Check out my interview with Giacomo of the ethereal metal band Root Zero! Hailing from the depths of Cardiff, the quintet recently released their new single ‘Home’!
Root Zero has actually existed since early 2015; I initially started the project whilst I was studying in Aberystwyth, I tried multiple times to put a full band lineup together but the remote location and lack of a music scene in Aber, coupled with my general lack of experience, meant that it never really took off as a band. I kept it going as a bedroom project though (which allowed me to teach myself the basics of home recording and production), and from about mid 2017 onwards there was a core trio (me, our current vocalist Sasha and our former bassist Ashlii) and we had really good songwriting chemistry which was really cool. After Sasha and I moved to Cardiff in 2018 we wanted to try again with a proper lineup. After cycling through a few different musicians we finally settled on a good 5-piece lineup in 2020 with me, Sasha, our drummer Josh (who originally joined us on guitar) and our guitarists Llyr and Billy (sadly Billy is no longer a part of the band due to other commitments). I took over on bass duties after Ashlii stayed in mid-Wales and in 2021 we added our current second guitarist Dan to the lineup and that’s where we are today. The real irony is that me, Josh, Sash and Llyr were all studying at Aberystwyth at the same time but other than me and Sash, none of us were in a band together until we all congregated in Cardiff! Better late than never I suppose!
The band actually used to be called Route Zero, but I quickly realised I’d get very annoyed by Americans pronouncing Route differently because it wouldn’t have the same ring to it, so I changed it to Root Zero to avoid that irritation. There was some thought that went into it though; the idea is that when you put aside all of our differences, human beings all come from the same place, that place being zero, zero meaning the earth. In short, we all came from nothing and we will return to nothing, and the time we have in between that is relatively short, so don’t waste it!
The band has a pretty wide range of influences so I won’t speak on behalf of all of us, but personally I draw inspiration from a plethora of my favourite artists as well as my own personal life experiences. I spent a lot of time at university meditating and practicing good mindfulness, particularly in my local woods, and most of the lyrics I wrote in the early days of the band were inspired by that. I also look to artists like Neige from Alcest whose music is inspired by dreams he’s had; a fair few musical ideas I’ve had I heard in my own dreams (and then hastily got down once I woke up before I forgot them!). If you want a broad idea of my biggest musical inspirations I usually look to the rock and metal scenes of the 90s and early 2000s, in particular the alt metal grunge scenes (bands like Deftones and Soundgarden), shoegaze, the New York and DC hardcore movements, post-hardcore and some of the earlier metalcore bands like Cave In, Poison the Well and Hopesfall. The main influences I can think of for the other guys in the band is Type O Negative, Palm Reader, Black Sabbath, Metallica, Alter Bridge, Karnivool, Loathe and Holding Absence.
It’s been really positive so far! Obviously it’s still early days but having over 200 views on YouTube in the first 2 days and universally positive reactions is a really promising start and I’m excited to see where things go from here! We’re particularly glad with how well it’s been received given the cathartic themes surrounding reclusiveness, both in relation to how we’ve been affected by Covid but also just how easy it is to turn to escapism and reclusiveness when you want to hide yourself away from the world. I feel like that’s a sentiment a lot of people can understand right now.
Again I can only really speak for myself, but I would love to share the stage with Type O Negative (If only Peter Steele was still with us), Cave In or Loathe. Loathe in particular would be great to support one day, I feel like they’re really holding the torch for UK metal right now and I’ve enjoyed watching them progress from their very early days when Kadeem still wore a mask to now!
We’re really excited for 2022! Obviously we released ‘Home’ fairly recently, we’ve got another song in the works with a music video which we hope will be ready for release very soon. I don’t want to go into detail about anything beyond that but we’ve got a sizeable vault of songs at various completion stages now so hopefully there’ll be plenty of new stuff in the near future, and we’ve never played live as a band before but we’ve got some gig opportunities open to us such as the Bloodstock metal 2 the masses heat in Cardiff. Beyond that, we’re excited to play wherever and whenever we can!
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