Published Mar 29, 2012When it came time to pick a cover for their eagerly awaited and newly released sophomore album Busting Visions, Toronto quartet Zeus sought help from their audience. Their choice of cover photo, a fan image shot from a concert crowd, captures the performers in a burst of light. It's a bit obscure and a clean break from the hand-drawn aesthetic they've favoured for previous releases.
"It was a picture taken by a fan at a show in Red Deer, of all places," Zeus member Carlin Nicholson tells Exclaim! "It's the age of iPhones, and that's a no-nonsense shot. We didn't fuss over it at all."
The ubiquity of cellphone cameras may cause annoyance to some musicians, but Nicholson confesses to an unusual level of appreciation for fan-created media.
"People are filming like crazy. I think it's kind of great. It forces people to be in the moment when they should be, like it sharpens their attention," he explains.
If your attention wandered at all while listening to Zeus's 2010 debut Say Us have no such fears about Busting Visions. The album cuts back every last bit of fat in the band's sound, sometimes crowded by the blessing of three distinct, experienced songwriters. With it, they are poised to expand a fan base already wider than most "indie rock" acts.
"There's a distinct separation from us and what might be called indie rock," says Nicholson. Asked for his thoughts on further crossover success, he simply offers hope for the best: "It's most exciting to play in front of people who have never seen us and luckily there's still a lot of them left. We just need to bring the noise to whoever we can."
As previously reported, Zeus will be touring across Canada this May. You can check out those dates here, and head here to read more of Exclaim!'s recent Zeus interview.
Busting Visions is out now on Arts & Crafts.