Showcase Interview: Zoume

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Zoume is a metalcore band from New York City who have been gaining buzz in the local scene thanks to their catchy sound, huge show opportunities, and features from websites such as Alternative Press. The band’s mix of a heavy and melodic sound has led to them has opening for the likes of Escape The Fate, The Word Alive, I The Breather, A Skylit Drive, and many more. I had a chance to talk to the band about their newest music, how they have grown as a band, and much more.

“I think one thing about us is that we want to show people we were originally kids in the audience that made it to the stage” – Max Fokanov

For Fans Of: The Amity Affliction, Sirens & Sailors, The Plot In You

By James Boss


Babetalk: What are your names and what do you do in the band?

Farhan: Hi, I’m Farhan. I play guitar in the band.

Jeff: I’m Jeff and I do bass and vocals.

Max: I’m Max, I’m the R&B soul singer of the band *laughs*. I’m kidding, I play guitar.

Brean: I’m Brean, aka Spooky. I play drums.

BT: Let’s start off with an icebreaker. If you could tour with any act in the world, who would that be?

Farhan: Off the top of my head; Bring Me The Horizon and PVRIS.

Jeff: Probably Motionless In White. Maybe Slipknot.

Max: Linkin Park and Marilyn Manson.

Brean: If I was a solo artist, I would love to tour with Lady Gaga and Kesha.

BT: You guys released 2 new singles recently, “Lost Boy” and “Sleep.” Both will be off of a to be announced record that will be released this year. How has the reaction been towards these songs so far?

Farhan: I think the reaction has been great. With the first single “Lost Boy” we have had a lot of people telling us that it was our heaviest song yet and that we were stepping it up. We kind of did this intentionally as we wanted to show our heavier, darker side. That very same week we released the much softer “Sleep,” which has elements of Bring Me The Horizon and Being As An Oceans’ sounds. We kind of wanted to throw a curveball where you heard one thing and then out of nowhere you get a completely different thing. People have been really positive towards it all. We were kind of worried but everyone has been really happy about it.

Max: I’m honestly so surprised at the positive reception “Sleep” has gotten so far. I expected people to hear “Lost Boy” and be like “Damn, this is so heavy. I want more heavy music from these guys” and then you hear “Sleep” which isn’t as heavy. I’m actually surprised people are rocking with the lighter stuff too.

Brean: IT definitely threw people off because there were a few comments on our Facebook page that reflected the change of tone in songs. It wasn’t bad; they just preferred “Lost Boy” over “Sleep,” although they still liked the latter. It’s like the best of both worlds.

BT: What was the recording process like for these songs, as well as the upcoming record?

Farhan: With most of our songs, it will start with me or Max coming up with an idea. We track that idea and Chris will come to my place, work on the vision of the song, and track vocals over it to see how it goes. With “Lost Boy” however, Brean was jamming the drums at practice one day and we loved this one drum pattern he was playing. From there, Max started playing this tapping lead over it, which is the lead you hear in that song. I started throwing some chugs over it and then I went home and created the rest of the song out of that intro. Chris came in later and threw in his vocals on it. “Sleep” was written well over a year ago. I had that main lead you hear in the beginning in my head. I went home and recorded it and Chris told me that it was pretty and that we didn’t really have anything like it. We wrote that song very quickly as it came together as soon as we heard it. We both loved the sound and saw what the song should be when we heard it. Everything went smoothly and I’m glad that they did.

BT: What was different about recording these songs than in the past?

Brean: It was a very collective process. Everyone had their own opinions on what to change in each and every song. We work pretty well as a group and I love that so much. It was different as there were new people and new ideas.

Farhan: In the past, the songs were kind of already there from previous lineups. The songs were like “Alright, here’s the song. Let’s just add some vocals on it.” With these songs, we have to create everything from scratch. We are working together. We all throw in our ideas. Like Brean says, it’s a lot more collective. It’s a lot more natural and we have become better songwriters because of it.

BT: You guys also released new music videos for both of these songs. “Lost Boy” was very simplistic, while “Sleep” was a huge video with beautiful imagery that is rare in music videos these days. What was filming these videos like?

