Christianity has been a key influence in the band's work; because the founding members claimed to have a strong relationship with God, they were considered a devoted Christian band, which changed as time passed. Former drummer Jesse Smith slowly changed the band's vision. Because only half the band's members identified themselves as Christians, Zao no longer considered itself a Christian band but rather a group of open-minded artists. Lyrics in future productions may or may not include Christian messages, but Zao has stated they would have loved to return to the Christian Cornerstone Festival when it was still active.
To date, Zao has completed ten full-length albums, three EPs, a two-disc DVD documentary and multiple concert tours, garnering a limited but global fanbase and earning critical praise in the process.
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