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A Conversation With Adam Zadel
by
Samuel Barker
November 2, 2001

Soil

Samuel Barker: To start with, what is your name, what do you do?

Adam Zadel: I'm Adam Zadel, guitar and backup vocals.

Samuel: I see you have to CD release on September 11th, how has the response been so far?

Adam: The response has been really good. The unfortunate events of that day have been a story in itself. We were supposed to have our record release show that day and we were flying in from Orlando, in the morning. We had a record release show there the night before.

Samuel: Were you in the air when everything happened?

Adam: Yeah, we were in the air when everything happened. On the 10th we had a release show in Orlando and we had to fly back on the morning of the 11th to do the record release show in Chicago. That morning we got up, left, had no idea what was going on. We landed in Chicago at 9:30, which was about a half hour after everything happened. So when we land they give us an announcement that there is a situation, everything is evacuated, we'll be sitting on the tarmac. So everyone is like "what is this?" and everyone turns on their cell phones, even thought we're not supposed to. And as information came in we all got freaked out, it was a freaky situation. We had to sit on the runway for three hours waiting for them to okay a terminal to use. When we finally got off the plane and saw the footage of that happened and the gravity of what happened we cancelled the show for that evening. And, basically, it was a pretty hard time for everybody. Pretty awful day. We forged on and the response has been good. Everyone is saying good things about it. It got off on a bad start, but we're all in it together, so everything has been going great. We've been extremely happy since we found out we had the Ozzy gig. We've been giddy as schools girl since then. We're just making our way there now, so we're all happy.

Samuel: So have you guys enjoyed doing the headlining shows on the way to the tour?

Adam: Sure, they've been great. The radio stations have been supporting us, it's been amazing. When we've been playing the venue have been crazy.

Samuel: Do you guys have any videos to go with the release?

Adam: We have done a video for Halo. It's gotten a few spins on M2, MTVX, and MTV 1. It's on our website, I think it's downloadable, if it's not, you can watch it there.

Samuel: I see you guys are from Chicago, is there a good hard rock scene there?

Adam: There is a lot of great stuff in Chicago. You have Disturbed of course and you have No one and Sum Zero who we are playing with tonight. There are a lot of good bands out of there that are unsigned as well. I expect to see a lot of great things out there.

Samuel: So everything is pretty strong there right now?

Adam: Yeah, totally. It's a good town. Everyone gets along well. There isn't any rivalry about things going on there. It's really cool.

Samuel: You already mentioned the tour with Ozzy, but are you guys getting stoked up to play all the big shows and big arenas?

Adam: Absolutely. We're all wigging out, it's going to be crazy. It's going to our first real tour basically. We've only been doing spot dates up to this point. We've been on tour with ourselves, we've jumped on shows here, there, and everywhere, but this is the first real tour and with Ozzy Osborne, so we're totally wigging on it.

Samuel: So you were all big fans growing up?

Adam: Totally.

Samuel: Speaking of that, I noticed when listening to the CD that the sound has a more vintage metal sound rather than the current rap metal. Was it ever conscious to not fall into the same groove that all the new metal bands have fallen into?

Adam: I don't if it was a conscious effort, it was what we liked to do, so it came out that way. We like heavy music, we like old rock music, we like all kinds of stuff, so we did what we did, and did our brand of music and that was it.

Samuel: I liked the story of how Ryan got in the band. So, you found him on a comp. CD?

Adam: Yeah, Tim was riffling through CDs. We had the project going where we were just playing. Me, Tim, and Tom were in a band together for a long time and we knew Shaun just as long, we didn't play with him, but we knew him. Then we were just hanging out one day and we realized that we had some good songs here and wanted to do something with it, so we looked for a singer. Tim just happened to be riffling through a compilation CD one day and there his voice was at the end of this disc and we were like 'awesome.' So Tim wrote him a letter, because he was Indiana and it's not too far away from Chicago. So Tim wrote him the letter and sent him a disc and he loved it. He threw some lyrics on it and came up a few weeks later and threw some tracks down. Then, there it was.

Samuel: I wanted to ask about the songwriting process. Is it something done completely as a band or do certain members come up with different songs?

Adam: Yeah, it's something we do together. We usually have a riff idea and we can usually get everything together in one practice. Like Halo came from Shaun having the verse riff and sitting there rocking out. And I was like "that's a good ride' and basically I slapped on a simple beginning riff and a simple chorus riff. We pretty much had the song written in half an hour. Ryan had most of the lyrics in that session and by the next practice he had them finished.

Samuel: So that song came together easily.

Adam: Absolutely. Most of the songs are very fluid, we don't have many songs which are the huge epic works in process. The only ones that take longer are the ones that I do by myself. I can be a bit of a retard when I'm by myself if I have a drum machine and I'm just doing riffs on a 4-track. Other than that it doesn't take all that long.

Samuel: To get into more personal stuff, have you been playing guitar most of your life?

Adam: I guess was about 13 or 14 and I picked it up and started learning stuff. It's funny you asked about Ozzy. I think the first riff I ever learned was the opening riff of "Crazy Train," some history there.

Samuel: So most of your influences have been hard rock or heavy metal bands?

Adam: Yeah, totally. When I started playing guitar, Ozzy and Metallica was all I ever listened to.

Samuel: Did you ever have any previous projects that had releases?

Adam: Well, Soil is the first major label thing. We had an independent release that didn't do too much because the label went out of business, which was actually a blessing in disguise because now we got hooked up with J Records. Before that I was in a death metal band with Tim, Tom, and Shaun. We did some touring and stuff and put out a few records on small labels. I've been doing this a while, since I was a little kid.

Samuel: Is it nice having the label support now where you have the opportunity to play with people you have looked up to over the years.

Adam: 100%, it's a dream come true honestly. You work so hard and there are so many people that do it for a long time and may never get a chance to do what we're doing. It's a lucky thing. It's so cool to have this chance.

Samuel: Do you do any other projects or is it just this band right now?

Adam: It's just the band now. Since we signed the deal in March and we recorded it right away because we had the songs written and Johnny K ready to produce the record. We signed, rehearsed for about a month and jumped right into the studio. Nonstop. As soon as we got out of the studio we went on the road and have been out ever since.

Samuel: Has the live response been good, a lot of people getting merch?

Adam: Absolutely. It has definitely been surprising. Definitely a good time out there.

Samuel: Is nice have people come to the shows and know the songs and sing along?

Adam: Definitely. You can tell when you pull into a town that Halo has been supported. They're usually singing that song along with us at the end of the night. It's a really cool feeling. Especially going places you've never been before, it's awesome.

Samuel Barker is Senior Editor. Contact him at suma@rockzone.com.

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