Italy has Crookers and The Bloody Beetroots. France has Daft Punk and Justice. Next in line, we have The Zombie Kids who are putting Spain on the electro music map. That feat will prove easier than expected considering the type of bangers the duo is creating (we have one for you after the interview).
I spoke with Edgar of The Zombie Kids who shared the story of his collective before his DJ duo as well as his thoughts on the evolution of Spain’s club scene.
How’d you come up with the name The Zombie Kids?
Before The Zombie Kids, we were in a collective called Zombie. We liked all things retro and vintage so we called it Zombie because it’s something that comes back to life after it dies. That’s kind of what happens when you wear a vintage shirt from the ’80s or put an antique chair in your office because you’re giving new life to an old thing. We threw our own parties and played the music, and we named ourselves The Zombie Kids. The Zombie Kids grew larger than Zombie and has grown very popular in Spain and Europe.
Was the collective also involved in music?
The collective zombiestudio.es has many artists, photographers –basically a little bit of everything. Everyone involved moved to Madrid about five years ago from Barcelona, northern Spain and Galicia. Suddenly, we found ourselves with a bunch of different people who liked the same things. Eventually, we got our own art studio where we built a store to promote it and our parties, which we called Zombie Club. That’s where Zombie Kids was born.
Do you have a new album?
We’re working on it. We just released FACE here [in the U.S.] and it’s been out in Spain since the early summer. It’s a track we’ve had for some time. We’ve been working a lot in the studio and we have tons of new tracks. We still don’t know if we’ll release it as another EP or a full-length album but it’ll be out soon and I think everyone will love it. There’ll be lots of rap, lots of hip-hop, lots of pop, lots of rock and all that but firmly rooted in electronic and dance music.
I REMEMBER WHEN I WAS 14 OR 15, YOU
LISTENED TO PUNK OR RAP BUT NEVER BOTH.
THAT’S HOW IT IS ACROSS EUROPE.
There’s something for everyone.
Definitely. I think we live in an era where people are interested in all types of music. I remember when I was 14 or 15, you listened to punk or rap but never both. That’s how it was across Europe. Nowadays, people listen to everything. I can put My Chemical Romance, Lil’ Wayne or Agnostic Front onto my iPod. We can call it Generation iPod: we listen to many styles and I think the combination of many different styles is a positive thing.
Are you going to tour the U.S.?
We’re preparing a tour of the U.S. soon. We love this country because it’s where all our favorite music came from. All the music we’ve been listening to since we were kids is American music. British music too but mainly American music. It’ll be fun to play in the U.S. which has taught us so much.
Describe the club scene in Spain.
The Spanish club scene is an odd one. We’re huge consumers of music especially electronic music. Take Ibiza, for instance, or the many festivals we have. We have about 50 music festivals throughout the summer. On the contrary, we don’t have any big-name Spanish artists. Like in Italy, they have guys like The Bloody Beetroots while France has Daft Punk. Spain doesn’t have any artists like them. We listen to a lot of music but we don’t have any big artists.
We started Zombie Kids with that idea: “why isn’t there a large music scene in Spain?” Ever since then, the music scene has grown and it’s a very interesting moment in Madrid and Spain because our record’s been getting airplay on television and on the radio. We’re playing at festivals for 15 or 20, 000 people. All the youngsters want to do the same and it’s creating this huge new music scene but it’s still in the early stages. We hope it grows and that people talk about Spanish electronic music the way people talk about the Italian electronic scene.
I WAS IN A HARDCORE BAND THAT TOURED MOST OF EUROPE…
EVENTUALLY I OPENED MY EYES TO OTHER GENRES BUT
MY MAIN INFLUENCE CAME FROM HARDCORE AND PUNK.
I listened to a few radio stations in Spain while I lived out there and I thought it was odd that they would play a song in Spanish and follow it up with a song by Rihanna.
Yeah, everything on Spanish radio is pretty bad. There are very few quality musicians in electronic music here and rap, for example, is also terrible. Our friends in a collective called Gente Voice are working on blowing up the Spanish rap scene. You have countries like Holland or Belgium, which are tiny but, have these huge club scenes that are incredible with Tiesto and Afrojack. That’s in these tiny countries and, here in a larger country like Spain, we have nothing. That needs to change and we’re witnessing the beginning of that change.
I also noticed that there were lots of Spanish artists at the festivals but the headliner was always an artist from the U.S.
That’ll never change because those acts headline all over the world even in countries with their own dedicated music scenes. What we care about the most is for Spanish artists to be heard all over the world like the Italians and the French are being heard all over the world. We want people to know how good the scene is and how exciting it is. That’s what we’re fighting for and working toward. There’s more to Spain than Barcelona and football [that’s soccer for you Estadounidenses].
People here only know about Flamenco.
Yeah, exactly. They only know popular music but, during my time here in L.A., I spoke to some youngsters about The Bloody Beetroots and Crookers and that seems to be something that’s getting big here. Italy and Spain are very similar in size and culture but, in Spain, there’s nothing like that. We want kids in the U.S. or Australia to know about the club scene in Spain.
Who are your musical inspirations?
I come from a punk and hardcore background. The first concert I went to when I was 13 was Guns n’ Roses and the openers were Suicidal Tendencies. I went to watch Guns n’ Roses but when I saw Suicidal Tendencies is when I realized that what I really loved was hardcore. For many years, all I listened to was hardcore. I was in a hardcore band that toured most of Europe and really into the punk scene. Eventually I opened my eyes to other genres but my influence came from hardcore and punk. My partner is Turkish but lived in London for many years and was influenced by funk, hip-hop and r&b. We got together and mixed those influences and that’s what makes Zombie Kids special.
He’s like the drummer from Sepultura who became DJ Mixhell.
[laughs] He also came from a punk background. I’ve talked to a lot of people we’ve played with like Diplo, for example, and he plays hardcore. Or Steve Aoki who comes from a hardcore and punk background. I noticed he has a Gorilla Biscuits tattoo on his back. I’ve noticed that there are lots of disc jockeys and producers of house, electronic, dubstep, and drum n’ bass music, like Skrillex who sang for From First To Last, come from the same hardcore and punk scene. It doesn’t seem logical but that’s how it is.