‘BIG in Canada’ may not always be the best recommendation (no-one mention Bryan Adams) but Toronto rockers Zeus hope to transform their homeland success into international acclaim.
The band’s 2010 debut album, Say Us, topped the Canadian album chart and earned stellar reviews not just in north America but from Brit-rock bibles Q and Uncut.
The four-piece, who hit the Midlands next week, are steeped in the sounds of 70s rock and have been compared to the likes of Thin Lizzy, The Beatles, Badfinger, Fats Domino and The Who.
So did they experience ‘second album syndrome’ when putting together their sophomore effort, Busting Visions, which also provoked a favourable critical reaction?
“We really didn’t think about that aspect of it,” says drummer Rob Drake, who is joined in the band by trio of songwriting multi-instrumentalists Mike O’Brien, Carlin Nicholson and Neil Quinn.
“We were just excited to make a new album and record more songs. We put out a couple of seven-inch singles inbetween the first and second albums so we just sort of look at it like a continuation.
“People seem to dig the album. We really didn’t know what to expect in terms of reaction and it’s always a surprise which songs are favourites and what things people pick out, but we’re just happy to have people hear it.”
The band were formed from Drake and Carlin’s high school musical partnership, forged on a shared love of classic rock, Canadian east coast scenesters such as Sloan and Thrush Hermit and grunge titans Nirvana.
Quinn and O’Brien came on board soon after the pair recorded their first demos a few years ago and the band was born.
The quartet’s tight-knit sound is the result of years on the road, but how do they go about capturing the sweaty glory of their gigs on record?
“I think on some of the songs we’ve captured a fairly live feel and others there was more production and overdubs,” says Drake.
“I’ve always felt that the record and live are two different things and should be approached differently.”
The band, who appear with Stars From November at Wolverhampton Slade Rooms on Thursday, December 6, say they find UK audiences ‘rabid and ready to rock’ and describe their live experience in one word: ‘fun’.
Drake says: “We just want to keep making music that we’re proud of and want as many people as possible to hear it.”