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?
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?
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.