In the intricate tapestry of the underground music world, where authenticity weaves seamlessly with audacious creativity, there lie hidden gems, each one unique, echoing with stories untold. As curators of this vibrant sonic universe, we at IDIOTEQ.com are thrilled to guide you on an expedition into the pulsating heart of post–hardcore and screamo. Today, our voyage takes us deep into the realm of Zegema Beach Records‘ newest compilation album, “ZAMPLER #21.”
A kaleidoscope of diverse voices, this compilation stands tall as a testament to Zegema Beach Records’ unrivaled presence in the screamo landscape. Embellished with cover art by the talented Edie Quinn of Middle-Man Records and Coma Regalia, “ZAMPLER #21” unites an astonishing array of talent, creating a rich symphony of converging voices that celebrate the raw and beautiful diversity of the genre.
We’ve been afforded the distinct privilege of engaging in intimate conversation with the creators behind this compelling work. From Alas to Zmar, these innovative artists reveal what’s simmering in their creative cauldrons, their ambitions, current projects, and the fascinating stories behind the songs they’ve contributed to this remarkable compilation. It’s an unparalleled view into the beating heart of the global screamo scene, a pulse you can only feel here on IDIOTEQ.com.
We had the opportunity to speak with Alas, Atameo, Congratulations, Crowning, Dear Diary This Is From My Teenage Angst To My Adult Self, Eyelet, Gif From God, Hetta, Joliette, Lower Automation, Lucidity, Massa Nera, Neuman Portentum, New Day Rising, New Forms, Obroa-skai, Olth, Our Future Is An Absolute Shadow, Perfumed Saturnine Angels, Pettersson, Riversleem, Scenario, Thank You Driver, Venns, Vibora, and Zmar, all offering a diverse and illuminating perspective into the world of contemporary screamo.
Edie Quinn of Middle-Man Records and Coma Regalia
First off, I was really honored that Dave asked me to do the art for the release. Up until now I’ve only done artwork for releases that one of my bands was on, but I’m always hoping to get out there more. I had not seen the track listing, so it was a total surprise to me when Atameo covered a Coma Regalia song.
How awesome was that?! As far as the artwork goes, I only had one instruction, which was to base it off something from one of the movies. There were a lot of moments that I almost settled on but I thought the part where Rico and Zander fought was really ridiculous in a different way.
Words by the bands:
”Kyyn Kevät” is a song about a wilting relationship, where dishonesty piles up into an unbearable burden, which comes apart in the form of ”remission” or ”cleansing”.
In this sense, spring is an integral part of emotional music because of the power of expression it holds.
Currently Alas are planning to record a couple of splits and are writing songs for our next album plus shows in Finland and Italy.
The song we’ve decided to cover for the ZBR Coma Regalia tribute comp is a song that’s very close to our hearts.
When David contacted us about the idea of the tribute comp we all got so excited to take a part in it, Coma Regalia has been a great influence on us right from the start when we fell in love with the genre and we are so greatly honored to take part in this special project. We’re honestly dying to hear all the other covers from it.
For the past 2 years or so we’ve been working on new songs for our second album, which is gonna take a kind of different direction from the first one. We truly can’t wait to share these songs with other people.
Tony: Was supposed to be called White Noise Stars I think. The chorus came into its own thing harmoniously, the guitar line… after basically fucking around with the verse riff and back and forth vocals a bunch. Originally, I think the organic singing back and forth was better than what it became afterward. The chorus’ became better though with practice.
Sasha: Anthony wrote the lyrics for this track himself; for me it was a really fun track to play bass on live, just an easy flowing song. Also tracking and mixing the ep let me get into the songs and understand and connect to them on a whole other level. It was a moment captured in time.
The track we put on the zampler is Hy Brasil, which is named after a British legend of an island of paradise, apparently it appears once every 7 years, and sailors that try to sail to it are unable to reach it because it stays at the same point in the horizon no matter how much progress you make.
The song is about escaping the clutches of ideology, especially ideologies that make us kill one another.
Crowning is anticipating playing NFF in Toronto and their week-long tour to the east coast in the coming months.
DEAR DIARY THIS IS FROM MY TEENAGE ANGST TO MY ADULT SELF
Right now I don’t have any plans for Dear Diary, just waiting for the release of the new EP “A Harvest of My Own Ignorance” + “A Harvest of My Own Foolishness” compilation. I think I’m gonna put it on a hiatus after this release in order to put all my attention in Retratos de heroína.
“Now Olivia Rodrigo Presents The Night’s First Award For 2022’s Most Valuable Lesson And It Goes To…” makes a direct reference to a song from my first LP called “And The Award For 2020’s Most Valuable Lesson Goes To…”. It’s literally about what it says in the title, it’s something I learnt that same year: we can have our ideals justified, but it’s really hard to make them work when you meet so many people. Someday you’ll need to be saved and I’m not sure if my ideals will help to shelter myself from adversity. Be it wrong or be right, I don’t think it’s my job to expend energy telling you what to do.
