NME Artists


All together now, who wants to be a Zillionaire? I do.

But they got there first. They being Stephan Tomasek (vocals, guitar), Anthony Hall (guitar), Mark Meharry (bass) and Lee Moulds (drums), the first three hailing from different points on the North island coastline of New Zealand and their British anchor hailing from New Essex (OK, Stansted Moutfitchet). Its the perfect psycho-geographic combination; Zillionaire sound both exquisitely chilled and streaked with a lonesome melancholy (as anyone who recognises the nature of definitive music of Kiwi origin will appreciate) but theres urban tension and tenacity in their soul. This is delicate, intricate songsmithery but with a swarthy, slowburning gait. Their debut album Comfort In The Machine infuses both dynamics and speaks of experiences both arduous and joyful. It involves shifting life and soul to the other side of the world; over-fragile Spanish bass players; recording in tiny London bedrooms and famous plush Welsh studios.. All the usual trials and tribulations, then. But the result is an unusually sublime collection of songs.

In December 2005, Absent Friend became their official downloadable debut single, which got airplay via Radio 1s Zane Lowe, BBC 6, Virgin and even got a review in The Sun (a lush and assured debut). The review from thedownloader.co.uk was spot on: Built around a melancholic framework of brushed guitars and frontman Stephen Tomaseks smoky vocals, Absent Friends stands just the right side of Airs coffee-table atmospheric pop as it gingerly pulls at the sun-scorched acoustica of The Belles. Just listen to splendid, fashion-bereft pop classicism unfolding before you.

Tomasek: We dont shy away from a tune that has mass appeal, like Absent Friend or For Someone but at the same time, were very conscious of never being too obvious.

Perhaps Zillionaire are the same people as they ever were but theyve travelled from the doledrums to holding a precious debut album in their hands, from windswept New Zealand coastlines to the wide world at your bands feet. Maybe they will be zillionaires by the end of it all.

Martin Aston - The Times

Zillionaire Biography

The Skatalites are a ska band from Jamaica. They played initially between 1963 and 1965, and recorded many of their best known songs in the period, including "Guns of Navarone". They also played on records by Prince Buster and backed many other Jamaican artists who recorded during that period. They reformed in 1983 and have played together ever since.

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