Zombies testing new songs on the road

Kicking off North American tour in July

DETROIT -- The Zombies will have some new music to play for audience this summer -- even if it's not likely to be released until 2009.

Keyboardist Rod Argent said that the resurrected British group, which kicks off a 21-show North American tour on July 3 at the Comerica Tastefest in Detroit, has inserted two fresh songs into the show: his own "I Do Believe" and another, "Any Other Way," written by singer Colin Blunstone. "They go down just as well as anything in the set," Argent reports.

And he said more new material may surface in the near future for the group's followup to 2004's "As Far as I Can See ...."

"What I want to do is play each piece of new material on stage before we record it this time to make sure they work and really break them in on stage as much as possible," Argent explains. "I would also like to record the next album in a very organic way, without lots of overdubs -- just the guys really playing an arrangement that works well on stage and use that very much as the basis of the arrangement that we record."

Argent said the Zombies' "very intense" road schedule is going to make it hard to get the band in the studio for concentrated recording sessions; in that regard he predicts that "it's gonna be a year before a new album's out."

There will be Zombies product this year, though. The group's 40th anniversary performance of the "Odessey & Oracle" album during March at the Shepherd's Bush Empire Theatre in London was recorded for a CD and DVD, titled "The Zombies 'Odessey & Oracle' Revisited: The 40th Anniversary Concert." The CD is due out July 1, with the DVD coming later in the summer.

Argent said he and Blunstone will continue to celebrate the album's anniversary during the Zombies' summer tour, playing at least five songs from it. Meanwhile, the two other surviving founding members -- bassist Chris White and drummer Hugh Grundy, who both took part in the March shows, may factor into the Zombies' future, too.

"Getting back together with those guys was lovely," Argent notes, "and we may do a few selected concerts, one-off concerts, with them. But they don't want to be touring all the time, so I think everyone's happy with the situation as it is."
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