By Nicholas Jason Lopez
Long, heavy brown hair obscures Eddie Vazquez’s face as he sings into a microphone.
He’s flanked by his brother Sebastian in a black t-shirt seated at a drum set behind him.
On the nearby wall is a black curtain with a grey logo that reads, “TZIMANI.”
Visibly evident in their own element, at one time, it didn’t look possible. After the Vazquez brothers left their previous band in Aug. 2016, they took a hiatus.
“I didn’t even look at my drum set for about six months, but there was always kind of like this underlying itch to kind of get back out there, get back into the creative process, get back into releasing music,” said Sebastian.
In early 2017, Sebastian presented Eddie a PDF of 150 different band name suggestions. Each one was rejected. Eddie then suggested “Tzimani,” which translates to “two” from the purepecha language. Whilst seemingly random, the name had purpose since it paid tribute to Eddie’s own family. His grandfather even spoke the language.
From San Diego, Calif., they now stand as a hard rock duo with Eddie on guitar, bass and vocals and Sebastian on drums.
They’re proud to ride the banner of “The New Wave Of Traditional Heavy Metal,” bands significantly influenced by late 70’s/80’s traditional heavy metal. They present a new twist on the genre, as they incorporate modern elements into old-school stylings that have existed more than 40 years. They blend “old school” and “new school” and handle it with a pizzazz few in the scene can.
Fittingly, Tzimani named their influences from classic bands like Iron Maiden, AC/DC, Guns N’ Roses, Van Halen as well as more modern bands like System Of A Down, Coheed And Cambria and Dragonforce.
From split long drives to showing up to venues two or three hours earlier before their call times just to make sure everything goes well, being a duo comes with its obstacles.
“Certainly we’ve had to deal with some backlash from fans and purists and elitists who come up to us after the show and say, ‘Hey man, it was great, but you guys need a bassist,’ so that’s certainly a challenge being a non-conforming, non-traditional group in a genre that very heavily prizes tradition and sticking to a formula,” explained Eddie.
Tzimani is signed to Noize Cartel Records for digital distribution, but they self-released their self-titled debut EP on all physical formats, CD, vinyl and cassette. On March 12, they released a music video for “We Are The Ones” off their EP. The fan response has positively overwhelmed them. After the video’s release, the band reported an increase of new social media followers and internet sales.
They also recently completed their longest tour to date, a 24-day trek called “The Final Hour” that revisited familiar towns as well as explored new territories around the United States and Canada. It was their last cycle to support their EP.
“One of my favorite things about going on tour is going out, meeting the fans and putting faces to names and reconnecting with those friends and fans that we’ve already made,” said Eddie. “It’s one thing when you read and hear things online from people. It’s another thing entirely when you’re in the flesh, talking to the people that live, sleep and breathe the same music that you love. Their excitement is contagious and it just gives you so much energy to keep on going and keep performing and keep the show moving on.”
Metal Assault Records recently announced Tzimani as the next confirmed band for Metal Assault Mixtape Vol. 1, the label’s summer compilation project slated for an Aug. 9 release. Tzimani will release “Carry On” exclusively for the compilation. They join Orange, Calif. old-school heavy metal group Tyranis and Los Angeles instrumental power trio Zinngeshrei, also confirmed by the label to be included.
They’ll also play in the Legions Of Metal Festival in Chicago, Ill. on May 17 and 18 at Reggie’s Club. It’ll be their first-ever festival appearance.
Currently, they look to write and record material for a new release, with plans to eventually put out a full-length album.
“In the streaming age, we want to be consistent with putting out songs and just get busy to provide our fans new content, keeping them happy,” said Sebastian.
Sebastian expressed they were a “genuine band” in that they were really in it for the fans, were easily approachable and super down-to-earth.
“We love music,” said Eddie. “It’s been our life, even since we were kids. It’s just our lifelong dream and our passion to go out there, write music, perform in front of a live audience because there’s nothing like it and so we are one hundred percent committed and focused to the music and bringing new music to the scene and to the genre and we just hope everybody enjoys it as much as we do.”