We’re playing some festivals this fall and probably gonna write a new record this winter.
Our song was part of a group of songs we wrote as a three piece, which was an interesting challenge.
We’re still the glitched-out, freaked-up nanobrainworm hivemind we’ve been since we emerged from a chemical spill in the RVA negative-energy containment zone. We’ve been rocking, writing the next LP, touring, and getting a little bit serious and a little bit playful.
We hope to see you at New Friends Fest, or perhaps on the road later this year. Keep your peepers popped wide open, you never know when the mind control drugs are gonna obliviate your lungs.
Andrew on “The Cow’s Meow”: “It feels beyond overdone for bands to have takes, especially about how hard the last few years have been. Suffice it to say the last three years have not put me in a good place mentally.”
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Mule was the first song we wrote after releasing Headlights. We consciously tried to simplify the way we thought about song structure, playing around with chorus-verse vamps more than we did before, all while dipping our toes into writing heavier, breakdown-ish riffs for the first time.
Writing “Mule” was a rewarding experience and this change in songwriting has helped us keep the process fresh for the future. Ultimately, the song’s simply whatever you take from it.
After a few years of uncertainty due to COVID-19 and its consequences, we are beyond grateful to be able to continue as a band. We are going to have our first proper tour since 2019 this summer across several countries in Europe. We are also going to release an EP with 5 new songs titled “Luz de Bengala.”
This release is very meaningful to us because it marks an exciting new chapter in our history as a band. We couldn’t be any happier with the music that we recorded and we are really eager to see how people who have been following our band will react to it.
The first single that we released from this EP is called “Lemus.” It’s a very personal song because I wrote it to a friend who unfortunately passed away in early 2020, just before the pandemic.
Right when we were working on new music for the EP, I had a dream in which I was with my friend inside of a car, parked on the driveway of the house where he used to live with his parents when we were teenagers. I was concerned about going inside his house with him because I knew he was supposed to be dead and I thought that his parents would freak out the moment they saw him.
We got out of the car and I couldn’t take it anymore and burst into tears and hugged him while telling him that I missed him very much. My friend will always be remembered for having such a serene and peaceful demeanor which was on full display in my dream, he proceeded to calmly tell me not to worry and that everything will be fine. After that I woke up and I just couldn’t stop thinking about what I had just dreamt.
I felt like he was really there and I had the opportunity to say goodbye to him, which I didn’t have the chance to when he died back in 2020. The lyrics of the song talk about this dream and work as a farewell to a dear departed friend. I decided to name it “Lemus” because that was actually his last name. I really had a lot of peace after I had that dream. My friend had a heart condition because he was born when his mom was 7 months pregnant and his heart never fully developed properly, he was unfortunately always destined to leave us early.
I’m honestly very excited about this new Joliette chapter. Can’t wait to share it with everyone that follows the band. I’m slowly growing confident with my vocals, I hope we can get back in the studio to write an actual full-length ASAP
We’ve got a bunch of summer and fall tour dates lined up, and will be announcing more shortly. We’re also working our way through some new demos.
I have a tendency to get stuck in nostalgia and obsess about the past and what it would be like if I could go back.
This song is about how toxic it can be to live like that. It’s inspired by a really strange town I lived in as a kid. When we moved, I always looked back and wished my family never moved away, but later I learned how corrupt and messed up the place was.
This song is inspired by some our encounters and is about how people get addicted to drugs because of the “cool factor” and how recreational use of drugs can lead to becoming a social outcast.
And how in the brief moments of clear consciousness you realize what you’ve become and this is not a pleasant understanding.
‘Tristeza Consume (Lowering the Blinds)’ is about depression. It was one of the last songs written for Derramar | Querer | Borrar and took a while to put together.
We’re touring for 3 weeks next month. Beyond that, we have a lot of stuff in the works.
Neuman Portentum broke up shortly after recording (what was to become) God Monster in the summer of 1999. In 2020, the seemingly lost, forgotten, unmixed, and unmastered recording was rescued by guitarist, Josh Dobbs, after conversations with bassist, Ron Kulikowsky, centered on the desire to find and release what we had left behind that summer of 1999.
Sadly, a little bit after the project got resurrected in 2020, Ron passed away unexpectedly. In his honor and memory, the project became a necessity, and with the help of so many people, including Zegema Beach Records, Ripping Records, and Danger Room Recording, God Monster was finally released 24 years later.
The lyrics to “Crucifixion Asphyxiation” (aka. The Third Movement) were inspired by the concept that religion is unnecessary, and people are capable of being good people without it. It’s also the song that at one point, had a long, drawn-out sample of a clucking chicken from Texas Chainsaw Massacre halfway through it.
