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A Dirty Dozen with ZACH PLISKA from VAZUM – August 2019

| 17 August 2019 | Reply


According to a recent press release: “August 6,  2019:  Detroit-based post-punk/dark rock act VAZUM is pleased to reveal the video of their cover of the classic Bauhaus track, “She’s In Parties.”  The track appears on their new release, VARIANT.  VAZUM is led by Zach Pliska who has previously played drums in a myriad of Detroit bands. Wanting to step to the forefront he sings and plays guitar in VAZUM.  Pliska is joined by Zachary Anderson on guitar and Michael O’Connor on bass who both contribute to the songwriting process. The band has a wide range of influences and is further pursuing different directions to take their music.” We get Zach to discuss new music, influences, and much more…

1. Tell us a little about your latest release.  What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through?  Are there any hidden nuggets the band put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

Variant is our 3rd album. Most of the songs were written last Summer. Someday is the most emotional song for me on the album. It was written when I was feeling very down and not in a good frame of mind. We recorded during the Winter as a live band in the studio. We purposely didn’t add a lot of overdubs or do a lot of editing. We wanted to keep a natural feel to the album, although there’s some synth in a few songs tucked way back in the mix, probably only noticeable through headphones.

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

I had a lot of energy as a kid. My dad had a drum kit in the basement which was fun to go and bash on. He listened to a lot of Beatles which is one of the reasons I don’t listen to the Beatles very much anymore. I began taking drum lessons and formed bands with my friends in middle school and never stopped. As I grew older I only got more and more into music and obsessed with the idea of being a musician.

3. Building on that, is there a specific song, album, performer, or live show that guided your musical taste?

Smashing Pumpkins, Siamese Dream. Every drum hit or fill is permanently ingrained in my skull. Jimmy’s drumming fits the songs so perfectly. That album became the standard of what I consider to be good music.

4. Who would be your main five musical influences?

Smashing Pumpkins, Nine Inch Nails, Soundgarden, Depeche Mode and The Cure.

5. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be, and why?

I had a chance to meet and talk to Jimmy Chamberlin (Smashing Pumpkins) when he was playing at a jazz club in Detroit. Super nice and down to earth guy. My drumming hero. Would be fun to collaborate with him any sort of way, he’s a multi-instrumentalist and songwriter as well.

6. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before? What is the one comparison a reviewer or fan has made that made you cringe or you disagreed with?

It’s dark and inspired by the alternative bands of the 80’s and 90’s. People have compared my voice to Michael Stipe which is cool. And some of the music has been compared to Soundgarden or Sisters of Mercy which is great. Occasionally someone will throw in band name that doesn’t fit at all, like Incubus. But I have no problem with that. Doesn’t really bother me.

7. What’s the best thing about being a musician?

Traveling, meeting different people, partying.

8. When the band are all hanging out together, who cooks; who gets the drinks in; and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

We don’t cook but we like to drink. I drink more than the other dudes (guitarist Zachary Anderson and bassist Michael O’Connor). Haven’t broke the acoustic out yet but now that you mention it why not.

9. When was the last time you were star struck and who was it?

Getting back to Smashing Pumpkins, I saw them when I was 13 and thought it was just the absolutely best thing in the world.

10. If you weren’t a musician, what would be your dream job?

Airline pilot or truck driver. It would be like being on tour, sort of. I like the idea of not staying in the same place for too long.

11. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over”, even if it didn’t change your current situation?

No, I don’t think about past experiences like that very much. I’d much rather focus on the next thing.

12. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

Probably any Mötley Crüe album although I don’t listen to Mötley Crüe. It just seems like it would be a good time. I’d rather leave the behind the scenes work of the albums I love to imagination. Sometimes it’s better not to know too much about your heroes.




Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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