Zinny Zan – Shotgun
Interviewed by: Anders Sandvall
Thanks to Axel Wiesenauer at Rock’n’Growl Promotion for setting up the interview.
Thanks to Rock’n’Growl Promotion for the promotion pictures of the band.
Shotgun is the name of the new outfit of what was the legendary Swedish band Shotgun Messiah. The band have played a few shows in Sweden since 2013 and now the band is back with original singer Zinny Zan and drummer Stixx along with new members – guitar player Rob Marcello & bass player Chris Laney – that completes the line-up. Now, 3 years later the guys release a live album called “LIVE – DOWN DECADENCIA DRIVE”. The live material is taken from the Gothenburg show they did back in 2013. Personally, I think it’s a little late to release a live album now when the band was put to rest in 2014. I hooked up with singer Zinny J Zan to talk about the new live album and about why original members Tim Tim and Harry K Cody were not on board this time and why the band did so few shows. Read more about it down below….
Hi Zinny, how are you? Hope everything is great with you, are you ready to kick off the interview?
Hey Rocker! Yes I am fine Thank you for asking, hope you are doing great too.
Was it hard for Marcello and Laney to get you and Stixx to launch Shotgun again?
Well you have to ask these two gents that question (Laughs) All I can say is that the first time they approach me it was Chris on the phone in a good mood from drinking with Rob who popped the question. I was laughing it off as two friends that has been supporters of Shotgun Messiah having a little too much to drink. 2nd time he asked with Rob on his side I started to think about it seriously and it all became more interesting the more I thought about it. First of all to get to play these songs again that I haven’t played in some good 25 years; secondly to get the Shotgun Messiah supporters who never got to see or hear these songs live now getting the chance with 50% of the original line up and last but certainly not least doing this with Stixx, Chris and Rob sounded like an opportunity only an idiot could miss out on and when looking back on it now it has been fantastic and fun!
Was Tim Tim and Harry K Cody also asked if they wanted to reunite SM?
Right before we did this Tim said in an interview for Sweden Rock Magazine when asked the question of a 100% reunion for Sweden Rock Festival,” You don’t have that kind of money” so he was pretty clear with his take on it and that it all had to do with what kind of money he would get and not doing it for the right reasons meaning for the Shotgun Messiah supporters and for the fun of playing the songs again
Are you friends with Tim Tim and Cody today?
I have not spoken to Tim since 1990, Harry and I however have had mail contact the last year regarding music etc..
What comes first to mind when you think of the time in Shotgun Messiah?
What an amazing band we were and that the 4 of us really clicked on stage, Shotgun Messiah also holds some of my best but also worst memories of my lifetime for different reasons. I choose however to on the good ones and there were many within Shotgun Messiah for sure !
What’s it like to play all the Shotgun Messiah classics with Stixx again?
It’s just a fantastic experience! These songs were written when we were young and hungry and ready to take on the world and we gave it our best shot. Now some 25 years later to experience the songs and get to play them again is just chilling. You go out there and play them and I look back and I see that crazy man behind the drums hitting as hard as he can and we just smile at each other or rather laughing cause today we can enjoy it more. Back then it was more do or die. Im really lucky to be able to experience this and its only now I have realized how much I have missed playing these songs and doing it with Stixx !
We did some festivals and some clubs and that was what Rob n Chris had time for since Rob is also in Danger Danger and Chris keeping busy with Laney’s legion and producing etc. We did have around 20 gigs offered around Europe but the venues was really small and no money in it in order to give the supporters what a Shotgun show should include so we turned it down.
Way have you chose to call the band Shotgun and left out the Messiah part?
It was my idea, and the reason is simple. This is simply not Shotgun Messiah so shame on me if I would have tried to pull that stunt that so many other great bands done before. But it is well enough 50% of the original band which means that we take 50% of the name – basic math (Laughs).
I never had a chance to see this live because you only performed around Stockholm, what do you have to say to all the fans in Scandinavia and out in the world that didn’t had chance to see Shotgun live?
Say we played Sweden cause we only did two gigs in Stockholm area but to the Scandinavian supporters and the European and American supporters for that matter we would have loved to come and play for you as well but again, if no one books us and no one asks for the band for festivals etc then of course we cant do anything about it. But again that’s also why we decided to record this live show cause we knew that we will not be able to reach all the people who would like to hear these songs live.
We did shows for a limited time yes in Sweden
Why haven’t you taken Shotgun on a proper tour throughout Sweden, as for now you have only performed in Stockholm and the surroundings of Gothenburg but never in the rest of the country?
There are two factors, one is that in order to play you would need someone to book you right, and we had Skogsröjet Festival in Norrköping, Väsby Rock Festival in Stockholm and some clubs that actually asked for us and then we played there. We did have European dates as I said before but the clubs were so small and the the money so little so we would never have been able to do Shotgun justice and therefore we turned that down. Medium size clubs and Festivals would have been great but unfortunately we never got those offers.
The band recently released the live album LIVE – DOWN DECADENCIA DRIVE, when and where was the album recorded?
The Live Down Decadencia Drive album is recorded Sep 27th 2013 at Sticky Fingers in Gothenbourg one of my favourite cities in Sweden.
Did you add anything in the studio after the recording or is the album live as it was at the show?
