Interview With Mark Zonder of Zonder/Wehrkamp
By Keith Clement
Hey guys a special honor to have this Interview with you, I’m Keith from Metalheads Forever Magazine, how are you doing?
All good. Thanks for taking the time to do this interview with us. We really appreciate it.
Tell us how you both thought of making this new project Zonder Wehrkamp Band?
Gary and I have worked together for about 19 years and wrote over 80 songs ranging from prog metal to commercial rock to anything else in between. We were approached by a label that wanted a dark, moody, airy atmospheric sounding record. Since we were very good writing partners with each other, it was a simple task.
I started by sending Gary various drum ideas that I would record. A lot of prior songs were based this way as I like to start with an interesting drum groove that might not fit into a basic guitar or key idea that Gary would come up with. I would send him various parts at the same tempo to hopefully inspired various ideas from him. He is absolutely amazing at taking some crazy drum stuff and writing great music, melodies and lyrics to it. I was really excited and impressed when it started to move.
It should be noted that Gary and I did the entire album ourselves. We played, recorded and mixed the entire record ourselves.
What would this new project going to be, I’m really looking forward to hear from your new album? Would you like to break the secret?
Well it is a self-produced record. We were fortunate to have some really great top-notch people help us. The drums were recorded and mixed in my studio and Gary did his parts and the mix at his studio. Then we had Rich Mouser master it. We used my old friend and great photographer Alex Solca to shoot the pictures. We also have several videos being released to coincide with the release. We have videos for the songs as well as a lot of documentary style video of Gary and I talking about the band and songs. The cd will include a very colorful 12-page booklet.
When are you planning to release “If It’s Real”?
The autographed, pre-release will be available on May 10th for order. Go to
ZWband.com for ordering. It will also be released on CD Baby on May 24th
Will you be touring in support of this new album this year?
We would love to tour and would have no problem filling out the band for a live presentation. We will need to see what the reaction is and if anyone actually wants to see it live.
“This album isn’t about doing something different for the hell of it,” said Wehrkamp. “It’s about challenging ourselves to step outside our own self-imposed boundaries and expectations and dare anyone who pushes play on these songs to do the same. This record is all about introspection and discovery. And we want our fans to take the trip with us.” Those lines really made me excited, so this is like a dream you wanted to do, Is the album on your musical journey and like a discovery of a new musical theory, Would you like to tell me about it?
I can only talk from the drums as Gary wrote the lyrics and music. But we are both known for our past with various prog metal bands that have stressed a lot of serious complicated over the top playing. I was approaching this with more of a Pink Floyd meets Peter Gabriel style and really using the electronics with the acoustic drums to create a very groove oriented style. More about feel and groove and not all of the flashy explosive riffs we are known for. That being said, I used a lot of dynamics to setup some really nice explosive flashy parts.
A real mature, nice drum effort.
Would you like to share a message to the fans?
We would really like the fans to take a serious listen to what we are offering as a lot of time and effort went into crafting what we consider one of the finest pieces of music we have ever done. Hope to see everyone on tour. And yes, we would probably play some songs from our past bands!!
MHF Magazine/Keith Clement