Friday, 2 August 2013

20 Questions w/ Zombiefication


For the fun of it, I google searched the ‘Mexico metal scene’ and ‘Mexican Metal bands’.  The results of which was a link to page which informed me that there are or have been 192 bands from Mexico.  One of which is Zombiefication, a brilliant band who released their 2nd full length record, At the Caves of Eternal back in April of this year.  And they are the subject of my 20 Questions interview today!

There have been many famous duos, Adam and Eve, Turner and Hooch, Chas and Dave.   However, the art that this duo produce couldn’t be further removed from those duos.  Today, I am interviewing, Zombiefication and they specialise in producing fucking brilliant Death / Doom metal.  Sit back, relax and enjoy. Then listen to this record and bang your head!!!

SL)     Mr. Jacko, welcome to the Sludgelord, thanks for taking the time to answer some questions for us. How are you and where are you right?

Mr. Jacko) Hey Sludgelord! Thanks a lot for the support and for supporting filthy music! Right now I am sitting in my TV couch watching a movie while answering this interview. It is always a pleasure to keep on spreading our music through sites like yours.

SL)     Some of our readers may not know you too well. Could you give them a brief history of Zombiefication?

MJ) Zombiefication started in 2008 by Mr. Hitch and me with the sole purpose of paying tribute to the Swedish Death Metal sound we loved so much. We recorded our promo in 2009 and that got us a deal with Asphyxiate Records from Australia and they released our first full length Midnight Stench the next year. This release eventually got licensed to Osmose and they re-released it and the LP got released by Chaos Records.

Two years later we unleashed our Reaper’s Consecration EP which was released by Pulverised Records worldwide and Chaos Records in Mexico. While the sound was pure buzzzzzaaaawwww sound, this time we started to incorporate new aspects to the music so the band that started as a tribute was now looking for its own identity.

In 2013, a year later, we signed a contract with Pulverised Records and they released in April our new album, At the Caves of Eternal. This time the sound is even more varied and I think that we are finally started to find what we are about.
This same year we toured Europe from April to May for 21 days and 15 cities and the response was awesome! Italy, Spain, Portugal and France were crushed!!!

SL)     So what are your plans to see out the second half of the year? Any big touring plans or festivals?

MJ) The big touring as I mentioned just ended. Right now we are taking a 2 month break from everyone and then we will start writing new material for the next release. In the meantime we already have scheduled some great shows with Mexican bands so it will be a lot of fun.

SL)     We loved 'At the Caves of Eternal’ here at Sludgelord and our man, Rich Maw wrote a killer review. Were you feeling confident heading into the live arena armed with such a killer record?

MJ) Tell Rich Maw that he knows his Metal jajaja. I actually read the review and was glad to see he liked it. In a live environment we are extremely confident about the new songs. They have worked extremely well and the response we got in Europe only helped to make this more clear. I think we are a pretty powerful live band and we manage to express what our music is about in the live setting, but in the end the audience is the one that really decides, maybe I’m wrong ja.

SL)     This is album number two for you guys, How did the recording process go? How do the record compare to last years EP and your debut record?

MJ) For At the Caves of Eternal we repeated the same process as in the Reaper´s Consecration EP. Music was recordead at Revolution Studios with Jesus Bravo, vocalist of Agony Lords, and then sent to Necromorbus Studios in Sweden for the mixing and mastering. We are extremely happy with the end result. It turned dark, powerful filthy and raw.

Regarding in how the records differ, the result is very clear. In the beginning there was no real experimentation in the music, it was 100% Death Metal in the old way. Reaper´s EP saw us incorporate more influences from other types of music such as Black Metal and more traditional stuff and with the new album, we really opened our spectrum and released what we liked without following any standard as long as it sounded good. We are still Death Metal in the core, but the funny part is that we incorporate so many influences, that some people say that now we are a Black Metal band with a Death Metal sound, others say we have a lot of punk attitude and so on. In the end I am starting to like this. We are doing what we like and people is responding!

SL)   So, Mexico?  Is it a Mecca for heavy music and how is the heavy music scene doing there in 2013? Could you tell us about some of the upcoming bands emerging from your home country?

MJ) Mexico has always had great bands and to this day there is no exception. In the 90´s the scene was one of the best ones of the underground. Cenotaph, Shub Niggurath, Bloodsoaked, The Chasm, Mortuary, Argentum and many more bands were doing big things for the country and the scene. Today, and after some years of almost no presence, there is finally starting to be a good scene again. Bands like Denial, Gutwrench, Evil Entourage, Hacavitz, Castleumbra, Agony Lords, VRPI and many more are doing really interesting things and should be watched.

The problem here is that there is a lot of support towards international bands but when it comes to Mexican ones, many people don’t support and that is truly fucked up. But in the end I guess that is there loss. The scene is being interesting again and there is a lot of great music to explore.

SL)   Your record seems to lean more towards death metal, with elements perhaps of BM and doom in there too. Where do you think Zombiefication stands within those varying genres?

MJ) Ja, you just nailed what I talked about before and what we are looking for in our sound. I guess I have already talked about this in previous questions, but it’s great to see you guys thought so too.

SL)    Who are some of your biggest influences?

MJ) Some of our biggest influences are the 90´s with bands like Entombed, Dismember, Anathema, Dissection, Gorement, My Dying Bride, etc. Regarding new ones, we really are influenced by Watain, Tormented, Necrovation, Tribulation and anything that is dark, brutal and with a true content.

SL)     Staying with influences, do you like to play any covers live? If not already, are there plans to play any covers live, or do you aim to keep your set strictly original material?

MJ) Nope, I will never say never, but I will try to never play covers live. I hate it when bands do it. At the same time, Mr. Hitch kind of likes the idea of having a cover here or there, but so far it has not happened and I will fight for it not to happen! I stand for original material all the way.

