UTG INTERVIEW: CalatrilloZ Talk Concepts and ‘Psalms Of Zahyin’


Last week, London-based operatic metal band CalatrilloZ released their newest effort, Psalms Of Zahyin — a 6-track blast of shredding guitar riffs, pummeling drum work, orchestral string arrangements and classical vocals led by Zahyin himself, the creative ringleader.

We had the chance to speak with Zahyin about all things CalatrilloZ, from the band’s beginnings to their newest album and everything they have lined up for the future, so read through to find our full conversation and the band’s newest video for “Z The Psychopath.”

First off, the band name is really unique and eye-catching. Where did CalatrilloZ come from and what’s the story or meaning behind it?

The name represents a traveling circus family; it’s original and it is an amalgamation of similar titles. We come on stage as characters of an original fictional history, on which we base the songs and costumes.

And how did you all come together to form the band? Were any of you involved with other bands or projects before this?

Chance, pure chance. I came from across the ocean, and most band members are foreigners as well, with exception of our drummer – straight from UK, Birmingham. I, Zahyin, was raised in a classical music, operatic environment, and I have pretty much been doing only two things music related for the last 9 years: 1) classical music as an operatic tenor, and 2) CalatrilloZ, my dream, my release.

Was it quickly agreed upon what style of music you would play or did just evolve naturally?

Neither. I write and compose all songs and arrangements. And I don’t frame the music in styles/genres. I guess the ones who are with me now, are the ones who love it as much as I do. With a classical music composition background, you tend to hear the music in your head as a whole, and not parts. It’s a different way of composing.

As far as musical influences, who would you say are some artists important to you all collectively who you think might have inspired certain aspects of your music?

Aye aye. Difficult questions. As before, the creative output comes from me, and my influences are the unholy alliance of gods such as Puccini, Verdi, Strauss the II, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Aretha. To be honest, I am not sure whether what I compose goes alongside what I believe inspires me. But on the possibility aspect of the question, I guess the way the great composers arrange a cello, a violin and a viola, is very close to the way I play with two guitars and a bass.

Can you tell me about the importance of your guys’ appearance and stage presence and how it all relates to the music for you?

Paramount. We are a concept, storytelling band; it was born from an encompassing concept and never moves away from it. We do go down the road of “Theater x Opera x Metal,” and we are telling a story alongside the music.

So this current release, Psalms Of Zahyin — how long was this in the making before it was completed?

The songs have been there for a while, and we have plenty more in the pocket. This album was our move to break through the anonymity shell of the underground world of music, and it is just a prelude. It was aligned with a expensive, and hopefully successful campaign, so we could climb some ladders, and reach a point where we could amass resources to release our true first album–a huge concept album–arts and video included, to be considered our first true CalatrilloZ release.

A lot of reviews are touching on the originality in your sound and the fact that you stand out from similar bands in metal music. What do you think sets CalatrilloZ apart from the rest?

Depth. It’s a non-intentional different approach to composition and arrangement, inspired by a melody, a feeling, and a story, and laboriously stretched and refined, where every single note is intentional and plays a part in the storytelling aspect of our band. It’s the full offer, all inclusive.

You mentioned having a lot more material…

We are aiming for the true first album of CalatrilloZ. The songs are there, the funds are not. It will be a fat concept album, videos included, the songs entwined by classical movements such as interludes, openings and sonatas. A true storytelling experience.

As of now, I see one upcoming show on your website. Do you have any touring plans in the works this year? And also, how would you describe your live show for those who have yet to see you perform?

We will wait for the results of the PR campaign to set the next step in motion. We ain’t rich, and not a single one of us has a foot in the music industry. Our live show is what a live show is supposed to be. A show. You will be blown away, maybe by the vocals, rare quality, range and power–maybe by the guitar work, some riffs and passages you have never heard before, and they actually make sense. Maybe the drumming session, where you will see the amalgam of jazz and metal, where fills are plenty, but the drive is never lost. Then, the visuals, the make-up the costumes, the acting, the never-seen-before musical diversity in a single band.

And overall, what do you guys have in store for the remainder of 2015? Anything we haven’t discussed yet that you can reveal?

Soon we will start scripting small videos telling the background story of the characters. Picture Spawn meets The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.

Brian Leak

Editor-In-Chief. King of forgetting drinks in the freezer. Pop culture pack rat. X-Phile. LOST apologist.
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