1. Can you update us with what is going on with the band these days?
Rachid - First off, thank you for the interview, I appreciate you setting aside time from your busy schedule for this! I have been recording a new style of Experimental music for multiple Splits which will be released over the next 4 months, promoting and advertising for my full length that came out in April BETWEEN THIS WORLD AND THE NEXT and playing live shows outside of Montana whenever possible, as well as gigging locally. I have also put a considerable amount of effort into making new Z.K. merchandise, two new shirts and patches can be purchased directly through me on various easy to find websites. I am currently writing for the third and final installment in the Die Nibelungen trilogy, which will be released next Spring.
2. How would you describe the newer direction of the music?
Rachid - I have started experimenting with combining dark synthesizer music with ambient guitar and blast beat drumming, all while extensively utilizing samples from scientific research videos on dark energy (supposedly what 74% of the universe consists of), transcendental meditation, hypnosis and the mind prison (a.k.a. human conditioning). Their is a fair amount of variation on this formula, so not everything sounds alike by any means. This is the next step in the evolution of Zebulon Kosted, but I'm sure it will not be the last. Live I have written and performed 6 new 20 minute Avant Garde / Blackened Doom Metal pieces over the last 8 months, some incorporating performance art.
3. What can we expect from the song writing on future releases?
Rachid - Don't expect anything specific, once I become easily predictable in my songwriting I have failed in my musical mission. Obviously many would classify my music as Black Metal, which is both an honor and frustrating, since I very much enjoy this genre of music, but do not classify myself this way. Others would say that I fit into the Experimental music realm, which is more fitting, but also quite vague. I do sometimes record Harsh Noise and Dark Ambient music, but I wouldn't say that this is my main focus either, just a smaller part of the whole. I guess the best answer I can give you is to expect something more focused and well thought out than ever before!
4. Out off all the live shows that the band has played so far, which one did you enjoy the most?
Rachid - Last year while on my west coast tour I played a show that was put together by Clovenhoof Productions (thanks Patrick!) at Yayo's in Las Vegas, with Breath of Sorrows and Wolfgate. My 1 song, 22 minute Black Doom / Avant Garde / Dark Ambient / Noise set was filmed and released on DVD by Clovenhoof. I've only watched it twice, but what I was excited about both times was that by my ninth show on tour my set was almost perfect! I also got to meet Jonathan from Tomhet for the first time, and since he and I released a very important Split in my career together, and had corresponded by phone and online for so long, it was a lot of fun to hang out in the flesh.
5. I have listened to your cd's and also attended a live show, and it seems like the music is more of a noise project on stage and the albums sound different, what is the cause of this?
Rachid - I have never played a Z.K. show without guitar, vocals, and a beat that was being followed by these instruments. Due to this I would never call even one of the 40 shows Zebulon Kosted has played a "Noise" show. As stated earlier I do incorporate Dark Ambient and Noise elements into my set, but this is just a small part of the whole composition. I have intentionally played different music live than what I release mostly due to the fact that while I do occasionally ask David Lewis Johnson and Caitlin Mackenzie Ajax to help me during live shows, and recording, I am essentially a one man band and always have been. Therefore I am limited by what I can do as one person, and the equipment involved to do that, even though I do own a lot of equipment.
6. I know that you have some side projects, what is going on with those projects these days?
Rachid - Korolev Zond is in the process of recording a new full length album, Vladimir Ilyushin is the tentative name of that release. Smert played it's first show this year. It was our album release show for our new full length Death to Traitors, and the filmed version can be found in two parts on YouTube. I have been recording for the first Olgoi Khorkoi full length long distance with the other members in Mongolia, so far the material is intimidatingly good. I have also been invited to record vocals for the Cascadian Black Metal band Kodiak Sacrifice, which should be very exciting!
7. The band is from Montana, how does the climate out there influence your music?
Rachid - I have lived in Montana my entire life, and no matter how far away I move from this place in the future it will always be a part of me. I was born in a cabin. This cabin was located next to a lake, simply called Fish Lake, near the top of Mount Marsten a few miles from the town of Stryker, population 50. My family owns land outside of Eureka 8 miles from the border of British Colombia, which was once harvested as a Christmas tree farm. The Northwestern part of our state is sparsely populated. Our winters are extremely harsh and prolonged. In general I feel as though Montana is a huge part of my music, but I'll leave it to the listeners to decide what part of that they hear in Zebulon Kosted, and if they come to Montana maybe they will understand what that is more fully.
8. How would you describe your musical progress over the years?
Rachid - That is an interesting way to phrase that question. Some of the music on IO, my first full length from 2000, I think is better than anything I am writing and recording now. I don't see my career in music as being a steady climb uphill by any means. Some releases have been stronger than others. Some releases have taken a few hours to record, while others have taken months. Some releases have even alienated old fans, and some have created new fans. I have always worked with small labels and set up Splits with underground bands because that is the space that I feel comfortable working within. I'm not trying to impress anyone, or become famous. I'm here to make something new and sometimes people don't appreciate that at all. I guess it's a good thing that I don't care what other people think of my music.
9. What are some of the musical styles that have influenced your music?
Rachid - I'm inspired by individual musicians, bands, ensembles, groups or whatever you'd like to call musicians, not specific genres of music or musical styles. Overall I would say that in no particular order I have been influenced the most by Sun Ra, Bathory, Jandek, Merzbow, Bjork, Neurosis and Nusrat Fateh Ali Kahn to name the larger bands that others reading this may be able to recognize. The underground bands who influence me the most, and should be payed more attention to than the list above, are Nekrasov (Australian Blackened Noise Metal), Argot (Indonesian Harsh Noise), Void of Coil (Argentinian Dark Ambient), Qafas (Bahraini Doom Metal ) and Alost (French Industrial Black Metal). For those interested in finding out more about these bands you can find links to their sites in my top friends on the Z.K. MySpace page.
10. What role does the metaphysical element play in your music?
Rachid - He who knows he doesn't know, knows. Real eyes, realize, real lies. Nothing is true and everything is permitted. As above, so below.
11. Outside of music, what are some of your interests?
Rachid - I enjoy traveling the world, collecting foreign coins and paper money, watching foreign films and eating candy.
12. Any final words or thoughts before we close this interview?
Rachid - I hope that none of you who are reading this think that I'm important in the music world, because I'm not. Maybe after I continue on this path for another 20 years people will appreciate what I am doing, but for now I think I am intentionally too strange for a larger audience to latch onto. When the world completely falls apart come to Montana, there is plenty of room and we are nice people!