Zampler comp song -> “The Fourth Movement” is based on a dream where a walk in the forest turns apocalyptic. The quotations at the end were taken from Sisters of Mercy songs.
“A Brick Through the Window of Opportunity” is about how little time we have and how many moments are wasted on things that just don’t matter.
“Ghost” is about (eventually) finding solace and comfort in being alone and making peace with the shadows in the dark.
New Day Rising exists in perpetual limbo, always teasing a proper comeback, but never fully committing.
The passing years have caused many changes in perspective as well as many children to tend to. Actually, NDR HAS recorded new material, the first songs by the band since this very song, Holy Martyr, was written in 96/97.
The band has yet to perform live since those 90’s days due to joint issues, acid reflux and bouts of gout. The new material will see the light of proper day in 2024, exactly 30 years after the band first wrote those wacky demo songs.
New Forms has undergone major surgical reconstruction since our 2019 debut. During lockdown, we started writing what became our new LP with a new vocalist. We reintroduced ourselves with Mary fronting the band in 2022 at a post-New Friends Fest show alongside Nuvolascura and Hawak, and that’s when it really hit us; we needed to grind and finish writing asap.
Between then and recording in March of 2023, we also picked up Jake (Lessener, Reveries) and solidified ourselves as a quintet. Jake adds a whole new textural layer to our songs, and while this is Mary’s first band she writes with such sincerity that combined the two of them have truly reshaped what New Forms is and aims to be. We can’t wait to share more with you all.
Glass Gardens is the second single we’ve released so far, and you can read what Mary has to say about it below: “Glass Gardens is a refusal to be silenced. The senseless acts of violence and laws created to belittle and take away basic human rights against women, the LGBTQ+ community and other marginalized groups was the driving factor in my writing. Sharing feelings of anger and frustration of those who have been victimized and oppressed, while inspiring them to rise above their circumstances and assert their inherent worth and strength.”
Obroa-skai is a four-piece noisy screamo band from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. They combine pummeling hardcore, noise, and no-wave elements to create their own unique brand of screamo.
When writing the lyrics for the song, ‘blink’, Cory states, “The song was written about my own anxieties surrounding the rise of the far-right and what seems to be an inevitable upcoming conflict. I wrote it after watching the film, “Come And See”. War is horrific and devastating and inflicts such trauma that we in North America have absolutely no concept of. My grandfather was a Canadian POW in WWII and refused to speak of the things he witnessed. It’s basically a plea of anti-facism and squashing down of fascist ideals before it reaches the point of all-out war”.
Thanks to everyone for the support on our record so far. 12” LPs are dropping on Larry Records/Zegema Beach later this month.
OLTH will return to playing live shows this fall with a short east coast tour and some other upcoming dates. We’re also working on writing our next batch of songs.
“LOOking THrOugh THe HOLe in my Head” was one of the first songs we wrote when the band started. The main riff was inspired by the alien sounds you can create with a Digitech Whammy pedal. Some other cool parts of the song are the opening sample from the movie “It’s A Wonderful Life” (chosen by our guitarist Malcolm) and the descending piano line just before the last riff drops (which our bassist Dean surprised us all with in the studio). Shoutout to our friend Matt Labozza, who engineered the record, for making this song sound as nuts as we imagined.
OUR FUTURE IS AN ABSOLUTE SHADOW
“Perpetual Vertigo” was the second or third song I (Jesse) finished guitars for in this particular group of songs, which includes our upcoming LP and the songs from the Cube 6 way split.
For those who don’t know our writing process starts with Adrian recording a bunch of drums, and he sends them to me to write on top of. This time he sent me about 20 songs worth of drums, although I ended up combining 2 to make a singular longer song. I would go through the tracks until I found one I was vibing to that day and play it over and over, improvising to it until I played something I liked.
For this song I felt like a heavy neocrust intro fit, followed by octave melodies that start out dark and turn into a sort of uplifting mid tempo part, then back into the darkness. Both guitars and the bass came pretty easily to me on this one, and is probably one of the easier songs to play for this release.
I hadn’t heard Ophelia’s vocals before recording my own to it, so I was very happy and surprised when all of our screams meshed so well together in tonality and timing. This one definitely called for some lows, which I was pleased to do as I haven’t had many reasons to do them often for a long time.
Garry: Speaking of Serpents is a bit of a throwback or reincarnation of earlier Cara Neir material that could have fit cleanly on Portals or even Part III/Part IV, especially.
I wanted to channel a back and forth of some subdued moments into aggressive and cathartic moments. Lot of energy shifts. I think the ending really takes that notion to a full tilt. Maybe one of my favorite songs I’ve ever composed. It kind of has everything from melody, heaviness, octave chords, dark chords, clean guitars, tons of fills, and captures a lot of emotion.
