Five years after their debut, the Connecticut band Enemy Remains return with No Faith In Humanity. I caught up with drummer Steve Zimmerman (Fates Warning) who gives us the lowdown on the new album, his reunion with Fates Warning for the Awaken The Guardian reunion tour and other topics.
Chad Bowar: You’ve had several lineup changes recently. Introduce us to the new guys and how they came to join the band.
Steve Zimmerman: First we added Frank Morin (Heretic) on vocals, which we thought would fit the best. Secondly, we added Scott Kaddish on lead guitar, recently departed from his band End Time Illusion. Then we brought in Jeff Curtiss from the band Obsession to do the studio tracking for the album. Mike Smolack would be the live bass performer. It was challenging to find the same dedicated musicians within our area as Tommy (Blardo, guitar) and I.
How did the new lineup affect the songwriting process for No Faith in Humanity?
In the past, the songwriting always began with Tom and I, and then we would bring it to the other members in the band. Now, with the addition of Frank Morin on vocals, we seem to have a whole new style and he brings the sound in a whole new direction.
How has the band’s sound evolved/progressed since Two Faces Two Minds?
Two Faces Two Minds was recorded few years back, and we’ve since been able to finally able to get the right lineup and level of dedication from all members to really put a new solid album out.
Is there a lyrical theme or thread running through the album?
It didn’t start out that way. We put out the single back in August with pretty much nothing else written for the new album. We didn’t plan for them to fit together as a theme, but as we started writing more songs, we noticed that they were. Finally, when we sat back down and put all the tracks together, it just made sense cohesively, reflecting how we all feel about today’s society.
Why did you decide to go the independent route instead of signing with a label?
We feel that with the digital age, it’s not that hard to release your own music independently. Nowadays, labels aren’t like they were when I signed back in the day with Fates with tour buses and full booking support automatically. So, we feel we can do it ourselves, but don’t get me wrong. If the right label wants to talk with us, we will sit at the table with them!
What are your expectations for the album?
To gain as many new fans and keep as many old fans as possible! We hope to land a full US/European tour to support the album soon, and just for success overall!
What has been your most memorable Enemy Remains live show?
I’d say it was pretty cool to play to 10,000 people at Hartford XL Center last year, opening the hockey season for the Hartford Wolfpack.
What are your upcoming show/tour plans?
We hit the stage with Nonpoint on Feb 8th at Webster Theater in Hartford, CT. Just looking toward future tours afterward.
Did you need any convincing to reunite with Fates Warning for the Awaken The Guardian tour?
Um, no! I was glad to be back with the old band and play the songs that really put us on the map.
Had you kept in touch with your former bandmates over the years?
Yes, we get together every summer for a cookout with the band and roadies.
What were some of the highlights of those shows for you?
It was amazing just seeing the fans rocking out like it was 30 years ago with the same passion for the music, like we never left. So awesome.
What do you remember most about the recording of Awaken The Guardian?
It was recorded in LA. It was nice to get away from Connecticut. It was our best production to out of the first three records, I think.
Who are some drummers of the younger generation that you think have a lot of talent?
In general, these kids today with the YouTube videos. I see some that are just outstanding. Some of these really young kids I see on drums, I’m like WHAT??? [laughs]
What’s currently in your heavy musical rotation?
Actually Its our new Enemy album, and when I traveled with Metal Fortress Radio last summer on the Vans Warped Tour, I got exposed to a lot cool bands I listen to now a regular basis. Believe it or not, Tom, Frank and I have started writing for the next Enemy record. We’re coming full speed one after another.
Anything else you’d like to mention or promote?
Sure, I’d like to Thank Vic Firth for their life long endorsement with me! Oh, and thanks to the fans who now email me instead writing me a letter! Things have changed! Head over to our Facebook page. Please pick up a copy of our new CD, No Faith In Humanity.
(interview published January 2o, 2017)