ZEX delivers energetic and riotous tunes, where streetfight-ready songs with a darker edge are surrounded by catchy, upbeat anthems, producing a humble, raw and inspiring culmination of straight-up melodic punk rock. Influences including The Clash, The Sweet, Stiff Little Fingers, Motorhead, Iron Maiden, Brats, and elements of founders Blondie, The Ramones, Gen X, Vice Squad, The Partisans, and others can be heard in ZEX’s sound.
ZEX began in the fall of 2013 when guitar player Jo Capitalicide, and singer Gretchen Steel enlisted the help of bass player Gab Hole and drummer Tasha to start a band. Jo, had written and recorded demos for six songs which were eventually re-recorded and known as the Ragnarok Sessions recorded by Ian Showalter. These recordings were used for the release of two singles, namely Savage City/Buy Or Die, and Wanderlust/Escape This Life. ZEX played their first show at The House of Targ in Ottawa, and re-entered the studio the next day to record their debut album “Fight For Yourself”. The album was released on Vinyl by Uncle D Records and Capitalicide records and then later re-pressed by Magic Bullet Records. In August 2014 the band went on their first tour, playing the East Coast of The United States.
In January of 2015 the band recorded it’s last single Fear No Man released on Loud Punk Records. Shortly after the recording, drummer Tasha left the band and was replaced by Vassil Mester (Absolut, Terminal Licks, City Sweethearts) from Toronto. Vassil played drums for ZEX’s tour of Southeast Asia and Oceania which brought them to Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Australia, and New Zealand.
The band’s lineup was as solid as ever, however tragedy struck in April of 2015 and Vassil Mester passed away at the age of 27 years old. The band was asked to play his memorial service, and to do this they got longtime friend of the band Cody, who stayed on to fill in on drums for the subsequent tours.
With very little time to learn the set Cody worked extremely hard to get the set down and complete a 40 day US tour.
After the 2015 US tour the band took a bit of a break, after a year of constant jamming and touring, playing a handful of festivals in the summer and fall of 2015. In the beginning of 2016 the band released a 2014 - 2015 discography CD in Brazil featuring all their recordings to date and did a ten day tour of Brazil.
In April 2016 ZEX embarked on a 5 week long tour of Europe, playing Denmark, Germany, Belgium, The Netherlands, France, Spain, Italy, Austria, Czechia, Sweden and Norway. This was the last tour with Cody on drums.
In September 2016 ZEX did a brief tour in Japan with Eiji on Drums playing four shows with the excellent band Malice Panic.
In November 2016 ZEX recruited current drummer Mark Useless of Who Killed Spiky Jacket?. In January 2017 in the freezing cold of Ottawa winter, ZEX recorded their follow up album "Uphill Battle".
The title reflects the challenges the band has had to endure over the past two years and is dedicated the the memory of drummer Vassil Mester.
Accompanying the LP are three singles Child Soldier, No Sanctuary & Burn the Flag. After playing a handful of weekend dates, the band returned to Europe to embark on a 3 week long tour of Scandinavia and Germany with a final show in Istanbul, Turkey.