After spending a few years off from the band — roughly three years on hiatus —Toronto’s modern / classic rock band Zeus reformed late last fall and have been “slowly and surely” developing their latest record.
“We just kind of dusted off the big band and got back into it,” said Mike O’Brien. “You kind of get to the point in your life where you need to take a step back and assess things I think, but yeah, I know the band is excited. We’ve got some new tunes we’re working on and we’ve been putting together a new collection of songs that will become an album later this year.”
The last recording Zeus released was 2014’s Classic Zeus, released on Arts & Crafts Records. The album is a timeless collection of songs, showcasing the songwriting trio of O’Brian, Carlin Nicholson and drummer Rob Drake. While 2012’s Busting Visions found the band travelling the world, only to be drawn apart to near breakup, Classic Zeus helped the band discover a new love for creating music together, to only have the band take a break following the subsequent tour cycle.
“It really was quite a while for us. People’s lives change and family starts to become a more important role in people’s lives. But from my perspective, I had never written it off at all,” said O’Brien.
“So now we’re just trying to build on the 10 years of blood, sweat and tears that we put into it. I think all you can really focus on in a band is being the best band you can be and making the best music you can make, and then beyond that, the rest of it is sort of up to the gods. I mean, you hustle as much as you can and try and promote yourself, but at the end of the day the music speaks for itself. You know, as long as you make a great record, all you hope is that people hear it.”
Last July the group lost their studio space that their previous albums had been rehearsed and recorded in, but this past May saw Zeus reclaim a new Toronto studio space to work out of. “That kind of turned our band into mush for about another year,” laughed O’Brien. “But it’s nice to have our studio back. We’ve always recorded our own music, so it’s nice to have our workspace back.”
With a handful of songs already written for their upcoming album, O’Brien explained that this record will be a like a follow up to Classic Zeus, although they have “only scratched the surface of what the next phase will be musically speaking.”
After being on hiatus for several years, O’Brien said that he was nervous that their audience would have gotten older and moved on, because of the “constant onslaught of new music everyday”. But, he said that some of the “reunion” shows were some of the best shows they’ve ever performed.
“I think it’s awesome that you can kind of become part of someone’s life through your music, whether it’s intentionally or not. People kind of develop a loyalty to the music that carries you through your life, because it may have been with you at a sort of formative period. So, I think that some of our fans were happy to take a step back and see us again.”
Zeus perform at the Quench Craft Beer Festival at the Market Square in St. Catharines with Tallies, J.R., Long Range Hustle, JIN, Billy Moon, Strange Shakes & Charles J Hunk & the Trainwreck. Over 20 breweries will be featured at the festival.