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The Heavy Metal Reign of ZombieKing

The Heavy Metal Reign of ZombieKing

The Heavy Metal Reign of ZombieKing

ZombieKing, aka ZK, is a heavy metal band from Texas ready to reign supreme above and beyond the Lone Star State.  They’ve opened for the likes of Fear Factory, Soilwork and Upon A Burning Body, their intensive live shows winning over new fans in the process.  Now signed to Pavement Entertainment, ZombieKing has just unleashed their debut EP entitled Dead To LifeHighwire Daze recently interviewed Juan Manuel, the front man of ZK to find out more about this dynamic band on the rise…

Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in ZombieKing, and how long the band has been together.
Hello, my name is Juan Manuel and I am the front man of ZombieKing (ZK). ZK has been active for 6 years now, although we had been jamming in the garage for about a year and a half before our first real gig.

Where is the band based out of and what is the local music scene like there? Any local bands you could recommend?
We are based out of Robstown, TX, but play mostly in my hometown, Corpus Christi, TX (Area 101). The music scene here in “Area 101” has steadily gotten better over the past few years, thanks to guys like Casey Lain and Reverend Matt Martinez at House of Rock, Corpus Christi Favorite DJ Monte Montana, Rich, Kat and Adan over at Rich’s Billiards/Boneshakers, and also Andrew, Scotty, & Patrick who really push to bring a lot of great tours to town. We are seeing alot more local bands supporting each other now more than ever, and we hope the trend continues. One local that we recommend is actually a Reggae band, Proof of Life. The attention to detail, work ethic, talent level, and overall tightness of the group is what caught our attention.

How did you wind up on the Pavement Entertainment label?
Our guitarist Eddie had seen the name a few times online and figured it would be worth a shot to send them a track. A few years ago, we had some extra studio time and decided to record a cover of Corpus Christi legend Selena Quintanilla’sSi Una Vez“. That cover is what caught their attention, and we were able to show the label that we are versatile, open minded, and that we have alot more to offer than just a simple Rock formula.

Is there any overall story or concept behind the Dead To Life EP title?
Dead To Life is something I came up with our first week at Zubay Studios. Eddie and myself have been working hard for the past 6 years to make this album a reality. The things we have been through would have broken up most other bands, but there’s no quit in us, even after hitting rock bottom year after year. That, the ability to persevere, and to continue to fight, that is what Dead To Life is all about.

Select two songs from Dead To Life and what inspired the lyrics
The lead single Dead At The Scene was actually inspired by the deaths of Chris Cornell and Chester Bennington. At the time that happened, we only had maybe a verse and a chorus idea, and the lyrics were very personal, mainly about our own struggles in the local scene. After their deaths, it was as if a fire had been lit in the band, and everything just began to fall into place, with the lyrics and even some of the vocal patterns paying tribute to the two legends.

Texas Sky was the first song written for Dead To Life. It was a song that Eddie and I wrote together in about 10 or so minutes. A friend of ours studying at Del Mar College needed to record an acoustic act for a class project, and we were just happy to have some studio time! For whatever reason, the only thing on my mind at the time was just how beautiful and calming our sunrises and sunsets are, and it just so happened to match Eddie’s beautiful guitar work. We never would have guessed it would be the start of the Dead To Life album.

Who did the cover art for Dead To Life and how much input did you have on it?
Luis Hurtado was called on last minute to create our album cover. He did everything we asked of him and made our vision a reality. He was one of the easiest artists to work with, and really cared to ask us what WE wanted in an album cover.

What could one expect from a live ZombieKing show?
It’s even better than the album. That’s always been a priority for us, give 100% and make it worth their damn while. People pay to see something that’s larger than life, so we aim to be just that. And we love having fun, so there are always surprises in our setlists.

What was the experience like opening for Fear Factory and Soilwork and did you get to meet or hang out with them at all?
It was honestly one of the fastest gigs we’ve ever played! It was such a blur, and a stacked show, but we enjoyed every second of it, and afterwards got to hang with a few of the guys from Soilwork, and caught up with Dino outside of the FF bus for a few minutes.

Another more recent show you did was with Upon A Burning Body. How did that show go and did you get to meet them?
That was a heavy one. The crowd was amazing, and at one point during our set we caught the attention of a few of the UABB guys when we covered Pantera. They gave us props but it was a busy night so we didn’t hang with them for long.

If ZombieKing could open for any band either now or from the past, who would it be and why?
Ozzy with Randy Rhoads, or Pantera – nuff said.

Are you involved with any other bands or projects outside of ZombieKing?
No. Only project right now is #ZKAllDay

If the music of ZombieKing was a donut, what kind would it be and why?
It’d be a damn good donut! Put any glaze on it, don’t matter, you’re gonna love it, and you’ll want another.

What’s up next for ZombieKing?
We’re ready for a Texas Tour of some sort, maybe this summer/fall. Still figuring out the logistics. We definitely are chomping at the bit for more studio time, we’re ready to make a full length album.

Any final words of wisdom?
If you really want something, work for it. And don’t quit. Even if it takes you 6 damn years. Don’t quit. That’s too easy.

ZombieKing is:
Juan Manuel (Vocalist)
Eddie Salinas (Lead/Rhythm Guitar)
Andrew Garza (Bass Guitar)
Cosme Williams (Drums)

(Interview by Ken Morton)

ZombieKing on Facebook

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