UK Alt-Rockers Zilch. Release Magnetic and Gritty New Single "Misgiven"
Uk Alt-Rockers Zilch. standout with nostalgic, contagious, and grungy new single "Misgiven," part of their new EP, expected to debut in 2022.
Many of us have been wanting to go back to that small, sweet, nostalgic place in post-grunge where bands were high-octane, raw, and dirty in their energy. When it comes to UK alt-rockers Zilch., it's safe to say they understand that purpose more than most in the genre.
“I guess I was just trying to get years of a mental struggle out onto a page. Normally I’ll write things that seem nonsensical on the outside but make sense to me, and that way it’s open for interpretation. This was different though, it just flowed very naturally and seemed to say a lot of things that go in my head. The main line of the chorus is the blunt response you can get from some people when you try to explain those things.
“Get on with it”, “man-up”, “Oh, you’ll be alright”.
I just want to encourage open discussion when it comes to mental health. It’s so common but people feel like they can’t talk about it, and why not?”-Thom Dewhurst
Consisting of band members Thom Dewhurst (Vocals/Guitar), Cal Neathway (Bass), and Crag Sharpe (Drums), Zilch has crafted the perfect mix of bold, distorted, massive, groove-laden soundscapes with their latest single, "Misgiven."
While the band had already started to gain attention in the industry with their slew of singles throughout 2018 and 2019, Zilch. has further pushed the boundaries with their fiery single with their gritty vocal control, ariose gritty instrumentalism, and relatable lyricism.
"Misgiven" is a contagious post-grunge gem and feels like we have taken a step back musically in time back to the '90s. While this is only a small exposure to the threesome's new EP making its debut later this year, it seems like we are in for something different, memorable, and fresh to the ears that we have not experienced in a long time.
What started Zilch.?
Cal: Several old bands calling it a day. And I guess three dudes wanting to write music they'd like to hear.
Thom: Crag and I had talked about doing a side project for a while, and when our band that we were in at the time dissolved, it was the perfect opportunity to throw ourselves into it fully and see what happened.
What are your musical influences? There is this raw Nirvana-esque Queens of The Stone Age vibe to your new single, "Misgiven." It's very energetic and dirty instrumentally.
Cal: Thank you. That's kind of the vibe all our songs take but with differing levels of dirty. Nirvana is a big one, I never think it's that obvious but EVERYONE says otherwise. As individuals, it spans from Doo-wop to Grind-core.
Crag: I wouldn’t say too much QOTSA for this track compared to some of our others. I wouldn’t be able to say there's an influence, it just sounds like us.
Thom: Anything that has a melodic hook will grab me initially. When the lyrical content and delivery of the song are just right, that’s when it influences me.
I think Cal hit the nail on the head though – there are a diverse collection of artists and groups that influence us individually and as a whole.
What was the creative process like for your new single "Misgiven?" How is it different from your past work? I know you guys released a bunch of stand-alone singles throughout 2018 and 2019.
Thom: It happened the same way a lot of my ideas happen – I’ll be doing something mundane and a melody or chord structure will just pop into my head. I grab my phone, hit record, and then grab my guitar and just play around with it for a minute or two. This song was a seed in 2019 but I didn’t finish writing it until mid-2021.
Cal: I think it's poppier without being too obvious or formulaic. The verses could have been pedaled root notes, but it felt a bit more left field to have jagged stab rhythms in. The previous releases were either heavy/punk tunes or grungy ballad types but this feels more like heavy pop-rock.
Crag: Yes, compared to our older songs. We started jamming ideas originally and turning them into songs. For this one, Thom came in with essentially the finished product and we tweaked bits to our own specific instrument.
I want to talk about the lyrical content of your new single. What inspired this new single? Where were you guys at headspace-wise when you decided to write this?
Thom: I guess I was just trying to get years of a mental struggle out onto a page. Normally I’ll write things that seem nonsensical on the outside but make sense to me, and that way it’s open for interpretation. This was different though, it just flowed very naturally and seemed to say a lot of things that go in my head. The main line of the chorus is the blunt response you can get from some people when you try to explain those things.
“Get on with it”, “man-up”, “Oh, you’ll be alright”.
I just want to encourage open discussion when it comes to mental health. It’s so common but people feel like they can’t talk about it, and why not?
What have you taken from this latest single release that you want to share with listeners?
Cal: I guess the mental health elements of the song. So many people suffer from bad mental health but everybody's feelings are unique. Don't do it alone or in silence. And, music is a rad way to let go and switch your brain off.
I know you guys had initially geared up to tour and release music last year, but when Covid hit, things changed a lot for many, especially in the music industry. What was it like having to switch gears to write new material in this somewhat unrouted territory?
Cal: Writing seemed like the best way to be productive when we couldn't do anything. We released our debut EP in the middle of it because we're suckers for punishment.
Crag: Our focus has been two things. Gigging and writing. Our main focus before covid was to record and release the ep so not much had changed.
Thom: It sucked, as I was all hyped up to start hitting gigs hard and promoting what we had just made. I tried to put that energy into writing new material instead, so by the time we got into a room again, we had a couple of new ideas to kick around.
I think overall, the break did a good thing for us as we’ve been more prolific since we’ve been able to rehearse again.
You guys have a sophomore EP that's expected to launch in 2022. Can we talk about that?
Crag: It’s coming.
Cal: Some of the songs are heavier than most of our previous stuff, some of it is a lot more poppy. Hopefully, people can flit between bopping and raging out. We're going to write more songs for it so we've got a good pool to pick from, then we'll just see what sounds best.
Thom: We’re going to take a bit of a back seat on gigs and spend a couple of months just recording as many songs as possible. Our sound has developed a bit more since “Cigars & Diazepam” so it should be interesting and fun.
Besides the EP, what other plans do you guys have for the new year?
Thom: Get the second EP recorded and then gig the absolute heck out of it.
Cal: As many gigs as we can in as many different places. Having all that time off has weirdly given us a new lease of life realizing or confirming how much we missed doing it We go all out all the time now.
Crag: Finding the treasure map to the holy grail of local promoters in the UK so we can play gigs.