Behind the Beat: Food For the Soul

With an origin dating all the way back to 2002, and its first-ever appearance on a Valley stage coming in 2009, the Western Mass rock group Zamia has worked for years to be recognized for more than just its musical efforts. In fact, the band—featuring members Jared Duff (vocals), Ruslan Sopromadze (guitar, backup vocals), Jeff Demers (drums) and Benjamin Jon (bass)—aspires to be an inspirational force for its listeners, and hopes to encourage fans to achieve their own goals.

“The reason we started this band was to be a beacon of hope in a dark world,” says Sopromadze. “So many bands play for their own glory, [or] to fulfill their own musical desires. As a band, we have tried to stay true to who we are as individuals, but at the same time understand that it is because of our unique personalities and gifts that we have been able to create such a dynamic sound.”

Merging alternative rock riffs with “nu” metal and reggae influences, Zamia has performed alongside other Pioneer Valley favorites like the Fear Nuttin’ Band and Danny Pease and the Regulators.

If it weren’t for a fateful letter search, the band might never have acquired its own unique name.

Sopromadze says, “A few years after high school, I was at the practice spot in Greenfield, on Hope Street, with a long time friend, Morgan Kanash, and he asked me, ‘Hey, mane_SEmDwhat letter do you like?’ …So I just said letter Z, and he opened a dictionary on his Mac and the first word that came up was ‘zamia.’ Zamia is a seed, planted, and if properly nurtured, it is eatable. So we interpreted that to our music: through the process, it would be like food for the soul.”

With tracks like “You Are Loved,” “Fire” and “Take,” from the album Souls Collide, the band delivers on its wish to provide listeners with material which, while sometimes harsh at first glance, is actually based on uplifting messages.

“The current sound is pretty clean, tight, and powerful,” says Sopromadze. “Zamia is a hard rock format band that is comfortable playing with heavier, metal-influenced bands and lighter rock acts. Dynamic and epic is the direction the newer music will evolve over the next year.”

Also on tap for 2013 is a new album, one that delves into a lot of new territory for Zamia and shows fans a different side of the band.

“A current release is in the studio now that features new songs and a lot of exploration of new directions,” says Sopromadze. “We have been touching on some acoustic and down-tempo music and have a few worship songs recorded as well. There is remix and alternate versions of songs from Souls Collide as well as a few brand new rock tracks.”•

For more information on Zamia, please visit and


Author: Michael Cimaomo

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