Interview by Jay Hawkins (Photographer/Writer)
The formidable driving force behind I AM I is singer ZP Theart. A founding member of the renowned UK metal act Dragonforce, he made four studio albums and a live record with the band and toured the world for a decade, eventually performing to audiences of up to 85,000 people. His time with the group also saw him nominated for a Grammy in 2009.
After his departure from Dragonforce in 2010, ZP worked tirelessly to put together his own group and, after catefully handpicking a set of expert musicians, the result was one of the most exciting new rock bands of 2012, I AM I. A promotional single entitled ‘Silent Genocide’ in the summer was followed by the release of a debut album, ‘Event Horizon’,in September 2012. Written and produced by ZP and Polish born guitarist Jacob Ziemba and mixed and mastered by Roland Grapow (Helloween/Masterplan), its stunning blend of melody filled metal and riff based rock topped off by ZP’s soaring vocal performances completed a package that was acclaimed worldwide by critics and audiences alike. A plethora of excellent UK reviews included:
“Superb debut built around stratospheric vocals, gravity-defying hooks and guitar-based drama.”KERRANG!
“A promising debut. ZP Theart’s voice remains as commanding and melodic as ever.” METAL HAMMER
“Soaring, majestic, triumphant, inspiring and uplifting.” POWERPLAY
Released shortly after their first festival performance at Bloodstock Open Air, I AM I supported the album with a set of UK dates. Tours with Ugly Kid Joe and Skid Row ensued, while the band also performed electric and acoustic sets at both Hard Rock Hell 2012 and Download 2013. Generating positive reactions wherever they have played, the band are an absolute must see live, while ZP performs honestly and effortlessly, epitomizing everything a real rock front man should be.
Explains ZP: ‘See You Again’ is our take on something that’s been missing from the Rock scene for some considerable time now – a proper Rock ballad. Releasing a ballad as a single is probably not what most people would expect from us, but that’s exactly why we have gone ahead and done it!”
As for its subject matter: “Since the dawn of mankind we have longed for a lost loved one once they left this consciousness, knowing after life we will all meet up again in some way. The intent of this song is to take the edge off the waiting game. You may be gone, but while I’m here I’ll remember you, and when it’s time, I will see you again.”
With live dates currently being arranged for the autumn of 2013 and a spring 2014 tour, fans will soon have an opportunity to witness the line-up of I AM I, which has recently seen the former Power Quest duo of guitarist Andy Midgley and drummer Rich Smith join band mainstays ZP, guitarist Jacob Ziemba and bassist Neil Salmon to complete a formidable quintet.
1st November, Yardbirds, Grimsby supported by The Wild Lies
Z P Theart – vocals
Jacob Ziemba – guitars
Andy Midgley – guitars
Neil Salmon – bass
Rich Smith – drums