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Listen to: Zombi A dark-synth punch to the brain

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Zombi is an instrumental heavy prog rock band who for the better part of the last decade has been playing music that provides a visceral soundcape meant more to “punch you in the brain” than punch you in the face. Zombi’s music could easily be the soundtrack to deep space exploration gone wrong, a goth basement strobe light freakout, or just your average every day laser battle on planet Saturn. Somehow this band makes incredibly heavy metal without the need for wailing guitar solos, growling vocals, or hair whipping. Zombi is the heaviest synth band on Earth, and their new album is a testament to the band’s genius. Here’s a quick word from the usually wordless, Steve Moore, one of the two brain’s behind the sound of Zombi.—Chris Coté

What Youth: First off, the new album in fantastic, heavy, spaced-out, brutal, and beautiful all at the same time. How do you pack so much punch in to each and every song?

First off, thank you. To add this much punch you have to work on the Nano scale using the sculpting of waveforms, the slight detuning of oscillators, the ambient micing of the drums. A lot of bands try to punch you in the gut or in the face or something but we’re trying to punch you in the brain, that’s where it really hurts.

What keeps you inspired after all these years of making music?

It’s not really a matter of inspiration—it’s a compulsion. I don’t think we could stop making this music if we tried. I know this because basically every major life decision I’ve made for the past 10 years has made it more and more difficult for Zombi to exist. But here we are.

What themes do you want the listener to be left with after hearing this album?

The takeaway is entirely up to the listener. Our album art is striking but ambiguous, and the song titles are vague and open-ended. We’re intentionally not giving the listener anything to go on.

Explain the process of getting these tracks from the studio to the stage: how do you pull this shit off? 

The songs on Shape Shift were written specifically for the stage. We setup all our gear in my basement and recorded many hours worth of improvised drums/bass guitar/synthesizer jams. Later we’d go through the recordings, pick out the parts we really liked, then jam them some more and try to add some structure or variation. Most of the songs were written by using the on-board sequencer on my Moog Source. I’d program a sequence then we would play drums and bass guitar along to it. That’s how we used to write back in the mid-2000’s when we were touring a lot, only back then I usually used my Sequential Circuits Pro-One for sequences. We’re just like a normal band, really, only instead of a guitarist we have a synthesizer playing programmed sequences and instead of a singer we have a metric ton of weed.

If you could make a series of rock videos to the tracks on this album, with an endless budget, what would you do?

I’d rebuild Pittsburgh’s now-demolished Civic Arena and record a full concert video with the roof open and aerial shots from the Goodyear Blimp.

What lies in the near future for ZOMBI?

Shape Shift comes out in October and we’re hitting the road with Pinkish Black in November. Beyond that, there’s no Earthly way of knowing.

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Zombi’s latest, SHAPE SHIFT comes out October 15 on Relapse Records, listen to this blistering track, “Pillars Of Dawn” and pre-order the new record at https://zombi.bandcamp.com/album/shape-shift

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