20 QUESTIONS WITH…
Zan Clan/ex-Shotgun Messiah singer ZINNY J. ZAN!
Every year, we like to kick off the new year by doing 20 Questions with a "big-name" rock star… well, "big" in the world of Metal Sludge at least. Last year we did 20 Questions with Lita Ford; the year before that, we did 20 Questions with Dee Snider. And way back in 2001, we kicked off the year with Jani Lane’s unforgettable 20 Questions.
So who did we find to start off 2005? That’s right, it’s none other than former Shotgun Messiah singer Zinny J. Zan! How can you get any bigger than that? You can’t.
For those of you who don’t know, Zinny J. Zan was the singer on Shotgun Messiah’s 1989 self-titled debut. Less than a year later, the rest of the band kicked Zinny out and he was pretty much never heard from again. Well, we found out he’s resurfaced in Sweden with his new band Zan Clan, so we put our super-sleuth research department to the task of tracking him down and getting him to do 20 Questions. He not only agreed to it, but he speedily sent back the questions within a few days! Zinny doesn’t skate around any of the questions and gave us a good, in-depth interview. So here they are, the first 20 Questions of 2005! Enjoy.
1. What are you currently up to? This is your one and only chance to plug your shit.
I have re formed my band ZAN CLAN with a new fresh and ultimate line up. We started 2004 with recording a new album and then played support act for Queensryche when they came to Sweden.
We have just finished up a few Arena dates opening for Whitesnake and are now trying to get our album "We are Zan Clan who the Fuck are U" out . We are negotiating with a few labels so hopefully we will have it out in February.
2. Do you really think anyone reading this has any idea who you are?
Your guess is as good as mine!! (Laughs) You might have some over wintered Rockers reading your site, but on the other hand You would be pretty stupid giving me this space on your site if you didn’t think anyone would know who I was.
3. Let’s get right to the point. Shotgun Messiah’s self-titled debut came out in 1989 and even cracked the Billboard Top 100, which wasn’t too bad for a new band from Sweden trying to make it in the United States. However, it wasn’t long before the rest of the guys kicked you out, getting a new bassist so that Tim Skold could take over vocal duties. From your point of view, what happened that they felt the need to give you the boot, and all these years later, are you still bitter about it, or have you finally gotten over it and moved on?
You really have to ask Tim or Harry for the reason why they did not want me to still sing for them. I can only give U my guess, and that is that we did never really get along that good in this band to start with. We were way different people with different interests (outside the band) and we came from such different backgrounds + we all got corrupted in different shit when Shotgun started to take off — drugs, ego trips, and all sorts of shit. All 4 of us really gave Shotgun 100% in the beginning we ate we slept we breathed Shotgun Messiah 24/7 and when it finally paid and we got out of Sweden and relocated to America we were in fuckin’ heaven. We got to taste the good life after a while of touring in the states and from there it went downhill. We were too young and got too much too soon I guess. I must say that I have had probably the best times and the worst timesof my lifewith Shotgun Messiah.
I felt bitter for a time, yes, but I got over it. Life is too short to go and carry around bitterness towards people.
4. Back when Shotgun Messiah was still called "Kingpin," your stage name used to be ‘Zimmy J. San.’ How and why did you decide to change it to ‘Zinny J. Zan?’ Don’t you think that was confusing to fans?
Now you are confusing me!!! I was never called Zimmy!!!! (Note: That must’ve been a typo then, because we have an old CD booklet where he’s credited as "Zimmy J. San" Wonder how much that misprint will fetch on eBay?!)
I have changed the spelling of my last name Zan. First in the band Easy Action it was Zan, and then in Shotgun I changed it to San, and then back again to Zan. For a time I liked San better, but then I changed again. Confusing?? YES even for me.
Shotgun Messiah when they were still called Kingpin.
To see us goof on Tim Skold in this pic, be sure to visit Marilyn Manson Exposed.
5. Rank the following singers on a scale of 1 to 10. 1 sounding like someone who eats shards of broken glass, and 10 being a master of the art of voice:
Jani Lane = 5
Vince Neil =5 (I prefer John Corabi – he was a 9 in Motley Crue)
Don Dokken = 4 BORING
Joey Tempest = 8 for his voice but a 2 for his approach. (Too lame for my style, no rawness whatsoever)
David Coverdale =A PERFECT 10
Mark Slaughter = 5
Ronnie Atkins =Sorry but I do not know who he is?
