I tried to look back and see when it was that Max (Heinz – drummer for Superorder, Sunset Hearts, Marie Stella, every band ever in Maine for at least one show) sent me Zane’s record at some point in 2020, but our text thread is too cluttered with talk of drums, weird gifs, and videos of max using ridiculous filters. We go back a decade to when I lived in Portland and we played together in Marie Stella – often trekking up to Burlington, VT to play with his friends, The Villanelles. Zane and his brother were in this band, and one of the things we connected over was a shared love for the band sElf- they’re one of those culty bands who never really gained widespread popularity, but who mean the world to the fans who did discover them (either in the mid-90’s via a couple earwormy singles or later on thanks to a certain animated film starring a green ogre). Anyway, that was a long time ago, but Zane and I occasionally messaged each other about sElf-related things over the years.
This is a good point for a disclaimer. Here – and probably too often on social media and press – I probably mention sElf when I talk about this band, but it’s just a personal jumping off point.
There’s a world of great music, influences, and creativity flowing through Nine Zillion. I’m so excited to get to present their music to the world for the first time, and can’t wait to see what comes next – but for now – this is their debut. Five brilliantly composed and recorded songs touching on jazz and prog and poppy indie rock – full of vibrant tones in the keys and guitars (from Austin), of course all pulled through the air with Max’s superhuman drumming – busy but never cluttered, fast but never sloppy – what can I say, I’m obviously a fan! And truly bringing it all together are Zane’s earnest and poetic lyrics and delivery – melting into each groove. It’s a whirlwind of 5 songs but an excellent introduction, and in this tape release we offer the fully produced songs on the A side, with the much more raw, stripped-down Zane demos – created long before the project even had a name – on the B side.
Here’s more, from Zane:
It started as a writing exercise.
This album came together after deciding I would try to write and demo a new song every 1-2 weeks for as long as I could after not writing for years. The first part I wrote was the chorus to Separate Your Mess, which I sent to Max and asked if he would be a part of this project. Over the course of six weeks I wrote these 5 songs in the order they appear, each one being a musical response to the previous song. Max wrote all of the drum parts and introduced them to me the day he recorded at Robot Dog Studio, completely changing and uplifting my quiet demos.
Austin introduced me to the album’s guitar parts when he recorded them over the course of a 2 day recording session at my house. We cordially argued about who was more flattered and appreciative, me or him. The jury’s still out.
Ryan Cohen mixed and mastered this heavily layered, mostly home recorded album and molding these songs into one cohesive, dynamic piece.
Steve Sharon’s artwork was the final piece of the puzzle. In my mind his artwork is truly the perfect compliment to this music as a whole.
Thank you for checking this out. This was a heavy album for me and truly a labor of love that I am so very proud of and I’m so thankful to everyone who has contributed and shaped these songs and this project beyond my expectations.