“People can immediately tell if you’re real. They know if your art is genuine, and they’ll stick with you if they hear, see, and feel your truth in everything you create.”
By Melyssa Fairfield
Photos by Shelby Kettrick
This quote from the website of Arizona metalcore band The Word Alive pays homage to their most recently released album, “Real.” The quote is personified through down-to-earth and musically passionate Zack Hansen, lead guitar player for the band since its formation in 2008.
I sat down with Hansen before his show at the Apollo X Tour in San Antonio to discuss what’s going on with the band and other topics. We walked over to a dive bar across the street from the music venue and joked about the obnoxiously loud and funky jazz music blaring from the speakers. After getting the bartender to lower the volume outside, we started the interview.
The other members of the group include vocalist Telle Smith, Tony Pizzuti on guitar, Daniel Shapiro on bass and Luke Holland on drums.
The band’s dedication to their fans and performing was proven when the vocalist broke some of his ribs and back bones just three days after the show I attended. In a Facebook post on Nov. 19, the band announced that they would not be missing any tour dates due to Smith’s injuries. “He won't be moving much though so if you can come out and go extra hard we would love that!!” the post says. “We told you that if TWA ever has missed a show it was because we absolutely couldn't play and this should prove that!”
Smith wrote about the incident in an Instagram post the same day. “No, I don’t have a death wish but the reality is I want my band and crew to come home with as much money for the holidays for their continuous hard work and if I can perform, I have always vowed I would,” Smith says in his post.
The Apollo X Tour wrapped up on Nov. 20 in Minneapolis, but The Word Alive played three more shows, ending in Springfield, Mo. on Nov. 23. The only other event the band has announced after this tour is the South by So What?! Festival in Grand Prairie, Texas on March 19-20, 2016. As for the rest of their plans, Smith says in an Instagram post “I could tell you what else TWA has planned for 2016…but then I’d have to kill you. * knife emoji*”
I’ll be keeping my eyes peeled.