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Interview with Jonny Harding-Smith from Zebedy
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
I guess my mum and dad got me into music. Listening Queen and Elton John to name a few while having days out in our beautiful country of Wales.
If I didn't get into music I'd have a lot more free time that's for sure, but if I had to say I'd be doing some creative and physical.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
I spend most of my time when not playing music usually thinking about music lol. But in the little spare time I have when spending with my family, it's usually taken up with watching films and I also have long walks in the Welsh countryside.
How long has your band been around?
We started in 2008 and brought our first album in 2011 which is when started to gig more seriously. We're in that time never had a line-up change.
Where are you based and how did that influence your music?
We're based out of North Wales, Conwy area. It's one of the most beautiful places in the world which is quite inspirational. The good and bad thing about the music scene in North Wales is that there isn't a particular type on music played. Which has made it easier for us to make whatever kind of music want to, which we do.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
No deep meaning. We started at a jamming band at a few party-type events and we had to have a name, I just said Zebedy as it came to mind, and it's stuck, and we kind of like it.
Tell me about your most memorable shows.
We have had a lot of great gigs but if I had to pinpoint a few, I would say supporting Soil and Psychostick, which were really great. We did a gig back in 2011 in Holyhead as a support act and by the end of the night they like us so much they actually asked us to play again after the headliner. People really got our music that day which is what it's all about.
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
We love playing at Percy's in Whitchurch a small venue, but they really love original music and it shows when you play there. We'd love to play the Ritz in Manchester, Fightstar and Karnivool were outstanding when they played there.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
Hundred Reasons, Reuben, Porcupine Tree, Karnivool and Fightstar would be perfect.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
Enjoy all of it and embrace every gig for the positives and learn from your mistakes. Do it for the love, not the money.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
It's worth spending money on a quality guitar, it really does sound and feel better.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
‘Post Script’ at the end of our ‘Marionette’ album as my young daughter made up some of the lyrics without realizing. One day she woke up and said 'the film behind my eyes' referring to her dream. This was incorporated into the song which is also the end of 5 connecting songs.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
Definitely 'This Is My City' from our first album 'Exist'. At the end of the song we usually get everyone screaming along even if they haven't heard us before, it can be quite magical when the crowd get into it
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
I (Jonny) will usually come up with the idea of the song and then we'll practice it together and it evolves from there to become a Zebedy song with all of us chipping in vocal ideas. We're pretty open in our writing process to give anything a go and if it works we'll put it in.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
Hope really and overcoming different situations.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
Yes and we compromise whether it is a large or small we somehow get past it.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
Keep making music and get more people listening to our music. We are going to be recording 2 new music videos for our next 2 singles 'This City Is Ours' and 'Forget All That You Know' both are great songs and we can't wait to release them.
This City Is Ours is out on the 27/1/2022. Our album is released on 3/2/2022.