The Likelihood of a band with this kind of history really breaking boundaries is rare. Not to mention the origin of Binary Code was initially written by a high school junior from Bergen County, NJ. Admittedly the progressive metal sound doesn’t typically appeal to me but after a few replays, there was little to debate. Excuse the pun…these guys have cracked the code and in impressive fashion forged a niche that will guarantee a healthy future. The intricate details matter to these guys, so I picked Jesse Zuretti’s brain a bit; for no other reason than to glimpse into the sweet chaos that makes him and the band tick.
CD-Give us a little background on how everything got started?
JZ-I was in high school when I started Binary Code, my junior year, so that was 2004. I had been in one other band, which was kind of started by a bunch of guys I had been jamming with. I say “kind of” because it was more like a mergers and acquisition type of thing, where the guys came into the picture with my buddy and I, and we turned into “their band”. It was definitely a huge step to start out on, and it made my next step into playing in my next band (Binary Code) very easy.
I started Binary Code based on necessity. The New Jersey music community is very strong, and was even stronger back a decade ago. I tried finding guys to play with that were looking to start a band, but I found it really hard to find that common denominator that would start the bands sound. So I started my own hunt for guys to start the band based on material I already had written. Two months later, we recorded our first one song demo, and it really took off for us. It got us a handful of shows opening for national bands. Eleven years later, we’re still kicking!
CD-Has your role changed since 2004? How?
JZ-Binary Code has always been my brainchild, so I’ve always kind of treated it like a child – I do what I have to do to protect it, and do everything for it. That mind-set brings a lot of challenges when you realize that a band is defined by more than one person being a part of the project. That being said, I’ve had to become much more open to other methods of parenting, namely being more democratic and flexible. I still run the band for the most part, managerial-wise, but we’ve had managers working with us over the past few years as well (since 2009). It’s definitely a collaborative effort.
CD-Your new album is in the works, when can we expect to see that completed?
JZ-The new album is actually done, and has been since April of 2014. It was mixed and mastered in October of 2014. We’re currently working on finding the best way to release the album. We’re in one of those limbo stages where we can’t say exactly when because it’s out of our control at the moment. But it’s all for a good reason, that I can say.
CD-You’re all about variety of influence…is this project on the same tier as “Priest” or can we expect something different?
JZ-We’re light-years away from “Priest” with the album that we finished recently. “Priest” was very technical, and while the new album isn’t exactly easy to perform, it’s not on the same level of over-the-top-ness that we were always known for.
CD-Was that a “parental” decision?
JZ-Well, it was more of an organic occurrence. This is the first album I wrote a majority of by myself before other members got their hands on it. So it was more of a natural evolution for the band. I’ve always been a proggier kind of musician at heart, but I’ve always written whatever took form during a jam with Umar. On the newest album it was more of a collaborative process along the way; drums came after the foundation of the songs were written, bass came next, and then vocals and synths last.
CD-Was it difficult to replace Umar Fahim after he left??
JZ-Very difficult. Umar is an amazing musician – he brought a lot to the table. And we jammed with some of the best metal drummers in New Jersey before we landed on our guy, Sean Vizcaino. The truth is, Sean has a lot of the amazing things Umar brought to the table, but he’s a very different drummer. Sean’s more of a funk drummer than he is a jazz guy (Umar was a jazz guy). Very happy with Sean, and the band feels like a family right now with him in the fold.
CD-Any upcoming shows to be really excited about?
JZ-We’ve got about 10 shows booked over the next few months. More specifically, we have a “collective” mini tour booked that is probably the first time we’ve done anything like this in our 11 year span. We’re doing a 5 band tour package with bands that we played with recently for a semi-private performance in a studio live room. It was such a good vibe and overall night that we decided to take it on the road. Very excited for that!
I have the privilege of working with Jesse at The Music Den. Since we’re typically both busy at work (or supposed to be) most of this “interview” was done through email and text for the sake of efficiency. If you do ever have a conversation with Mr. Zuretti you’ll learn almost immediately he’s full of sarcastic quick wit. At one point I found myself almost star struck. This dude has the knowledge. He’s an absolute work horse and his attitude on life is transparent through Binary Codes’ music. There’s a tenacity and a consistency from day to day that takes years of practice to execute. In this case I don’t mind sounding like a broken record; these guys are remarkable. You can and should follow them on Facebook at facebook.com/binarycodemusic. And feel free to drop by our Randolph location to say hi to JZ!
Cory Daniels is a wandering Pennsylvanian stranded in New Jersey. He started on the sales floor at The Music Den but more recently has taken over the entire social media and online customer service department. Although he started his music career as a drummer, he “sort of knows how to pretend to magically trick people into thinking” he is also capable of stepping in on keys and acoustic; but that’s only for BIG gigs. Cory suffers from middle child syndrome but still remains a family man at heart. He’s the architect behind The MD Collective and generally enjoys getting paid to pin, facebook stalk, link, tweet, insta-whatever, tube and vine his way to imaginary fame.