Zillion Bassist Jens Becker
Interview by Anders Sandvall
Pictures from Frontiers Records
Thanks to Stefan at Atenzia records for the help with the
Here is a short interview with bass player Jens Becker (also bassist in
Grave Digger) in the newly founded German (except for the
drummer Mike Terrana who comes from the US) band Zillion who
recently released their debut album.
How was Zillion born?
Our singer and guitar-player Sandro is my cousin and we
always wanted to do some music together. When we needed a
drummer I remembered my old friend Mike Terrana, who I know from
a tour in 1999 we did together for Roland Grapow (Helloween, Masterplan). I called him and asked if he is
interested, he heard the material and he liked it. This was how
Who came up with the name and does it mean anything
The idea comes from Mike Terrana, he had a band in the US
with this name many years ago. There is no special meaning, we
just liked the name.
Where in Germany do you guys live?
Mike and me live in Hamburg, Sandro lives near Bremerhaven.
How do you comment the fact that Zillion being mentioned
as being a new German super-group?
Well, we don’t call ourselves a super-group, haha. This is
the idea of our record company. Maybe because we all play also in
famous other bands. But of course it sounds better than “Three
idiots try to sell a record”, haha.
How long has it taken to write and record the debut?
Most of the songs were already composed when Sandro and I met
for the first time. The real recordings were about three weeks.
But we always had breaks in between. It was very relaxed working
because we did everything in Sandro’s house. He got all the
equipment and the knowledge to work with it.
Who has written the music and lyrics?
Most of the songs come from Sandro. I did some music too and
Mike helped with the lyrics.
Are the lyrics about anything special?
Most of them are personal things and experiences.
Which studio was the album recorded in?
As I already told, we did all the recording and mixing in
Sandro’s studio. They are called AUETAL-Studios and they are
near Bremerhaven in Germany.
Why have you chosen not to use an unfamiliar producer?
Because we are old enough to know how we want to sound like.
This would be a waste of money.
How was it to be produced by a member in the band?
For me it was a very nice experience because, as I told,
Sandro is my cousin. So it was even a family-thing.
Why are there only three members in the band?
Because we like playing as a trio. It is a challenge to sound
powerful on stage.
How does the co-operation with your label Frontiers go and
why did you choose to work with them?
So far we are satisfied with their work. We think that they
are the best label for this kind of music and they showed a big
interest in us.
In the info note you are described only as a hardrock act,
that’s incorrect by me as I think you play a fusion between
classic/melodic heavy metal with the main focus on melodic
metal. How would you describe your music?
Well, I think you got it. I also think, that hardrock would
not describe the whole thing. There are also metal parts in our
Is Zillion a band or a project?
We have to wait what the fans think about it. But of course
we would like to make a second album.
What do you think of the other two member’s effort on the
Well, as I told before, the biggest part of the music was
written by Sandro, but we all gave our best to create a good
Have you read any reviews of the album yet? What do the
media think of your debut?
So far I only read good reviews about it. Some of them are
even amazingly good.
Are there any plans to go out on the road?
We would like to play the material live, but this really
depends on the reaction of the fans and if enough people buy the
What do you think of the cover of the album?
We like it, we wanted some kind of “Planet ZILLION”.
Who decided to use that cover?
We all decided together.
Are there any plans to release a follow up album?
Yes, there are already some new song-ideas in our heads. But
as I said before, this depends also on the selling rates. If
Frontiers Records want another one, they will get it.
Is there anything you would like to say to the readers of
First of all a big SKOL to our friends in Scandinavia. Fans of
Grave Digger and Rage should know, that the album is different
to the material of our main bands, but they should at least
listen to Zillion, because it is a good piece of melodic heavy
Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions.
Thank you Anders.
Zillion reviews in Metal-Rules.com