10/31/2021 – The Halloween Update
I write this with a slight sense of guilt because this is the first “proper” update on the band since Crimson Pain was released back in June, not to mention the first blog post on the main band site since January. I tend to be the type to close myself off from the world when things are as hectic as they’ve been this past year. My apologies for the silence. This is going to be a bit of a wide-ranging update since it’s been a while and as my fans, I want to keep you guys in the loop with the latest on everything that’s been going down with the band so bear with me for a few minutes.
My social media presence has diminished significantly since the release of Crimson Pain, which I initially blamed solely on the ongoing problems I’ve been having with the original ZADAR Instagram account (@zzzadar). In case you missed that story, basically what happened there was I “violated” one of their terms so they took the liberty of deleting my account without a warning or even so much as an explanation letting me know what was going on. Instead, I had to find out by opening the Instagram app like any other day and being greeted with a message saying only that the account in question simply no longer existed. It’s been an ongoing struggle ever since as the account was reactivated and yes, re-deleted yet another two times which is its current status. Between that and all the negativity surrounding Facebook these days, and my already well-established dislike for that platform, led to me admitting to myself that I just don’t care for social media in general as far as letting it take up so much of my time and thoughts. Not to mention, I don’t trust any of these big tech companies or their CEOs, if I’m being honest with you. Going forward I think I will just be popping in and out to keep you guys informed of updates and what I’m working on but I’m not going to let social media posts and likes and comments become my whole life. This website will be the best place to go to stay fully up to date on everything that’s new with this project.
That brings me to my next topic; I made some major updates to this website. I hadn’t really updated it in a while so it was long overdue. I added a Merchandise page with a link to my TeeSpring site where you can check out some official ZADAR merch with the band’s logo on it, as seen at the top of this page, designed by the very talented Geek_Nation whom I found on Fiverr, an online marketplace for freelance services, for those of you who have never heard of it (I hadn’t until very recently myself). Unfortunately, I recently also discovered that they took their page down on Fiverr so it looks like they’re no longer offering their services which is a shame because I loved their design for the band’s logo. It looks exactly how I wanted it to look and captures the right vibe, in my opinion. Next, I added a page with a list of links with all of the band’s social media, streaming, YouTube, etc. all in one convenient place. And last but not least, I made some style and structural changes/updates to the site so it runs a bit smoother and looks a bit better and I also added a page with links to all interviews, reviews, and press releases on the band thus far for those interested.
This past week I decided to make a stylistic change to the band name that I had been on the fence about for a while now but decided to go through with so going forward it is now “ZADAR” in all caps instead of “Zadar.” Not that it really matters. It’s simply because I felt that the name has more of a visual impact that way so you should start slowly seeing that change take effect everywhere on the web in the coming days.
Something else that’s been on my mind lately; who or what is ZADAR? At first, I treated this strictly as a solo project so I almost started allowing people to call ME by the name as if that’s my alter ego or something. But I started to feel like maybe that wasn’t quite right. Allow me to (finally) introduce myself. My name is Antonio Giovanni or Antonio G for short. Some people have even called me Tony G before so if that’s the one that floats your boat then go for it. ZADAR is my band. It currently just consists of myself writing and recording all the music as well as a producer I have been working with but more on him later. I have been actively looking into recruiting musicians into the band who are familiar with the genres I play in or at least have an interest in joining me in playing the album live once it’s completed and released. Going forward, I’d like ZADAR to be a real band just like all of the bands that inspired me to start doing this in the first place. Bands like The Cure. And New Order. And yes, like the Sisters. I crave that band dynamic and am definitely open to creative input from other like-minded musicians but at the same time, I enjoy being in charge and doing things my way so it’s a bit of a balancing act there but I think it can be done and I look forward to giving it a try if given the chance. I’ll keep you posted as things progress, obviously.
