Zygnema just released their new album “What Makes Us Human Is Obsolete”. We had a chat with the band where they spoke about their new album, tour plans and more other stuffs ahead of their gig in Chennai at RAW POWER II which is scheduled to take place on 28th June, Sunday. Here we go:
MJM. Greetings from MetalJesus Magazine! How you doing?
Z: We are doing great. Thank you.
MJM. Congratulations on the new album, but before we talk about it lets get back to the past. There are many new fans listening to Indian metal recently and I think it would be awesome for them if you briefly tell us the story about the birth of “Zygnema”.
Z: Initially the line up consisted of Jimmy, Sidharth and Ravi who used to take guitar lessons from the same guitar instructor. That’s how these three met. Through common friends, they got introduced to Mayank somewhere in late 2006.Managed to play a few small club gigs and college competitions. Band started playing actively from November 2008 after Sidharth came back from the States.
We released our first debut album in 2010 titled ‘Born Of Unity’. A lot of good things happened after the release. We played many college shows as supporting or headlining acts. We got a chance to play Wacken, Inferno, Metal Asylum Fest – Dubai, and a few small festivals around Europe. Ravi decided to part ways in Feb 2013 and that’s when Leon was hired to take up bass duties and after two years we managed to release our second full length album, ‘What Makes Us Human Is Obsolete’.
MJM. Over the years many things evolved in the band I guess, how do you guys take that change in you and turn it into advantage for the band? I bet many new bands would love to have some advice on surviving with changes.
Z: We believe in one simple thing – just be true to yourself and to your music. Do what you love to do the most as a band and more importantly, believe in your own music. Rest everything else will fall in place if you don’t get disheartened or troubled with all the struggles a band has to go through these days.
MJM. What Makes Us Human Is Obsolete,can you share us the story behind naming the album?
Z: The name simply occurred to Jimmy and when he shared it with us as a prospective album title, we instantly finalized it. It is deep, striking and we love it. It represents the downfall of the human qualities and feelings in an era of cut-throat competition and race to win.
MJM. The artwork of the album is really sick. Share us the story behind conceptualizing it and how it symbolizes the message or the theme the album conveys.
Z: We worked with Reuben Bhattacharya (Visual Amnesia) for the album art and our modified logo. It took us weeks to get to what we have right now on the cover as it is quite difficult to portray a super-vast concept through a single image. We tried a lot of visual ideas but none were strong enough for us to make it our album cover. Jimmy’s friend Shardul Jadhav sent a rough sketch of a man tied with ropes in a puppet-like fashion. He had no heart, no brain and the world was burning behind him. Another idea (application of Vitruvian man) came from Mayank’s friend Sajid Wajid Shaikh. We loved both the ideas and sent them to Reuben who added life to the art and made it what it is. He also came up with the concept of a skinless man which makes so much sense. “Beneath the skin, we are all the same”. We are super happy with our final cover. It speaks volumes.
“I AM WHAT I AM AND THIS IS WHAT I DO. We are the human beings of today. A hardwired life-form, kept alive by being plugged into technology, a puppet to the framework of society, religion and propaganda, tied to structures built by those that control us. We are heartless, brainless, mindless, thoughtless, existing without free will or conscience, existing in conflict. We have forgotten that once the skin is peeled off, we are all the same color, the same mass of flesh, blood and fucking bones. We are the same enslaved race of selfish and jealous puppets that have turned our backs to the very world we burnt in the name of progress. Everything that made us ‘human’, free thinking and sentient is obsolete. Da Vinci’s symmetry of the perfect human form is now the symmetry of enslavement and dependence. With every passing day I am more ashamed of calling myself a human. I wish I was a robot.” – Reuben Bhattacharya (Visual Amnesia).
MJM. Born Of Unity, was a very heavy album, both in terms of music and also carried a very serious message with it. What we may expect from the new album this time?
Z: The new album is a lot heavier and relentless. This wasn’t planned. It just happened. We won’t break the ice right now. It’ll break you. You need to listen to the album to feel the music and to experience something new.
MJM. When did you guys decided to start writing the new album? Now that it’s all done, how do you want to sum up the whole journey?
Z: Song writing is a never ending process. We would keep coming up with ideas and keep compiling them. The whole album started taking shape post November 2013. Recording an album is the most awesome experience. Not only with us, but with all the bands. We learned a lot during the whole process. We only have to a lot to achieve and gain from all this experience.
MJM. It’s been almost 5 years since Born Of Unity, did anything changed in the band in terms of writing the songs? Any change in direction or any different influences all together impacting the sound of the bands?
