Hailing from the dark, goth mecca that is Leeds, West Yorkshire, England, Zeitgeist Zero describe themselves as "an eclectic mix of various musical influences that fuse electronics with guitars"
The trio, Teresa - vox, Corin -guitars & programming and Kerry - backing vox, and keys, have been hard at work since releasing their self-titled debut album, touring in support of some of the UK's biggest Goth names. Grave Concerns caught up with them after a performance at the aptly named Zeitgeist 2 Festival, to discuss their thoughts on Goth, the universe and everything
GC: So, how would you describe the band to the uninitiated?
Kerry: Human industrial. We're an electronic band (as well as a rock band) but we like to explore human anxieties and emotions rather than bleak automata, and use guitars, strings, pianos and other expressive instruments to achieve this.
GC: What are your thoughts on the current UK / European goth scene? Are things still healthy, or are we looking at a terminal patient?
Kerry: A scene's only dead when new people stop coming into it and it becomes a museum piece. The Goth scene has fans of all ages from spooky kids just coming in to the older folk who've been here since the beginning, and all have their own takes on the theme. So no, the scene isn't dead, not by a long shot!
Teresa: No not dead, just very, very tiny.
GC: Your debut album was released on Resurrection Records. Are you pleased with the way it was received?
Teresa: Resurrection Records are our main distributors and a great job they do. However we're not actually on a label, we released our album ourselves. We approached, but no one was interested, a few majors labels would that would like to take a risk on a goth band, especially one that has such a varied mix of songs. As for smaller indie/goth labels in I'm not sure we have much appeal. EBM sells and Deathrock sells, but I think any band that falls between the two, tend to be ignored.
Kerry: We are very happy with the way our album was received, we put a huge amount of time, effort and resources into that album and we couldn't have asked for a better response. I'm particularly pleased with the fact that every review we've read has named a different favourite track, as we always wanted the album to have depth overall, so that every individual could find something different in there.
GC: Are there plans yet for a follow-up? Will there be any change to the formula?
Teresa: A change to the formula? You mean we had a plan to begin with? Ha, ha.
Kerry: The next album will follow similar themes to a higher level. We've already begun writing and recording the songs and a few have entered our live set; we're trying to keep the eclecticism of the first album, having a range of styles and colours within the Zeitgeist Zero theme from pounding dancefloor tracks and rock-outs to full on symphonic numbers. We've never wanted to be a band that build a career on doing one song over and over with different words, we want people who hear our music to find something new in every song while knowing that they are listening to Zeitgeist Zero.
GC: The album has a very professional feel to it, but was produced in your own studio. Is this something ZZ or Corin would consider for the future, producing other bands?
Kerry: One of the projects we have in the pipeline is a remix album involving collaborations with various bands and DJs we have encountered and worked with on our travels. Talking/working with and getting to know other people's approaches to recording is all part of the learning process and we couldn't have reached our current level without it. It's an ongoing thing too, always looking for new ways to push ourselves and expose ourselves to new ideas. Nothing grows in a vacuum.
As for producing other bands on a contract basis...
Corin: I'd love to produce for other bands but Zeitgeist Zero remains my main priority at the moment, we’re currently half way through the second album and I am seriously enjoying writing new music and pulling all our ideas together. I have also been toying with the idea of bringing in some guest appearances for the second album with people we know and respect in other local bands.
GC: You are playing the Wave Gotik Treffen festival this year. How do you land such a high-profile gig, and are you excited?
Kerry: We are very excited - WGT is the biggest there is in this scene, and we are working very hard to make this performance our best yet.
Teresa: We sent them a promo pack and included magazines we had been in, in 2005 as our album had been released we had had reviews in various magazines and online zines. We'd were interviewed by the 3 main UK goth magazines and Zillo and Sonic Seducer and our songs appeared on their cover disks. I think this media attention really helped us get noticed.
GC: I have seen Kerry play a violin live before. Is it true that he could have had a promising career in the trad-jazz world before he was ensnared by ZZ? How does he feel about this?
Kerry: I've been on the run from the jazz police for many years, and I'd thank you not to stooge off my whereabouts. Really, these guys are vicious.
GC: Teresa - you seem happy to dispense words of wisdom - Is it true that your tip for the future would be guitars, with a move away from the synth-driven sounds so in vogue at present?
I love synths, and wouldn't like to be in a band without them, I just think there's something very human and almost sexy about (for me) a man going at it hammer and tongs on his guitar. They put a lot of energy and fire into cold electronics.
I think people moved away from guitars as they seemed a bit old hat and synths were the future, I think it was an extreme reaction to 80's jingly jangly guitar goth. However I think people have returned to guitars as they are just as versatile an instrument as a synth, plus guitar technology has advanced from basic stomp boxes to sophisticated guitar rack fx.
GC: What are your ambitions for the future, either collectively or individually?
Kerry: To take this thing as far as it will go, to keep working hard and to make the best possible music we can.
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