The Zombies Celebrate 50th Anniversary With New Album, U.K. Tour

Breathe Out Breathe inRod Argent, Colin Blunstone, Tom Toomey, Steve Rodford and Jim Rodford, collectively known as The Zombies, are celebrating their 50th anniversary as a group with a new album and a U.K. tour.

The album, Breathe Out, Breathe In, is scheduled for release in the U.K. on May 9 via Red House Records (Amazon shows it will be available as an import in the U.S. on May 17).

Argent said of the crafting of the album, "There was a clear brief. We wanted to use as many two and three part harmonies as possible and lots of Hammond organ, Mellotron and Memotron. We didn’t want to recreate the past, but we wanted to capture The Zombies’ essence and meaning. Our energy and enthusiasm for making music is the same as it was when we first started and the magic and mystery of the whole music making process, we are still thrilled by it all. So we thought it would be great to celebrate when that all began. I first met Colin outside the Pioneer Club in St Albans for The Zombies’ first rehearsal. We didn’t know each other but Colin turned up with a broken nose and two black eyes. I thought, oh no, what have we got here? But he was a keen rugby player and had got injured during a game."

Blunstone continues. "That first rehearsal went really well because we got to borrow The Bluetones, a local St Albans band’s equipment. Jim Rodford who now plays bass in The Zombies was in them funnily enough. Our own equipment was dreadful though so when we played on that it brought us down to earth. I would judge how well our gigs went by the amount of blood Rod would lose from his thumb when he played his Jerry Lee Lewis runs on the piano. He’d have to press down really hard. These days he still bleeds for The Zombies of course… spiritually though not literally."

The album was actually recorded over a year ago at Argent's Red House Studios. The band has played together long enough that they are in sync on the recording process, with Blunstone recording a demo of a song and the band putting it all together the next day.

"Colin and I have been playing with this band for the last 10 years," explains Rod. "And during those 10 years we’ve grown into a very tight and sympathetic musical unit and so going into the studio was a really enjoyable experience, we have a telepathy."

"We often just know what the other person wants and needs and means without speaking," says Colin. "There is so much history there, we understand each other and The Zombies are like a cottage industry. We have complete artistic control. We run our own label, we book our own gigs, we provide our own transport and hotels. Rod writes most of the songs, we record in his studio and he produces the record. It keeps it very exciting being at the centre always of everything."

Argent wrote six of the songs on the album while a seventh was written with Toomey. The three remaining cuts are being revisited from earlier works. Shine on Sunshine and Christmas for the Free were written by Rod and original Zombies bassist Chris White for the group Argent. The third, Any Other Way, was written by Blunstone and was originally on his solo album The Ghost of You and Me.

The track list for the album:
  • Breathe Out, Breathe In
  • Any Other Way
  • Play It For Real
  • Shine On Sunshine
  • Show Me The Way
  • A Moment In Time
  • Christmas For The Free
  • Another Day
  • I Do Believe
  • Let It Go
The group has also just gone into rehearsals for a short tour of the U.K. in May.
  • 05/14 – Frome – Cheese & Grain
  • 05/17 – Gateshead – The Sage
  • 05/18 – Liverpool – Guild of Students, Stanley Theatre
  • 05/19 – Wolverhampton – Robin 2
  • 05/20 – Leamington Spa – Assembly
  • 05/21 – Market – Harborough Leisure Centre
  • 05/24 – Milton Keynes – The Stables
  • 05/25 – Cardiff – The Globe
  • 05/26 – Southampton – The Brook
  • 05/27 – London – O2 Shepherd's Bush Empire
Original Zombies members Hugh Grundy and Chris White will be special guests at the London show.

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