Robin Zander = 7 (a great pop singer)
Bret Michaels = 4
Tim Skold =4 not the best voice but I give him a 9 for his attitude.
Axl Rose, Steven Tyler, Rob Halford, and Bon Scott are more my brand of Whiskey.
6. Zan Clan recently opened up some shows for Whitesnake in Sweden. Who did you have to blow to get those gigs?
You calling me a cocksucker??? (Laughs) Being away from the scene for several years and then a new album + opening for Queensryche and Whitesnake and finally scoring this 20 questions with you guys at Metal Sludge I can understand your question. I guess I’m just a very lucky guy with a very sore mouth (laughs).
After being in this business for a long time you get to know people that have influence. But on the other hand we would never have gotten this if these people didn’t genuinally like what we are doing with Zan Clan at the moment. I have been away from this bizz for a long time and never once did I ask for a favor, but with a great new band and new great material which I strongly believe in I asked them to take a listen to the new shit and we got the gig.
7. Not a lot of people know about this (and perhaps for good reason), but since we’re Metal Sludge, we have to bring it up. The word on the street it that Poison basically took your song "We Go Rocking," which you wrote and recorded back in 1984 with your band Easy Action, and turned it into the song "I Want Action," which, as we know, ended up on ‘Look What The Cat Dragged In’ in 1986. Rumor has it that this matter was tied up in the courts for years before there was any kind of settlement. If you’re not bound by any gag orders and aren’t forbidden to talk about it, we have a few questions. 1) How much of Poison’s "I Want Action" was actually Easy Action’s original song? 2) How did this situation end up getting resolved, and 3) what kind of cash did you end up getting out of it?
I can see that you are well informed.
The whole chorus of "I want action" was stolen from our "We go rocking" which I wrote while playing in Easy Action with Kee Marcello (later in Europe).
We never went to court with it but we (Warner Music, Kee and I) had legal people looking for the similarity in the songs and they ruled in our benefit since the similarity was obvious.
It did take from 1987 to 1990 before we could get a settlement with Poison. I have signed my signature on a paper that forbids me to talk about how much we got from Poison but it was a "pretty penny" considering that Poison had a U.S. top 5 with that song if I’m not wrong.
I must say that CC Deville was very cool about this and we became friends regardless of this and he was just a killer to be around — a real party Tornado. There were a certain other in that band that put up childish stunts and just behaved like a jerk but I guess his ego got hurt. I mean everyone steals a little bit here borrows a little bit there but you should be smart enough not to go further than the 5 bars allowed cause "you will get in trouble!!"
Easy Action circa 1984
8. In your opinion, who’s the most overrated band today?
I don’t know if there is an overrated band out there but I do know that the whole Hip Hop thing is way overrated and over represented everywhere from MTV to Radio. It?s about time to change that.
9. Of the following, which do you prefer and why:
Are U kidding me!!!!!!! U really have some strange things here!! No one knows outside of Sweden who Alfons or Pippi L?ngstrump (Longstocking) is. And how many people know about Belsen Boys or the Nymphomaniacs??
Well it?s your call!
Kalops or Swedish Meatballs = Swedish Meatballs (Am I really writing this!!!!????)
Gene Simmons or Paul Stanley = Close call but I got to say Paul
Backyard Babies or Electric Boys = It’s a tie
Pippi L?ngstrump or Alfons ?berg = Pippi L?ngstrump beats Alfons’ ass everyday of the week.
"Don’t Care ‘Bout Nothin’" or "Nowhere Fast" = Hey!!! You like your babies equally.
The Nymphomaniacs or The Belsen Boys = U guys have done your homework!! I am imped! Can’t say cause I can’t remember.
Christian Baraldi or Matthew Baraldi = They are both good people but I have to say Christian.
Kermit the Frog or the Swedish Chef = The Swedish Chef (got to vote for my own breed)
Roxette or Ace Of Base = U guys are really sick!!!! Ok, Roxette.
Göteborg or Malmö =Göteborg (Gothenbourg)
10. What do you think about Mötley Crüe recording new songs and reuniting for one last tour? Do you think this is something that will give hard rock a sorely-needed kick in the ass, or do you think it’s just one least mad cash grab before Mötley throws in the towel and calls it a day?
If Nikki and the Boys want to do this fine!!! I salute them 4 it.
They have done some really great shit in the past and if they feel they want to give it another try with the original line up I’m not gonna argue, I will go and see the show and buy the album as well.
