Review and interview by Keenan
I got a chance to talk with Tanner from the band If I Ran The Zoo about their new EP, Edge of the World, coming out July 30th and about the band in general. Read his interview followed by my review of this great new release.
THE GARAGE: What makes your music different from the other metalcore bands out there today and how?
If I Ran the Zoo: I would say that we’re a little more rock influenced. Also when writing this EP we weren’t trying to sound like anything or fit any cliche, we were just trying to write something that we enjoyed and something that we were proud of.
TG: You have a new EP coming out Tuesday. I’ve had a chance to listen to it and I’m liking it a lot, but what are you most excited to bring to your fans? And what should the people who haven’t heard of you look for when seeing your album?
IIRTZ: We’re really excited to just bring music that we’re really proud of and happy with, and that we feel is very solid to our audience. I would say that people who don’t know us could find in our album a wide variety of tastes and influences while maintaining a central focus that encompasses what we’re going for, just being a band that makes music because we want to.
TG: What’s your personal favorite song on your new EP? What stands out the most?
IIRTZ: I’m sure most of my band disagrees, but my personal favorite song is “Edge Of The World.” I don’t know what it is but I’ve always loved that song since I/we wrote it. It’s a little more rock-and-roll’y, and is clean, but still remains interesting while covering a lot of ground. I love all of those songs though.
TG: Where’d the influence come from when writing the EP?
IIRTZ: We all have different influences that contribute, Josh has been on a pretty big punk phase and has been into bands like Anti-Flag and The Offspring, and as far as writing we just wrote what came naturally at the time and what we like while incorporating those influences into something we feel is where we want to be.
TG: You’re playing with The Color Morale at The New Direction on August 14th for your CD release, tell me about that.
IIRTZ: It will be a fun time and we’ll hopefully push the new music into as many people’s hands as possible. We’ve never played with The Color Morale before so that will be fun. It’s a smaller venue, but we expect kids to be going nuts. Hopefully it will just be a good time with people who like music and don’t care about clicks.
TG: To talk more about your band, what are you most looking forward to when you think about the future for IIRTZ?
IIRTZ: Hopefully a lot of touring and ideally reaching a wide spectrum of fans. We just want to try to be the best band we possibly can be and have a great time doing it and hopefully other people will catch on to that.
TG: Have you ever had just a crappy show? If so what made it so bad?
IIRTZ: Yes. A lot of them. Hah, I feel that every band who takes it seriously is going to have bad shows. I guess I can’t think of anything specific at the moment, but there are those shows when nothing is going right and nothing feels right and afterwards it is one of the worst feelings you can possible have. It is difficult to break out of the moods and feelings brought on by things like that but after you have a good show or experience, it puts you right back on track and you learn from your mistakes and move on.
TG: Say I’m an aspiring musician trying to find or start a band–what should I be looking for and trying to do? What did you do when you were at the point?
IIRTZ- You should make sure it’s with your friends so you can be comfortable. You should also make sure you have the same goals so you’re not fighting everyone every step of the way. I can’t really remember what I did but I worked through it, which is essential with that and every aspect of life.
TG: Are there any other activities you do besides music?
IIRTZ: I like to just hang out with friends and have a good time, whatever that may be. I also like to snowboard in the winter and any other various thing I can do that I like.
TG: Any shout outs you want to give while we’re here?
IIRTZ: I suppose all of our friends and anyone who supports us and has pre-ordered our album. It means the world. I also want to give a big shout out to one of our best buds Greg Lindholm, we wouldn’t be the band we are without him.
If I Ran The Zoo – Edge Of The World
★★★★ – 4/5
If I Ran the Zoo is known all around the Midwest, and if you’ve never heard of them before, here’s the perfect chance to get to know what they’re about. Edge of the World changes the genre of metalcore, bringing unique twists to the sounds of Blessthefall and The Devil Wears Prada making this five-song EP really stand out.
At first I was focused on the instrumentals following the typical “chugchug” feel in the verses and breakdowns, with riffs and fills here and there to show the talent of people behind them (which is considerable). They’re not just playing all opens and simple beats like a lot of bands (signed and local) do lately. Following that template “Against All Odds” is a great example of what the band can do. Their lyrics are also very deep and thought out, and for me fit in a school which also birthed bands like Led Zeppelin. IIRTZ brings back those emotional metaphors and talent like “…and if you want that silver lining, you can’t forget what’s made you gold…”
All in all the album is great. If you love hard breakdowns, catchy choruses and mosh-worthy verses, Edge of the World is definitely something to pick up. There is serious talent in the local scene–if you haven’t gotten into it yet, now’s the time to start.
Edge of the World is going for $2.99 on iTunes on July 30th, and they’re having a CD release party on August 14th with The Color Morale at the New Direction in Fargo, North Dakota.