The only material we have covered is Among The Abrupt by Mexican Godz Cenotaph. It appeared in the tribute compilation of the band as the opening track.

SL)  Is Zombiefication a full time gig, or do any of you have to hold down the fort with other employment? Do you find touring hard to organize around this at all?

MJ) Even though Zombiefication is our life it does not pay the bills. This type of music as you know is extremely hard to live from. Mr. Hitch works in advertising and I work in the construction business, so when it comes to touring it can be a bit hard. Luckily we managed for our 23 days European trek, so I am sure in the next big tour, there will not be a problem of any kind to make it happen.

SL)  Are you a fan of heavy music blogs? If so, how relevant do you think they are given the state of the recording industry in the present day?

MJ) I am going to be honest with you. I only read printed stuff regarding music, I guess I am an old fart in that aspect. There is something about reading long periods of time in the computer that just bums me and I try to avoid.

Regardless of what I read or don’t, I think they are very useful for people to get to know bands and all types of music related matters. A proof of this is that today via the correct channels a band can be heard in many countries and in a short period of time. The bad aspect is that there is so much information that many of the good things pass by and you can’t even realize it.

SL)  Staying with the modern recording industry, where do you stand on format? Are you fans of the physical or do you believe that downloads having merit?

MJ) We have digital downloads of our music for one main reason, labels. They get income from there and that surely helps the income in this fucked up times. If it were not for labels, I personally would not care about digital downloads. I just hate them and only love the physical formats and forever will. I still think it is important to go with the times not to disappear, in the end the important thing is the music, and be it digital, physical or whatever, as long as it is bought, it is fine by me.

SL)  Going back to your record do you have some favourite cuts from the new record? Anything that you particularly like to play live, or that has been well received by audiences?

MJ) To be honest I like all the cuts of the new album, but the personal favorites would have to be At The Caves of Eternal, Disembodied Souls, Soul Collector and In The Mist. 

SL) It is worth mentioning the killer artwork for your record, does it reflect the themes of the record?

MJ) Thanks for the words bro. We have always been very picky about our artwork. Mr. Hitch was in charge of all of it as always. He made this big canvas in a couple of months and that is exactly how it turned out.

The art has everything to do with the title. At The Caves Of Eternal is this place where the soul is lost between heaven and hell, purgatory and relief and that is why you see so many places to go to, but none of them really lead to a place. I would like to mention that the word Eternal in the title, is actually a noun, and we know it is not perfect English in the true sense of the word, but if you make eternity a thing, it is.

SL)  Let's get technical, as your genre can be extremely. Do you have any favourite gear setups, or choices of product that you use? What would you recommend to our readers who wish to play a similar type of music?

MJ) Actually I think that one of my weaknesses as a musician has always been the gear part. I have no fucking idea on what is good or not. I don´t know many brands, guitars, amps, this and that as long as it sounds good. So I can´t really recommend anything here, please, help me out jajja.

What I would recommend to our readers, is to go by your gut feeling and make the best out of the gear you have. It only needs to sound good to you in the end, music is done for oneself not the others. So if it sounds good enough to you, the difficult part has been achieved!

SL)   What are your opinions on younger bands getting famous overnight, without paying any 'dues'? Is it all just BS, or do you think that they suffer long term by not gaining real road experience? Do you think it's sad that they might be missing out on those early experiences?

MJ) I don’t know, I think it is a 2 way highway. Because of all the technology a band can get famous overnight and not work as hard as in the past, but at the same time, because of the same technology, a band has a lot more competition and it is harder for it to stand out. In the end I think that the important thing is not if a band is makes if fast or not, it’s if it is able to maintain itself for a good period of time and that is where the good crush the mediocre.

And about the thing you mention about the early experiences, they surely are missing something, those days were truly awesome. Was awesome to be part of the 90´s.

SL)  People always love a humorous tour incident! Got any to share, or are they all too ugly for public consumption?

MJ) Pfff, there are many to mention mate! Everyday there was something different going on in the van, or in the venue, or anywhere! I don’t know, I remember this time in Portugal that we were in a bar after the show and the ceiling were pretty low and they started stage diving everyone, but when they were pushing them, they would just land flat faced on the ceiling in a pretty brutal way and we would all just go crazy. I must also mention that is was a trendy Hard Rock place with shitty commercial Metal wanna be, so that made it even more funny.

SL) It seems crazy to ask with such a fresh record out, but how long do you plan to tour 'At the Caves of Eternal’? Were there any goals that you set for yourselves with this album?

MJ) I think we will be touring for one more year and hopefully by the end of next year we can have a new album out. Time will tell if I am right or way out there. But that surely is the idea.

SL)  Do you have a dream tour line-up? Any bands that you would like to play with, either established legends or new up and comers?

MJ) Of course!! As a Metal fan I surely do! I would have loved to be part of a tour with the mighty Dissection, In the Woods and Gorement. That would have been killer.

And with existing and active bands besides the obvious, I would like to someday tour with Watain or the mighty Death Breath and also Tribulation with their amazing new album, Necrovation or Procession, bring on the ionnnnnnsss!

SL)  Finally, thanks again for talking to us. The floor is yours - do you have anything you would like to say to any fans that are reading, or any shows that we should know about?

MJ) Thanks to Sludgelord for the true support! You can find us on FB or write to us at for anything from merch, to questions to curses, we will answer all. Hail the mighty death. Zombiefication – Metal Raised On Aztec Bloodshed!

Thanks as always to the band for taking the time to talk to us.  Thanks also to Jan at SureShotWorx for setting up the interview. As ever, show your support to the band by checking them out at the various links.  You can buy this release here. This record is available now. You can read the review of the latest record here.