No I don’t think that a Motley reunion will give hard rock the kick in the ass it needs but I think they did that in their earlier days so now it?s up to somebody else to show their muscles and GO FOR IT.
Well the whole world knows by now how good friends Vince and Tommy are so to the question if this is a last Grab cash thing is not really needed, A plain clean and simple YES, and they are gonna get away with it too, just because there are suckers like me that will see the show and buy the album. But Hey!! I think they owned it so I am willing to pay.
11. In May 2004, former Shotgun Messiah drummer Stixx joined Zan Clan onstage at the Rockklassiker-sponsored ‘Rockb?ten’ show, which took place on a fucking ferry boat of all places. This event was the first time that you and Stixx had played together on stage in over 12 years. What led to this pseudo-reunion, and do you have any plans of working with Stixx again in the future?
I see that you have something against ferry boats! Why? (The Sex Pistols wrote music history playing on a ferry boat playing God save the queen and got arrested and signed as well).
Enough of the history lesson… This boat takes 2000 crazed hardrockers for a 24 hour party and booze cruise with live bands and since my girlfriend earlier in the year invited Stixx for my 40th Birthday party and we met for the first time since the Shotgun split I wanted him to join us for our encore "Don’t care ’bout nothing." It was a blast and the audience was really ecstatic over it. You have to understand that the Swedish supporters only got to see Shotgun Messiah once before we left for the U.S. so this was a cool thing for them and for me `n` Stixx too.
Stixx and Zan Clan might do something together again, we will see what the future brings.
12. Out of all the bands that Kingpin, Shotgun Messiah, Zan Clan (or any of the other bands you’ve been in) have shared the stage with, which ones were the coolest to work with, and which ones were the biggest bunch of jackasses you’ve ever met?
The coolest is without a doubt Whitesnake!!!
The whole band are just cool guys and David Coverdale is a true gentleman and he really made us feel good on the tour. David and the guys in the band are true professionals.
Our hats off to the Whitesnake camp!!!!!
I have been lucky not to be working with or for Jackasses (on stage that is)
13. You basically took nearly a decade off between the first Zan Clan CD and your first solo album. What did you do during this time, and did you ever get depressed that Tim Tim was out there touring the world and playing with KMFDM, Life Sex & Death, and Marilyn Manson while you were stuck in Stockholm, pretty much having nothing to do with the music industry the entire time?
After the first Zan Clan Album (Citizen Of Wasteland) I had to take some time off to take care of myself.
To be honest I was a mess! During those years I cleaned up my act learned to live like a normal person and got my first child Yasmine.
But you can`t keep a monkey out of the circus, so after a few years, my vagabond blood was screaming for playing and touring again.
I wrote songs constantly during this time and those songs ended up on my solo album "City Boy Blues" in 2002.
I would never get depressed ’cause of someone else’s success. No matter what you think of a person or what issues you might have or had with someone, you can never take away his or hers talent and Tim showed that his hard work and talent paid off.
Tim has accomplished something that very few musicians out of Sweden have. I think Tim has done a hell of a job with Marilyn and I dig it 100%. The KMFDM or LSD never got me to wet my pants but of course I wish him all the best.
14. Yes or No, has Zinny J. Zan ever:
(Laughs) U guys are really a bunch of sick minds.
Pissed in a fjord =Yes (an old Swedish tradition Piss in the fjord, sacrifice an Elk to the Viking god Thor and rape a lapplander)
Shopped at IKEA = Yes 2 years ago I bought new stuff to my daughter’s room
Clubbed a baby seal =If you mean hitting a teenage girl on the forehead with my dick, then YES but several years ago. If you really mean clubbing a baby seal then NO
Been stalked by a fan =Yes
Shit your pants on stage = No
Jacked off with salmon oil =(Laughs) No (You sure are an inspiration)
Done blow with Yngwie Malmsteen = Yes
Gotten into a fistfight with a band member = Yes
Regretted doing an interview =Yes but not this one
Touched another man’s penis =No
15. What ‘rock star’ deserves a smack in the mouth and why?
In my opinion none, No Rock Star have done me wrong so I see no reason to floor anyone.
16. For what amount was your largest music-related check, and what did you end up doing with the cash?
To be honest I don’t know how much the largest check was but I am pretty sure that it went on booze, blow, women and late nights.
