Progressive rock and horror movie soundtracks are the immediate thoughts that enter your mind when you first hear Zombi; a two-piece outfit from Pennsylvania on Relapse Records. Putting on hypnotically captivating shows from coast to coast, Zombi is an outfit that can tour with a band of just about any style.
Grim Magazine: First of all, what can be expected off of the upcoming “Surface To Air” album?
Tony: Bigger, better songs.
Steve: I agree.
Tony: I think this is a little bit more progressive than the first one, sounds a little bit fuller, I think some of the songs stretch a little bit further. All around, it’s a lot more of everything.
Grim Magazine: Okay, tell us a little bit about the films you’ve written scores for and what drew you to them in the first place?
Tony: We were just contacted by people we’d worked with and that’s how it all came about. We didn’t really seek them out, per se, it just kind of happened.
Steve: Yeah, they did just kind of come through us in a round-about way. At least the first one, “Home Sick”, which was written by Adam Winguard and directed by Evan Katz. I don’t think it’s out yet, but we did the score maybe three years…
Tony: No, two years.
Steve: It’s been kind of a long process for them to get this film out. But these guy guys read about us in an issue of “Rue Morgue” and were looking for somebody that would want to do the older Fabio Frizzi or Goblin type of sound, so that’s how they got in touch with us.
Grim Magazine: Alright, now everyone likes to talk about the influences you get from horror films and all that, but tell us a bit about your more progressive and classic rock influences.
Steve: Thank you, thank you! (laughter)
Grim Magazine: Yeah, I was reading the FAQ’s on your website… (Steve yells excitedly) …and I’m thinking, “my God, these guys probably get hammered with a lot of ‘so tell us about your favorite horror movie'”, and I’m thinking that I don’t want to be one of them. (laughter)
Steve: Yeah. Some of our more progressive influences… Tangerine Dream, Genesis, King Crimson. I think we draw a lot more from Tangerine Dream than almost anything, at least on my end. There’s very rarely drums in Tangerine Dream, so I guess not so much for Tony, but the sounds that I use, I usually try to model after a lot of Tangerine Dream stuff.
Grim Magazine: Anything from bands like Camel and such?
Tony: I got into those bands so recently that I don’t exactly consider them an influence.
Steve: Camel’s really good, but I wouldn’t consider them an influence. Definitely an enjoyable listen.
Tony: For me, I guess it’s more the heavyweights, because when I was younger those were the easiest ones to find, so that stuff stuck with me more so than something I’ve heard in the past two years.
Grim Magazine: Alright, being on a label like Relapse Records, do you ever feel that you’re a little bit out of place, considering a lot of the other bands that are on the label?
Tony: Yeah, at first we were a little concerned with that but, but it’s not so much of a worry; I don’t even think about it anymore, ’cause it’s not like they treat us like that. They treat us like we’re anybody else, so we’re treated well and I’m not too concerned about us being different. I think it’s good to be on a label like that with all kinds of different music; something for everyone.
Steve: Yeah, truthfully, it doesn’t really even matter. I don’t even know how relevant it is that we’re on Relapse to a lot of people. Granted, Relapse sort of has a built-in audience, so I think there’s a lot of metal fans who probably would have never heard of us had it not been for Relapse, so that’s definitely a huge plus for us being on that label. But other than that, I mean we don’t do too many metal tours, so we play with a lot of bands that aren’t really in the sort of realm that Relapse would cover anyway. So I guess in a way, we try to play all the angles we can.
Grim Magazine: What are you expecting for your tour with Isis later on this month?
Steve: Expecting lots of fun; those guys are really awesome guys and I’m looking forward to hangin’ out with them and playing some shows.
Tony: We met Cliff Meyer with Red Sparrows when we toured with them last fall. We had a lot of fun with those guys, so I’d expect a good couple of months. At least we have only twenty-one, twenty-two shows with Isis, but we have a lot in between.
Grim Magazine: Okay, last question and this goes back into the earlier question about your progressive influences, have there been any times where you just got absolutely sick of the comparisons to the Romero and Fulci films and the Goblin references to the point where you kind of wanted to strangle somebody?
Steve: I’d say on a nightly basis, really. (laughter) Whatever, we did it to ourselves. (more laughter) The bottom line is that when we started off, we were definitely aiming for a very dark, horror-inspired sound, but by listening to bands like Goblin, we sort of got turned on to a lot of the bands that they were ripping off, you know? (chuckling) It was a lot better, I thought, to get the influences from where they were getting them from; it just kind of led us in a completely different direction.
Tony: The thing that I don’t understand sometimes is that I’ve always felt that if you truly listen to Goblin if you really listen to their whole catalog of music, I don’t even know if we’re even that similar to them. I think there are certain things, definitely, but if you take us as a whole and Goblin as a whole, there’s maybe ten to fifteen percent you could see, but I don’t really think there’s a lot. As far as the filmmakers, being from Pittsburgh, we’re kind of used to that, but I wouldn’t say George Romero himself has had an influence on the way I play drums. I don’t know. It’s strange sometimes trying to answer that stuff, I just don’t know what kind of answer to give.
Steve: You know, I always kind of feel a little left out, like “hey, let’s talk about music”. I can’t tell you, like every night, almost every night, someone will come up to me like “Zombi, dude, you guys are awesome. I’m like the biggest 70’s horror fan.” That really has nothing to do with us, it almost turns into where it’s not even a compliment. I’m not even sure where it’s coming from. No, I know where it’s coming from and it’s a compliment. It just kind of baffles me a bit.
Tony: If that’s what you get from what we play, then that’s fine. If you think of zombies busting out of the ground and chewing people’s faces off, that’s fine. If you think about a spaceship flying through space, that’s okay as well. I can see both ends of it.
Steve: It’s open-ended.
Tony: I can listen to a song like “Night Rhythms” that’s going to be on our upcoming album and seeing the darkest horror influences, but at the same time seeing a lot of space rock and things like that, maybe even as far as techno creeping its way in. So whatever you get from it is fine. It’s just that those questions are asked a lot, so I just don’t know what to say sometimes.
Grim Magazine: Alright, thank you very much!
Steve & Tony: Thank you!
With: Steve Moore, A.E. Paterra
Interview Date: March 1, 2006
Years Active: 1999-present
Genre: Space Rock, Electronic Rock
Website: Band Website
Label: Relapse Records
Origin: United States
Reviewed by: Grim Magazine
What did you think about this Interview? Tell us below.
Or discuss it with us in our Horror Group!
*This post may contain affiliate links, meaning, if you click through and make a purchase or sign up for a program, Grim Magazine may earn a very small commission. This is at no additional cost to you. The small fee goes toward keeping our website free of advertisements and other product banners. It also helps in funding our contests and giveaways, and pay compensation to our content contributors for their reviews, articles, and stories. Please don’t hesitate to use our affiliate links!