
Lots of hair, flailing limbs, fun.
What was your earliest memory of music that piqued your interest?
Cal: I can remember being pretty young and hearing “monkey gone to heaven” by the Pixies in the car. It’s stuck with me. Similar thing happened with “kiss from a rose” by Seal around the same time.
Crag: Mine would have to be going to London with my Parents, I must have been 7 or 8 and going to see all the Beatles memorabilia shops. That really got me into the swing of music, but Music was part of the household, Journey, Rush, The Police were normally on rotation to name a few.
Thom: I grew up in a house where a lot of 50’s rock n roll and doo wop was played, as well as The Beatles, Kate Bush, Björk, Black Sabbath and Michael Jackson, so I’ve always been interested in music and performance ever since I can remember.
I think the turning point was probably when my older siblings introduced me to the nu-metal scene that was so popular at that time. I’d never heard anything like it, and the music was so angry – I was 9 at the time and it summed up a lot of how I felt most days. I was always bullied, and that music helped a lot. That was when I decided I wanted to play guitar in a band.
Who was the first album/single you purchased?
Cal: I’m the right age where this isn’t as shit answer as it could be, but the first single I bought was Limp Bizkit “Rollin” and the first album I brought was Korn “Issues”. Issues is still decent at least.
Crag: No clue to what the first Album I purchased but early days I remember buying ‘Im your man’ single by that dude who played Alfie in Eastenders, not my proudest moment!
Thom: The first single I bought with my own money was Michael Jackson’s “Blood On The Dance Floor”. Totally not ashamed and still a huge fan to this day.
When did you first pick up your respective instrument / or start singing?
Cal: I started playing guitar when I was 12 or 13, so like 2002/2003. I dont remember when I first picked up a bass to be fair.
Crag: I started hitting a fake drum set when I was about 10 – it was one of those electronic drum boxes with the circular pads on them. I must have thought it was a toy to be honest. I started properly playing when I was about 12 or 13 and had a few lessons, I am not a natural at my instrument and I remember it being tough but I know I wanted to play the drums so I stuck at it.
Thom: My sister had a crappy electric guitar that I used to steal all the time and detune to try and play something that resembled metal. I had a lot more fun just making noise on it.
My Dad eventually bought me a Kay ET-200 – a Walmart guitar from the 60’s – at a car boot sale for around £30. I started seriously putting time into learning from that point on. I was 11, and I still have that guitar and love it to death.
Singing came not long after I taught myself “Wild Thing” and tried to imitate Jimi Hendrix.
What route did you take with your music/instrument/lessons/music school / self-taught and any fond memories of that journey?
Cal: I had guitar lessons for a few months but scales didnt really stay in my head, so I started just learning songs after that and learning that way. I did music tech and music production at college, which was a waste of time but I did learn some decent stuff and jammed with a lot of people.
Who were your hero’s as a young musician that inspired and pushed you to want to be a musician too?
Crag: so, after slugging it out in drum lessons for a couple of months, I quit as I was a stubborn child and thought I knew it all. This was not the case obviously but continued to self teach by learning more complex songs and working out new rhythms I could never play rather than playing songs by the Darkness, Ramones and any other generic rock / punk tunes. End of Secondary School I got myself into college to get a qualification in Popular music and from there in to University to continue my Music studies. Drank a boat load of beer, made some great contacts and friends and walked away with a 2.1. not too shabby!
Thom: I had guitar lessons when I went to high school. They weren’t really lessons as I didn’t learn any scales or theory, just a different song each week.
I quit those lessons when I discovered that I could figure things out by ear.
Is there one particular album or song that gave you a “Eureka” moment from your youth that made you want to be a musician?
Cal: Steve Jones from the Sex Pistols was a massive influence for me because he made me think “you CAN play guitar”. That punk attitude was important for me. Alice In Chains, Nirvana, Sepultura, Pantera, Guns n Roses and the Offspring were quite influential for me in high school.
Crag: Honestly, first moment was hearing anything Travis Barker played from Blink 182, he combined fast playing with tech and rudiments and that pushed my drum brain and knowledge further. Following him I went back to my childhood and listened to songs my dad used to play which brought me Neil Peart and John Bonham, need I say anymore.
Thom: As I said earlier, I’ve always been an MJ fan, and I think that he really inspired me in terms of loving music.
Corey Taylor helped me find my voice initially though – so raw and angry that I used to blow out my voice on a regular basis because I was just so pissed off all the time. I got introduced to Nirvana and found that melody and raw emotion could be put together to make something honest with a hook.
What was the best gig you’ve ever attended?
Cal: Every time I see Gojira is the new best gig I’ve been to. Particularly on the Magma tour. They’re just phenomenal.
