Did VOLBEAT 'Steal' LIFE OF AGONY's Sound? JOEY Z Weighs In
November 11, 2015
LIFE OF AGONY guitarist Joseph Zampella (a.k.a. Joey Z) was interviewed on a recent edition of the "Talk Toomey" podcast. You can now listen to the chat using the widget below.
Asked how he feels about the commercial success that band the Danish/American metal rock 'n' roll outfit VOLBEAT has had while possessing a sound that a lot of people feel contains unmistakable similarities to the early LIFE OF AGONY records, Joey said: "Well, from what I understand, earlier in [VOLBEAT's] career, they've given a lot of respect to LIFE OF AGONY. From what I've heard through the grapevine, a bunch of them indeed were LIFE OF AGONY… I don't wanna call them 'fans'; I don't know them that well, but… According to... From what I've heard, they were influenced and inspired by LIFE OF AGONY."
He continued: "Hey, listen. More power to them. I'm not a jealous-type guy or envious. I feel like I've had success on my own level. I don't know if money really dictates success. A lot of people look at it that way. And I'm sure they're [VOLBEAT] making a hell of a lot more money than LIFE OF AGONY does, but that's not really what I measure success by. I measure it by being able to still do this, still having my physical ability — my arms, my fingers and my legs — still being able to get up on stage and do it, and do it in front of large crowds, like we do. I think that really is what I measure it against."
Joey went on to say: "I'm happy for VOLBEAT. I don't think they robbed our sound or anything. I definitely think I do hear the whole 'River Runs Red' [type of sound]. It's there, but, like I said, more power to them. That's cool that they were able to write a bunch of killer songs and go out there and be influenced by someone. Look at bands like BAD BRAINS… You have a band like BAD BRAINS and then you have a band like DEFTONES, who… You know what I mean? I definitely know they were inspired by BAD BRAINS; I can just feel it in their music. And I love DEFTONES; they're one of my favorite bands of all time, believe it or not. But I know that the BAD BRAINS never reached the status of a DEFTONES… They're legendary, of course, BAD BRAINS, but I don't think they had the… how would you say?... monetary success that DEFTONES have had. So it happens on all different levels, it happens to all different bands. And, again, I think it's just… It's good all around. I actually feel like it's complimenting… It feels like a compliment when you hear a band like VOLBEAT go out there and have that kind of sound. And they also acknowledge LIFE OF AGONY in interviews, from what I've heard. I haven't read them myself, but from what people are telling me, through the grapevine, they do acknowledge LIFE OF AGONY in their interviews, and they have in the past. So just knowing that makes me feel really good about it, of course. It's cool."
VOLBEAT mainman Michael Poulsen has previously denied ever having been influenced by LIFE OF AGONY. He told the Room Thirteen web site: "We are told all the time by reviewers that we remind them of LIFE OF AGONY, which is funny since I write all the VOLBEAT songs and I don't have a single LIFE OF AGONY album." He added in a separate interview with Lords Of Metal: "LIFE OF AGONY is brought up all the time [as a comparison to VOLBEAT]. Nine out of ten [reviewers] mention them. Funny thing is, I write all the music and I don't have a single thing of that band. I don't know any songs of that band. I listened to them after people were telling me, that we sounded like them. I really don't think so..."
LIFE OF AGONY has played sporadic shows after completing its successful touring cycle for the 2005 Epic Records release, "Broken Valley".