ZÜÜL - Howl of the Wolf  7"
ZÜÜL - Howl of the Wolf  7"
ZÜÜL - Howl of the Wolf  7"
ZÜÜL - Howl of the Wolf  7"
ZÜÜL - Howl of the Wolf 7"

HRR 152, limited to 1000 copies, 300 x black/ white blend vinyl + 700 x black vinyl, insert

Brett - vocals
Mike - guitar
Jared - guitar
Bob - bass
Morgan - drums

-Howl of the Wolf
-Skull Splitter


Hot on the heels of their very successful and aptly titled “Out Of Time” album for High Roller, Züül are releasing a new 7" single called “Howl Of The Wolf”. First of all, Bassist Bob reflects on the reactions to their debut album: “ We couldn't be more pleased with the success of ‘Out Of Time’! High Roller and Planet Metal Records have done a great job with making sure that the album gets distributed all throughout the independent Metal networks. The CD release of ‘Out of Time’ has already gone onto its 2nd pressing in just ten months, and we hope the vinyl version follows suit very soon.” The packaging of the album was excellent, brilliant cover artwork, different vinyl colours and especially the die-hard edition with the OBI strip. Bob shares my opinion: “Yeah, Steffen and the rest of High Roller do an amazing job at the presentation of all of their releases. We felt that Steffen took a very particular interest in the Züüll album which made us feel great. ‘Out of Time’ was High Roller Records’ 100th release, and I believe that it was his first release to include OBI strips, and also the first to have a ‘die hard’ edition tag. The ‘die hard’ edition has long been sold out from all distributers, and I'm sure the clear vinyl edition won't take too much longer to sell out as well.” There was a bonus 7" single to the album on which Züül covered "Over the Wall" by Badger, quite an obscure and unknown N.W.O.B.H.M. band. Does Bob have the original Badger single in his collection? Why did the band choose to cover Badger in the first place? He reveals: “Ah, none of us actually own that Badger release. Great song though. Mike has always been really big into trading music with Metal enthusiasts, and somewhere along the way he has aquired a bunch of N.W.O.B.H.M. stuff on cassette and CD. The Badger song actually made it onto two compilation CDs he had, and we really dug it. People at our shows always comment on how great that song is! Many people have said that this song is their favorite of ours, ha, ha. Sometimes we tell them that it is a cover song, sometimes we do not and bask in their praise.” After the release of the album Züül organised some live gigs in the States: “Oh yeah, as soon as the vinyl ‘Out of Time’ was released, we hit the road with High Spirits for nine days on a massive midwest tour. Züüll always has gigs set up for the future. We would be nothing if we weren't playing live. We average a couple gigs per month, with frequent trips to Chicago, St. Louis and other major midwest cities.”
Steffen at High Roller has decided to press 1,000 copies of the new Züül 7" single "Howl Of The Wolf". It's quite a feat these days to sell 1,000 vinyl singles. Is the band surprised about the demand for Züül vinyl? Bob: “So far, everything Züül has released has been in 1,000 editions. It's is really the most cost efficient way of production. If we produce a larger quantity, we can keep costs down for the consumer. Also, we aren't that interested in creating super limited pressings that, after their initial release, are really hard for people to find. Our first 7" released by Planet Metal in 2008 was split 50/50 with the label and band. I know that Planet Metal Records has sold out of their 500 copies, which is great, and Züül still has a couple hundred of them. Mike likes to have these and use them as our ‘demo’, trading them freely with other bands and labels. I know our second 7", the ‘Warriors’ (demo) b/w ‘Over The Wall’, was only pressed in a quantity of 500, but that release was more of an extension of the High Roller ‘Out of Time’ pressing.”
It’s high time to talk about the new single "Howl of the Wolf" (with "Skull Splitter" on the B-Side). Bob explains: “Both songs were written after ‘Out of Time’ was recorded. We actually started playing ‘Howl Of The Wolf’ at shows a long time ago. It was in a very early, non-polished stage. There is a terrible You-Tube video of us playing the song a year ago in Chicago. Brett really didn't have lyrics, so you can see him trying to make shit up on the spot. The guitar harmonies are sloppy as can be, and Morgan and I are looking at each other hoping that we can hold the rhythm section together just to make it through the song. Züül has never been hesitant to try a song out live before its arrangement is set in stone. ‘Howl Of The Wolf,’ in my opinoin, is the quintessential live song: drum/bass intro, intense and honest guitar harmonies, great vocals, lots of action, a real Motörhead/Maiden mix of live energy. ‘Skull Splitter’ was written fairly quickly. Unlike ‘Howl Of The Wolf’, which is a bit of new territory for Züül, ‘Skull Splitter’ seemed to fit in perfectly with past Züül songs. The riffs have a very familiar Züül vibe, nothing new to us, so to add some variation, we really shook up the arrangement. It has been in the live set ever since we wrote it.”
The cover of the single looks pretty old-school to me. Does Bob agree? Not really: “I don't know if it's old-school. Maybe pencil sketch art is considered a thing of the past, it's looks pretty modern to us. The artist, Christina Casperson, really made an impression on us with her Chicago flyer artwork as well as the cover of the new Dawnbringer CD. Züül is definitely avoiding the computer-graphic art for our releases. So far, our releases have been 1) straight logo cover, 2) hand painting for ‘Out of Time’ and 3) pencil sketch art. I really like the ‘look’ of all of our releases.”
So is the current 7" single just a step to fill the gap before the next full-length album or is Züül kind of a "singles band", similar to a lot of the original N.W.O.B.H.M. bands? Bob answers: “The new 7", while, yes, filling the gap before the next album (which don't get your hopes up, it will be a while), also represents a point in Züül history captured on vinyl. We went into a studio on a limited budget and cranked out the three songs that we were the most intense about at the time. ‘Howl Of The Wolf’ is kind of an odd ball song for us and is more suitable for this 7" release, we won't record it for the new album, it just has a different feel. 7"s are great for one-off songs that break the traditions and vibes of a bands’ albums. We have a couple more of these odd ball songs that will surely make it to the mini-wax.”
“Howl Of The Wolf” is a song title which may or may not have been influenced by the very obscure N.W.O.B.H.M. band Wolf from Chester and their excellent number “See Them running”. They are about to release an album on High Roller soon. Are Züül familiar with Wolf at all? That does not seem to be the case: “I honestly have not heard this Wolf, I'll head over to the High Roller Records site now to check it out. My favorite band being released by High Roller Records is Sonic Ritual - totally modern and ass kicking. Steffen has always been great at sending us some of his releases to spread the good word of HEAVY METAL! Thank you to High Roller Records!”
Matthias Mader