Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Interview with Rashid Abdel Ghafur of ZEBULON KOSTED by Daniel M. Ryan

Interview with Rashid Abdel Ghafur of ZEBULON KOSTED

When did you start your band(s) / project(s) and how long have you been making music for?
Since I've played with somewhere between twenty and twenty five different bands (I've lost count) I'll just talk about Zebulon Kosted. I started ZK in 1999 and released my first full length on cassette in 2000.

If you had to describe the sound(s) to my readers what would you tell them to expect?
Zebulon Kosted is an Avant Garde / Experimental Black Metal band. This means that our influences are diverse and that we push the boundaries of what is currently considered Black Metal. Some of our material is very long, fifty minute songs that take up an entire album and change from one genre to the next as it evolves. Other albums have nine or ten songs that mostly sound the same or similar to each other. We mix Dark Ambient, Harsh Noise, Experimental Electronic, Martial and Avant Garde music into the Black Metal mix, and try to have an "original" sound that no-one else can easily imitate.

Is your music available on any merch format such as tape/cd/vinyl or digital medium? Where can listeners find it?
ZK is currently working with Tetraktys Media for local distribution, Hammerkrieg Productions for national distribution and Fall of Eden Records for European distribution. We have released material with each label and all of them still currently have titles available for purchase on cassette and compact disc. For other merchandise check out the Zebulon Kosted Bandcamp and Facebook pages.

If you had a choice of working with other artists who would they be and why? Any collabs at all in the past or lately?
If I had the choice of anyone I would ask Steve Reich, Blixa Bargeld, Diamanda Galas and Steve Von Till because in my opinion they are artists that push boundaries and create something unique. I am currently wrapping up collaborations with Stormhammer and Birthday Moanz that will be released in the next three to four months.

How has the reaction been so far to your music?
That is a pretty tricky question, since we have always had such a wide range of reactions from listeners over the years. I think that most people with an open mind that are looking for something unusual are satisfied. When people are looking for specific sounds within a tight knit sub-genre I think they are disappointed.

What would you like done this year in your life may it be musical or personal.
I would like to make more proficient art and music than ever before, play cricket, watch soviet sci-fi films, eat better and sleep more soundly.

If there is any bands that influenced you over the years to make you want to become a musician in the first place, who are they?
When I was young growing up poor in Bozeman, Montana during the 90's my family didn't have access to the internet. Most people in Montana didn't actually until the end of the decade. Our music stores were o.k. but not great. I started listening to bands like Slayer and Morbid Angel, but I kept wanting to hear something more insane and outrageous. I started mail ordering from labels like Necropolis when I was 16, and started stealing Samael and Enslaved used CDs from the bigger corporate music store the same year. I think I heard a lot of the Black Metal that influenced me at the time almost by accident, since I was just shopping or stealing by what the album cover looked like.

If you had to describe the recording process of your music, how does it work best for you and what do you use?
Our recording process is a secret, but I can tell you that it is unorthodox.

How long do you expect to make music for and what are your goals till the end of this year onto the next?
I expect to make music until I am 75 years old, I turned 37 in January so I am half way there right now. I figure I will take a break at that time, and if I don't live that long I guess I will make music until I die. I have new full lengths and collaborations coming out this year, making them sound as solid as possible is my goal, it will be a big year for the band this year, 2019 will be even bigger.

How important is your work to you and what do you want others to get out of it?
Music and art are everything to me. I work day jobs to the best of my ability and with the proper respect for my fellow co-workers and employers, but I never put my heart and soul into it. That passionate part of my life is dedicated to art and music. I want people who listen to my music to understand that I have never tried to make music for mass consumption that bent towards one style or another to make money or achieve fame. This is what I am, this is what you get, I am true to my own sense of artistic morality and I will create what I think best expresses the theme I have come up with.

-Daniel M. Ryan

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