Monday, December 13, 2010

Zero 1 (featuring Hal Sparks)

If all you know of Hal Sparks is that he is a regular wise acre on VH1 or the shy and becoming Michael Novotny on Queer as Folk, then you only know half the story.

Hal is more than an actor or comedian. He is also an accomplished musician and talented songwriter, and he fronts his own metal/alt rock band Zero 1.

Influenced heavily by godfathers KISS and classic 80s metal, Zero 1's 2007 debut CD is a dizzying mosaic of hard driving guitar riffs, sensitive and socially aware lyrics as well as deep, rich orchestral arrangements. Essentially Zero 1 benefits most from what makes independently produced music so great.


The first track on the CD, "Mad Season", was also the first single, and it helped the band reach #52 on Reverbnation in the rock category for Los Angeles based bands. Before you get a chance to catch your breath, the hard-driving "Helsinki" and biting social commentary of "Animal" equally take you by the throat and refuse to let go.

Power ballads as "She Waits", "Satellites" and the seductive "Indian Summer" are equally as gripping, with the sheer musicianship and haunting melodies of each song.

"S.O.S." punctuates the journey with beautiful accompaniment that is nothing short of symphonic.

For the initial outing, Hal was joined by his cousin Miles Loretta on drums, and bassist and friend Robert Hall, who earned fame as a special effects wizard and brain behind "Almost Human", the FX company behind such TV shows as "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "Angel." Their chemistry together was undeniable.

Assisting in some producing mastery was dUg Pinnick of progressive metal band Kings X. This labor of love by a group of professionals who truly value creative mastery will surprise you, especially since it defies being delegated into any kind of niche. This is more than an actor playing rock star. It's a group of talented musicians who understand the delicate balance between lyric and melody that makes music the living, breathing work of art it truly is.

The next album by the band, "The Sacred Nothing," is due out in 2011, along with the release of the band's first video "American Pyscho." Zero 1 now comprises Hal, Brian Crow, Bumper Renga and Lance Tamanaha.

Follow Hal's official Twitter page for information regarding the band, including any special U-Stream broadcasts of band rehearsals. Become a fan of Zero 1 on Reverbnation where you can join their street team.