Z: A little bit of change in sound is quite evident on this record. It’s a lot more relentless and there is less breathing space. Our direction is still the same. We still write groovy stuff. In fact it’s a lot more hard hitting. You have to listen to it at home and live to experience the impact.
MJM. In 5 years definitely everyone grew as musicians, how did that growth had an impact in the writing process? Did you guys made some note from the old album regarding what to do and what not to in the new one?
Z: We did spend a lot more time learning new stuff and applying without making it too obvious. We can’t afford to lose out on our original flavor. We evolved as musicians and as a band. We pushed each other to play something better and to push our limits. The end result has been quite satisfactory to be honest. There were changes added consciously. It all happened instinctively and shaped up well. We don’t know how our future albums are going to sound either. So yeah, it’s pretty much a free flowing process.
MJM. What about funny incidents while recording the album? Do you have any memories regarding any track from the album which took hell lot of time in order to finalize the elements of the song or arrange the structure of it? Share us some incidents.
Z: Funny incidents..ummm…not really man. It took us a while to get the album out so we all were in a different serious frame of mind.
Our last track on the album ‘A Design To choose’ features Sunneith Revankar from Bhayanak Maut. This was the best thing that could happen to us. He is a very close friend, and more importantly one of the best vocalists in the Indian metal scene. He instantly said yes when we asked him and he also wrote most of the lyrics for this song. He played a vital role and helped us to give this song a new edge.
MJM. Which track from the new record is band favourite and will always make it to the set list?
Z: There are quite a few monsters on this record. We personally dig ‘The Phoenix Effect’, ‘“Shell Broken Hell Loose’ ‘Reform Rebirth’, ‘Invidious I’ and these tracks will remain on the set list for a very long time.
MJM. I recently saw the recording Born of Unity documentary, are we expecting something like that for the current one as well? It would be fun I guess.
Z: We are compiling something. We don’t know when we will put that out. But we sure are planning on putting some compilation videos of behind the scenes by the end of this year.
Watch the Born of Unity Documentary:
MJM. You guys launched your album via Ctrl Alt Dlt 8.0, how was the response from the crowd? Was it emotional to play in front of the Mumbai crowd as it’s where the band is based in?
Z: Mumbai never disappoints. The turnout has always been FANTASTIC. Plus Control Alt Delete had a massive line up. So it had to be bigger. Yes we are all from Mumbai, but an overwhelming response from anywhere gets us all emotional. It purely reflects their belief in our work and that’s what a band is exactly looking for. We couldn’t ask for better gigs.
Another city that has been showing a lot of support is Delhi. It’s becoming our second home.
MJM. How’s the tour going on so far? It’s incredible to see finally bands are touring and promoting their album. Are you guys planning to add more cities?
Z: Control Alt Delete was the first gig of this tour and we couldn’t have asked for a better experience. We shared the stage with a stellar lineup of bands and played to a completely packed venue. A crowd singing your songs with you and making circle pits after circle pits is all that you can ask for.
We just played Delhi and have five more cities to go. A few more cities are yet to be confirmed but there’s nothing concrete yet. We definitely are looking at extending our tour and adding more cities in the month of July and August. An album release happens once in 3-4 years so gotta make it the best experience!
MJM. Do you guys have any plan to tour abroad as well for promoting the album?
Z: Yes, we are planning on plugging in a small tour next year. No gigs confirmed as yet, but we have started talking to few of our friends/promoters whom we have worked with before. We just want to do it properly and not rush into it so we are going to space it out and make sure its full proof and we make the best out of it.
MJM. How are the fans and critics reacting to the album so far? Did it turned out exactly the way you planned?
Z: Fans and friends always appreciate your work. Fellow musician friends and colleagues loved our new album so that’s one good thing. We’re waiting for the critics to share their bit. Our record will be available for worldwide distribution from June 20th onwards. That’s when the critics (local and international) will have access to our album and start sharing their bit.
MJM. You guys will be performing in Chennai at Raw Power Edition II, so what the fans from Chennai can expect from you guys? Should they learn the lyrics and come prepared? What do you think about the line up at Raw Power ?
Z: The lineup is fantastic and we are looking forward to this gig. Not sure what we should be expecting from the crowd but we can assure one thing – they are going to have one hell of a night and they will witness something new as this is going to be our first gig in Chennai! 🙂
MJM. Thank you so much for your time and we wish all the best with the album and all your future projects. Any words for your fans?
Z: Thanks to you guys. Thanks a ton for constantly showering us with soo much love faith and support. Hope this stays the way it is forever. Cheers!!!
Please support our new album by procuring it officially from these places –
CD distribution worldwide from Transcending Obscurity – www.tometal.com
CHECK THE FULL ALBUM OUT :
Adwaita Chakma (Metaljesus Magazine)