Written by on April 21, 2011 in April 21, 2011, Interviews - Comments Off on SOCIETY 1

You may remember the name as a distant memory from your past. Whatever your feelings for them, good, bad or indifferent, Society 1 made a mark and then disappeared almost overnight.

Fast forward 5 years and the band has resurfaced with a new sound and image finally focused on the one thing that seemed to always be an afterthought. The music. Read on for the exclusive Q&A with S1 front man, Lord Zane.

AAM: It has been 5 years since your last studio record and US/European tour which ended at the Download Festival in the UK. You suspended in front of 40,000 people and then basically disappeared. What happened and why come back now?

Society 1Lord Zane  – I remember standing on the edge of that stage at the end of the show looking over the sea of people and thinking “It was a long road that took a lot of blood, sweat and tears to get here but now I know I will never have to travel that road again.” It thought something along those lines and by the way when I said blood I meant literal blood.  You would assume after the years of touring and press that would be the case. Add in the fact that I had just carved out a small piece of music history with being the first singer to perform a body suspension while singing in the front of 40,000 people and you would think it was a reasonable statement. About a month later the band was dropped and three out of four of us was homeless.

Everyone that saw what Society 1 did between 2004-2006 always asks me the same question. What happened? I think the easiest answer to that is I became over confident with my position in the music business. I let things slide I shouldn’t have. When I say that I am referring to everyone and everything I was involved with. I never thought that after playing the Download Festival and being nominated for best live performance in UK our label would let us go. I couldn’t conceive of nor believed the events that happened after the label removed us form the roster. I guess you could say I relaxed for a moment and everything I built was raped and pillaged. A few bad months’ turns into a few bad years and eventually I just gave up and decided to focus on other avenues of expression.

A few things happened about a year ago that led me back into the game. Our old agent showed some interest in some new songs that I had written off. Our bass player Dirt Von Karloff wanted to keep going and I had a very profound dream where I was visited by a close friend that passed away a few years back. It was dream that really began to propel me forward.

It was very long and involved but led to a point where I was walking into a city with my friend who has passed away while carrying a multitude of books in my arms. I looked down at the pages that were being blown in the wind and could see the writing was my life. The weight of carrying the books eventually became far too heavy to handle and I collapsed to my knees letting out a screaming cry unlike anything I had ever done while conscious. The weight of my life had become too much to bear. My friend turned around, walked over to me, picked up some of the books herself to carry and we were able to continue to walk together into the city. I didn’t know how people would understand me with everything I had gone through and I was nervous about what came ahead. I asked her where we were going and you would think I would receive some esoteric answer pertaining to the afterlife when she said “I have to get you to the studio.” It was that simple. I woke up call Dirt, told him what happened and said we had to get to a studio.

AAM – The new sound seems more commercial. Was this a conscious decision?

Lord Zane  –  It was a conscious decision to write better songs with a specific energy. Plus I just don’t feel like getting on stage and yelling. I am not that angry or repressed anymore and no longer feel the need to exorcise my demons in such a manner. Besides I wouldn’t say the new material is more commercial considering what is on the radio these days but it definitely more melodic.

AAM – Why direct and edit your own music videos?

Lord Zane – I became so frustrated over the years with video directors not capturing what I thought needed to be expressed visually. Even when I worked the award winning director on the “Hate” video I was so frustrated with the final product. I liked the idea he pitched and technically it was the best Society 1 video but I felt he could have done so much more with the concept. Rather than fight anyone this time around I just decided to try myself. I have a lot to learn but I finally feel like I am in control and will eventually attain what I am imagining in my head.

AAM – The video is rather psychedelic for a goth influenced rock band. Why take the visual representation of the band in such a direction?

Lord Zane – I just wanted to do something visually different that wasn’t associated with darker music. The synthesis of the seemingly opposing styles creates something new and unexpected. That’s what I am always trying to attain with my artistic endeavors.

AAM – You have a new member in Billie Steven’s who is also producing the album. How did this relationship come about?

Lord Zane – I was introduced to Billie by our drummer Preston Nash. Originally he was going to just produce the record but when we began to book the videos and the guitar slot was open so I asked him if he would be interested in filling in. After the video and working together over the past year you tend to really get to know someone and he really began to get the music. The more Billie heard the more he understood what we were about and eventually became a full member. He is amazing to work with and comes with his own fan base. I am not kidding about this. It’s very entertaining.

AAM – Society 1 has always been known for it’s outlandish extreme behavior on and off the stage. Will the band return to this type of behavior and mentality with it’s current release?

Lord Zane – I can only speak for myself on this one and I would have to say that I have calmed down in certain ways pertaining to my behavior. How long can you let a fire go until it burns everything down? I would say I came close at many times in my life to being consumed by my own desires and having the will to go beyond what is prudent in order to attain them.

AAM – Anymore suspensions planned for future shows?

Lord Zane – Not at the moment. After breaking the world record for longest body suspension in 2008 I felt an extremely sharp burning sensation in my neck that lasted for about a month. I eventually went to the doctor when I was unable to get out of bed in the morning because of the pain. He basically said I would be virtually crippled in about three years if I didn’t begin to rehabilitate my injuries. Since then I have been undergoing every modality of therapy I can find. Having a lot of success and feeling great but it was really scary for a few years. I don’t know if I want to risk becoming injured again.

AAM – People have always had a love or hate relationship with Society 1. Do you think the new material and video’s will change that dynamic with fans?

Lord Zane – The great thing about being gone for five years is that there are a plethora of new fans that creep up. They will be seeing the band as something new which in a way is true and the older haters will probably still hate because that’s what they do. I am not concerned about it. I just want to finish this album the way the band wants and create music videos that expand my understanding of expression through the synthesis of sound and vision.

There will be a time in life when I won’t be able to experience what I am doing now so these are moments to just enjoy everything and be as creative as possible. I am grateful for the opportunity and having a great band filled with amazing friends.

Lord Zane – Vocals
Dirt Von Karloff – Bass
Preston Nash – Drums
Billie Stevens – Guitar

Check out the new single and video below: