A Flower Without Sun
Exclusive interview with Joey Z by Evon Banks: The Greatest Fear. A hard-luck turned Cinderella story that will rival any up and coming indie band. The Greatest Fear shot out of the Los Angeles Metal scene in 2005 with an incredible Debut CD: 'The Coronation Of the Locust Queen.' Winning both The Independent Music Awards 'Hard Rock/ Heavy Metal' Album Of The Year and Rock City's Gothic band of The Year in 2005, The Greatest Fear sold an impressive 10,000 records for absolute unknowns. The Greatest Fear created a name for themselves by dominating their live performances with the sheer intensity and command unrivaled for the time by powerful lead singer Jane Saunders. I had the good fortune of seeing The Greatest Fear in late 2005 in Sacramento supporting Metal Gods Prong. I like many of the crowd was awestruck by the intensity of The Greatest Fear's performance but was even more amazed that after their set, the crowd actually thinned out for the beginning of Prong's set and were actually in a line outside to meet the unknown band and front-woman Jane, whose brilliant performance was matched equally by their graciousness in meeting every individual standing in line with huge smiles, handshakes and hugs. Immediately struck by the notion to write a review about being the first to discover this great band, I perused magazines for the following months to hear of a signing story... but heard nothing. Little did I know TGF disappearance was plagued from 'Horror-Esque' moments including the short-term cancer diagnosis and abrupt death of Brian Saunders (drummer) mother leaving them to care financially for Brian's brother who suffers from severe autism and then they were dealt with another immediate blow of a near-fatal car accident of Jane's father. The pair persevered and geared up for the road only to have their lives again shattered when their tour van was stolen with virtually all of their musical equipment. After losing what seemed like everything, they returned to their home town of Las Vegas with nothing left to lose. When I asked Jane what they were thinking she said: 'After a lot of tears, we sat down broken, in a small apartment in Las Vegas and decided to not give up. We decided to answer the blows given to us by the universe with the only thing we had left, our music. We thought of what our biggest 'Dream Scenario' musically could be and decided to sell what we had left and move 3500 miles to New York City to hopefully record with our music icon Joey Z[Life Of Agony and Carnavore fame). We thought if we could just get to NYC we would be o.k.. And if we could just get into Joey Z's studio he would know how to capture what was in our hearts.' What Jane and Brian, who normally record as a two-piece and employ a band for live shows would never expect in their wildest dreams was that Joey Z not only accepted their request to record them, he leant his virtuoso guitar playing to their sophmore single: 'A Flower Without Sun.' Having the opportunity to listen I am stunned by the result of this musically arresting performance and am excited to have the opportunity to ask Joey Z a few questions about his experience with The Greatest Fear: E.B. Joey, Did you have any idea you would be creating such an amazing track with The Greatest Fear? When I met Bryan & Jane I immediately felt this sense of 'I feel like I've known you guys for years'. When I heard the story of all of their hardships & struggles before they moved to New York, I was completely moved. Then, When I heard the ideas for 'Flower', I knew it was going to be an amazing tune filled with power & pure heart. All of the above is what made me accept the offer to play on the song and now listening to the final product, I knew it was more than 'meant to be'. E.B. One of the most interesting dynamics of TGF is Jane's vocal performance. Her debut CD blew up the internet in S. America and Europe claiming her on many lists of The Best Female Metal Singers of All Time. How is it recording with a woman? Is it any different than working with her male lead vocal counter-parts? Absolutely... When she did the first vocal pass for this song, (being the first time I heard her sing in person) my mouth hung open. The words, 'Holy Shit' must have been written across my forehead. I was completely blown away. She's just on a whole other level. I also want to mention that Bryan, Jane's stick swinging companion, floored me with his drum performance. He delivered a solid track with tons of groove, that gave us the foundation in which to build this masterpiece. E.B. Jane has claimed working with you to be like a Cinderella story, citing your Method Of Groove Studios in Brooklyn, NY to be not only conducive but critical to the art they created on this track. What do you think your studio offers independent artists that others do not? Since I've opened MOG in February of 2006, I've heard nothing other than, 'After this experience I wouldn't want to record anywhere else'. I built, and continue to operate the studio with complete comfort in mind. I spent months putting the studio together with my own hands. I put a lot of care in creating a pro, but very comforting environment, always knowing in the back of my head, that it will contribute to getting great performances out of the bands that will be gracing my spot. I know first hand, being that I've recorded at dozens of studios throughout my career, that some give you the 'right' vibe, & others just make you want to cringe while tracking. It is a vital part of the process and more than often overlooked. I also charge a 'per song' rate, (instead of hourly) which keeps everyone's mind off the clock, wondering how much money they are spending, and more on the music they're creating. They know what they're paying before walking through the door. It's all worked out in advance. E.B. After hearing this amazing track, 'A Flower Without Sun,' where do you, as a successful recording artist in your own right, see The Greatest Fear going in the future? I don't believe there will be any limitations to what this project can do. If the right people get involved, (on the industry side) the sky will be the limit. Fortunately these days, there is more than one way of getting there... Some requiring more work on the artist's part. I feel the entire world needs to hear this track, and I know they will. The talent that is constantly boiling inside The Greatest Fear, will without a doubt bring them to where ever they want to go. You never know... maybe you'll find me standing there along side them.