I AM I, the band led by former DRAGONFORCE singer ZP Theart, is working on material for its second album, to be recorded later in the year at Abbey Lane Studios in Derby, United Kingdom. The CD will mark the recording debut with the group of I AM I's new members, Andy Kopczyk (guitar), Dean Markham (bass guitar) and Gavin Owen (guitar).
I AM I drummer Rich Smith tells Derby Telegraph: "We've been working hard together for the last six months. There were some issues with old members because of ZP's fame, but we're trying not to make a big deal of it."
He adds: "We're currently writing songs for the new album which is going to be recorded in Derby, here at Abbey Lane Studios.
"The mixing and mastering will happen via sound engineers but it will possibly be the end of this year for the new album to be finished. We won't release new stuff until everything is ready, hopefully around three more months, but then it is finding a date. We'll just have to wait until a release date is available.
"The new album will include a collection of hard rock songs, progressive metal tracks, some soft ballads, too, that will appeal to everyone; it's a mixture of all sorts. It's good music in general. It's going very well."
Asked about the recent departures of I AM I members Jacob Ziemba (guitar), Neil Salmon (bass) and Andy Midgley (guitar), ZP told GetYourRockOut: "Ultimately, fans are there for the music, and that's the bottom line. And as long as they appreciate that and the music gets played right, then [that's all that matters]."
He added: "You have to have the hunger, and after all this time, I've still got the hunger. Everyone else doesn't necessarily feel the same way about it as I do, and there you go. Things move on. I'm out here to be onstage and do music, and that's all I care about. And I wanna surround myself with people that feel the same way. Onwards and upwards."
Regarding I AM I's plans for the follow-up the band's debut album, 2012's "Event Horizon", ZP said: "We've already started writing, so there's a lot of stuff in the kitty already. And we're gonna take the next few months to sort all that out." He went on to describe I AM I's new material as "very different. Ultimately the same, but very different. It's a bolder path we're taking, I reckon, and a lot of people are gonna be really puzzled and surprised at the same time. It's new energy. It's new people involved. So far everyone's [getting their ideas in]. We're actually sitting in a rehearsal room and coming up with riffs and working it out in the good, old-fashioned way."
Ziemba, Salmon and Midgley announced their departures from I AM I in February "due to internal struggles and ongoing issues within the band."
A founding member of DRAGONFORCE, Theart made four studio albums and a live record with the band and toured the world for a decade, eventually performing to audiences of up to 85,000 people. His time with the group also saw him nominated for a Grammy in 2009.
After his departure from DRAGONFORCE in 2010, ZP worked tirelessly to put together his own group and, after catefully handpicking a set of expert musicians, the result was one of the most exciting new rock bands of 2012, I AM I. A promotional single entitled "Silent Genocide" was followed by the release of a debut album, "Event Horizon", in September 2012. Written and produced by ZP and Polish-born guitarist Jacob Ziemba and mixed and mastered by Roland Grapow (HELLOWEEN, MASTERPLAN), its stunning blend of melody-filled metal and riff-based rock topped off by ZP's soaring vocal performances completed a package that was acclaimed worldwide by critics and audiences alike.