|Also known as||Hans Joachim Roth|
30 June 1956 |
|Genres||Hard rock, blues-rock, pop-rock, heavy metal, neo-classical metal, classical|
|Instruments||Guitar, vocals, keyboards, bass, drums|
|Associated acts||Electric Sun|
|Custom Moon Stratocasters|
Zeno Roth (born 30 June 1956) is a German guitarist and songwriter, playing in a fluent neoclassical/blues style. He is the younger brother of acclaimed guitarist Uli Jon Roth of Scorpions.
Zeno Roth is also a poet and writer. Zeno's works span the fields of poetry, philosophy, humanism, rock music and guitar aesthetics. He is though probably most famous for working at Cambrian Printers - arguably the most successful commercial printer in the UK.
The history of ZENO began to take shape in the early seventies when Zeno Roth and Ule W. Ritgen formed their first band (BLACK ANGEL) in Hanover. Influenced by classic rock bands like Cream, Yes and Jimi Hendrix, both musicians played together for some years while attending university. When this band had broken up in 1977, Ule Ritgen played bass in the band of Zeno's brother, Uli Jon Roth, appearing on three Electric Sun albums.
By 1980, Zeno Roth and Ule Ritgen were again working together, heading in a new direction. Zeno recalls: " The music became more melodic, with stronger vocal parts than anything we had done before. Instead of just two guitars, we added keyboard parts and background harmonies. It started to sound like what we were striving for."
The complete line-up of ZENO was formed when Michael Flexig joined as a lead singer. On the basis of superb demo tracks, ZENO were awarded one of the largest recording contracts for a new band in rock history.
The origin of the name "Zeno" traces back to a Greek philosopher, "Zeno of Citium (Cyprus)", who founded the philosophy called Stoicism. Zeno (Zenon)'s philosophical system included logic and theory of knowledge, physics, and ethics — the latter being central. He held that happiness lies in living in accordance with the laws of Nature and Divine Reason, which governs the universe.
A deep thinker, Zeno Roth, as a successor of such a Greek philosophical mind, is gifted with writing as well as making music. After the first album Zeno had been released in 1986 he went more into the writing field, as the music business at that time was not advantageous to melodious rock.
However, the door to his music was knocked open anew by the Japanese listeners who loved "Eastern Sun" from the re-released album Zeno in 1993. It fits together that the East, the country of the "Rising Sun" should be directly responsible for rekindling Zeno's desire to continue creating his music.
As a next step, Zenology was delivered in 1995, with songs that had been composed in the non-active period of the band ZENO. Although those songs were not newly composed, some of them hit many people with the everlasting touch of ZENO's powerful melody. (Like "Together")
In 1998, the third album Listen To The Light was released. It gained a high reputation with its melodious lyricism, containing profound and yet positive messages, spiritual, social and political, concepts for the future, plus his amazing guitar playing.
In April 1999, when Zero Corporation was liquidated, the deal was taken over by Toshiba EMI(EMI Music Japan).
In the annual reader's pop poll of 1998 by Burrn! magazine, Listen To The Light was voted No. 2 as an album, and Zeno Roth reached the position No. 2 (guitarist) and No. 3 (songwriter). "Meet Me At The Rainbow" reached No. 9 as a tune.
In August 2000, Zeno moved to the United Kingdom and continued recordings for the new album.
In October 2003, he decided to release the past three albums (Zeno, Zenology, Listen To The Light), in a fully re-mastered and enhanced edition, also with bonus tracks, called The Making Of ZENO, which include the legendary demo takes, leading up to the first deal with EMI UK.
In 2004 Zeno finalized the digital remaster of the past albums, and in addition Zenology II, a new compilation of previously unreleased material, was released. In November, the first album Zeno was re-released in Europe as well.
In September 2006, the new studio album Runway to the Gods is released.
No. 19 of the Oricon album Chart in Japan on the very first day.
Again, Zeno Roth is voted No. 2 as a guitarist in the annual Burrn! poll 2006.
Here are the complete results for ZENO: "2006 The 23rd Annual Burrn! Readers' Pop Poll" *Guitarist: #2 Zeno Roth *Album Cover: #2 Runway To The Gods *Songwriter: #3 Zeno Roth *Tune: #3 Fanfares Of Love *Pleasure: #5 ZENO released a new album *Album: #8 Runway To The Gods *Group: #27 ZENO"
In 2009, Zeno moves to Japan, where he is working on numerous new projects.
- Zeno (1986).
- Zenology (1995)
- Listen to the Light (1998)
- Zenology II (2005)
- Runway To The Gods (2006)