During Zebrahead’s recent tour with Less Than Jake and Reel Big Fish, Rock Sins was lucky enough to catch up with their singer and guitarist Matty Lewis backstage at the second London show of their tour at the Shepherds Bush Empire. Read on for what might be the funniest interview in the four and a half year history of Rocksins.com….
Rocksins: Firstly, how has the tour been going?
Matty: Actually this is one of the best tours we’ve ever been on really.
Rocksins: What’s it like being on tour with two of the biggest bands in ska-punk?
Matty: Well we’ve known them for a long time and toured with them many years, they’re like family, we know all the guys and the crew. Serious, this is the most comfortablest, is that a word Ali?
Ali Tabatabaee (Vocals): (in background ) Yeah it definitely is!
Matty: Thank you, so most ‘comfortablest’ tour we’ve been on, everyone’s like family! Simple! Easy! (Laughs).
Rocksins: What’s been your highlight of the tour so far? Anything whatsoever?
Matty: Hmm, I think every night because we get free alcohol (laughs), we’re like “HEY! We get free alcohol!”, then we wake up next day and again “HEY! Free alcohol!” it’s amazing! Nah but the shows have been really really great and that’s always a highlight too!
Rocksins: With Call Your Friends being your tenth studio album..
(Stops for Matty to count out the band’s albums on his fingers)
Matty: I don’t even know, that’s amazing! You’ve got real good math skills.
Rocksins: (Laughs) Well you guys have a pretty extensive back catalogue, does make it difficult picking setlists, particularly on tours like this?
Matty: Yes because usually on your headline shows you get like an hour, hour and a half or however long you want, you can play five hours if you wanted to, although no one’s going to listen to us for five hours, BUT! Wait, where was I going with this? Oh yeah, because we’re opening we get anywhere between 35 and 45 minutes so y’know, you’ve got to cut down!
Rocksins: Speaking of Call Your Friends, this summer will be a year since its release, has any work begun on something new?
Matty: Yes, we actually have some downtime after Soundwave, we go home tomorrow for three days and then we fly out to Australia for two weeks I think, after that we’re home for three months and so we’ll be writing some stuff and hanging out!
Rocksins: Dan’s been with you now since Call Your Friends, how has every settled with him now in the band?
Matty: He’s an animal, really, when we met him on Match.com, sorry ‘.co.uk’ (laughs), he’s great though, he’s a good friend of ours and really, what’s not to like about Dan?! Have you met Dan yet?
Rocksins: No sadly we haven’t yet.
Matty: Oh my god, can Dan just say hi quickly? Is he in there? No? Oh okay, well he is the life of the party, he‘s a walking six pack of beer! That constantly refills itself (laughs).
Rocksins: You’ve very recently been announced for Slam Dunk festival in May, You’ve played there a few time, are you excited to be going back?
Matty: Oh yes! I love it when I slam dunk, usually I can’t even touch the net, but now! Oh I can dunk it. And they don’t even have to lower the net, I’m just like “BAM”.
Rocksins: Does it make festivals better for you when playing alongside bands like obviously Goldfinger, fandangle and hopefully some more ska and punk bands?
Matty: Well honestly what makes it better for us is when bands are cool, fortunately I don’t think we’ve ever met any bands who are really bad or anything like that, oh hi Ed!!
Ed Udhas (drums): (In background) Hey there.
Matty: (Whispers) I hate Ed, look at him, he’s a bully man! But yeah that always makes it fun, I mean that’s what it’s about, the genre doesn’t matter, I dunno, name a person, erm… Shakira! If she’s awesome, we’ll hang out and play a show, yeah!
Rocksins: (Laughs) So speaking of those guys…
Matty: Who? Shakira? That’s so weird you’d have her in your questions!
Rocksins: Yeah, her as well! (Laughs) How do you think Slam Dunk festival will be compared the show on the tour with Goldfinger?
Matty: I dunno, I think they’re both be awesome, the shows we do with Goldfinger are going to be crazy, and I think Slam Dunk will be pretty insane too, it’s always a party.
Rocksins: Slam Dunk festival has always had its root in ska-punk, do you think it’s important that those bands still have their place at the festival?
Matty: Well only because it’s ‘Slam Dunk’ and that rhymes with punk, so it’d be silly to have polka because well it doesn’t even rhyme! You know if you want to Slam dance, that’s what they’ve got at Slam Dunk, so yeah maybe you have to have a little bit of that. THERE’S DAN!
Dan Palmer (guitars): HEEEEEEY! WOO!
Rocksins: Final couple questions, so we’ve spoken about the tour, Slam Dunk and Soundwave, have you got any other plans this year you can tell us about?
Matty: We will be coming back to Europe for the festivals, I can’t tell you which ones yet, mainly because I don’t know, but our agents know and some of the other guys know, just I don’t. I’m so distracted all the time, I think I have an attention deficit like I’ll be reading then within seconds, oh! I’m moving onto something else, it’s weird!
Rocksins: (Laughing) And lastly, as this interview is incredibly serious, we’d like to end on a bit of a silly question
Matty: Oh god, I’m going to answer this very very seriously okay, I promise!
Rocksins: If the band were the Avengers, who would each of you be?
Matty: Oh this is going to be tough because I don’t know the Avengers, are you talking about, erm… Hulk?
Rocksins: Yeah he’s one.
Matty: Oh okay thank god, okay right, Ed our drummer would be the Hulk, erm, Thing? The Thing? Is he an Avenger?
Rocksins: Well that’s Fantastic 4, that’s still Marvel Superheroes, so let’s just do Marvel!
Matty: Yeah okay, Ben (bass) will be the Thing, I would be… Actually we’ll do Dan, who could Dan be? Erm is there a keg of beer? (Laughs) Because that would be Dan, Beer Guy! Duff Man! Yeah he can be Duff Man, he’s a Marvel guy isn’t he?
Rocksins: Yeah definitely (Laughs).
Matty: Yes! Well then Ali will be the one that’s really stretchy, Stretch Man? Stretch Armstrong? Is that him? And then, I’d be the guy that would be on fire, I don’t know why but yeah, that’s it!
Rocksins: (Laughs) That’s perfect, big thank you for chatting with us!
You can check out a review of Zebrahead’s performance with Reel Big Fish and Less Than Jake At London’s Shepherds Bush Empire on the link right here. Any further news from the Zebrahead camp will be brought to our readers as we have it.