From their myspace page: "The band's live show is an un-equaled assault of theatrics and all-encompassing melodic concussion."
A more true statement was never uttered. Zen Rizing is the real deal. Talented musicians, profound lyrics, with a sound that is reminiscent of the psychedelic days of music, with a live show not to be missed! I caught up with Lead Vocalist Scott Foster Harris recently for a candid interview and update on what's happening with Los Angeles based Zen Rizing.
Mo: Scott, thank you for taking time to chat with Full Metal Rock! The first line in Zen Rizing's myspace bio reads
Liberation and enlightenment; these are the two ideals for which Zen Rizing exists. What does that mean to you?
Scott: We enthusiastically preach about the evolution of the human race in all possible aspects and senses. When I wrote that I was referring to a certain kind of self-liberation from any internal or external restraints one may place or have placed on themselves. It encourages people to free themselves from their boxes and pursue their souls paths and desires. Society or any other outside influence cannot reveal to someone what someone truly desires. Only that person knows and the answers lie within. Realize this reality and pursue it un-apologetically.
Mo: Clearly evident in your music. So, who writes the lyrics and music for the band?
Scott: The music comes from the culmination of all four of our energies working together in unison. We all write the songs. Various pieces of various songs might be written by one or the other but its the energies of all of us that inspire its creation. If youre looking for a more specific answer then II'll say Steve and I write the melodies while Buddy creates his percussive approaches to the tunes. Cody dictates his low-end assault while I write all the lyrics.
Mo: Is there is specific song-writing process for Zen Rizing?
Scott: There really is no process. Its different every time. We all like it that way. The only requirement for the writing of a song is......(wink)
Mo: OK, I'll leave that one alone. What is the most outrageous thing a fan has said to you?
Scott: Im having your baby. Ha ha ha I had a girl of whom Id never met come up to me after a show we played in Hollywood and tell me that shed been following me in my dreams. It was revealed to me that we had become involved romantically on the astral plane and that she was now carrying my child here in the physical plane. Interesting
Mo: My goodness! Scott, I have seen Zen Rizing perform live. You are very energetic onstage
what is going through your mind (or body) during a show?
Scott: Its impossible to say. I feel as though I become a vehicle through which the music can travel and manifest. I often find myself forgetting that Im even on a stage. In every way imaginable and unimaginable the music becomes me. I never have any preconceived ideas about what Im going to do once Im up there. Its all very much in the moment. Its as though Im revealing, unaware and unfiltered, my soul.
Mo: Alright then...give me example of a memorable show.
Scott: Several months ago we played a show somewhere in Sherman Oaks. The setup was a catastrophe from the start. It appeared as though the forces of evil were conspiring against us in the sense that everything mechanically was failing, the stipulations of the show were ever-changing and the operators of the venue may as well have been blind, deaf mutes. Nonetheless we absolutely destroyed that place once things got up and running and, at some point, I woke up on the floor of the stage with no shirt on. Apparently Id gone into some kind of musical trance, gotten half undressed and slipped into a temporary musical coma in the midst of one of our more interpretational and improvisational songs.
Mo: With that in mind...any notable influences?
Scott: Hahaha, tough question
Id say the universe is our biggest influence! Musical influences? Probably the music that impacted us the most is the music of Led Zeppelin, The Doors, early Guns N Roses, The Beatles, Pink Floyd, early Aerosmith, Beethoven, Mozart and various Indian and Native American approaches to melody and percussion.
Mo: Love the classical influences! Is there a specific album or artist that has really inspired you?
Scott: No, not really. Id say were predominately inspired by the music we create between the four of us.
Mo: Cool! Let's talk about the band - give us the line-up and how Zen Rizing came to be.
Scott: Scott Foster Harris is the vocals, Steve Preach is guitar, Buddy Iahn is the drums and Cody Duke is bass. Steve and I started working together in early 2008 while we were both engaged in separate musical projects. We began making music together on the side and began writing some of the tunes that would eventually become Zen Rizings. Shortly after that, in or around February of 2008, we came across Buddy Iahn playing the drums in our house during a party we were having. We knew then that he was to be the drummer for the band we were creating. Soon the three of us began playing around town with fill-in bass players. It wasn'tt until August of 2008 that we discovered Cody Duke. Immediately we knew wed found the fourth and final piece despite the fact that hed never played a musical instrument before. Together the energy we created could be defined only as magical. We started working as a completed unit right away and decided to make the trek to LA.
Mo: I understand that the band drove from Nashville, TN to Hollywood just a few months ago to pursue its dream. Whats been happening since you arrived in Southern California?
Scott: We left Nashville at the very end of October 2008 and drove a bus all the way here. We all sold everything we had and bought the bus for our transportation and our living quarters. Up until 3 days ago weve been living in it faithfully. We just recently moved into a 5 bedroom house. Upon our arrival in LA we started meeting people and have been booking local shows in and around Hollywood.
Mo: I know there are some exciting things happening for Zen Rizing - tell me more about that.
Scott: Weve found representation with Owen Sloane of Berger Kahn and have garnered interest with several powerful musical entities of which its been recommended to me to keep un-named for a while for business purposes. In addition to these accomplishments thereve been, as Im sure you can imagine, a nimiety of parties, nudity and a ridiculous amount of absurd behavior that one could expect from a band of free-spirited individuals.
Mo: Again, won't touch that one...(laughs). Scott, what one thing would you like your fans to know about Zen Rizing?
Scott: Its real.
Mo: I couldn't agree more! Any final comments for our readers?
Shining is the door from which we came
And on this shining path we must remain
Universal journey home
Answers lie in the unknown
So close your eyes and shine your hallowed flame
Enlightened is the one who looks within
If were to reach the end we must begin
Mo: Beautiful! Where can our readers find out more about Zen Rizing?
Scott: They can visit our myspace at www.myspace.com/zenrizing Thats their best bet at the moment due to the fact that our other website is under construction. There they can find where wewe'll be performing and listen to some of our music.
FMR readers: Do yourself a favor and go see Zen Rizing - you are in for a treat !