Interview with Eric Zann of Plague of Carcosa

By Mick Michaels

COSMICK VIEW: Hello, Eric! Welcome to The Cosmick View. Thank you for taking some time out of your day to chat with me, it's greatly appreciated.

CV: Do you feel that it's still possible for an unknown band today to be plucked out of obscurity and make it to stardom? Can a dedicated core of fans sharing their music make that possible or has the internet and social media changed the game?
Eric Zann: I don’t necessarily know about ‘stardom,’ I think it depends on what your parameters are for that. But ultimately, I think it is definitely possible, and perhaps more common than we think.

CV: Do you feel that given the accessibility and social awareness of modern times that a music underground still even exists today as it once did?
EZ: Absolutely! There’s always new bands cropping up, and unless someone has a previous pedigree that carries weight, most people are starting at square one.

CV: What do you see as the biggest difference in music and how it is perceived from back say 35 years ago compared to music today? Has both the music and the artist evolved from your point of view?
EZ: Music itself is constantly evolving, whether it’s people trying to grab ideas from the past and improve upon them, or looking forwards to think up something nobody has done before. From an artist standpoint, it seems like it’s more accessible to get that ‘rock star’ veneration that people like Cobain and Ozzy had 35 years ago. Tons of smaller bands who can’t do things like sell out arenas and what have you, have people that will say “their music changed my life.” The internet has sort of become the great equalizer, if you will. Yes, there are still major outlets that will push more successful bands, but it's easier to find smaller artists that might make an impact on you.

CV: Do you believe bands and artists who have the biggest impact on fans and other artists are aware that they are or is there more of a tunnel vision sort of process for them keeping them somewhat in the dark? Can influential artists see passed their own work to be aware of the ripples they make?
EZ: I’m sure there are some people out there that think like that, but it’s a mindset that I can’t imagine. 

CV: Does music need to be influential to be considered worth listening to in your opinion? Or can music simply be just an enjoyable auditory experience devoid of substance?
EZ: There are tons of pop jams over the years that I absolutely love. If something is pleasing to the ear, no shame in enjoying it.

CV: The world has been rocked by the COVID pandemic.  The economy has been sent into a tail spin in its wake, unfortunately.  Bands worldwide have been restricted with performing live and some it seems, restricted from earning a living.  How has the pandemic affected your band? Are you hopeful that 2021 will see many of the restrictions lifted?
EZ: On a personal level, we’ve been pretty lucky – we both still have our day jobs, and we didn’t exactly have a ton lined up when the pandemic first hit, so not much for us to have to cancel. We’ve just been writing. As far as 2021 goes, I don’t pay too much attention to places outside Chicago since we don’t travel much…for a few reasons. That said, bars and restaurants are slowly opening up more and more, but there seems to be no news here of venues. I know places in the suburbs are doing shows again, but we don’t feel completely safe yet at this point to do that.

CV: What do you feel artists and bands can do right now to stay relevant, especially in an environment, such as the present, where performing in front of a live audience is being restricted? What immediate options do you see available?
EZ: Live streams, like the one we put out via Doomed & Stoned, are a great option…we’re obviously not the first, and plenty of people have done this more regularly and better than us. Live streams from practice spaces can be fun too, if you want to give your audience a peek ‘behind the curtain’ to see you do some writing. As always, I know lots of studios are open and home recording is an option, so if you’ve been creating, that’s still there.

CV: As an artist, what have you learned from the events of 2020? Are those lessons learned different for you as a person than as an artist or are they one in the same in your opinion?
EZ: I think a lot of the bigger lessons apply to both an artistic and personal level – to put it simply, our communities support us, so we should support our communities. We all need each other. 

CV: What's next? What can fans expect to see coming in 2021?
EZ: We have been writing, and plan to hit the studio for a new release over this coming summer! The songs will revolve around the Lovecraft stories “The Cats of Ulthar,” “The Doom That Came to Sarnath,” and “The Dunwich Horror.”

CV: Thank you again Eric for spending some time talking and sharing with our readers. It was such a pleasure. I wish you all the best.
EZ: Cheers, and thanks for your time! Stay well!


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My name is Mick Michaels...I'm an artist, music fan, songwriter, producer, show host, dreamer and guitarist for the traditional Heavy Metal band Corners of Sanctuary. Writing has always been a creative outlet for me; what I couldn't say in speech, I was able to do with the written word.  Writing has given me a voice and a way for me to create on a multitude of platforms including music and song, articles, independent screenplays, books and now, artist interviews. The Cosmick View is an opportunity to raise the bar and showcase artists in a positive and inspirational light. For me, it's another out-of-this-world adventure.

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