Crag: There’s been a few but I think the time I seen Hellyeah headline at Bloodtstock on the second stage was mesmerizing, I didn’t really know any of their tunes but it was just incredible. Seeing Vinnie and hearing his signature sound was a real treat. Apart from that I would say the time I seen Rush play and the first time I saw Lamb of god at Download 2007. Fucking Heavy!
Thom: Red Hot Chili Peppers at Ricoh Arena in Coventry. There were so many assholes there, but I was so glad I got to see them before John Frusicante left again. He’s a huge inspiration to me too.
Do you have any musical guilty pleasures?
Cal: Probably Don Broco, but they’re just so good live I don’t give a shit hahaha. Maybe Billie Eilish but again not really that guilty, just more embarrassed about how old I am.
Crag: Too many to gad damn mention so let me give you the highlights: Huey Lewis and the News, John Mayer, Keith Urban and a bit of Beyonce.
Thom: Who doesn’t? There are a couple of Paramore songs I like, and they’re totally not my thing at all. But, Hayley Williams.
So any new music in the works currently or just released?
We’ve got three singles that are on our bandcamp and other sites. We’re recording another single in the early new year and an 4-6 track EP in the spring. Buzzing to be fair.
Where and when did you record it?
We recorded our first single “Righteous” at Birmingham Uni with our buddy Jhiya in November 2018 which we did the day after a gig at our favourite bar so we were hanging out of our asses. The other two singles were at Revolt Recording in March 2019 just outside Worcester, which is a rad studio with great engineers. Sober this time.
How does the songwriting process generally work for you?
Some times one of us will have a complete demo, other times we’ll have one riff and jam it out and write the rest together. It’s a mixed bag, maybe that is the best formula.
What route have you taken to build up and establish a fan base locally & beyond your local area?
We have taken every gig possible that we’ve been offered. Bribery helps. We might be mugs, we gave away all of our tickets for a headlining gig in our home town. We just wanted to get people in, everyone to have a good time and catch the other bands on the bill.
We try and attack every gig with as much energy as we can. I think we go down better out of town than in Worcester
What is the music scene like locally to you and where do you fit in?
There is a really good vibe around our local scene at the moment. We are lucky that we sort of fit in quite well with it. There is a few grungey bands and a few bands with like an old school bluesy, garage feel but sounds quite modern. All good live bands and it seems like there’s no dickheads, other than us.
Do you feel there are enough venues around you to help promote and establish up and coming bands like yourself?
Worcester isn’t that big and is quite a musical city, so there are a decent amount of places to gig. There is a good core of cool promoters as well. Getting regular slots out of town is a different kettle of fish.
What would you like to see ideally to help hard-working bands/artists get better exposure and opportunities to make a living from their craft?
Promoters putting more effort into actually promoting I guess. Some are really good, some are really shit.
We often find that you’ll only get booked if you can sell X amount of tickets. But you need gigs to get fans to get those numbers. It’s like needing experience to get experience.
What is the best piece of advice you have received on your journey thus far?
Never half ass it and always have fun. And always offer the sound engineer a drink.
What would you say has been the biggest lesson you have learnt on your journey to date?
Dont be arrogant. Practice until you are almost sick of playing. Don’t be a doormat but don’t be a dick.
With the music industry always constantly changing – how have you had to adapt to the ever-changing landscape?
Does the introduction of New Technology / Digital Age / Social Media etc enhance your life as a musician or do you feel it can be more of a hindrance?
In terms of getting us and the music heard it’s a good thing. We’ve been listened to on the other side of the world and that just would have happened yet without the tech aspects. When you can always view feedback, fanbase, number of streams and all that shit it can bring in a self consciousness that maybe you wouldn’t have had pre-Myspace.
So moving forward what’s next for you?
New single recording in January. Debut EP shortly after. Gig, gig, gig.
How do you see the evolution of the band / yourself as an artist?
Our dynamic is good as a band, were finding out what works and what doesnt all the time. Hopefully we’ll get better at blending the angsty and melodic sides of our music together and help nail down what we are.
Do you have any short-term or long-term goals in mind?
Gig as much as possible. Build our audience to the point where touring isn’t pointless besides being good fun. Do some videos. Maybe get an album sorted next year and just push it as far as we can.
If you could tour with any band or artists who would that be?
Cal: I’d love to tour with Clowns, mostly because it looks like a wild time. On a ridiculous scale, the Foo Fighters makes some musical sense, or Alice in Chains I guess.
Crag: Id love to go on the road with Foo Fighters, Queens of the Stoneage and Motley Crue back when they were young enough to party.
Thom: Dinosaur Pile-Up. I’m gonna keep saying it until they notice or it happens.
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