(Occasional NCS contributor and a tough man to please, KevinP, recently had a talk with Wolfgang Rothbauer, guitarist for Austria’s Zombie Inc., whose new album Homo Gusticus was recently released by Massacre Records. We’re pretty sure Wolfgang is in the middle of the photo above. At the end of the interview we’ll have some music from the new album plus two videos.)
K: OK, ready when you are.
W: I am ready! but be aware…I am the murderer of 6 beers already!!
K: Oh boy, hahaha. I know this is one of those annoying interview questions, but give us a little backstory on how the band formed (this will help out all the newbies who are just discovering Zombie Inc).
W: Well, it was just Gerald Huber (Collapse 7) and me, who met in 2009 for some beers…I had to record some vocals for his project…after this we had more beers and talked about the good old 90`s death metal…after this we decided to form an old school death metal band… we knew that this would not be perfect and “real” if Martin Schirenc wasn’t on vocals …so we asked our long-time friend to follow us…he was surprised but followed…the other guys too, but they were later replaced by Martin Arzberger on bass (Molokh, Hollenthon) and Florian Musil on drums (Raising the Veil, Molokh). After our infection caused by the zombie babypiss, we deformed to zombies…so here we are!
K: I’m not sure I have a proper follow up question after that little tidbit. Haha
But why was Martin surprised? Surely he knew how messed up you and Gerald both were?
W: Well yes, he knew our sickness and he was not really surprised but he was …hmmm…I miss the fucking words…finally he said yes to it and he is more than motivated to be a real zombie.
K: When you first started the band, was there any concern about the Zombie idea being too “played out” to some people ?
W: There was no concern about that zombie idea, because we knew that we can bring it to more sick and funny level…and as far as we know, there is no death metal band like us, who are real zombies 🙂
K: You mentioned previously the new additions of Martin and Florian for this album. How did that come about?
W: Well, Martin and Florian joined the band after Daniel and Tomasz left the band due to personal and family reasons…
K: Let’s talk about the new record, Homo Gusticus. This one was a much more collaborative effort than the debut, correct?
W: The new record is opposite to the songwriting of our debut A Dreadful Decease. This was a real band writing. So in all of the songs are influences of all actual musicians in the band.
K: What are some of your favorite songs on the new album and why?
W: My favourite song is “The Rocking Dead” followed by “All Corpses Are Bastards” and “Cum Undone” as well as “Resurrection Guaranteed”.
“The Rocking Dead” was the first song that I wrote together with Martin Schirenc…that was a special experience because we had different ideas on it but it worked out finally as a great song! In general I think the new album is more death n roll than death metal as opposed to our debut album…
K: I agree with you that there is a death and roll vibe to it, but I would still consider this pretty much a death metal record thru and thru. I feel like everything about this record is better than the debut: production, songwriting, more memorable riffs.
W: Hmm, thats my opinion too, but the debut was more old school oriented…more classical death… the new album is more individual and shows that the band found its own style…
K: To me the most interesting track is “Bust the Food Chain”. Does that surprise you at all?
W: Hmm, well I wrote this song as a hidden “hit-song” for this album…so maybe it does not surprise me…hehe…but I don’t think that this song would get through to real death metal fans… but i agree its an interesting track.
K: Now that you mention “hit” I can see how it could very well have some crossover appeal beyond the typical death metal crowd.
The reason I find it interesting is because, while still being a death metal song that sounds like Zombie Inc., it introduces some new elements in there for the band. Slows things down a bit, there is some room for the listener to “breathe”, has a more eerie vibe, as opposed to straight ahead “death metal raping and pillaging”.
W: Yeah, I think nowadays there are so many perfect and technical musicians in death metal that are always doing the same boring things…I think it’s good to try different things in music…but it has to have an evil touch or atmosphere of death metal…
K: You did 2 videos for the first album in your “Rocking Dead” series (“Challenge of the Undead” & “Horror Fills This Hollow Earth”), where you were basically a band of merrymen going around destroying zombies, break-dancing with no shirts on, and doing a mini “wall of death” with half-naked woman (thank you for that last part). What do you have in store for us this time around ?
W: Well, I have written 2 new episodes so far..the third part will be filmed July/August…so I can`t talk about the final stories…but it will be funny and sick at the same time, that`s for sure…now its our turn, because now we are the zombies hunting humans…can`t tell you what kind of humans…
Concerning the half naked woman and the wall of death…you are welcome;-)
K: I was gonna say, the first 2 videos you are human, but you perform LIVE as zombies. So will the next video show us “how you turned”?
W: No we got infected in the last part of episode 2 and turned into zombies…the 3rd episode will be us hunting the humans…
K: LOL, I guessed I missed that part. I was distracted by all the semi-nudity and break-dancing.
W: Haha, no that was just the outtake scenes at the end. We drank the babypiss of Gerry`s zombiebaby which urinated in our champaign bottles…and got infected…
K: So where can people see you infected Austrians play live this year?
W: We have some festivals like Extremefest in Germany and some concerts in Europe but I think it’s too bad that we have no shows in the USA…
K: Those the only ones you are playing? Figured you would be doing the European festival circuit.
W: No, we are doing more festivals, but I only have the next two upcoming weekends in my head because of my other activities in other bands…I learned this because I would get burnout…
K: And now the the infamous last question of the interview: What do you want to say to everyone (besides, buy the new CD, our t-shirts, and us beers when you see us hanging by the bar)?
W: Hmm, last words to everyone…well, thanks to everyone getting through this interview until this sentence…I hope you enjoyed it…stay sick!
EDITOR’S NOTE: Zombie Inc’s official web site can be reached via this link and their Facebook page is here. The band’s new album, Homo Gusticus, can be streamed in its entirety and downloaded at this location or this one. Below you can see a teaser video for the new album and hear a couple of the new tracks, and below those are the first two episodes of “The Rocking Dead” series.