The only thing added afterwards is audience and this since we did put up microphones to catch all the audience but already on the 1st song the left stage microphone hit the floor and stopped functioning so we added so it wouldn’t sound crazy. Other than that I am sure that you can hear that this is much more of a live album than any artist have delivered since you can hear all the little mishaps here and there on the our instruments and also on my vocals (Laughs) even missing some lyrics so yeah this is a a live album.
How come you chose this exact show to record?
Who said we don’t have them all (Laughs) We have more live recordings but we picked this one as the best club live. Who knows there might be one more live album with the festival gigs??
I think the album is great, are you happy with it?
Thank You ! yes I am happy with it cause this is what we sounded like not better not worse. This is live straight in your face Hard Rock, there are mishaps here and there but that is what makes it “Live “ right? You cant ignore the energy in this band and you can hear it on the album even if you were not there. Rob is Mr perfect and I know that he wasn’t to happy with not being let to fix some guitar stuff but he was cool about it anyway cause he did a hell of a job here.
Nervous (Live at Sticky Fingers, Gothenburg, 27 Sept 2013)
However I think it’s a little short with only 8 songs and 45 minutes of music, don’t you? Why didn’t add some more songs to the show?
In Fact we did play Sex Drugs & Rock N Roll and also one more from the Second Coming album but we didn’t let it be on the Live down Decadencia Drive album simply because this was just a celebration of the 1st album.
You play the entire debut album back to back except for the song “The Explorer” why did you leave that behind?
I thought that The Explorer is Harry Cody’s song for his guitar playing and therefore we shroud leave that out in respect to Harry. Rob is a fantastic guitar player and he would have loved to do it but we decided that this is Harry’s piece so we let it go.
Why didn’t you feature anything from the second album?
Cause this entire reunion thing was in order to celebrate the 1st Shotgun Messiah album and live we actually did Sex Drugs & Rock n Roll and one more but we choose to leave them out on the Live album.
There’s also a guest that makes an appearances in the show, could you tell the readers who he is and his place in the Shotgun history?
On this live album We invited Jukka Kemppainen (A.K.A. JK Knoxx) he has written many of the songs on the first album and created also many of the riffs but not too many people knows this. He was also the first singer in Kingpin before I came along. We thought it would be a nice gesture to invite him and play one of his songs “Care bout Nothing” and he gladly said yes to do it but he did not wanna sing on it but rather play the guitar which he is very very good at, so that we did as a “One time only” for this live album.
During the show you say that this one is the last one but didn’t you guys do more shows after this one. This particular show is from 2013 but you did three more live shows during 2014?
That is correct, it looked then as we were not able to do anymore shows but life has a funny way of change your plans sometimes ( Laughs)
Why has it taken so long to release the disc?
First of all we did play in 2014 as well and then we all have had our different projects. I had Väsby Rock Festival which I was a part of and also recording for my upcoming album + a Thriller serie for TV that I am in so its been hectic for everyone. Rob had been busy with clinics, Danger Danger and his new project The Defiants. Chris has been busy with writing music, producing and Stixx well who knows what Stixx is up to ( Laughs) he does whatever falls him in, last time I heard from him he was in China.
In September 2014 you thanked everyone and the fans on your Facebook and said that it was time to move on, when was the decision made to put Shotgun to rest?
We had a discussion in the band regarding how to keep going with Shotgun and I had the opinion that we just couldn’t go on playing year three with only the SM 1st album material, that would be pathetic in my mind so I said that if we should continue and give Shotgun a go I want to see us go in the studio and record at least 4-6 new songs as Shotgun and release that and put that in to the show. In my mind that would have been the right thing to do in order to continue playing but Rob & Chris did not seem to have that time and then I said ok then we call it the quits. Now when the “Live down Decadencia Drive “ album was finsished it seems like both Rob & Chris are up fir the idea to make new music and tour in order to support the album and meet the Supporters.
Are you going to release a live DVD from the show or is the live CD the only memory that’s left from the evening and the Shotgun era?
There is footage as well but so far we have not looked in to that in a detailed way Chris and I have said that once we find the time we will take a look in to it but again it will require quite some time from Chris Laney since he is the man for the job in order to put that in place. Chris is the main man behind this live album as well and he have put in a lot of hours in order to now have the product ready so – My Hat off to him !
You have now signed with Livewire/Cargo Records way did you take them to release this live album?
They seemed best fit for the job!
What are you currently doing, are you still living in Sweden? Are you writing any music?
Yes I am living in Sweden, still writing a lot of music and also starring in a TV serie “Thirller” in 12 parts about police and gangsters etc so I am keeping busy
What would you like to say to the ones who hasn’t heard Shotgun Messiah? Could you give them three reasons why they should buy LIVE – DOWN DECADENCIA DRIVE?
If you like straight in your face Hard Rock with an attitude but also with a party-feel to it this album will be the soundtrack of your life !
Thanks for taking the time making the interview, I wish you all the best in the future and have to say that I really miss the music of Shotgun Messiah, you guys were awesome!! do you have any words of wisdom to share with the fans and the readers?
Thank you for your kind words about Shotgun Messiah!
I don’t know if I am the right guy to give words of wisdom but here we go.
“Always make your own plan of how you want your life to be cause if you don’t you will only become a part of someone elses plan”
Rock til Ya drop
//Zinny J Zan