In an age where everyone feels the need to be serious, comes a band who is here to remind us that music can be fun. This band is known as Zamboni. Playing a tongue and cheek style of crossover thrash, this New Jersey/New York two piece is already getting acclaim and they only just released their self-titled debut album. I was able to interview vocalist/bassist Chris Butera via email on this fun project.
How would you describe your band’s sound?
It’s hard to do that. The point of this band is to not have a style. I guess we are a mix of crossover and hardcore, but it’s hard to put a genre on us. We have some songs with enough rap influence that if you replace the guitar with funk beats, it will be a full on rap song.
What is a zamboni and why did you choose this name for your band?
A zamboni is the machine that cleans up ice skating rinks. I used to be in a bunch of serious thrash bands and it didn’t work. I always wanted to be in a crossover type band that is the opposite of those bands. I wanted to do something stupid that would piss of those who would want something serious. I figured we needed a name that was absurd as the music.I was one day watching wrestling on Youtube and in the match Stone Cold Steve Austin stole a zamboni to the, drove it to the ring parked it in front of the ring then jumps off it and onto Vince Mcmann who is on the ring and then beats the shit out of him. I figured this name would work cause that match reminds me of my idea for a band and zamboni is just a fun word.
Can you tell us about the self titled debut album you just released?
This album took a very long time to create. First came the artwork. I drew it up a little over two years ago, maybe longer. I knew I wanted something like Rigor Mortis’s debut meets The Mighty Ducks so there’s that. I drew it up and tweaked it over time and when it was done, I knew that was something that could be iconic.As for the music, we started recording it in 2014. Our former drummer Roger and I went up to Rob’s house for a week to record the album and set up for the Thrash Bash BBQ show of that year. During the recording process, Roger’s grandmother went to the hospital. She was on her way out so he had to go home. We recorded six songs with Roger and after his grandmother passed, we never really heard from him. We tried to get in touch with him over time to finish the album but he kind of just fell off the face of the earth. Over the following year or so, Rob was mixing the album while working two jobs and an internship at Architekt Studios in Butler, NJ. When he had time, he would work on it and eventually programmed drums for “Killer Croc” and “The Greater Evil”. That’s why those sound different. We finally got everything done towards the end of last year. We then sent it over to my friend Eric Feliciano for mastering, who did exactly what we wanted in record timing. He’s a damn good hand. The album was officially ready in January so it just came down to figuring out how we wanted to market it, where to take it to for press and deciding on a release date. Now here it is for the members of planet Earth to globally reject.
Seems like you are getting a lot of attention for an unsigned band.
That’s thanks to Clawhammer PR. We’re really glad that we wound up going with them. We’ve even gotten a lot of European press. It depends on who our PR sent everything out to and who chose to do anything with it and for that I thank all of them.
It seems people love your album too.
So far everyone surprisingly has something nice to say about it. It’s not being raved about but people seem to like it and that’s pretty cool. It’s nice to know that people get our wacky sense of humor. Music is supposed to be fun. Of course, I’ll be surprised if we ever get on the Metal Archives since they hate everything not serious. One of my bands was submitted on there and the reason for rejection was “Really?” People can be more fickle than ever these days.
If you were trapped on a desert island and could only bring one studio album which would it be and why?
That’s a tough one. Either Wu Tang Clan’s Enter the 36 Chambers, Rigor Mortis’ self-titled debut or NWA’s Straight Outta Compton. The two rap albums are just the best two rap albums ever and Rigor Mortis’ first album is as pure of an album as you can get. The raw power and impact that those three records made are unparalleled to this day. If I have to pick one out of the three I guess I’m going to have to go with the Rigor Mortis because I want a tattoo of them one day.