The Zombie Mafia Gets Bloody Up

Horror punk rockers THE ZOMBIE MAFIA was formed in January 2007 by guitarists 45 Dave and Zombie Alex. Surrounded by a loyal family of musicians based in Sayreville, NJ, TZM completed its lineup and started playing their music throughout all of NJ. In early 2009, they went on hiatus, only biding their time to gain strength with their new singer, Jared Sin. Zombie Alex soon retired from the band and close friend of the band Handsome Ed Cicchi stepped up to help take this new lineup to the next level. With TZM back in full force, their New Jersey invasion continued. Solidifying themselves as a real force to be reckoned with, TZM continues to strengthen their name. Summer 2011 brought back the return of Zombie Alex. Now, Jared Sin, 45 Dave, Count Josferatu, Zombie Alex, and A1 Bold look ahead to the studio and the stage for a sonic onslaught unlike anything seen or heard before. The band took some time to discuss some insight into who they are and the process of their upcoming release and future plans.

1. Please tell us about the history of your band and its members.

45 Dave and Zombie Alex started the family. After some line-up juggling and revolving doors, we ended up with A1 Bold on drums, Count Josferatu on bass and I joined in '09 as the second lead singer. There's been a lot of up's and down's, but this is the strongest and most diverse TZM incarnation yet.

2. What type of band are you?

We never know how to answer this question really. We play fun, catchy music that revels in morbid themes and dark subject matter. So dark punk? Extreme Death Rock? We mash together punk, rock'n'roll and metal and what comes out is a sound unique to TZM.

3. How would you describe your style? Which bands influenced your music?

If you threw The Misfits, Green Day, Rob Zombie, My Chemical Romance and Iron Maiden in a's somewhere in that direction. Our influences are all over the place. Everything from The Beach Boys to Black Sabbath to Cannibal Corpse. Sometimes we're melodic and catchy, some times we just want stomp your face in.

4. How did you guys come up with your band name?

There's no grand history to the name. What it means now is more important. We see the "mafia" portion of our name as meaning family. We consider our fellow bands and fans as family. One united front against the everyday bullshit of life. A cult gathering in darkness and using that darkness to strengthen ourselves.

5. What have you released so far and how were your releases received by the public/media?

2 EP's (Bring the Brains, Leave the Cannolis and The Devilbat Chronicles) and one full length (All This and Rigor Mortis). Reception has been mixed depending on how pure you like your horror punk, or if you consider us horror punk at all.

6. Who writes the songs, what are they about?

45 or Zombie Alex generally lay down the foundation. But we all write and flesh out the music together.
We don't stick to the normal horror punk paradigm of writing about horror movies, which is why we don't consider ourselves horror punk. Though it is where we came from and it is our foundation. Death, lust, heartbreak, loss, urban legends, becoming self-aware mentally, physically and spiritually. Through the understanding of the negative aspects of life, we can ascend and better ourselves. So even when things get
nihilistic and/or gory, it is meant to be darkly constructive.

7. What's new in the recording of your music?

We are currently in the mixing process of our second full length, the first featuring myself on vocals. It is called "The Bloodening" and should be out in late march.

8. Do you play live as well? How's your live activity so far?

Definitely! We've been laying kind of low during the making of the new album but once it is out, that will change. We are a live band. We prefer the connection with our family members. We leave raw energy on the stage. If you're going to play music, look like you actually fucking enjoy playing it!

9. How do you promote your band and shows?

Online, mostly. But word of mouth is a powerful thing. We're old school, we like people talking and sharing. Human connectivity is the most powerful form of magic there is.

10. Describe your show, visual and musically.

Musically, the set depends on the show. We may go more melodic, we may go fast and heavy. Visually, it varies from member to member. Personally, I prefer a dress shirt and pinstripe pants. These aren't just shows to me, they are special occasions and rituals. Recently, I've taken to wearing a druid-like robe as the music has moved from pure gore to a more metaphorical dark spirituality (for me). But occasionally, I still break out the bloody doctor's scrubs. We have spoken about expanding our live shows, though the music and
 energy speak for themselves.

11. What should labels/zines/promoters know about your band? Why should they be interested in it?

That's an interesting question. I suppose that we walk a fine line between underground speed and heaviness, morbid and morose aesthetics and mainstream catchiness. We strive to make music that is somehow fun while retaining an underlying seriousness. We are "upbeat" music for those with morbid fascinations and darker souls.

12. If you could pick a song or a release of yours for someone who has never heard your before before, which would it be and why should they hear it?

Definitely, The Bloodening. It is our strongest release and one single song doesn't do it justice. It is powerful and, honestly, has something for everyone. It is just as much about emotions and the human experience, dealing with life and personal growth as it is about jack the ripper and the jersey devil. Musically, it is a roller coaster through the nicer parts of hell. Whether you're looking for catchy pop punk, bluesy rock or something akin to a jackhammer to the temple, The Bloodening has it.

13. What are your dreams and goals?

To take this as far as we can. To whatever level we can. The music and message we create is not just for us. Music has done so much for us, we want to give back into it. We want people who are going through hell, to see that relief is possible and to see that there are people who care.

14. What advice would you give to fellow bands?

Be patient. Be open-minded and understanding. LISTEN TO EACH OTHER! Being in a band is a marriage to multiple partners so it can get rough. Also, support the other bands in your scene/genre.

15. What plans do you have for the near future as a band?

We have already begun writing new stuff. There is a split album or two in the future, hopefully. Things aren't concrete with those yet, so I don't want to say too much.

16. Where can we listen to your band and where can we buy your stuff?

We will be posting some tracks on YouTube and Facebook once the new album is out. We are working on a website/webstore and it will be available on iTunes. But we prefer, if you came out to a show. Shows are the true life's blood of music, plus we love to meet new people, shoot the shit and expand the family.

17. What inspires you to do what you do?

Life. I am driven to do this. Sometimes it feels like it possesses me. Some people drink or get high, I love to be immersed in and perform music. I love to share and discuss music of all genres and eras. Also, it helps to quell the negative darkness within me and expel it as positive darkness. In the end, it's all about healing. It's catharsis. It is to better myself, and hopefully, make a more positive world for those who choose to follow this path of constructive darkness.

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