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Zozobra turns 'Savage'

Posted by Scott McLennan  April 12, 2013 12:25 PM

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Caleb Scofield leads Zozobra to Great Scott in Allston on Saturday

First, there was Cave In. That band could go off in any number of directions, hitting on metal, hard rock, alt, and progressive textures. In 1998, bassist Caleb Scofield joined Cave In just as the Massachusetts band was causing tremors in the musical underground and likewise luring interest from major record labels.

Cave In spun off various side projects, which for Scofield began with experimental doom-metal purveyors Old Man Gloom. In 2006, Scofield and Old Man Gloom's Santos Montano formed Zozobra (which mean "old man gloom"). Scofield writes the music for Zozobra which has run from sludge to hard core and involved a revolving cast of musicians from Cave In and fellow art-metallers Isis.

Zozobra recently released "Savage Masters," the band's most aggressive record to date. The six songs are short and uniformly brutal. But the project still pulls off many sonic shifts The band's tour celebrating the release of "Savage Masters" hits Great Scott, 1222 Commonwealth, Allston, on Saturday. The show starts at 9 p.m. and also features Kowloon Walled City and the Proselyte.

We sent a few questions to Scofield via email as the band was on tour. Here's what he had to say:
Since there have been a few different Zozobra lineups, who plays on "Savage Masters" and who is performing on the current tour?
Adam McGrath and JR Conners from Cave In both played on this last record. They will also be playing live on this tour. We have a long history together and it helped considerably with the writing of these songs and executing them in a live setting.

What are some of the advantages and some of the difficulties of working with the same musicians across two or three different projects? How does everyone keep the lines clear between Zozobra, Old Man Gloom, and Cave In?
I admit my musical endeavors have become pretty incestuous. Being that no one band is ever operating full time it ends up working out. I trust and respect all the people I play music with and can't really think of any disadvantages when it comes to collaborating with them. Other than the fact that they're all crazy.

"Savage Masters" picks up the tempos and aggressiveness compared to the previous records. Did you set out to write a record like that or did the songs just start taking that shape once you began this project?
I remember writing " The Cruelest Cut " first. We were really digging the faster pace of the song and thought it would be fun to do a record that leaned more towards that feel. The past records have been much more mid tempo and very focused around the riffs. It was refreshing and challenging to try something a bit different.

We'll leave off with a little of what Scofield was talking about.

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About the author

Scott McLennan is a Boston Globe music correspondent and previously wrote a music and entertainment column for the Worcester Telegram & Gazette for 15 years. After seeing the band Boston in the Boston Garden as a teenager he never looked back and eventually figured out how to be a professional fan. Scott is very good at writing in the dark. This blog is an ongoing discussion about music happening in and around Boston. Scott will be leading the trek across genres looking for new releases and hot shows as well as just checking in with the people who make Boston such a great place to listen. More »
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