Monday, February 16, 2009


Originally published in: Monday Magazine

Album: 'Til the Livin' End (Relapse Records)

Random thoughts: I just remember how incredibly fast and tight they were when they played here. It was the kind of thing that, had I known how good they were live, I probably would have blathered on about it in the story. Alas, the preview story, how bittersweet it can be sometimes.

Zeke ‘n’ Roll

Seattle speed-meisters in it for the long haul

By Jason Schreurs

Okay, the dudes in Motorhead are obviously getting on in years. So the burning question on my mind when I got Zeke skin-basher Donny Paycheck on the line was, if Lemmy and crew ever decide to pass the torch to a younger band, will they be there to take it?

“Certainly,” laughs Paycheck. “Definitely, I’d love to carry on the torch for that guy. Wow, what a fucking legend that cat is.”

Since the early ‘90s, the unabashedly Motorhead-influenced Seattle trio have been cranking out the tunes hard and fast, becoming known as one of the fastest bands in the land. Incredibly, Zeke’s new album and first for extreme music label Relapse, ‘Til the Livin’ End, picks up the clip even more. According to Paycheck, the secret to playing no-frills punk rock is really no secret at all.

“I dunno, I guess it’s just not having any frills,” he deadpans. “That’s just the way we are. We’re just into the bands we’re into, you know, Motorhead, The Dwarves, The Ramones, and Black Sabbath. We just wanted to be the hardest, fastest rock that we could possibly be. It’s not a plan. We dress and act like this every day. If I wear a fucking flannel and baseball cap, that’s me.”

Despite the band now calling a label mostly known for heavier bands their home, Zeke feel they are promoted a lot better than in the years they spent on punk biggie Epitaph.

“Relapse does extreme music and Zeke is extreme,” says Paycheck in a stoner dude sort of drawl. “They put out a defining band in each genre of music that they like, and that’s what they consider us: A defining punk band. With Relapse it comes so fucking natural and easy in comparison to having to call up Epitaph and say, ‘Hey, listen, our buddies Pearl Jam want to put us on a couple of shows. Do you think ya’ll should advertise for it?’ And they’re like, ‘Ah well, you know, grumble, mumble.’ Well, fuck, man!”

It was Zeke’s all-pistons-firing live show that caught the attention of Pearl Jam, with Eddie Vedder even collaborating with the Zeke-sters at one point. So what can we expect from their upcoming Victoria gig and first trip to BC?

“It’s gonna be probably the fastest, most intense rock show you’ve seen in a long time,” says Paycheck, daring us by adding, “Probably it rivals seeing a Slayer show. I don’t know if the crowds will know what to do.”

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