The heavy metal act Tzimani loves being from San Diego. Drummer Sebastian Vazquez and his brother, guitarist/vocalist Eddie, enjoy the camaraderie—no matter the genre.
“There’s a pretty big music scene here,” Sebastian says. “There’s a lot to go around. There are a lot of live bands downtown who play covers or corporate rock or electronic.
“The metal scene is also diverse. You can find all sorts of metal—lots of thrash, black metal, death metal. A lot of it is good. It’s united in the sense of community.”
Returning home to play the Merrow on Thursday, March 26, the Vazquez brothers bring back a traditional heavy metal/hard rock sound of the early ’80s, with a modern flair and heightened sense of energy. Think a continuation of Judas Priest, Dio and Mötley Crüe.
“We grew up listening to old school forms of heavy metal,” Sebastian says. “Dio is something we spun a lot when we were kids. It was a more mainstream form of heavy metal.
“We were introduced to metal through stuff like Iron Maiden, Megadeth and Metallica. Then we also listened to what was on the radio, like System of a Down. When we were kids, we’d all go to the one computer at our friend’s house and look up ‘heavy metal bands 1980.’ We fell through the rabbit hole that way.”
Tzimani honed its skills young, at the age of 9 or 10.
“We started at the Boys and Girls Club,” Sebastian says about the Greater San Diego/National City branch. “By the time we were 16 or 17, we were covering Iron Maiden for fun. But we didn’t start an actual band until our early 20s. It was then that we decided to work on making our own music with Tzimani.”
Despite being a duo, with no bass player, the live setup sounds thick
“When we play, it’s just the two of us on stage, so the dynamic is different,” Sebastian says. “We run bass tracks live, and if we’re not super tight you can hear it.”
Sebastian says they’re open to finding a bass player, but so far the journey has
“We’re looking for the right guy,” he says. “It’s somewhat difficult to find a steady person. But we’re not going to sit around and wait for someone. We’re just going to go with the two-man approach.”
Tzimani is promoting a 2018 self-titled EP that is being reissued. Fans can find a new digital format of the album through Bonita Steel Records, and a vinyl release on Diabolic Might Records in Europe.
“The head of Diabolic Might Records heard our EP we put out two years ago and liked it,” Sebastian says. “The owner wanted to put it out for distribution, but the EP only had five songs. They wanted us to produce extras to round it out to a full length.”
The songs include covers of “Night People” by Dio and “Doctor Rockter” by W.A.S.P., as well as Tzimani’s 2017 demo.
Tzimani will play those songs on tour when it starts at the Merrow and ends on April 27 at Pasadena’s Olde Town Pub.
“We are going across North America this time, and getting some East Coast spots crossing into Canada,” Sebastian says. “We’re playing the Hyperspace Festival in Vancouver, Canada, and Blades of Steel Festival in Wisconsin. It should be so much fun. We can’t wait to get on the road.”
8 p.m. Thursday, March 26
1271 University Avenue, Hillcrest
Call for ticket information