Fitting for this album as a whole since it’s a full tribute to a friend who passed away, Brandon Nurick.
We are really happy to release the first single of our upcoming Album on ZEGEMA BEACH Zampler 21. Finishing it took us many years.
As much fun as it was, it was also a coping mechanism. Themes are mostly desperation and feelings of powerlessness in the late stage of capitalism. Instead of writing analytical essays with well rounded arguments we tried to find some imagery to express this anger and frustration, switching languages whenever we felt a lack of expression in one of them. “Sisyphe des plaines” is a song off this upcoming album and imagines a Sisyphus in the flatlands, without a mountain to push his boulder up to, which, tragically, seems to be relatable.
We’re gearing up and getting ready to announce the release of our new upcoming EP and 7″ on Zegema Beach Records later this year, and it’s a collection of tracks that we’re immensely proud of and excited to put out into the world. Through the process of putting this release together we’ve grown as musicians, friends, and people, which is something that feels so special and cathartic.
Like many bands and artists, these songs came out of lockdown and the pandemic, and inherently they reflect upon that experience whether it is subconscious or not, but largely the content on this upcoming release is more direct, or possibly darker, in tone and content than our previous work.
“Hammer” is no exception, this song in particular speaks to social injustices and the systems that break, punish, and harm marginalized groups within all of our communities. Black lives matter, the land that we live on is stolen, and we need to fight for the rights and lives of trans folks and trans kids more than ever. Protect. Protect those brought down by the Hammer.
We are currently just playing a couple weekend shows a month. We’re having a lot of fun playing the new record for everyone. We’ve written a few new songs, but have no serious plans or motivation to record them at the moment.
Despondent takes place inside one’s train of thought as they sit and ponder the ideas of free will and determinism. Do we choose our path, or are we destined to take it?
Virgil Scump was the last song we finished for the EP. It was stressful working on it due to our time restraint. We had already booked the recording before we even wrote a single note of material and all that time spent on the first two songs had caught up. We knew from the start that Virgil was going to be the highlight of the EP and didn’t want to waste any of its potential. It was like our favorite among our children.
Over time songs change, riffs get moved around, and it’s confusing to keep up with which part belongs to which song. Virgil wasn’t really like that because each revision made it better and more memorable than the last. Our only problem was the intro. We all felt pretty indifferent about it at first. Until we came to the conclusion that it was going to be a moveable part.
That made it stand out the most. Playing this song live has morphed it even further to a point where we’re more happy with it now than ever. Over the years, and even for the time being, we’ve dealt with a lot of regret and self-reflection on things. With this song, it’s something that we can all say we’re happy with as a whole. There isn’t much we would want to change. We all had our contribution to it.
Summer 2023 sees Venns locked in the laboratory. The duo is deep in research and development training machines, their minds and their bodies for a winter 2024 campaign to proliferate the Venns doctrine live, loud and in person.
Defend contemplates the depth, dedication and pride in servitude to enterprise and polarized ideals.
Vibora´s new record “Zaldi Beltza” speaks about anxiety and depression, and each song represents a moment in a depressed state of mind.
Le Fleur talks about a moment of clarity about your bad mental health, but also about feeling peace about it.
About knowing our body can resist more than we think it can. That you can always be sad, but even still be alive and live happy moments. About quitting fighting, and staying floating in anxiety and sadness.
The title means “The Flower” in french, because of a piece of the lyrics, which were written in that language, but ended up being discarded. It’s inspired by a self help book which said that unhappiness comes from yourself, not willing to be happy, leaving the capitalist system out of sight.
After the release of LP “Napořád” (10th May, Zegema Beach Records, Dingleberry records) the band introduced the album live for the first time in Slovenia (Maribor and secret gig in Oklukova gora with Mališa Bahat) and Czech Republic (Pilsen). EU tour with Nulajednanulanula to support the release followed and included 10 gigs in Germany, Austria, France, Belgium and Slovakia.
Right now Zmar is finally preparing release show in their hometown which will take place on 23rd of July at Café na půl cesty in Prague with Ostraca and Nidare.
Info on the track (already published here on IDIOTEQ)
To Fit Into (Zařadit se) – This track addresses the societal pressure to conform and the exclusion of those who deviate from the universally accepted lifestyle. The song explores the daily resistance to such pressure, asserting that futile attempts will not coerce one to conform to societal expectations. Lyrics express a rejection of the supposed ‘right way of life’ and a refusal to have someone else dictate the course of one’s life.
Lyrics excerpts: Your vain effort will not force me to fit into another herd. My daily bread is defiance-a cycle that never stops. I can‘t take lies about the only right way of life anymore. I no longer want to be a movie whose director is someone else.
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