Interview: Zelienople

I went to see Zelienople play at the Abbey Pub the other night… And needless to say their music is as challenging as it is breathtaking. I asked the Chicago -based band a few questions, and here is what percussionist Mike Weis had to say:

First question… Most important, is why?

Mike Weis: Because it feels good

Now for the safe word….

Mike: To keep from sinking into a sludge of depression and self-loathing

Favorite/least favorite cheese? (for the cheese-enthusiast)

Mike: Whatever’s being offered (I’m an omnivore, or rather a scavenger)

Robots or Dinosaurs?

Mike: Dino-bots

Strangest venue or gig you’ve ever played?

Mike: Hmm, don’t really have one. Maybe Monkeytown in Brooklyn where we were placed in the center of a room where people were dining. I somewhat felt like I was intruding. Very Kubrick-esque

How did you begin your career and who were your influences?

Mike: Career? My influences are too vast and wide to mention on one page. Let’s just say from Sun Ra to Roscoe Holcomb – Kim Seok Chul to Slayer – Haitian Voodoo Drumming to Led Zeppelin – Brian Eno to Merzbow

What is the most memorable concert you’ve ever attended?

Mike: Master Musicians of Joujaka at The Vic in ‘95 and Slayer at Aragon Ballroom in 2006…oh, and most definitely my very first show – Echo and the Bunnymen and New Order at Poplar Creek in ‘87

What are a few items essential to your “tour survival kit”?

Mike: Mallets, small gongs, wire brushes and a baby sock for the kick drum beater

What are you listening to now?

Mike: Korean Shaman music (Chae Jeong-Rye)

What is the worst advice you’ve ever been given?

Mike: Take lessons before you attempt to play the drum set.

If you were to communicate using one word what would it be?

Mike: Transcendence

Can you dance? If not what is your day job?

Mike: I call it dancing but to others it may look like an epileptic fit

What can we expect from the band in the future?

Mike: Another song-based album on Type, another conceptual instrumental album on Under The Spire, a solo album from Matt on Under The Spire, and a solo album from myself on Digitalis. Maybe another Tuma/Weis album too.

Anything else you want the people to know? Or not to know?

Mike: We’re old dudes with families and we don’t venture out into the night very often.

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