ZEBRAHEAD – “Mental Health”
Many bands make an entrance into a particular scene, make a statement, and are suddenly yesterday’s has-beens after an album or two. But after a dozen years, half a dozen albums, scores of countries, countless miles, a Grammy nomination for Best Metal Performance for their blistering cover of Metallica’s “Enter Sandman and immeasurable faces rocked, it’s not entirely surprising that Orange County-based rock act Zebrahead have been able to not only maintain a distinct relevancy to the core fan base that grew up with the act, it’s also been able to consistently break new ground and appeal to newer generations of audiences.
So, what’s the big secret to such great fortune? Credit the quintet’s truly innovative and ingenious meld of punk, hip-hop and alternative rock, which crosses over musical bounds, not to mention songwriting that’s infallibly infectious.
After completing over a year-and-a-half of constant touring on its previous release, 2006’s Broadcast to the World, the act settled down in its Orange County rehearsal studio to begin writing sessions. Zebrahead eventually constructed Phoenix over the course of a few months, the latest and most focused example of Zebrahead’s genre-bending sound. It’s the band’s most comprehensive album to date, sporting 16 tracks, and, according to Zebrahead vocalist Ali Tabatabaee is also the band’s most well rounded collection and second release on Icon Music.
With the imminent release of Phoenix, Tabatabaee is able to reflect on the longevity of his band and its continued relevancy to audiences young and old. “Kids are appreciating the fact that we’re sticking to our roots and really just trying to make good music. We’d like to thank the fans for allowing us to have such a long career. If it wasn’t for them, we’d be flipping burgers somewhere. Fortunately, we get paid to do what we love, so we want to thank them a lot for that.”
And as for Phoenix, Tabatabaee adds, “We can’t wait for the rest of the world to listen to it and see what they think. It’ll have something for everyone. And hopefully people will have open minds and will be able to accept it and appreciate it for what it is. We just didn’t want to make the same album again, you know?”