Love metal? Love drum & bass? Then you’re probably a fan of Zardonic already, and if you are not, then you are going to be in just a few moments. The masked music maker from Venezuela has brought forth another mega record fusing his two favorite sounds together. As a leader in the drum & bass scene, Zardonic has put out some of the sickest records in the niche scene, and he usually brings his rock edge to the table, much like he does with “Against All Odds.”
I’d like to think this is a special song for him, not only because of the quality, but because Zardonic has been at the forefront of his sound, gaining mass popularity despite creating a style that isn’t accepted by the mass of dance music listeners, although it should! With “Against All Odds” you get vicious breaks mixed with heavy guitar riffs that will rip your ears apart in the best way possible. Check it out through the stream below, and if you’d like to pre-order the Antihero album, you can do so via iTunes.
Zardonic will be doing a Q&A with Periscope on Sunday, August 16th, so make sure to head over to be online when the time comes. More information can be found on the artist’s Twitter. Zardonic is also looking to make a splash in the DJ Mag Top 100, so cast your vote for him here! I had the chance to chat with Zardonic myself on his upcoming album, as well as some of his other endeavors.
Your EDM Interview:
There’s no doubt Zardonic is the most aggressive electronic producer out there, and your “Bring It On Single”, with Mikey Rukus on vocals, is currently the main theme for NBC’s WSOF, can you tell us how that collaboration began? What did the writing to final release process look like? How did the single get selected by WSOF? Can we expect some MMA oriented shows in the future?
Everything is possible. What happened was that I made this track and wanted a vocalist, and my manager James Jeda, CEO of Rocktagon Worldwide, connected me with Mikey Rukus, who not only contributed with lyrics but also did an amazing lead solo. Then the people at WSOF heard it and started playing it as part of their BGM during their shows, and the audience started loving it more and more. It was the track that stood out from the rest somehow, so they decided to make it the main theme. And the rest is history! It’s going to be part of the main intro for the forthcoming World Series Of Fighting shows for the next months at least. So more shows together with them will happen for sure!
You have an upcoming album with eOne Music, can you give as a sneak peak into what we can expect? Will it be classic Zardonic, or should we be looking forward to some new sounds?
The title of the album will be “Antihero”. Soundwise, it has a bit of both. The interesting thing about this album is that all the original tracks were 100% me, no collaborations. I composed the entirety of the tracks using virtual rhythm guitars with Shreddage 2 on FL Studio, recorded my own vocals, wrote my own lyrics. It’s a very personal album. I did need real metal guitar leads so I hired venezuelan guitarist Tadeo Díaz for the job, and he took the whole thing to a completely different level. I’m very, very satisfied with it because it doesn’t sound like anything else I’ve heard. In the words of Michael Diasio aka Gigantor of Evol Intent, it’s “The second coming of Ministry meets Knife Party”. Or “Skrillex meets Slayer” like Ryan J. Downey said LOL. I love that one. It’s funny, but works for the mainstream. And that’s exactly where I want to be.
I’m trying to expand to something different this time. It is heavy, it is metal, but it is not strictly DNB anymore. Granted 6 out of 10 of the original tracks have a DNB beat, but I also did two electro tracks, a breakbeat / dubstep track and a glitch hop track. It also has instrumental mixes and remixes by Rusty K, Counterstrike, Dub Elements, Esparta, Darksiderz, Heavygrinder, Evol Intent, The Outside Agency and Voicians. All in different genres spanning from Big Room House to Crossbreed / Gabber. This is an album for the people. For everyone. No more closed niches, no more tight scenes, no more underground “stupid kids don’t deserve to hear this” mindset. There is something here for everyone, and everyone will be pleased. Or not. But I am, and that’s what matters to me first.
We heard that your recent European tour was just insane, with massive crowds and some intense moments, can you share some stories? How do European fans compare to US and South American fans?
European fans are by far my best crowd. They LOVE heavy music and they’re all about energetic, percussive music. That’s why I love playing in Europe. It is my best market. South American fans are very passionate as well, but sometimes there’s not enough money behind it. As you’ve probably heard, the situation in Latin America is pretty tough and there are other priorities. You do have your occasional big festival that is probably dominated by your usual big festival corporations, so they just put whoever they want to put there. And the US fans, I still believe the scene here needs a lot of work and needs to evolve. But people are starting to get tired of the samey sounding DJs and producers. So it might happen sooner than later, and we’ll be at the forefront of it. Working hard to make that happen as we speak. One of the most passionate and responsive crowds I’ve ever had was in that show in Providence, Rhode Island in December 2014, right up there with Baltimore in March 2015. So change is coming, slow but safe!
About the European tour, I have two pretty not-so-fun stories to share actually. In Svojsice Festival in Czech Republic, my set was interrupted by a bomb threat. Literally the police raided the place and shut down the music for an hour. At the end of the day it just happened to be a troll and the police started investigating who it was, but the number could not be reached. Interesting, huh? Either someone really hated the people behind the festival or someone was stupid enough to think the subs were exploding bwahahah. In any case, after it was obviously confirmed there was no bomb, the festival continued and nothing could stop it!
