With so many cool bands out there to check out I offer you some minor guidance by introducing you to ZEISTENCROIX. Anders Ekdahl ©2020
When the band came into creation what was the main purpose for it?
OD: the band was founded around 2012 but it really became active on 2014, what we really want is just to play music and create art, and leave a body of work that we can feel proud of.
Santi: The main purpose is to create art. To materialize into this reality all the ideas that constantly bombards our minds. Everything starts with a song, that mutates into an album and then we dress it with art we feel is the right fit for the music. Then it becomes an emotion.
Akopan: The band born as consequent to our necessity to express ourselves as individuals and as a band, to show the world that we have something to say also have something to contribute to music.
How hard is it to come up with a sound that is all yours? What bits’n’pieces do you pick up from other stuff to make it your sound?
OD:it´s all about being yourself, we bring all our ideas and crafted on an uncompromised way no rules no limits just what we feel works and what we like
Santi: We believe practice and experimentation are key ingredients to discover new sounds and routes. We challenge ourselves from a technical point of view to unlock feelings that only arise with the consistency of intimately playing an instrument.
We all have our influences when it comes to music. I’m a big fan of Danny Carey, Tim Alexander, Steve Gadd, Vinnie Colaiuta, Matt Cameron, etc. The list is infinite. What inspires me about these musicians, is the fact that they transcend beyond this realm and they are able to travel through the power of musical interpretation. It’s like a possession.
Akopan: I don’t think is hard at all. All we have different influences and different experiences in life and that gave us a specific focus to our music. At the same time gave us lots of resources to create our own sound.
I have no idea what kind of creative process you guys go through but how hard is it to record and release new songs?
OD:it´s hard, not necessarily the creative process but the funds and scheduling to get in the studio and record
Santi: We start everything with a philosophical and/or deep conversation, we enjoy talking about concepts we find fascinating, such as: science, science fiction, the singularity, technology, social engineering, religion, UFO’s, history, you name it. The music is the end result of our conversations.
Akopan: that’s the hard part, with O.D. The ideas for new music are endless, but record and release them is the difficult part, now a days the music industry is dead and here is where we need a better support to reach more fans.
Today technology allows you to record at home and release your music digitally. But in doing so is there a risk that you release only single songs because that is what is demanded to stay atop and therefore you end up killing the album for example?
OD: honestly nothing you record at home sounds good, everyone has that illusion but when you compare anything you do to a professional song/album the sand castle crumbles, also we don´t really pay attention to what´s being done/demanded outside our creative process we tend to do what we do however we feel like without following trends etc
Santi: We utilize technology as a tool to reach beyond our own capacities. We are our own limitations and we are the only ones capable of transcending those limits. Our intention is to manifest music and art as pure as the execution needs it. We appreciate the body of work that an album represents and we leave it up to our fans to decide how and when to consume it.
Akopan: Yes and no. With Gen Z for example we are trying to exploit every single song, because every single one of them were created to express a part of us and we are looking to connect with people with the variety that the album brings to them.
I for one feel that the change in how people listen to music today, by downloading it and expecting to get it for free, will kill music as we know it. What kind of future is there for music?
OD: yes i kind of agree but everything changes, peoples perspectives and opinions so you never know what´s gonna happen 3 days from now let alone a year and so forth.. nobody could´ve had predict this pandemic for instance everything it´s on hold, and there´s the risk of losing everything so we shall see what´s next..
Santi: We believe music goes back to tribalistic times, where humans gathered and danced around the fire to invoke rain or to ask the gods for a good harvest. In essence, we are the same humans with the same existential questions but with more advanced tools.
Live music is vital to the human experience, and we will be able to keep enjoying it that way somehow. We see interaction between humans and Artificial Intelligence performing beautiful music in the near future.
Akopan: in someway every band has to do their part and adapt it to this new technology and way that the music is running right now but at the same time is our responsibility to show to the fans and the people that we don’t have “to kill the music” to show it to everyone. There are still different ways to support the bands and the music for example the concerts which we think is our best way to listen to us. That is our best attribute, our performance.
What kind of responses do you get to your music? What has been the thing that has gotten the most attention?
OD: we´re fortunate to have a connection with our audience and of course everybody is different, for some it´s the live show, the intensity, the aggressiveness, for others the melody, or the lyrics, the emotion some people feel from some songs or even arousal, so it´s quite extensive
Santi: Throat singing. Often times, our audience wonders if OD is using voice effects to create that unique sound. During our tour in Europe, we experienced the fascination of our fans when OD was throat singing.
Akopan: our songs definitely!!that’s the first attractive thing that fans can see from us and how the band looks in videoclips, posters, photos and social media. We are working hard to bring something full of quality an energy that match with all the lyrics.
We live in a world where there are no real distances between people communicating anymore. What has been the most surprising contact so far?
OD: the fact that with our music we´ve been able to communicate without even talking the same language
Akopan: Yes, Fans from far away Cities and countries that don’t even speak our language but still connect with our ideal of music.
Does playing in a band make you feel like you are a part of a greater community? What has music brought with it that you would have otherwise missed out on?
OD: in my case makes me feel in a family an spiritual one were we become one while playing and blend with the universe
Santi: Yes. It’s family, its communion.
Akopan: Oh yeah! Definitely!! Like I said before, the communication with people is endless nowadays. But most important to me it is to share this band with these two amazing musicians, friends, full of talent and camaraderie. That’s what keeps me here doing what I’m doing.
What is the live scene like for you? Do you feel that playing live helps building a bigger following?
OD: absolutely, that´s always the best way to connect and communicate music
Santi: Playing live is what we are built for. There’s nothing more exiting and humbling than to perform for a live audience. It keeps us grounded and also reminds us that this is about the music.
Akopan: Yes for sure! as I said before I think that’s our best “weapon”, when we perform live, we feel that we can connect better and get more fans!
What plans do you have for the future?
OD: touring, also we´re gonna release another video on the next couple of months, in terms of writing we have already more than 20 songs ready to go it just depends on timing and external factors to get in the studio but once all this craziness goes away our main goal is to keep touring, go to europe again and keep on the east and west coast here in the states
Santi: To conquer the world.
Akopan: More music!! keep recording videos, keep recording albums, keep playing performing, our future only translates as “music”.