Extreme Industrial Thrash Monsters Zarraza interview up
1. I know you based in central Asia. What is the metal scene like in Kazakhstan?
The scene is growing. It's not big but there is few releases I can mention with proud: prog-thrashers Doubleface “Falls and decline”, sympho black metallers SEVEN SINS with “Due Diaboli et Apocalypse”, black shamans KASHGAR with self-named debut and hardcore outfits SHAHID with «Revelations” album. All these releases you can find on Bandcamp - go on! In a few minutes you will know what is Central Asia metal scene is about.
2. Zarraza mixes prog, thrash, death metal and sci fi elements what brought you to creating this sound?
Probably you are the first person who don't mention groove metal!I hate the comparison though I love some groove bands... The ZARRAZA songs is the mix of our everyday life experience. Death metal is a reaction to regular jobs and bosses, thrash is a best answer to anyone who try to oppress you and sci-fi is for the time when you rise your head up to the sky and sink into infinity of beautiful darkness and eternal questions like “where we came from and where do we go?”. And then pour some beers and play some thrash tunes again.
Sci-fi movies helped me to write solos for “Abyss above me” and “Voice of the Forgotten”. There is a lot of short sci-fi movies on Youtube. I watched them before recording sessions and during short breaks...
Ruslan: I'm gonna tell you how much sci-fi is important to the band. Once after a gig we went to apartments rented for us by promoter. Everybody get drunk while I got a shower... When I went off the shower I saw strange and funny picture – my drunk buddies in underwear, almost naked, was arguing about the way extraterrestrials could reach the Earth. It was no simple speculations - they quote science books! Drunk guys almost screamed at each other because of extraterrestrials! So I decide to drink as much as possible to reach their level to understand the all aspects of the discussion... It lasted several hours – till morning comes...
3. What's the theme or story behind Necroshiva?
The word was invented by Vladimir Chebakov who made the artwork for our album. He named one of his works “Necroshiva” - it was available for cover artwork. So I took whole package – the picture and the word. Of course I should explain – what is concept behind it? As atheist I'm annoyed by people who say that we all worship to one god, we just give him different names. Are you serious? Did you ever try to learn about religions? Go and do it right now and you'll see how different these gods. But of course they have something in common. Their need is to be worshiped. They need it to exist. God with no worshipers is dead. God needs people's worship – just think of it! But what if god don't need your soul? Ancient gods demand sacrifices as prove of faith. Human sacrifices too. So you trying to sell me statement that all gods the same but with different names... What if it is true? But true god is a chtonic Saturn eating his newborn children?
Maybe terror attacks and modern wars which seems so meaningless has a secret side – it's human sacrifices? Human hecatombs. Do you know about hecatomb festival in Nepal when few thousands animals slaughtered on a field in one day? How far civilized world stay from this with wars for oil and money? Just a different form... Religion is important part of modern wars, isn't it? And Necroshiva probably is real true face of one god. The god who always hungry for human flesh. Not for souls.
4. What there a reason to self release Necroshiva? Or label support was never a thought?
I dealt with small independent label with my previous band. The result was disappointing.Especially if I compare it to what we achieved with “Necroshiva” album. I can name a few metal bands here in Central Asia with different type of label support and I can't say they have a deal of a dream (sorry, buddies). I want to have label support – but I don't want to deal with laziness. There were no serious offers at the time when record was done so we decide not to spent half of a year in a waiting. There is enough ways today to do it by yourself. To do it better then most of small independent labels.
Don't get me wrong. I don't want to blame small independent labels – they are important part of the scene. But for few years with ZARRAZA I learned by myself about business aspects of music. I order some books, read forums etc. As simple as that - nobody will take care of ZARRAZA as I did – at least for now, on current level. So I understand a little bit what to do for my band – and I want a label which will do it better than me. I'm strong believer in ZARRAZA, I know what we do, we grind that axe for a long time and we'll keep going on and on. We are not band composed of musicians looking for miracle formula to fast success. “Formula not working? Oh, I'm gonna leave to try something else!” No, it's not about us. We grew up as musicians together with specific music goals and... We were told million times – “who cares about thrash metal? Who cares about metal? It obsolete! You are obsolete!” Oh, no thank you and fuck you. We know what we will be doing next year – and especially where we will do it! The same about next ten years. We a tribe on a war path. Even our past members stays in touch and supporting us in a different ways – it shows me that we are really carry some special spirit within the band. So tell me – should I ruin war spirit we brewed for years within our wild horde with lazy label behind us?