The second story happened when I needed to fly back from Bratislava to Lisbon. I had a layover in the UK. As a Venezuelan citizen, we have a visa suspension policy in the EU for tourism, business and short term work (i.e. Artist work, flying in, playing a show, flying out). However, for the UK, the concession ended in May 2014. Fearing they wouldn’t let me through the UK to get back to Lisbon even though it was a 2 hour layover, I found that www.gov.uk said that I didn’t need a visa as long as I had a Biometric Passport and stayed less than 24 hours in the airport. So I went ahead and tried to get through. They stopped me at the border. I showed them the website, they said that’s weird because it’s not the same information they have there. So basically, an official government website of the United Kingdom bearing the crown of Queen Elizabeth II had the wrong information. They held me for 10 hours and sent me back to Bratislava, and I lost the money for the flight that I needed to take from Lisbon to my next show, so we had to buy the flights directly from Budapest which was the closest major airport.
But I guess not everything is terrible. I did have amazing times in Budapest. It’s my new favorite city in Europe. And I would love to go back there again for holidays, just not in that situation.
Are rumors true you’re making a bid for DJ Mag’s Top 100 this year?
Rumors? What are you waiting to VOTE?
Dude, let me tell you this… Publicity is publicity. We can spend all day talking about all sorts of negative things about this list, but when you make it even to the last place with real votes from real people that really love your music, that is priceless. Am I investing $40.000 worth of ads on DJ Mag’s website? No. I’m posting on my Facebook page. I’m having people from Venezuela voting for me. All sorts of media are posting interviews about me both from my homecountry and the rest of the world, and I didn’t give them a single dime. They’re doing it out of pure love.
And that’s what I want you to do. If I make it to that list, it’ll be revolutionary. It’ll prove that no matter what the big boys pay, say or do, the people are stronger. That is what Zardonic represents. That is precisely the concept of the Antihero album. No more idols, no more sheep blindly following the same. I don’t even like to think people are following me or trying to be like me. Everytime someone asks me “how can I be like you”, I tell them they shouldn’t because there’s no way to be like anyone else but yourself. They need to be the best version of themselves. They need to push forward. Make as much noise as they can. And the best example of this is Angerfist. That guy singlehandedly brought Hardcore to the forefront of the scene. And that’s what I want to do. If I don’t make it this year. I’ll try again next year. And the next year. Until we reach the big stages. I am done with the underground hipster mindset. You see all these DJs with the same mindset and then they complain they’re broke. There’s a reason why I got away with making a living off music while producing a genre that is, as we previously discussed in that interview last year, extremely difficult to market. And I made it happen. And I will continue to make it happen, and will blast the doors open for an entirely new scene to emerge not for me, but for every single DJ out there who is already mixing EDM with Rock and Metal and wishes to continue doing so. It’s happening. The tides started turning a long time ago. So brace yourselves. The time is now.
I hope I can count on you to promote the voting and help bring back the glory!
We saw you’re going to be a character in the upcoming “Warlocks Vs Shadows” Game, how did that come about? Can we expect some new music tied in?
They hit me up and said they wanted me to contribute with music and chose two tracks from Vulgar Display Of Bass: “Kickass” and “Sideshow Symphony”. Then it was discussed to have Zardonic as a character. I like how they called him too, “the Bass Wizard”. It reminded me of Emperor’s “I Am The Black Wizards” so I started joking around and twisted that to “I Am The Bass Wizards!”. Ah, good old Norwegian Black Metal.
There’s a bit of confusion though. These tracks will not be part of the soundtrack, but used as trailer music for the game. What you can expect to hear though is SFX of my own and voice of my own for the character. It was a very fun thing to do because I always wanted to do that kinda stuff and this was the perfect opportunity to do it.
Rumor has it you’re hitting the road with HEAVYGRINDER, any dates you can reveal? Can we expect some onstage moments and future collabs?
Besides the remix she did for my album I’m also doing a remix for her. I think she has a lot of potential and would play a fundamental role in bringing the heavier sounds to mainstream status thanks to her huge popularity in social media. The remix she did for me was fantastic and is easily one of my favorites! I’d say it’s safe to think we will do more collaborations.
Can you tell us about the recent featuring of your single “Bring Back The Glory” in the film “11 Minutes”?
During my time in Poland in February 2015, I was called by director Jerzy Skolimowski for a meeting in a restaurant next to his studio. As good poles, we had Pierogi. Well, I’m not a pole but I like to think I have a bit of every nationality in the world. And I love trying new food. Which is why I always need to go back to my diet LOL. We sat and he said Bring Back The Glory was the perfect track for a scene in the movie, and he showed it to me, and it made perfect sense! So we proceeded to do all the legal whatnots, talk licensing, commissions and all that. Sometimes I hate dealing with paperwork and I just want things to happen, but the more you grow in the business the more you understand how important it is. But at the end of the day, all that matters to me is that everyone’s happy and satisfied. I can’t wait for the film to be released and watch the whole thing!