Zanois
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Zanois

Watertown, MA | Established. Jan 01, 2008

Watertown, MA
Established on Jan, 2008
Band Alternative Indie

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"Musically, they're a hybrid of Ramones punk sensibility and progressive rock prowess, but what stands out most at a Zanois show is the sheer joy happening onstage."
"...front man Zane exudes nerdy charm, using a too high microphone that forces him to sing on his tiptoes while alternating on bass and keyboards. Occasionally, he does all three, his quirky lyrics inspired by everything from Greek mythology to reclusive author J.D. Salinger to... milkshakes."
"On guitar, his brother is decked out in a pumpkin monster t-shirt and knitted panda cap, with different colored miner's lights worn as necklaces. He plays the kind of fluid licks that Yngwie Malmsteen fans eat up - albeit with songs that are more Weezer than metal."
"Behind them, the boys' father beats the drums like a middle-aged version of the Muppets' Animal."
"Growing up, his sons would often listen to Flaming Lips songs instead of bedtime stories, so it was inevitable that they would turn out this way."
"...it took a crisis to create Zanois (pronounced zuh-noise) - a painful divorce that resulted in the three rallying around playing together." - The Hippo


Zanois — Partridge Family–style melodic prog pop from Manchester... - The Boston Phoenix


Last Wednesday, I spoke to Justice McDaniel '12 on the phone about his band Zanois. Composed of McDaniel, his younger brother Zane, his father and Zane's friend Kyle O'Dowd, Zanois offers an eclectic mix of pop and '70s guitar rock as well as an indie aesthetic. The Manchester, N.H.-based band recently released its first full-length album on iTunes, titled The Benevolent Beast. Zanois is planning to make its Brandeis debut early next semester at Cholmondeley's. To hear more, check out http://www.myspace.com /zanois. JustArts: How do you pronounce your band name? I was pronouncing it "Za-Nwa" but then somebody told me it was actually "Za-Noise."


Justice McDaniel: I think the correct pronunciation is "Zay-Noise." We do get a lot of "Za-Nwa"s. Well, my little brother's name is Zane, and we make noise, so Zanois.

JA: Who are the members of Zanois?

JM: So, my little brother Zane plays keyboard and sings. His friend Kyle plays bass and occasionally either backup or lead vocal.


JA: How old are they?

JM: Zane is 15 right now. Kyle is 17. On the other end of the spectrum, my dad is normal dad-age.

JA: Did you start this band in your hometown then, in high school?

JM: Actually, a lot of the songs we play are songs Zane wrote and recorded originally by himself. One day, Neil Cicierega of Lemon Demon said, "Hey, come to a show of ours in Kingston." Zane asked Dad and me to play drums and guitar for a backup band. We learned about nine songs for that. Then I went off to school, and they tried to get Kyle and another guy to do it, but I guess they never got a chance to practice. So, two weeks before the gig that they were preparing for they called me and said, "We really need you again!", and we've been playing together ever since.

JA: And where are you from?

JM: We are from Manchester, N.H.


JA: Has the band been named under other incarnations? I noticed your Yahoo address is heavy_metal_lemon. Was that another band?

JM: That was my band in high school. There have been other band names. Originally, the first name was Z.A.N.E., which stood for "Zane And No one Else."


JA: Under what genre would you classify your music?

JM: Oof. It really depends on the song. Some of it is '70s rock mixed with indieish stuff; I guess that's the overall feel.

JA: Do you think it conveys a certain kind of image at all? Or do you imagine playing to a specific audience at all?

JM: Not really. There are different songs that appeal to different people, whether they're our families or our friends.


JA: Is this band primarily for you and your friends, or do you imagine a wider audience for it?

JM: We'd really hope for a wider audience. It's pretty poppy stuff.

JA: So do you think that adds to the appeal?

JM: Yeah, I think they're really catchy songs, so people will be like, "Hey, I recognize that!" Actually, our first full-length album just came out on iTunes.


JA: Can you tell us what the album is called?

JM: The album is called The Benevolent Beast.


JA: And it just recently came out, you said?

JM: Yeah. We've been working on it since the beginning of summer, as far as recording goes, but we just finished it up earlier this month.


JA: What songs are on it-mostly new stuff or recording of older stuff?

JM: It's all new recordings. Eleven songs. I'd say ... about half of them are about the Apollo 11 mission.


JA: So you'd say that's the thematic center of your album?

JM: Well, these songs came from an album Zane made by himself two years back, all about the Apollo 11 mission.


JA: And the other half is newer stuff you've done recently?

JM: Yeah, one of the songs is something Dad wrote, and there are a few others that we've added.


JA: What are your favorites?

JM: My favorites are any of the ones where I get to do a long guitar solo. I really like "Chatter Teeth"-it's good; it's like elevator music mixed with straight up rock. It's really cool. And then I l - The Justice (Brandeis University)


Discography

"Selfie" (2014)
"Wyrd Wyrm" (2012)
"Everything is Only Everything" (2011)
"The Benevolent Beast" (2009)

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Bio

Zane and Justice McDaniel fell asleep every night as they were growing up to a cassette compilation of 8-bit soundtracks, The Flaming Lip's "The Soft Bulletin", Brian Eno's ambient records, a Brian Regan comedy album, or Weezer's "Pinkerton", nearly all of which were courtesy of their father Gavin, who prior to parenting played with the groups Primitive Romance and Seka, as well as some of his own projects. Both brothers beginning playing music at a very young age, playing hand-me-down synthesizers and guitars. Eventually, the two received their own instruments. They continued to write and record many of their own records, through Tascam Portastudios and the free audio software Audacity. When a call came from local group and influence Lemon Demon asking for an opener, Zane said yes without hesitation, even despite the total lack of a band and the fast approaching deadline (the show was in roughly a week and a half). He quickly asked his brother and dad to join him for the show, and they agreed, this being the first time Gavin had played drums in twenty years. The material came together quickly, and the trio played sporadically for several months until Justice had to spend his time at Brandeis University to study Biochemistry, where he would eventually graduate from with a triple major. Zane searched for several substitutes, but found none suitable, though in the process recruited bassist Kyle, and the line-up eventually convinced Justice to rejoin and play whenever he was available. This line-up played for several years, opening for widely renowned acts such as Math the Band, Streight Angular, and more. They recorded three full-length records, a live album, and a Christmas EP. They continued to expand in other ways, even playing a show as an 11-piece orchestral brass band. Bassist Kyle soon left to attend Hofstra University, the day after recording "Wyrd Wyrm", at which point Zane promptly took up the bass duties, often playing it with his left band and keyboard with his right. The trio began playing more shows than ever before, once opening for The Antlers, as well as recruiting several friends to help perform Jesus Christ Superstar in its entirety, and even performing a Ramones tribute set with friends Tristan Omand and Midisty. They are currently playing frequent shows and looking to tour even more, while writing their newest batch of songs.

Band Members