by SashaS

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  More on: Zero 7

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As Zero 7 are completing their 9-date UK tour, the time is also running out on once-in-a-lifetime competition for any budding remixers: simply remixing 'Warm Sound' from the band's double Gold album ‘When It Falls’ one will be in with the chance of winning a very special prize. The 'Warm Sound' version the band favours the most from the entries will be awarded a vinyl release through Atlantic Records, and winner will also receive 25 vinyl copies of their remix.

So, to enter this competition, race to - due to the time being tighter than the Tom Jones’s drainpipes - to the official website for full details and to download the vocals. As the entries need to be received by tomorrow [26 Nov.], submit your meisterwerk as an MP3 to putting 'Zero 7 Remix Comp' in the subject line, and including your name and contact telephone number.

The result of the competition will be announced on the band's website on 01 December. Full terms and conditions can be found on… It is a long way from…

Three years after the extraordinary success of their debut album 'Simple Things', Zero 7 released their lush, powerful second album, 'When It Falls', in March 2004. A warm and intriguing disc combines many a different element to offer a blend that doesn’t flirt with fashionable, in-line, easy-to-classify genres but embracing minimalism as much as orchestral elegance [of the debut] that gets into deeper emotive territory whilst exploring physicality along the way.

Few weeks before the band hit the British halls for live renditions we get down to a conversation with Henry Binns and Sam Hardaker. The two tells us how destiny’s been responsive and kind this year.

“The year’s been fantastic,” Binns hits the mic first, “and our path appears to have been set. We’ve travelled around the world, played our own music, and it is the same destiny we’ve been following… It is a shame the record companies are falling apart around us, especially in America…”

“Also, the perception the Americans have of us, is different to what I think Zero 7 is all about… To them it is clean, Habitat-living-accessory music, the hotel lobby piped-in sounds which is far from where it is at for us…”

Fertilising ignorance

Talking about the eroding pop music, Brit Awards committee recently announced to be dropping the Dance Award in favour of Live Performance; the two’s take on the subject ?

“Are we dance?” Binns enquires quite incredulously. “No? We are, I’m telling you! It’s just a game and one category is dropped and another name is introduced. It doesn’t really make much difference…”

Does anything make a change anymore? Is there any reality beside the re-elected G-Dub, the warmongering Prez? A recent report claims that 40% of the Americans still live in a belief that Saddam is the threat and the US government has no intention of correcting that falsehood in favour of milking ignorance.

“There is a crusade going on,” Binns replies again while Hardaker contributes SFX by opening a can of Coke, “to right the wrongs of the world as they see it. It seems at the moment there is nothing anyone of us can do anything about it.”

“We had a girl come on the road with us in America,” Hardaker decides to join in, “she was working for Jaguar who were sponsoring our tour over there and it was an insight… She was a young girl from Atlanta and her parents were staunch Bush supporters, as she was and kept refusing to talk about it… Americans want to protect their lifestyle and will support anything that promises to keep such a superior position in the world.”

Free oppression

Could it help if we grouped for a backlash of the American cultural imperialism?

“I think it would be great if that happened,” Binns smiles before quickly adding, “but there is a tough chance because whatever we do these days feels ineffectual… Our parents would have demonstrated and been listened to which is not the case anymore. We marched and demonstrated but the UK and US governments know that most of the workers feel apathetic and they want them to remain that way.”

Materialism and commercialism are the new western ‘religions’; can music still inspire, influence, change minds?

“Of course it can,” Binns sounds dead-cert, “but it is more concerned with providing pure showbiz package. The last true musical-cum-social movement was Dance, some 15 or 10 years ago. You had music, drugs, weekends away and you could really feel you belonged. All the kids are talking about nowadays is cars, designer labels, latest gadgets - it is capitalism at its most sucking-you-in, it is an accessory to a way of life.”

Frightening thought but so true: the current generation doesn’t want to move upwards, socially, culturally, spiritually but only materially.

“That’s why Muslims would like to eradicate such Western consumerism,” Hardaker concludes, “and want to preserve certain spiritual values. They are wrong about the way they are implementing it but there are certain valid points they are making.”

After a hectic year headlining festivals around the world following the release of ‘When It Falls’, Zero 7 see out the year with a home tour that culminates with a London show tonight.

Tour date (remaining):

25 November - Hammersmith Apollo, London

Zero 7’s album ‘When It Falls’ is available now on Atlantic