Kaizer Soze
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Kaizer Soze

Band Alternative Rock


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This band has not uploaded any videos


The best kept secret in music



Kaizer Soze - Review by Buddy Grizzard

I always want to be there when the music happens. What I mean by "when the music happens" is this: It's those rare occasions where a band gets up on stage and truly connects with each other and with the audience on a spiritual and emotional level. We've all been to shows where the band was technically great or played a really clean set. But, this is different. I'm talking about

the kind of show where, if you mention it to a friend that was there, you just nod to each other and speak in reverential tones.

The music happened Wednesday night when Atlanta funk-metal phenomenon Kaizer Soze took the stage in the finals of Top of the Tree, the local battle of the bands, sponsored by 99x and hosted by CJ's Landing in Buckhead. This was quite possibly the most incredible performance I've ever seen by a band that isn't known nationally. I told vocalist Jamal Hafza before I left that "if you guys don't win, somebody is smoking crack."

Well, I'm going to have to email Steve Craig at 99x to see who had the pipe and why they weren't sharing. Because up-and-coming hip hop fusion band The Wood took home the honors as Top of the Tree champions for 2002, winning a slot to play at Big Day Out this year, headlined by Stone Temple Pilots.

No disrespect to The Wood. I caught their first song before I headed out. They came out very much in the pocket and vocalist/rapper Chad Greeley was definitely in control of the mic. They must have won the crowd over after I left because they received a lukewarm welcome from the audience upon taking the stage. Craig has referred to The Wood as "one of the best live bands in Atlanta," and Kaizer Soze speaks highly of their live act, as well.

But it's hard for me to even imagine a better show than Soze put on Wednesday night. There's no doubt in my mind that they wanted it more than anyone else there, and judging by crowd reaction, a lot of people agreed. After interviewing Serj Tankian from System of a Down recently at Ozzfest, I mentioned Soze in an email as one of the bands in Atlanta who are "ready-for-primetime players." They couldn't have proven me more right. Said vocalist Jamal Hafza:

"We did not win, and yet I felt so satisfied with our performance. It always feels good to give the last grain of emotion you have and mean every word that you write [or] say. I felt like we really touched people on Wednesday."

No question. Hafza singled out the band's newest song "Sinistar" as one of the highlights of the show. With gut-level lyrics such as the chorus - "You don't like me. You're not allowed to. You can't see through what's true" - the song describes the feelings of a band struggling to make a breakthrough which it obviously deserves. There's no question in my mind that this band will make it, because on top of overwhelming technical ability, writing talent and charisma, this band is very, very hungry.

Also, not that this gets you anywhere in the music business, but these guys are incredibly humble as well. It's a breath of fresh air, ESPECIALLY in the Atlanta music scene, to see a group of players as phenomenal as Kaizer Soze which still makes a point to talk to every fan after a show. And, while a lot of bands bitch about how unsupportive and cutthroat the scene is, Kaizer Soze is working to break the cycle and bring a better sense of unity to a city that's long on talent but short on love.

You'd know the spirit I'm talking about if you had seen their faces as they were up on stage Wednesday at CJ's (an incredible sounding club, by the way). Bassist Jahiem Nelson and Drummer Jabaar Rivers, the best rhythm section in Atlanta as far as I'm aware, shone individually on solos. But the spotlight was on the collective effort. When guitarist John Dan stepped to the front of the stage to deliver the best tone and fretwork I've seen from him, and Hafza added his intense presence, you knew there was no stopping this band, win or lose.

"Our performance was, I feel, the best we ever did," said Hafza. "Basically, we will keep on pushing and pushing until we get in the door. But we congratulate The Wood."

- Buddy Grizzard

"Hottest New Atlanta Band"

"They sound,at times,like Rage Against the Machine,at times,like Incubus and other times like the Incredible Hulk having sex!!!"

Shannon Kettering-South Vibe
April 13,2001 Vol.1 Issue 6 - Shannon Kettling


5 song self-entitled EP- 2000
12 song CD "Innerview" - 2004
"Star Cross Crush" receives airplay in Gainesville,Orlando ,Tampa Fl. and the UK.


Feeling a bit camera shy


Kaizer Soze possesses a style that is a unique reflection of their individual,and collective, appreciation for different musical genres.
Formed in 2000 this band has the streets buzzing about their, motor-driven, stage performance as well as their eclectically,diverse CD entitled "Innerview".
They have 4 songs that's currently in a wakeboarding DVD called "SKINT" by Revert Films in the United Kingdom.
Be sure to keep tabs on their tour schedule to see when their coming to your city and make it Priority No.1 to see them.