An Interview with Steve Zing of Samhain, Mourning Noise & Danzig

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Recently, I had the pleasure of speaking with veteran Punk rocker, Steve Zing. Among other things, we touch on what he’s been up to during the lockdown, his newest music, his time working with Glenn Danzig, and what he’s looking forward to the most once COVID-19 breaks.

Andrew:
Steve, I appreciate you taking the time today. How have you been holding up over the last year or so? What have you been up to?

Steve:
During quarantine, I was mostly doing recording in my home studio. I recorded the newest Cro-Mags EP. 

Andrew:
Before we dive into your professional career, let’s go back a bit. What first got you hooked on music?

Steve:
I grew up with cousins that were all musicians. They were a big influence on me.

Andrew:
Specifically, when did the drums and bass come into the picture? Who were some of your early influences?

Steve:
I had taken some piano lessons when I was 10 and had a guitar around that time but didn’t have the patience to learn. After seeing a Misfits rehearsal in 1978, I decided I was going to play the drums and someday was going to be in a band with the singer. [Laughs].

Andrew:
Let’s talk about recent events first. You got some incredible reissues out which feature your early releases with Mourning Noise. Tell us about the reissues, and why you chose to put them out now. What formats will they be on?

Steve:
Talks had been going on with Cleopatra for a long time, and finally, after talking with everyone in the band, we finally pulled the trigger. There are limited edition colored vinyl as well as CD and digital releases.

Andrew:
Going back a bit, tell us more about the origins of Mourning Noise. Looking back, where does the band fit in within the cannon of Punk and Hardcore?

Steve:
I started a band with my cousin Jon as soon as I got a drum set. After a few years of fucking around, Mike came down and it went from there. We were all influenced by Punk and we started before Hardcore had come into play, so eventually, our sound was also inspired by all those bands as well.

Andrew:
How big on an influence were bands like The Misfits on yourself, and Morning Noise?

Steve:
A very big influence. Mike and I grew up across the street from where they rehearsed so their sound and image permeated our brains.

Andrew:
Tell us the story of how you ended up with Samhain, a band who I feel is one of the most underrated within the genre ever. Looking back, how influential were albums such as Initium and Unholy Passion? What do they mean to the genre?

Steve:
I had become friendly with Glenn while The Misfits were still together. Glenn had wanted to go in a different direction and he was getting frustrated and the band had some internal differences so when he decided to disband The Misfits. He called me and asked if I’d be interested in starting a band. I think all the Samhain releases were different from anything that was going on at the time. Some didn’t get it. It had all the elements of true-to-life horror stories.

Andrew:
We’ve seen Samhain reunite a few times over the years. That said, the group has been inactive for some time now. Is there any chance we see a revival of the band in the future?

Steve:
My crystal ball is broken. [Laughs]. That’s all up to Glenn. He’s busy with Danzig, Misfits, and his movie releases.

Andrew:
You’re still with Glen Danzig now as a member of Danzig. What’s that experience been like? How did you get the gig?

Steve:
I couldn’t have asked to be in a band with such great guys who are not only talented but are my good friends. I received a call back in October of 2006 saying he [Glenn Danzig] needed a bass player. I told him, “I don’t know of any.” So, Glenn said, “What about you?” So, I said, “OK!” I didn’t even own a bass! [Laughs].

Andrew:
Glenn Danzig is such an influential figure within the genres of Punk and Metal. What’s it been like having the opportunity to work with him over the years? How important has he been to the progression of Punk, Hardcore, and Metal?

Steve:
Working with Glenn is always like going to school. He’s the best teacher because he knows exactly what he wants and he calls the shots and doesn’t take bullshit from anyone. Glenn’s influence on Punk and Metal is so obvious in not only the sound but the image.

Andrew:
Now that the hard ones are out of the way, how about some fun ones. Are you into vinyl? Cassettes? CDs? Or are you all digital now?
What are a few of your favorites?

Steve:
I love collecting vinyl, not so much CDs or tapes. I collect all old Punk albums. I do subscribe to Spotify and other digital platforms so everything I want to hear is at my fingertips. I love The Damned!

Andrew:
What other passions do you have?

Steve:
I love the art of recording. I have another band called Blak29 that Cleopatra will be releasing soon.

Andrew:
As a drummer, I am sure you are aware of those old-school “Drum Battle” records. That said, if you could face anyone in a drum battle, who would it be? How do you think you would fare?

Steve:
I’m an in-the-pocket drummer. I was never technical. I learned from the Punk rock greats like Mr. Jim Catania (Misfits), Tommy Ramone, and Paul Cook (Sex Pistols). I wouldn’t fare well in a drum battle because I couldn’t care less.

Andrew:
Last one. We seem to be nearing a light at the end of the tunnel in terms of COVID-19 restrictions. That said, what’s next on your docket? What are you looking forward to most in the pos-COVID world?

Steve:
Doing Danzig shows, Blak29 shows, and maybe even some Mourning Noise shows.

Interested in learning more about Mourning Noise? Check out the link below:

Dig this interview? Check out the full archives of Vinyl Writer Interviews, by Andrew Daly, here: www.vinylwritermusic.com/interview

About Post Author

Andrew Daly

Andrew has always felt himself to be a "jack of all trades, master of none" type of person. With an immense passion for music, a disposition for writing, and an eagerness to teach and share both, Andrew decided to found Vinyl Writer in 2019 as a freelance column under the column Stories from the Stacks. Over time, the column grew into a website which now features contributors who further the cause of sharing both a love of music and the art of journalism with the world through articles and interviews. While Andrew enjoys running the website, his real passion lies in teaching and facilitating others to do what they do best, and giving them the opportunity to explore their passions in the process.
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