Farhan: “Lost Boy” was very DIY. We handled every aspect of it ourselves. With that song, we really wanted to give our supporters something really cool as opposed to just giving them a Spotify link. We had never done a lyric video before so we decided to incorporate it within the music video. That was done all on our own. Even with the shirt that is related to the video, we just took a picture of Jeff in the woods wearing a mask *laughs*. For “Sleep,” we went with Alex Kouvatsos of Blackwolf Imaging. We love the idea of always going upwards, so after we released the video for “Someday You’ll See,” we were like “Alright, let’s do something bigger than that. We can’t just be at the same with the next video.” We decided to take it outside to the cliff near the ocean. Alex honestly helped take everything to the next level. He brought in a drone and decided to film all of these landscapes and beautiful scenery. We felt it was very different from other videos in the scene as it’s very uplifting. You don’t really see a very pretty video in metalcore these days, so we really liked how it stood out from other videos. When we went to film it, we drove 4 hours to the Montauk Lighthouse on Long Island, New York and got there at 7 in the morning. We shot throughout the whole morning, did the storyline scenes, and wrapped it up. We ended up getting the video back a week after filming it. It was all really quick and it was all really great.

Jeff: Everyone keeps asking us if we rented a helicopter or if the video was CGI. We aren’t that rich *laughs*.

BT: What are some of your lyrical inspirations on these new songs?

Chris: It’s literally about my life, my guys’ lives, and what we go through every single day. “Lost Boy” for example is about what we have gone through the past year of being in the band, feeling lost, and feeling like you have no one there for you. Everything I sing and scream about is something that has happened to me at some point in my life.

BT: How would you guys say you have grown as a band since you started?

Brean: It was very rough. At the very beginning of Zoume, it consisted of Chris, my boy Carlos, and I. We were all 17 and wanted to start a band for fun. We started to take it more seriously after a few lineup changes. We invested in better gear and became more professional on stage. At the end of the day we are performers as well as musicians. We have to put on a good show in addition to making good music.

Farhan: Even before I joined, I was there for the Storyteller EP recording as a producer. As musicians, everyone has grown so much it’s crazy. We never want to be just good enough; we all want to be the best we can possibly be. When I joined the band, we were all still really young and everyone had just started playing instruments a few years before that. We were new to music. We grew really quickly but we still have more growth.

Jeff: Other than just growing musically and with songwriter, we have advanced merch now, we have scrims, we have better gear, we have a manager now, shout out to Leonel Salcedo. We weren’t shit back then, we still aren’t shit now, but we are getting there.

Brean: The further Jeff’s hairline grows back, the older we grow and better we grow *laughs*. We aren’t cocky people at all; we just try to do the best for us.

Chris: We have been through so much shit. To see from day one where we came through to where we have progressed is insane. We are a whole different band now. I am so happy with the lineup today.

BT: What is the message you want people to take away from your music?

Max: I think one thing about us is that we want to show people we were originally kids in the audience that made it to the stage. A lot of the influences we take in our music and bands we have played with and want to play with are all bands we have grown up watching live. The Gramercy Theatre show we played with The Word Alive recently was a big deal for us because we all went to this venue growing up, many times to see The Word Alive.

Chris: I’ve seen The Word Alive 12 times at this venue now since 2011. I just want to inspire other people and show that it’s never too late to chase a dream or start a band. It’s not impossible. You can start tomorrow if you dedicate yourself.

BT: What is next for Zoume?

Chris: We will be playing with The Plot In You and Enterprise Earth May 16th at Amityville Music Hall in Amityville, New York. We just want to keep rising on social media, get on a good tour, see the rest of the east coast, and put out our upcoming EP.

Jeff: It’s all about organizing too. Every show we’ve played and every experience we’ve had, there are certain things we could always have done better. We always learn from the mistakes we make. Whether it’s wanting to load in faster or set up faster, we are always learning and striving to be better.

BT: Thank you for taking the time to talk to me. Is there anything else you want to say?

Chris: Be ready for us. Keep sharing “Sleep” and be prepared for all the new music from us that is on the way. This is only the beginning.

Jeff: For any of our pre-existing fans reading this interview, thank you so much for all of your support. If we get any new fans off of this interview, welcome to the Zoume family.

Max: The only reason we are anything right now is because of our fan-base. Thank you.

Last modified: April 4, 2016