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Zonaria (Logo)
Not too long ago, I had the opporunity to check out the new Zonaria album Arrival of the Red Sun. After doing so, I shot some interview questions over to them via Clawhammer PR. Not too long after, Simon Berglund (guitars, vocals) got those answers back to me for this electronic interview.


How is everything on your end? Arrival of the Red Sun recently dropped, has Listenable Records had you on a tight leash because of it?

Simon:
Things are fine. The weather is slowly turning worse, summer is pretty much over here in northern Sweden. Nah, the leash is pretty loose, haha. We get a lot of interviews and press at the moment which is great. I have myself on a leash to write album four at the moment.

This is your third album, and the third record label Zonaria has signed to. Why does the band keep hopping from label to label?

Simon:
After “Infamy and the Breed” we started to look for all kinds of labels and got hooked on a good deal for the second album with another label. I guess the outcome of the second album wasn´t as great as it could have been. We toured extensively but times were dire and the decision was made not to continue on our previous label.

Does your contract with Listenable cover another album, or is that prospect something that will be decided when you guys hand in the fourth album some point in the future, or was it a one album only sort of thing?

Simon:
We´ll see later on, but from our side we´d love to have them release and work with us on number four. Hopefully that future isn´t another 3, 5 years ahead which I strongly doubt.

There was a pretty hefty gap between your last album (The Cancer Empire) and Arrival of the Red Sun. Was that due to finding another label, or did the band just take a little longer to write the new material, maybe take a break to relax before going back into the studio?

Simon:
I guess recording/arranging/re-recording it took most of the time. Also our five European tours in between those albums were pretty time-consuming. We don´t really write new material on the road so it´s wasted time in that regard. We also record and write at the same time in our studio so it can get lazy without that stress you feel when going away to record at some other studio.

One thing I noticed about Arrival of the Red Sun is that there weren’t really any fast tracks, mostly a mid-tempo or slower approach. Do you guys prefer songs like these, or do you wish you might have composed some faster material for the album?

Simon:
I think it´s fast, less blast beats than before but still a crazy amount of fast kick drums. I guess I like it a little slower and more focused so that´s what we´re more on to for album four. I think we have enough fast songs in our catalogue to continue making more songs in the mid-tempo area.

The audio really stands out on the album. Did you go into the studio looking to have a really low tone and heavy sound to the audio, or was this largely thanks to the post-production?

Simon:
I agree, the mix was amazingly clear, especially the vocals. We basically took all our recorded tracks to the studio and gave Ronnie (Björnström, Garageland studios) free hands to work his magic. We only demanded loud vocals and orchestra. He operates in our town so it was very easy to head down there to check out the mixes and have our input more hands-on.

About how long did it take to actually record Arrival of the Red Sun, and were there any complications while in the studio to record the album?

Simon:
The recording process streched out over almost two years. We did most of it in our own studio so we had no pressure and therefore we recorded pretty sporadic. We also toured Europe twice during recording, seven weeks with Dark Funeral and then five with Nile. On top of that we had a hard drive crash and some other fun stuff delaying the whole thing.

Zonaria recorded a cover of “CC Cowboys” by Imperiet. How did that come about, and how did it come to be that the song is available on a physical format instead of the digital one that exists for? Is this the band’s way of showing your preference to one specific medium over another?

Simon:
I can´t remember whos idea it was but we started working on it three years ago and it was kinda tricky to turn it into something which would fit in our genre. We were obviously caught by the strong chorus and the catchy melody as well as singing in swedish for the first time. We´re just happy that it got released, it has no major focus and isn´t part of our current repertoire.

Is Zonaria going to be heading out on tour any time? If so, might we possibly see the band head over to North America at some point?

Simon:
We have nothing at the moment but we´re looking to find some slots we might fill for European gigs. North America seems a bit far away right now although that would be so epic I´m sure. Having done 200 shows in Europe we´re kinda eager to head to American shores. We´re gonna work hard on album four and hit the studio asap with or without major touring. It is shaping up to be one badass record.

Speaking of tours, according to the press release that came with the album, you guys picdked up Caleb Bingham as a live guitarist, and Max Malmer as a bassist. How are these two working out for the band so far?

Simon:
Max might be the most enthusiastic member in the band that we´ve ever had. He has besides musical skills also the managing skills to move us forward. We haven´t really had anything big on the schedule since the Nile tour so Caleb hasn´t been over since then. He is very talented, a real looker on stage and real fit for touring life.

Did Max have a good deal of input when it came to writing the new material for this release? If not, what was his role prior to entering the studio to record the album?

Simon:
Not really with the writing but we arranged some stuff together before the master was done. He joined some time just prior the mixing so almost everything was done. He is a great song writer though and his ideas are featured in our new songs.

Do you have anything else you would like to mntion before I let you go?

Simon:
Check out the video and join us on the various social media. We love your support. Make a cover and post in online!

Again, thank you for taking the time to talk to me. I appreciate it, and wish you luck with the band, as well as the album.

Zonaria: Arrival of the Red Sun
Zonaria (Band)
Interview conducted thanks to Clawhammer PR.