Artists / Bands, Culture, Interviews — July 18, 2013 at 12:00 pm

Interview with Zebrahead Part 1 of 3



Music Weekly: Your 10th studio album is coming out very soon and when being asked about it, your drummer Ed replied, “I think the fans will really like the new record if they like songs about beer played by really sexy good looking guys”. Does he speak for the whole band and is there anything you’d like to say in response to him?

Ali Tabatatbaee: Absolutely, absolutely, he is correct. The only thing I have to say is, if you’ve ever seen Ed play his drums, when he takes his shirt off, you’ll know why we are the sexiest band in the world. It pretty much comes down to Ed our drummer.

So it’s all on him?
It’s all on him.

Well the new single ‘Call Your Friends’ is out now and the music video was released recently. What was it like putting that together?
It was really cool, actually. It was a couple of weeks of going back and forth with some of the ideas and on the day of shooting the video we had put a Facebook post up and wanted some of our fans to be in the video. So many kids showed up that it was insane. Like literally, Matty, the other singer in the band, he started drinking around 11:00am.

That was a legitimate party?
Oh my God, it was insane! Matty went crossed-eyed at least 8 or 9 times while we were hanging out and then ended up passing out in the corner when we were done ‘til the end of the video. It was definitely a party and it was cool to hang out with fans that went out of their way to come out and hang with us and film the video with us. It was a legitimate party and most of the stuff, I’d say 99% of the stuff, was real on that video shoot so it was really cool.

Was there anything that didn’t make the cut for being too raunchy?
Yeah actually a lot of it. And then they also recently just put a restriction on Youtube so you have to be over 18 to watch it now. We’re trying to figure out exactly why because we toned it down quite a bit but now we’re gonna have to see what they want us to change, in order for everybody to be able to see it.

A photo was posted on your website of the band kicking back with Jack and Coke by the mixing desk at the studio. How much of the production process is just trying to nail everything and getting it all perfect and how much of it is just letting loose and letting things happen?
You know, we don’t put too much emphasis on the way things need to be done. We go into it and feel it out. If somebody feels inspired to drink some Jack and Coke we’re cool about it. If somebody doesn’t want to and has inspiration to do it a different way, we’re a loose band in that way. As long as we’re creating something and everybody is participating and into it we don’t put too many rules on how our artistic process goes.

Well, the band has been together for almost two decades now, which is incredible. It’s quite rare for bands to stay together past the first album. You guys are known for having a very distinct amount of energy which is prominent even to this day. How do you maintain that level of energy?
We’ve known each other since we were kids, most of us. When you hang out with old friends that you’ve known since you were kids, it brings that out in you. Also we’re extremely immature people, so that’s been a flaw that has worked out in our favour… We don’t try to be something we’re not. This is kind of how we are when we’re hanging out, writing and making music. I can’t explain it. We’re very fortunate but we’ve been friends for quite a long time. It’s just hanging out with old friends writing music and being able to do that is pretty cool. We realise how lucky we are.

Do you find that your fans have grown up with you as the band has progressed, or are you gaining new and younger fans as you go along?
What’s really weird is we have our old-school fans that come to shows and they bring their younger brothers and sisters. It has grown that way for us. Our fans are hyper-dedicated. It’s awesome, we can’t ask for anything more than that. We’ve been very fortunate in that way.


Zebrahead’s 10th studio album, Call Your Friends is out on the 7th August. The band will tour China and Japan with Secret 7 Line.


2 August: Yugongyishan, Beijing
3 August: Yuyintang, Shanghai
4 August: 191 Space, Guangzhou
6 August: B10, Shenzhen
10 August: Summer Sonic Festival, Osaka
11 August: Summer Sonic Festival, Tokyo



Official Website



Stay tuned for part 2 of our interview with Ali. Here’s a snippet: “Well usually if anybody says anything negative about our songs, we tend to invite them outside and beat the living sh*t out of them.”