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Scott Mellinger of Zao Shows Us His Toys

“A lot of people are collectors and they don’t even realize it,” Scott Mellinger of Zao tells Noisecreep. Scott is a collector through and through. He collects guitars and, like many in the metal scene, he collects toys. But Scott’s collection is one others have whispered in honor and jealously over. Scott’s toy collection is a mammoth. It’s a mountain. It’s a shrine to the wondering excitement of childhood and we here at Noisecreep have the pictures to prove its greatness.

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    Brian Manley for Spinner

    Mastodon at Scion Rock Fest 2009 held at the Masquerade Atlanta, Georgia Saturday, February 28, 2009

    Brian Manley for Spinner

    Crowd at Scion Rock Fest 2009 held at the Masquerade Atlanta, Georgia Saturday, February 28, 2009

    Brian Manley for Spinner

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    Brian Manley for Spinner

    Neurosis at Scion Rock Fest 2009 held at the Masquerade Atlanta, Georgia Saturday, February 28, 2009

    Brian Manley for Spinner

    Crowd at Scion Rock Fest 2009 held at the Masquerade Atlanta, Georgia Saturday, February 28, 2009

    Brian Manley for Spinner

    Baroness at Scion Rock Fest 2009 held at the Masquerade Atlanta, Georgia Saturday, February 28, 2009

    Brian Manley for Spinner

    Baroness at Scion Rock Fest 2009 held at the Masquerade Atlanta, Georgia Saturday, February 28, 2009

    Brian Manley for Spinner

    Baroness at Scion Rock Fest 2009 held at the Masquerade Atlanta, Georgia Saturday, February 28, 2009

    Brian Manley for Spinner

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Most of Scott’s toy collection is based around older toys from his own childhood. “I think with toys there is something that gives me excitement; especially with some of the stuff they come out with now of stuff that I loved when I was a kid.” He added,” like the Muppet stuff. Seeing that in toy form… God I’ve watched all the movies and the whole Muppet show seasons. I love that stuff so when I got to see them in toy form it was just amazing. When I go and find a toy today I’m going to have that same excitement that I had when I woke up on Christmas morning. It’s sad to me that there are not more people that can feel that.”

Since Zao took a break from touring to live lives not huddled in a van, Scott has taken to working at a local toy/comicbook store run by some close friends. “It was nice to come off a tour and be in trouble and then get a job like this,” Mellinger says.

But when Zao was on the road toy collecting was an integral part of the tour. It brought reminders of home to where ever they were in the world. Collecting toys was something most of the band has shared together. “Russ, who was the second guitarist and is no longer with us now, was an avid toy collector and we would go to stores together. Dan has a lot of Spawn stuff and McFarlane stuff that they’ve released.” Scott reminisced, “We’d all go to the store looking for stuff and we’d find stuff for each other. it was a really cool outlet. A second outlet.”

Scotts believes even those that make fun of adults buying toys deep down are collectors too -j ust closeted ones. Scott declared an irony, “Here is what is amazing to me about all this shit. You have people that will make fun of you when you go buy something and then you have THESE-F*CKING-JOCKS with their goddamned fantasy leagues. What is that? That is nothing but Magic but playing with sport guys. Your getting all their attributes, you’re leveling them up, what’s the difference? Everybody is a geek. Just deal with it.”

Zao’s newest release ‘Awake?’ came out via Ferret on May 5th. But there’s a whole story to that though.

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