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Zaemon is 4 guys that have played together for 16 years. Their popularity peaked in the early nineties. Now, after a five year hiatus, new songs are being written and recorded.
Why this name?
It means, "The Protector"
Do you play live?
Not frequently. We played twice last year as 'reunion'-type gigs.
How, do you think, does the internet (or mp3) change the music industry?
In both good and bad ways. It's certainly an easier medium for struggling artists to distribute material.
Would you sign a record contract with a major label?
Sure
Band History:
Zaemon’s overall influence on the music world? Minimal.
However, for a brief time in the early to mid 1990’s, Zaemon was one of the hottest acts in southern Louisiana. They were well traveled in the south and had two studio releases; 1991’s EP, Show You My Groove and 1994’s full-length recording, Swimming In Sensation. The band never officially broke up, merely taking a hiatus while two of the members completed medical school and two members led successful business careers.

Recently, the band has been back in action. New Year’s Eve saw a reunion show opening for the legendary Louisiana rock band, Lillian Axe. It was the first time playing together live in over 5 years and it was done with only 2 practices. Those in the audience felt that the band was “tighter than ever”. That is probably the result of the fact that these four musicians have played together for years starting as far back as grade school.

Zaemon Blaiz was tearing up the local metal circuit headlining throughout the South and opening up for such major metal acts as Lillian Axe, Pantera, EZO, and The Johnny Van Zandt Band. The addition of guitarist Brent Kelly brought a new dimension of songwriting and dual guitars to Zaemon.

Unfortunately, while the music scene began to switch gears, frontman Todd King decided to leave the group. Oscar moved to Dallas and toured with popular glam-metal band Bang-Bang. While Rick and Brent each played with various bands, they knew they wanted to put something new together that would be fresh and different from the emerging “grunge rock” of the early nineties. They began to rehearse daily and came up with dozens of new originals and recorded them onto a cheap 4-track recorder. Money was tight in those days; in fact, the first few songs were recorded in Rick’s living room using a coat rack as a mic stand.

The new tunes grabbed the attention of John and even lured Oscar back from touring with Bang-Bang to record a new batch of originals. After a brief stint as “The Soul Puppets”, the band settled on the name, Zaemon, and began to perform live.

It wasn’t easy at first. Not everyone was ready to hear this new style of music. Many were hoping to hear something similar to the old Queensryche-style of Zaemon Blaiz. Others just wanted to hear cover songs. A particularly painful gig occurred in Cutoff, La. where the band was forced to play cover songs out of fear of a riot. Eventually, however, people began to appreciate the creative song-writing and high-energy showmanship. The band won the WWL Jazz Search competition in New Orleans in 1992 right as “Show You My Groove” was being released. This sparked a huge surge for the band. The song, “Kick the Kat”, was getting lots of local airplay and bigger and better gigs began to come up for the band. They played at the New Orleans Jazz Fest in 1992 opening for Gladys Knight with an estimated 22 thousand fans watching. Jubilee Jam in Jackson and many other festivals really helped Zaemon’s fan base grow.

The next two years were consumed with songwriting, daily rehearsals and gigs all across the South. Record label interest was high and the band began recording songs for their full-length CD, “Swimming in Sensation”. This record was recorded at several studios including Dockside in Lafayette, Zaemon’s own studio, Room of Concentration, as well as the legendary Studio In the Country in Bogalusa.

The release was a polished mix of great songs. The highly produced and polished sound were not the current trend in the music industry where “grungy” and “raw” were more the norm. The band maintained a loyal following and continued to perform through 1996. In 1999, the band played one final gig before guitarist, Brent Kelly moved to Galveston, Texas to complete his medical residency training.

The end of the story is yet to come, however, as the band is still performing concerts, writing new songs and looking forward to the future.
Your influences?
Eighties Metal, for sure. Earth, Wind and Fire. Ozzy, Queensryche, Priest, Maiden.
Favorite spot?
Baton Rouge
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