In the dog days of summer, nothing sounds better than an ambitious power-pop album played at full blast in a top-down convertible. Fortunately, Zolof the Rock and Roll Destroyer understands this and has, over the course of five years, given music listeners plenty of refreshing pop confections that are not only fun to listen to but to sing along with as well.
Following closely on the heals of the split covers EP with Reel Big Fish, Duet All Night (featuring remakes of Madonna’s “Dress You Up,” Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney’s “Say Say Say” and Human League’s “Don’t You Want Me” among others), Zolof the Rock and Roll Destroyer is prepping for the release of their third full length album, Schematics, due in September.
I caught up with singer Rachel Minton just before she hit the road to start her summer (touring) vacation.
What are some of your favorite bands to listen to during the summer?
Definitely an ’80s mix â€“ Duran Duran, Missing Persons, Prince, The Go-Go’s, and Tears for Fears.
Did you do a lot of singing in the car of long family road trips when you were a kid?
Oh my goodness, you have no idea how much I annoyed my family with my constant singing. It used to drive my sister crazy but I totally couldn’t help it. Thankfully, everyone in my family can carry a tune but they need a really good excuse to sing.
Which do you prefer, touring in the summer or the winter?
I think touring in extreme hot and extreme cold can both be super difficult. Van problems happen in severe weather.
Tell me a little bit about the MTV2 Dew Circuit show you did. Do you think the way the show was aired, it accurately portrayed the band or did you ever feel that you fell victim to editing? A friend of mine who attended the final taping said he felt like the show was fixed.
You can’t really think about that or you’d drive yourself nuts. There’s nothing you can do about it. The MTV2 people were really nice to us and hanging out with Fallen from the Sky and Halifax was fun. It didn’t seem like a competition, just a show. As for the taping of the last show, it was definitely strange…but it is a TV show.
Have you noticed any direct (or indirect) benefits from appearing on the Dew Circuit show? Has it opened any doors for you or lead to increase attendance at shows?
We’ve definitely made a lot more fans directly from the show.
Mark Hoppus, formerly of blink-182, is a big advocate for the band. Will you ever work with him?
We’ve already been discussing the next album after this one. I’d love to have Mark produce it. We’ve been sending him demos for about a year now.
What can you tell us about Schematics?
I think it’s a more mature rock album. There are some feelings and ideas that we haven’t addressed on the previous albums. It’s a bit darker lyrically but there are still some definite fun Zolof moments.
Since you do a lot of the recording yourself in your own studio, how long did it take to record the new CD? With studio equipment at your disposal, do you ever think you spend too much time tinkering around with a particular song? “Let’s just try this …” and “If we just spend another week on it, it’ll sound better than it does now …” (that kind of stuff)
Schematics took forever to finish. We had a lot of obstacles with our old label which severely delayed the album coming out. But yeah, usually we go a little crazy with making everything perfect.
Is LaPamplemousse your own label? Why did you decide to start your own label? Do you have plans to release material by bands other than Zolof or will it simply be a vehicle to use for your own releases?
I just started LaPamplemousse to put out the Zolof record. I never really had any desire to start a label because all bands hate their label and it’s a lot of work. But who knows? Perhaps I’ll put out some other records in the future.
I know this is a silly question since you’re ALWAYS on the road, but what are the plans once Schematics comes out? Will you be staying on the road all fall or will you ease up on the touring this time around?
No way are we going to ease up on touring. We’re going to be touring as much as we can!
Schematics is available for pre-order now and will begin shipping the week of September 25!