Interview With Ali Tattabbee From Zebrahead - 23rd August 2008
Photo Of ZebraheadWe caught up with Zebrahead vocalist Ali Tattabbee, and talked about the bands new album 'Phoenix', future touring plans and much more.

Hello and thank you for taking time out to do this interview.
First of all can you give us a brief history of the band for the people who have never heard of you?

Well, the band has five members who are not only handsome but powerful. We grew up in southern California and enjoy long walks on the beach, beer, and traveling around the world spreading our message of peace and love through our sexy times playing music.

How did you come up with the band name Zebrahead?
We totally stole it from a movie called "Zebrahead".

When did you start playing music and what made you pick up your first instrument?
I was always a huge fan of rap music and grew up rapping along with Ice Cube and A Tribe Called Quest albums. I started writing my own rhymes when we started Zebrahead.

What was it like writing and recording your new album 'Phoenix'?
It was a great experience for me. It was a very positive writing environment.I think it allowed everyone to be creative and we experimented with different ideas until we all felt the songs had reached there full potential. I'm getting a semi just thinking about it.

Your new album 'Phoenix' just got a bad rating in Kerrang magazine, do you tend to read reviews on the band and do you take negative comments to heart?
Really? I haven't seen the article yet. Usually when I read a bad review I don't take it to heart. I just rip my phone chord out of the wall, cover up all the windows with dark blankets, and curl up in a ball in the corner of the room and rock myself back and forth until I pass out from hunger.

What is your favourite track from the 'Phoenix'?
Wow...there are soooo many to choose from. I would say Hell Yeah! or the Juggernauts...oh wait! Maybe Death by Disco or HMP! I also like Morse Code for Suckers and Just the Tip.

Your latest single is 'Mental Health', what made you choose to release this song over the other songs on the album?
Oh Yeah..Mental Health is definitely my favorite...thats why we chose to release it first.

You have just made a video for your single 'Mental Health', how did you go about making the video and what is the concept behind it?
Our friend Elliot came up with the concept of having us surrounded by good looking girls and so we hired him to shoot the damn thing.

You have released 8 albums now, well that’s if you count the Japanese release and your 'Stupid Fat Americans' EP release, do you have a favourite album that you have released?
I would say Appetite for Destruction was probably our strongest album. But after that, I would have to say Phoenix.

How do you go about writing new songs, do you jam until something sounds in place or do you take a lot of time writing and getting ideas?
We usually write songs around a single idea. It could be a guitar riff, a lyric, a melody idea...whatever really. Then we just jam together and everyone adds there parts on top. We all have different tastes in music and different influences so once everyone is done adding there parts we go through and fine tune anything we feel can be improved up on. Once that doesn't work, we call Timberland and he sends us whatever song Brittany Spears doesn't use and we record that.

You played the Download Festival in the UK this summer, how did you go down with the crowd?
It was rad. The crowed was great. They had a lot of energy and really went off during our set. We wanted to make sexy time with all of them.

You tend to tour with Bowling For Soup a lot, are you big friends and fans of the guys?
Besides being fans of them, we grew up with those guys. We all went to the same pre-school together. Our moms all play Bridge together. Our long history of touring comes from us practically being related.

You are currently touring around mainland Europe, how do the European shows differ from shows in America?
Our European Tour starts in the end of October. I predict a lot of nudity and pyrotechnics from the fans.

You seem to spend a lot of time in UK touring; does the UK feel like your second home?
We are very fortunate to have the fans that we do in the UK. They do make it feel like a second home for us. We owe them lots and lots of money for being so hospitable to us.

What do you like the most about the UK?
I would have to say the UK fans. They come to the shows ready to have a good time and get in the pit. The fans make it so we can't wait to get back over there.

Do you have any favourite cities/venues to play in UK?
My favorite city would have to be Brighton, and my favorite venue is the Underworld in London. The sweatier, the better!

When can we next see you touring in the UK?
We will be in in the UK on October 15th.

You recently had to cancel your American tour due to damage to Mattys damaged vocal chords, is Matty back to feeling fit now, and how gutting does it feel when you have to cancel so many shows?
It sucks. Matty is doing okay. He just needs to rest his voice. Although Matty didn't want to cancel any of the shows, his doctor said that he could possibly permanently damage his vocal chords if he didn't take a break. We really didn't have much of a choice.

You seem pretty much fully booked for the rest of the year now, will your American dates be rescheduled for the new year now?
Yup. That is the plan.

What can someone who has never seen you live before expect from your live shows?
Flames, monkeys and lots and lots of lube!!

Do you prefer being on the road touring or in the studio recording?
I really love playing shows so I would have to say touring.

If you could play with any band past or present, who would it be and why?

Oasis...I just want to sit back and watch the brothers fight.

What is the most memorable gig you have played so far and why?
We played the Summer Sonic Festival in front of thirty thousand people in Tokyo a couple years back in the middle of a monsoon. We thought we were going to get electrocuted but the show went great and the crowed was soaked to the bone but still going nuts. I will never forget that day.

If you were trying to get a neewbee into your music, what song would you make them listen to?
Any "Take That" song.

What do you think of the current music scene?
Its a lot like the past music scenes...there are some really great new bands out there and some shit bands as well.

Where do you hope to see Zebrahead in 5 years time?
We are fortunate because we love our jobs. I hope to still be writing music and touring the world.

Okay, one final random question; if you had a choice, what animal would you be out of a Zebra and a Giraffe?
Dude...Zebra of course!

Thanks for your time, is there a message you would like to give to your fans reading this?
Thank you guys for supporting us and we can't wait to see you in October. Later!!

Interview By Trigger
 Band Members

Ali Tabatabaee (vocals)
Greg Bergdorf (guitar)
Ben Osmundson (bass)
Ed Udhus (drums)
Matty Lewism (vocals, guitar)
 Latest Releases
Zebrahead - Phoenix
Release Date - 11th August 2008
1. Morse Code For Dummies
2. Hell Yeah
3. Ignite
4. Mental Health
5. Juggernauts
6. HMP
7. Death By Disco
8. Be Careful What You Wish For
9. Drugs
10. Just The Tip
11. Brixton
12. Hit The Ground
13. Two Wrongs Don't Make A Right But Three Rights Make A Left
14. All For None And None For All
15. Sorry But Your Friends Are Hot
16. Junkie And The Halo
 Band Related Links
Zebrahead Myspace
Zebrahead Official Site