The Zax's Love vs. Heidi Montag's Superficial
Rion Harmon, aka New York synthpop artist The Zax, has set a simple goal for his new record: defeat Heidi Montag. When Rion noticed that the plastic reality TV starlet's debut album, Superficial, sold only 658 physical copies, he thought "Hey, I can beat that." And was born.

Rion can definitely outsell his rival -- he's 25% of the way there already -- because his album, LOVE, is a hell of a lot better than what Heidi's selling. (The blog's great too: Rion's latest post parodies the alt-culture blog Hipster Runoff, and we like his jab at Gawker for snubbing him.

Aside from having oodles of musical talent and not being made of plastic, Rion is also a nice guy who agreed to tell Urlesque the story behind his rivalry with the celebrity everyone loves to hate. Read on for my interview with the artist currently known as The Zax.
Urlesque: How long had you been working on this album before you came up with the Heidi Montag plan?

Rion Harmon: Well, I have been working on this album for about 2 years. About a month ago, I was thinking about Heidi Montag for some reason, remembered she had sold some obscenely low number of records, and the next thing you know I'm on my computer buying

Do you have some kind of personal vendetta against Heidi, or did you just think this would be a fun way to sell albums?

No vendetta really. I mean, she is like a caricature. Sort of this universally loathed, almost villainess type figure. It was kind of just a perfect mix. Like, how perfect is it that someone who is as over-exposed as Heidi Montag, spends $2 million on her record, and then only sells 658 copies? Just felt perfectly funny. One of those ideas that if I hadn't thought of it and someone else did, I would've said, "Damn, wish I had thought of that."

What's the history of The Zax? Is this your first album, and did you have other bands or solo stuff before that?

LOVE will actually be the second album for The Zax. I released an album called Sheepshearing in 2007 here in the US and on a label in Japan called Rallye/Klee. I've also done remixes for bands like Less Than Jake and The A.K.A.'s and produced songs for other artists.
Rion Harmon/The Zax
Did you sell more copies than Heidi the first time? How hard will this be, based on your expectations?

I feel like it is more of a challenge now than before. The music industry and the way people consume music has changed in the past 3-4 years. Selling 654 'physical' copies today seems surprisingly daunting. That said, I feel as though I will reach 654 physical copies at some point in regards to sales of this record. I just feel concerned maybe about how long it will all take me. I feel like asking my parents to buy like 50 copies or something. I sort of think [Heidi's boyfriend] Spencer bought like 90 copies of Superficial the first week.

Is Heidi Montag aware of this at all? Or do you suspect she is?

I suspect she is at this point. Feel like she's ignoring me, hoping I go away. I really just want to see if she'll buy my CD or like 'sing' on one of my tracks. I think that would be really funny.

You should do a remix of one of her songs, to see if she DMCAs you.

Thought about just straight up covering one of her songs. She will definitely DMCA me.

What are you going to do if and when you outsell Heidi?

Throw a party, maybe. Then maybe start my next project,

LOVE officially comes out Sept. 28, but you can buy it now and help The Zax at

Rion also has a Twitter and a Facebook fan page.