Tony Zmak has always had a passion for music. He grew up in the seventies listening to all kinds of musical genres form pop to classical and found a deep appreciation for them all. He started playing guitar as a teenager and eventually began writing his own songs.
He formed his first band with three friends, a four-piece indie rock band called Junket in 1995. Junket played all original songs with Zmak as one of four songwriters. The band played live but never recorded, and eventually disbanded after three years.
Zmak went on to form Reaper, his own band, in 1999. With himself as lead singer and songwriter, Reaper played live and recorded one demo before breaking up in 2002.
Zmak took his songs from both bands and began writing new ones to eventually end up with ten original compositions, which became his first album, entitled Peace. The album was recorded with engineer and producer Phil Rigger from The Cube at Monstereo Studios in Sydney. Rigger also played drums and bass on all tracks, as well as providing background vocals on some songs.
With influences including the Jesus and Mary Chain, the Pixies and Nirvana, Zmak’s songs are predominantly up-tempo guitar based rock songs. Other influences, namely the Beatles and Dylan, amongst others, provide the occasional slower track with an emphasis on lyrics and atmosphere.
Zmak’s songs are mainly concerned with simple themes, those being life, relationships and the human condition. Other themes that seem to populate his songs include spirituality and the afterlife. His songs appear to be questioning, with uncertainty, doubt and conflicting messages being quite common, very much like life itself.
Although his songs may not provide answers, there is always hope in his songs somewhere. No matter how dark or melancholy some themes may be, he provides an uplifting experience in either the lyrics or music. Many of Zmak’s songs have simplicity in their foundation, which eventually leads to a grander sound and vision. There is a powerful energy in his songs; an energy that he hopes has an impact on his audience. Ideally, like all songwriters, he wants to create a transcendental experience for the listener.