Interview: Zoax [May 2016]

By Lais

The mighty Zoax released their debut self-titled album last week, so we had a chat with frontman Adam Carroll during their tour with Funeral For A Friend to find out how they’re feeling about the album, what they’ve got coming up this summer, and how excited they are about everything right now.

Hi Adam! How are you?

Absolutely fantastic. If I said I was shit, what would you say?

I’d say well done for being honest!

Hahaha no, really, it’s going great.

How’s the Funeral For A Friend tour going?

It’s two nights in each city, which is really good fun, because the first night we play everyone’s seeing us for the first time, but there’s a lot of people going to both nights, so on the second night they come and they’re like ‘Here they are again’, so it’s good for us.

Are you noticing a big difference between the two nights [the first one is FFAF’s ‘Hours’ album, and the second ‘Casually Dressed And Deep In Conversation’]? Aside from more people knowing who you are on the second night?

Oh, massively. The second night is so different. The first night is pretty fun for us because a lot of people are trying to figure out what’s going on, like ‘What’s happening?’, and then the second show they get it, like ‘Ok, this is good fun and I’m up for it’. It’s fecking great. This is probably the best reception we’ve ever received on a support tour. We all grew up listening to Funeral For A Friend, so doing this final tour – it hasn’t even really sunk in yet. I find it really mad that we’re doing it. It’s great, really really good.

Does it feel like it’s their final tour?

Oh, it does, definitely. For them on the second night, when they’re finishing up the last set in that city, it’s like ‘Oh, this is the last time we’ll ever play here’, so it is quite gutting for them. But it’s been an amazing sendoff so far. People are going crazy at the shows. It’s really good fun.

How have the UK shows been compared to the German dates before them?

I think people in the UK understand me better, or I hope so. It’s been very good so far. The UK shows are way bigger. The German ones have been around 300 capacity, so they were little punk shows with everyone right there in front of you, so these are way bigger.

The London shows have been pushed back. You’ll be doing those too right?

Yeah, we’re doing those too. It’s pretty gutting it’s not at the same time as the rest of the tour. But in some ways it’s great because originally it was meant to be at Shepherd’s Bush but now it’s at the Forum, and the Forum is slightly bigger capacity, like 600 more.

It’s great because you’ll have so many more people knowing who you are after this tour.

Oh, of course. We’re blessed. Playing to these size crowds is brilliant fun.

And you’ve got a new album…

Yes! Out on May 13th. Finally, for us. We’ve already scrapped two albums before it. Since day one we’d decided to write an album and immediately go for it, and obviously the EPs have been two stepping stones for us, but the album took a while. We went over to Ireland and did it in my hometown and I’m super excited about it all.

Are you happy with how it sounds?

Oh, over the moon. I’m not gonna come out with the classic cliche of ‘It’s everything we’ve worked for’, but we are really happy with it.

Well, if you’ve scrapped two albums before it, you must actually really like this one.

When we were doing the album, we were like, ‘We have to like this’. It seems selfish to say that we need to be happy with it, but at the same time we took in a lot of what people like about the band, and then for us, if we have to do this all the time, we need to write songs we like to play.

You don’t want to be onstage playing songs you hate.

Exactly. I mean, it is gonna happen, but at the same time, as of right now, the entire album start to finish, I’m just so proud of everything we’ve done individually.

What can people expect if they haven’t heard the album yet? How would you describe your sound? I guess it’s quite complex.

Believe it or not, the album is actually more straightforward than anything we’ve released previously. There’s still all that jittery stuff going on, but it’s a lot more groove and a lot more energy, trying to capture what we do live on record, because we know ourselves that feeling when you listen to a band and you hear a song and you’re like, ‘Oh, I remember that song but it’s way better live’. So we had to try and do that, so it was all about being in the room, writing songs with a lot of groove and dynamics and stuff, but working it before we recorded it. So we spent a lot of time in the practice room playing the songs as if we were playing live shows and then when we went into the studio we’d play it that way. So it is certainly more accessible but not in any way is it a sell out record. It still has riffs everywhere and I’m screaming and stuff.

I love the video for ‘The Bad Blood’.

That was funny because that was done in 24 hours. We missed the deadline on the video and we were doing shows and it was very hard for us to do because we like to do them all ourselves. The footage of us in a room is actually in Brighton. We were playing Concorde 2 that day and we decided to hang a GoPro off the roof and just spin it around and then the thing with the ‘Z’ sign in London, we made it ourselves and filmed people coming up to it, like ‘What’s this about?’ It was really funny because we went down to the tube station, and everyone was baffled, but it was fun for us.

Do you think ‘The Bad Blood’ is a good taster of what’s on the album?

Oh yeah. So I’ll be honest, it’s not my favourite song on the record, but we didn’t want to give everything away straight away. So the whole idea was, ‘Let’s release this song, it’s very us but a bit more straightforward’. There’s a lot more surprises. Way more to come.

I think that’s good. You know when you watch a trailer for a film and all the good bits are in it and then you watch the film and the rest of it’s shit? You don’t want that.

Exactly. We don’t want to give everything away. ‘The Bad Blood’ is what it is, but there’s way more dynamic stuff going on. It’s cool because when the record comes out we then play the last two dates of the Funeral For A Friend tour, and hopefully people will have heard the record, and we can play some new songs.

Have you been playing any new tracks already?

We’ve been playing about four new tracks, and they’ve been going down better than the older stuff. It’s really nuts. People are going for it, and it’s great to see because I can’t wait for people to hear the record and come to a show and sing along.

And you’ve got Camden Rocks and Download coming up as well.

Yeah! So Download is obviously the most exciting thing for us. I think it’s our third time going back there, and we can’t wait. I absolutely love it, and this year I’m seeing so many friends. We’re on the Friday on the third stage, and right after us are our good friends Heck. It’s just gonna be absolute chaos.

Have you done Camden Rocks before?

Maybe two or three times. It’s always been good fun. We’ve only had really fun moments there. Just loads of different venues around Camden, and everyone’s drinking in the streets, and it’s mad. Last year I went to it, and you go to the Underworld and then Purple Turtle, and then run around everywhere.

So you’ve got a pretty good summer coming up…

Oh yeah! And there’s a lot to be announced yet that we’re looking forward to. We can’t wait!


Try these three interviews

Interview: Greywind [Reading 2016]

Interview: Arcane Roots [Reading 2016]

Interview: Trash Boat [Reading 2016]