Zero Degree: Perseverance In A Surreal World

Based of out of Germany’s thriving modern death metal arena, Zero Degree is more than ready to multiply their fan base worldwide.  Now signed to the mighty Massacre Records, Zero Degree have launched their dynamic album Surreal World onto the metal masses at large.  Judging by the pandemonium heard within, there is little doubt that Zero Degree with leave an indelible impression on all who venture out to explore their sonic reveries.  Fans of In Flames and Dark Tranquillity are sure to discover a new favorite when Zero Degree converges into their lives.  Here is a recent interview we conducted with one the members to find out more about this amazing up and coming band!

Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Zero Degree, and how long the project has been in existence. Where is the band based out of and what is your local metal scene like there? Are there any local bands you could recommend?
Hey Ken! My name is Sebastian and I’m one of the three guitarists of ZERO DEGREE. The band was formed in 2006 and is based in a small East German city called Nordhausen which is known for exactly two things, Heavy Metal and high quality booze. Other bands which might have come to the attention of a broader metal audience are Maroon and Anima.

Is there any story or concept behind the CD title Surreal World?
The album title is a symbol of the insubstantial environment in which society lives nowadays, especially the virtual reality.

Please select any two songs from Surreal World and what inspired the lyrics.
The song title “Grapes of wrath” is inspired by the novel of John Steinbeck but the meaning of the lyrics does fit with the concept of the whole album. “Surreal World” is about today’s people losing control of the real truth. They get manipulated by social networks the World Wide Web and media itself. Maybe it has connections to some movies, too.

How did the cooperation with Massacre Records come about?
It went the classic way. We sent our demo to a bunch of record companies and Massacre Records came up with their offer. We thought it was the best opportunity to push ZERO DEGREE because we did everything on our own until that day and reached our limits in promoting the band.

What is a live Zero Degree show like for those of us who have yet to see you?
It’s an intense show with six people celebrating metal together with the audience. You will find old school metal fans as well as young kids at our shows.

Who did the cover art for Surreal World and how much input did you have on it?
The artwork was done by Patrick Wittstock. He has his own company Azraeldesign and did some nice stuff for well known artists like Heaven Shall BurnScar Symmetry and many more. In fact he implemented our idea like it was in our minds. But it took some time and a lot of versions were thrown into the garbage. We hope he still likes us.

Who are some of the bigger bands you have opened for and what was the experience like? Any especially memorable shows?
We played shows together with European based metal bands like Mercenary, Deadlock, Suidakra, Eisregen and Maroon but also opened a show for Full Blown Chaos, Since The Flood and First Blood from the States. There are a lot of good shows back in our past. To point out exactly one of them is very difficult. But maybe our first show in 2006, everything went wrong, ha ha.

Are you involved with any other projects outside of Zero Degree?
No, not any more. But Thomas our singer and Pascal were members of a well booked Misfits-Tribute-Band. Maik did some death metal projects. André was active as a guitarist in a metalcore and a thrash metal band before joining ZERO DEGREE. Tobias played guitar and drums for the band Maroon.  I only played in a small band which consisted of me and my best friends from school.

Germany is famous for their BEER!!!What is your favorite German beer and why?
What a tasty question! That’s very difficult, because there are a lot of good beers brewed in Germany. But “Radeberger” is a good try, maybe you know it from Charlie Sheen drinking it on “Two and a half men” and it seems that it’s possible to buy it in the States. It is a more original Pilsner style beer. Another beer to mention is “Beck’s”. Many people like and know it. It is a more new school beer. My personal favorite is “Köstritzer Schwarzbier” which is a dark lager beer. But there are many small breweries that make good beers, too. Maybe you have to come over and have drink! The band also really likes something we call “Echter Nordhäuser Metal”. Original “Nordhäuser” double “Korn” mixed with Coke. You definitely have to give it a try!

When you look back on your 2007 demo The Storm And The Silence, what do you think of it now? Any chance of a re-release through Massacre Records?
It was our first vital sign and right at the time but we don’t think of a re-release on Massacre Records. We definitely think it is more interesting for the listeners if we come up with new material.

Since Surreal World was recorded a while back, how close are you to writing and recording all new music and how will it compare to Surreal World?
Actually we have new songs done. We are working hard on finalizing the stuff, so that we can play new tunes at our next shows. The material itself sounds a bit more old school and raw but with all ZD trademarks in it. The twin guitar melodies will remain and the heaviness of the riffs are more featured.

What’s up next for Zero Degree?
ZD is going to play a few shows which hopefully will be announced shortly. We are really keen on playing live and spread the metal over the country. The second goal to reach is putting out our second album this year or at the latest in 2013. The pre-production is doing well so far and we hope the people will like the new material just as Surreal World.

Any final words of wisdom?
Thank you for promoting ZERO DEGREE! Thanks to all metal-heads for reading and keeping the metal alive. Feel free to get in touch with us on Facebook! Cheers!

(Interview by Kenneth Morton)

Zero Degree on Facebook


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