After touring relentlessly, often playing three hour-long sets a night to promote a debut album that garnered them a Drummer of the Year award and Rock Album of the Year nomination at the 2012 Hamilton Music Awards, THE ZILIS returned to Studio 410 just outside of Hamilton, Ontario to start the process of recording their sophomore release, "Sketches II". THE ZILIS self-produced both albums and chose to record live-off-the-floor, feeling that their live energy was an integral part of their sound.
The group has generated a great deal of buzz thus far in 2014. “Sketches II” was released in February to a sell-out crowd and soon after, the band embarked on a tour of Southern Ontario in support of their finest collection of songs yet. They also filmed a brand new music video with Southern Souls and were able to open up for The Sheepdogs at Mohawk College. They will be making several festival appearances throughout the summer and a North American tour is also in the works. Expect to hear more about THE ZILIS as the year progresses for the talent in this three-piece band is hard to deny. For more information visit www.thezilis.com
In an era where technology surpasses musicality and processed pop music dominates the airwaves, a great Rock n' Roll band is hard to come by. Today, live music is often considered a luxury and the timeless genre that once had the power to awaken an entire generation has been undeservedly swept to the periphery of the music world. But despite the evident lack of promise within popular music, I remain optimistic about the future, my fellow music lovers, for if there is one band in particular that is capable of restoring Rock n’ Roll to its rightful standing, it's three young individuals who together, call themselves THE ZILIS.
Hailing from the blue-collar city of Hamilton, Ontario, THE ZILIS are an exceptionally talented power trio that have been blessed with a raw explosiveness unrivaled in music today. Its members are multi-instrumentalists named Sean Royle, Justin Bozzo and Zander Lamothe, who for eight years have mesmerized audiences nation-wide with their virtuosity and songcraft.
As teenagers, Sean, Justin and Zander were members of the much-heralded Dean Lickyer; a prodigious group that amassed a great deal of support from several industry bigwigs. Over the span of four short years, Dean Lickyer had the privilege to be featured on MuchMusic, tour North America extensively, open for Kiss and Bon Jovi and win numerous awards and accolades in the process, including $10,000 from Gene Simmons. Success, it surely seemed, was on the horizon. Despite their upward trajectory, the momentum of the group had been brought to a standstill when the singer decided to part ways with the band to pursue other interests. Undeterred, Sean, Justin and Zander made the providential decision to soldier on as a three-piece with a new name.
Fortunately, while playing countless cover gigs (legendary three hour-long sets) across Southern Ontario, the trio continued to write their own material and by the spring of 2012 – a mere eight months after the disintegration of Dean Lickyer – Sean, Justin and Zander would record their outstanding debut album, “Sketches”. Playing the roles of both producer and performer, and much to the surprise of their skeptics, the trio crafted their longest and finest album to date, earning themselves an award for “Drummer of the Year” and a nomination for “Rock Album of the Year” at the Hamilton Music Awards. Immediately after the album’s release, THE ZILIS embarked on an arduous two-month tour and eventually rounded out an extraordinary 2012 by playing over 120 independently booked shows.
By 2013, THE ZILIS solidified their reputation as an up-and-coming Rock n’ Roll outfit. While keeping a relentless touring schedule, they were able to film and release a music video for the single, “Coyote Nowhere”, and by the summer, they completed their highly anticipated sophomore album, “Sketches II”. Feeling as though their eclectic debut had not touched upon all the aspects of song that they had enjoyed, the group decided to continue the “Sketches” tradition by crafting a sequel as artistic and musically diverse as the first. Self-produced and recorded live-off-the-floor, the album is budding with confidence and is testament to their maturity as a group and as individuals.
From past experiences, Sean, Justin and Zander have emerged as three intelligent and extremely talented young men who, with their proficiency in improvisation and diverse songwriting capabilities, are quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with. With an impressive sophomore album due for a February release, another North American tour in the works and two brand new music videos currently in production, THE ZILIS are primed to take the music world by storm in 2014. Although their perseverance is deserved of a great deal of praise, Sean, Justin and Zander remain incredibly humble. One cannot help but notice their modesty, and the camaraderie between them, both onstage and off of it, is certainly a sight to behold. Indeed, these young men continue to embody a collective identity of what a band should truly be: a band of brothers.
Yes, the spirit of rock n' roll lives on; it is alive and well and it breathes deep within this remarkable group. Just give 'em a listen, or better yet, come see the spectacle for yourself, and you'll be optimistic about the future of popular music, too.