Faster than a speeding a bullet, louder than a freight train ... it's Zeke, a Seattle-based punk rock band built on supersonic speed.
Last year the foursome captured the attention of Epitaph, a leading record label specializing in punk and ska, and landed a three-record deal. Zeke's debut from Epitaph, "Kicked In The Teeth," hits stores April 7, and the band has already begun a year of almost non-stop touring.
"We didn't want to sign a five- or six-album deal with Epitaph, but we needed a little money to cover our expenses while we were in the recording studio,'' said ``Blind'' Marky Felchtone, guitarist and songwriter. ``Epitaph was cool with all of that. They gave us some money and said, `Go make a great punk rock record,' and that's all we care about."
The record deal was a big step up from the previous five years' recorded output that included several singles and a CD, "Flatracker," that were handled through smaller, independent labels, with little distribution.
"We've always dealt with labels that are on such a hand-to-mouth kind of level that we could never ask any of them for anything,'' Felchtone said. ``In the beginning, I actually pooled my money with record labels to get things released."
Zeke was assured of great production from veteran Jack Endino, who also produced the speed-driven rock 'n' roll of the Supersuckers and the Dwarves, among others. But the band still was able to capture the raw essence of its live shows in a studio setting, with 18 hyperdriven tracks, including a sonic rendition of Kiss' "Shout It Out Loud."
"It was all brand new stuff,'' Felchtone explained. ``I wrote those songs about a month before we recorded them. They were really, really fresh -- not very well-rehearsed, either. And we recorded them very quickly. But I think it still came off OK."
With a new album and a new van, the band is ready for a full year and promises a hot show.
"If you have a really short attention span and you like good rock and roll, then you'll like us -- we're really loud, hard, fast rock 'n' roll,'' Felchtone said.
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