I was thinking of adding another new page soon to the site and I want your opinion on it. So here’s the idea: a page with a short bio and a photo or two of the top five bands/artists that have inspired me and this project the most along with links to each band’s website. Pretty simple, right? I want my fans to get a clear picture of the major influences behind how I write music and maybe even turn some of them on to their music too. What do you think? Would that be something you’d be interested in checking out? Also, while I’m on the subject feel free to send me emails, DMs on social media, or comments on these blog posts any time with any ideas, suggestions, or anything else you’d like to see or hear from the band. I’m always open to suggestions and I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Progress on the album has slowed a bit over the last few months for a variety of reasons, but mostly it just comes down to life getting in the way. This year has seen my life completely change in a very short period of time. Ultimately, the changes were for the better but it was a hell of a journey getting to this point so work on the album had to be pushed to the side for a while. As it stands, here is where we are with the album:
Completed Tracks (In Final Order):
1. Alien Being (Album Version)
3. The Upstairs Room
4. Halos On The Moon ft. Isa Nielsen
6. Crimson Pain
Tracks in Progress:
5. Untitled Demo
7. Chord Burner
8. That’s What I’m Looking For
9. One Million Miles
I am also working on a cover of M by The Cure from their excellent Seventeen Seconds album. This song features the incredible master of the low end, Dizzy Grraves, on bass guitar who I recommend following here and here because he knows his way around a bass and I feel honored to be able to collaborate with him on our version of a classic song. M will be released as a single right before the release of the album and it will also be included as a bonus track on physical copies of the LP, while the version of the album on digital and streaming services will be the standard nine-track version. I have more ideas for covers of influential songs down the line once I have this current batch of songs I just mentioned completed so stay tuned for more on that soon. No word on a release date just yet for M or for the album but I am pretty confident that they will both be out at some point in the first half of 2022. I hesitate to set up a specific release date at the moment only because things tend to come up out of nowhere, as this past year has demonstrated, and I don’t want to promise you guys anything that I cannot deliver on so I will keep you posted as things develop.
I wanted to take a moment before I sign off for now to acknowledge and thank everyone who has played a key role in getting ZADAR up and running and as successful as it’s been thus far. Although this project has been my baby, I’d be remiss not to give them their proper credit. First off, I’d like to thank Kateniki on Fiverr who designed all of the artwork for the album and all three of its singles. All I had to do was give her a sample of the songs I had completed at the time as well as an album cover to use as a reference (major bonus points if you can guess which one I used..) and she produced artwork that has served as the primary visual representation of the band since the beginning and I can’t thank her enough for that. I look forward to working with her on the band’s future releases as well.
Next up is James Sinclair-Stott, a musician and producer originally from the UK and currently based in Nashville, who has been my trusted right-hand man co-producing the album with me as well as mixing and mastering the songs to an exceptional quality. I blew through a couple of pretty talented producers before finding and excitedly picking James but none were able to capture that “underground Goth club in Leeds circa 1985” feel that I was looking for as the starting point for the band’s sound and vibe. James also has his own country/indie rock band with his wife Karli Chayne called Cross Atlantic which I recommend checking out.
The photos currently on the site as of this posting are photos I had taken myself with my outdated iPhone 7 plus camera (which I have since updated thankfully) but in the coming days I will start adding brand new promo shots taken by Cindi Landmesser, an excellent photographer who I sometimes suspect is secretly a wizard because these shots actually do a very solid job of making me look cool, which I have never felt about pretty much any photos taken of myself before in my life so I look forward to sharing those with you on here and the band’s various social media.
Last, but certainly not least, is a fellow local Philadelphia musician and artist who I have had the immense pleasure and good fortune of growing up with. His name’s Glynn McCann and if I were you I’d keep an eye out for him (and his second album which is currently in the works) because yes, while I am certainly and unapologetically biased, I can say with complete honesty that if it were not for him and his album Nuclear Secrets, ZADAR would still just be a figment of my imagination. He showed me it’s possible to put yourself out there without the help of a big record label or a manager or even fancy recording equipment and still make an impact on people. First And Last And Always was the spark that awoke this fiery passion but Nuclear Secrets is what got me the rest of the way there. Thanks, mate.
For those of you who were interested enough to actually read this far, I humbly thank you for your support and interest in a project that started in a depressed 20-something’s bedroom one January morning in 2020. This next one’s for you.