What if we told you one of the better and more underrated rock albums of 2018 was co-written by an EDM star? Would you tell us we were full of shit because there’s no way a fist-pumping, knob-turning artist could construct a hard-hitting record with thumping bass lines and thunderous hooks? Well, get ready to eat your words as we introduce you The Zealots – aka Iowa’s emerging hard rock outfit fronted by electronic music collaborator Micah Martin.
To get yourself familiar with The Zealots’ impressive Shinedown-like debut Only Rocks Live Forever, we reached out to Martin to get a track by track rundown of his band’s killer new album. To check it out, be sure to look below. Afterward, if you’ve yet to pick up a copy of Only Rocks Live Forever, head here.
Micha Martin: It’s not about how long you live, but how you live. No matter how high the odds are stacked against you, never give up on your dream.
“Only Rocks Live Forever”
MM: This song is the basis of our whole album. From the old western audio clip to the final note, this song speaks about chasing your dreams. It’s not about how long you live, but how. I wrote this for myself when I was in a place of self-doubt. No matter how high the odds are stacked against you, never give up on your dream.
“Tangerine Dreams” is about the duality of relationships. They can be amazing but there are burdens & baggage that comes along with it. This speaks on being a touring musician trying to maintain a healthy relationship with a significant other.
This is about being messed up in the head while being in a place that you’ve never been before. Trying to find your way home can be tough when you don’t know where you’re at. You got to rely on your own perseverance and drown the voices out in your head.
Drinking away the pain can be a temporary solution but it’s never the answer. Being numb doesn’t help the pain and it only pushes away the ones who love you. This song is about the emptiness in love when you’re not in love. Sometimes we feel like we’re breaking, instead of fixing ourselves.
Depression has taken me over a few times. I wrote “Medicine Man” to help people battling suicidal thoughts. There’s something about music that makes you pick up the headphones & drop the gun.
Catching up with an ex-lover can always lead to one thing or another. This song is about being with someone that used to love you but you’re just looking for something physical. You start to wonder if you ever cross their mind after you’ve parted ways for a while.
“Brand New Kicks”
This song is about a guy who gets a girl to sneak out to an underground rock show. They’re having a great time and then the cops come to break it up. They end up running from the police through the woods in a brand new pair new shoes.
This song is about avoiding trouble when necessary. Walking away from the issue is sometimes the best option. But sometimes we are blind with fear and act on our fight or flight impulses. Don’t play with rattlesnakes if you don’t want to get bit.
This song is about a married man being with another woman. He knows that it’s a bad idea but he still continues to see her. He doesn’t want anyone to find out, so he gives her money to keep quiet after she shows up at his house. The moral of the song is how one bad decision can lead to many misfortunes, even though it feels good at the moment.
This track is about dead bodies in the Mississippi River. Living on the banks of the mighty Mississippi, we have no idea how many bodies lay beneath the muddy water. This song is about a man who committed murder and tries to get rid of the body in the river. He gets caught by police and wishes he was dead instead. This song is based off the Klindt Murder from decades ago.