To speak more simple... Should I trust to someone who will care only about how good my CDs sells? And if they will not sells... Lazy person will stop to work at all. But I will work harder in the same situation. So you can see the difference.
Of course we want to work with big labels and get professional support. As I see it now they want us to prove something. OK. We're ready. You'll see what's next.
Lucky enough, we have some important support from Dewar PR. Curtis Dewar something I can't expect, so... As I can see it was done with faith in us. It's just beginning.
5. I love the industrial metal meets tech thrash side of band I hear Fear factory and Machine head in your music so much .. are those band influences?
You have a gold ears! FEAR FACTORY “Demanufacture” is one of my all-time favorite albums. The music take me to a flight through Cathedral builds of metallic remains and details of big machines to a spires... Unbelievable mix of sounds! I'm still learning from Dino Cazares rhythm tricks. And Robb Flynn... I used to play cover for MACHINE HEAD's “Davidian” with my previous band. The band is not my favorite but their early groovy stuff is something special.
6. If you could make a proper video for any track off new album which would it be any why?
“Abyss Above Me” of course. We described song as “Pink Floyd meets death metal”. I'm not sure PF fans will be happy with it but... Song has different contrasting landscapes and I like it very much. Pain and misery of imprisoned tortured man transformed into revelations and visions of future so even prison walls can't hide stellar sky from view... I like imagine it!
7. Does Bandcamp, YouTube and good PR team make a band be able to really do it on there own in 2018?
Definitely yes – for me. But I should mention that I don't make a living from music. Only our bass player Eugene do it but he plays in pop band Sahar too. But BC give opportunity to fund our next record which is good for me. It show us that we can grow up and I can stop steal money from my family, haha.
8. If you could tour the world with any band who should that be and why?
I'm not gonna feed you with my childhood dreams though some of them may happen next year. Cross my fingers! We get the great offer, we agreed and... Let's see. Even if it failed we are building tour right now – it's really tour of a dream. It's gonna be first onslaught on a new region – we gonna test some new waters with our mates – dark shamans Kashgar.
9. Do the members of Zarraza have other projects or is this everyone's focus musically?
Eugene, our bass player, works as session musican, music teacher and play with pop band Sahar. He is only one who live by music. Our guitar player Dan also play bass with black metal project "Fresk" and modern metal band "Inkarna". As for me and drummer Ruslan – ZARRAZA is main priority. This monster take all time from me and demands more and more, haha.
10. If you were to be offered a big label deal with someone like Nuclear blast or Relapse would it interest you or want to stay indie?
NB and Relapse prove themselves as hard-working teams of metal fans who really cares about bands so it will be impossible to resist I think. But at the same time there is possibility to build our own system around the band. OBITUARY leaves label to become indie, you know? Of course it is because they are OBITUARY – band with name and history which stood test of time. But anyway we can learn from them. So as for now – yeah, NB and Relapse is a dream. But in perspective of 5 years... Who knows?
11. What bands are impressing the members of Zarraza currently?
Eugene Hablack: Overkill! An uncompromising band. My favorite in terms of the sound. From one album to another a clanking bass and creaking vocal confirms that they play not just heavy music but real Metal. Sodom - wild and dirty, straightforward pure German metal without any frills. I love lyrics especially - military and vulgar sex themes. VENOM! A primitive raw metal as it is. It was they who gave raw material for processing by all subsequent groups. A model for metalheads.
And Judas Priest – they sets the tone for the entire metal community from the 70s. They stay in a line and defend positions of the old school metal at the highest level.
Ruslan (drummer): Bloodshot Dawn! I like the structure of songs, fills, various methods of playing rhythms, the technique of the drummer! As opposite to it I like Cannibal_Corpse for the simplicity of the drum parts that fit songs perfectly at the same time! Vektor is a great also - a combination of melodies and heaviness is amazing. There is so many changes in harmony and dynamics.
Dan (guitar player): DEATH and all the work of Chuck Schuldiner. Animal aggression, turning into a pensively-depressive technical riffage, atypical drum parts, jazz influences, fretless bass guitars, unique guitars... That's why for me it's the only band that does not have passing songs. Can't stop listen to it!
12. Any closing thoughts ? Otherwise thank you for the time
Don't forget to check out bands I mentioned in the beginning, haha.