Greensburg, Pennsylvania's ZAO will be supporting Sweden's IN FLAMES on their upcoming U.S. tour beginning in late January. Also on the tour will be buzz-making heavy music bands TRIVIUM and DEVILDRIVER. Commenting on their addition to the tour, ZAO guitarist Scott Mellinger said, "I listen to IN FLAMES albums 'Clayman' and 'Reroute To Remain' all the time and am excited to be able to see them perform every night and share a stage with them."
ZAO are busy working on material for their next album for a summer 2006 release on Ferret Music. The band will enter the recording studio with famed indie producer Steve Albini. Albini is known for his own music with SHELLAC and BIG BLACK as well as his production work with groups such as NIRVANA, NEUROSIS, HIGH ON FIRE, HELMET, MELT BANANA and many others. Regarding their upcoming work with Albini, Mellinger explained, "Albini actually contacted us. His girlfriend was working on a documentary on underground music and was focusing on us and Albini was interested in our sound. He called a club we played in Chicago before our last album came out and asked to speak to a member of ZAO. He invited us over to his studio to hang out and talk, we got along great and now we have an opportunity to work with him. He's a very open minded individual and has tons of energy and ideas which we can't wait to tap into when we record with him.”
ZAO last released "The Funeral Of God", a concept album about the demise of the supreme being which was a epic and cinematic work touching upon all eras of the band's history. Speaking of the new material, Mellinger said, "The songs are more compact than 'Funeral Of God' and return to the sounds of our classic albums such as 'Liberate Te Ex Infinitis'. However, there is a bigger shift between elements in the songs such as the heavy moments are even heavier, the ambient moments are beautiful and the rock moments are even more full-blown rock."
ZAO has been a band for over eleven years and known for their wealth of various band members and stylistic shifts over the years. The band was once known as the cornerstone of Christian hardcore as well as for progressing the form of metal-core, currently they are just interested in being known for writing great music. The band has just released a career-spanning DVD, "The Lesser Lights Of Heaven", directed by longtime friend and manager Ryan Downey, an accomplished music journalist and former writer/producer for MTV and reporter for MSNBC. The double disc set includes a two-hour-plus documentary with all new interviews detailing the band's humble beginnings through all of their changes to the band they are today. The second disc contains two full live shows as well as a dozen songs shot over the years at various points in the band's history.
In the last two years, ZAO has headlined the Ferret Music tour, co-headlined with AS I LAY DYING, supported THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN and EVERY TIME I DIE, headlined the "Praise The War Machine" tour with THE AGONY SCENE as support, co-headlined with the "City Of Champions" tour with JULIANA THEORY, supported BLEEDING THROUGH in the U.K. and across the U.S. on the Strhess Tour, and played the Smart Punk stage at Warped Tour.