17. Give us your fondest memory from the following years:
1980 =Still young and innocent playing drums in my band and the year that London Calling with the Clash got released ? R.I.P. Joe Strummer.
1984 = Easy Action on tour, and Sweden started to open rock clubs and we ruled the scene.
1987 = Hooking up with the Shotgunners and started the recording of the album in Sweden ? We had a blast.
1989 = Finally getting the deal in America and relocated to L.A. Shotgun’s first U.S. tour and our album getting up to 56 or something on the Billboard charts. This was a great year.
1991 = Trying to get my shit together with my band Grand Slam, We got signed to Warner but got dropped the same year.
1994 =No fond memories that year
1998 = Finally wanting to take up music and back in good shape again.
2000 =Seeing my daughter turning 1 year and being the proudest father on earth.
2002 =Releasing my solo album "City Boy Blues" on Fastlane Records. It felt great to be back. OK, only with a little step but yet for me it felt great.
2004 =Forming this new Zan Clan and recording in my opinion the best music that I have ever written or sung before with just absolutely fantastic guys in the band. They give me great inspiration and we just have a blast together. It finally felt like coming home .
Grand Slam back in the early ’90s
18. For a tax-free 100,000 Euros in cash:
There are 3 shot glasses in front of you, all filled to the brim with some kind of liquid. One is filled with Jani Lane’s stomach acid, one is filled with Vince Neil’s urine, and the third is filled with sweat taken from the underside of Ron Jeremy’s sweaty nut sack. You have to throw back all three in succession, swallowing every last drop, and you have to hold them down for at least a minute before vomiting all over the place. But 100,000 Euros is 100,000 Euros, and the Zan Clan can’t be bringing in all that much for you at the moment! What do you say, Zinny? Would you do it?
Here goes the sick minds again.
I have put so much dumb shit into this body before and that without even getting paid but paying for it myself, so sign me on."Fear Factor with Zinny J Zan" the money would go to my daughters education so she doesn’t end up walking her father’s footsteps. Anything for my daughter!! even a few minutes of humiliation when it comes to that kind of money.
19. The Last of Zinny J. Zan:
Last book you read = The Da Vinci Code
Last CD you purchased =Velvet Revolver "Contraband"
Last film you saw in the theatre =Garfield the cat (with my daughter)
Last concert you watched from the audience = Whitesnake
Last cover song you performed live = Cheap Trick s "Surrender" It?s in our set list
Last celebrity you shook hands with = David Coverdale or Marco Mendoza
Last time you went to a smörg?sbord = Midsummer eve which is in June 2004
Last time you talked to Harry Cody =I think at the El Compadre restaurant on Sunset blvd back in 1990, 4 weeks after getting the boot.
Last time you visited the USA =1990
Last time you barfed =many years ago can’t remember.
20. Time for Metal Sludge’s Word Association. We mention a name, and you give us your thoughts.
Nikki Sixx = Cool guy, talented songwriter, same hair as mine, overdose, Brides
Pontus Norgun = My guitarist in Zan Clan, a very talented guitar player "what a tone" and a great guy.
Peo Tyren = Old friend and bass player from Easy Action
Reb Beech = A talented guy and a nice person, I like his playing, is gonna hook up with Kip Winger this spring to do some new stuff.
Kee Marcelo = Old friend again from Easy Action and a talented guitar player.
Marilyn Manson = The new Alice Cooper, I like it, we need people like him.
Phil Lynott = My biggest hero, wrote lyrics like poems, A wild one with a soft heart, U are missed by so many.
Eggy Egberg =My bass player in Zan Clan, a mean machine on bass and a real good friend
Chris Laney = My partner in crime, my guitarplayer in Zan Clan, a killer songwriter and a great friend "I owe U one" Chris. We were the ones that started up Zan Clan.
Johan Koleberg = My drummer in Zan Clan, a hard hitting beat machine and a good friend
C.C. Deville =Mr. Party Tornado, a cool and funny guy, I haven’t spoken to him in many years but I wish him all the best.
I had a real good time reading and answering your questions.
B SURE 2 VISIT WWW.ZANCLAN.COM.
THANX 2 METAL SLUDGE. HAVE A GREAT 2005.
ZINNY J ZAN & ZAN CLAN
Well thank YOU Zinny for answering all our questions and giving us a good interview! Hope you have a great year as well!
Don’t forget to check out Zinny’s new band Zan Clan, who supposedly has a CD coming out this year! Again, that Web site address is www.ZanClan.com.