Interview: Zombies Ate My Girlfriend pre-Arts Expo & SF17

Zombies Ate My Girlfriend 2015

Cape Town, South Africa: with the much anticipated ninth edition of Emalyth‘s Arts Expo – this year tag-titled Nine Lives – looming near, as well as our own SummerFest’17 day of metal entering it’s eleventh year, we have teamed up to feature some of the bands who will appear at events. . In today’s spotlight we find 2016 international Wacken Metal Battle winners from Zombies Ate My Girlfriend discussing the band’s current state of affairs in 2017. Interview conducted by Kimberleigh Fae Chaye on behalf of Emalyth and M4A. ~ from the editor


Probably South Africa’s most publicized metal band of 2016, Zombies Ate My Girlfriend are still riding the momentum of their international victory at the 2016 Wacken Metal Battle in Germany. Having emerged onto the live scene as the local version of a super-group (band members all having previous noteworthy experience in other bands) in 2012 with a live debut at none other than our own WinterFest’12, the band has used it’s five years incredibly well and we find ourselves very interested to see just how far it will be able to go.

“I think on stage the five of us are individually quite dominating personalities, and together we translate that into a very sincere and energetic performance. We offer that power trip through the music, the emphasis is always on music that makes you want to move.” ~ Adriano Rodrigues (guitar, Zombies Ate My Girlfriend)

And so it is that the band has performed extraordinarily well on the wave of it’s 2015 Retrocide full-length debut album, and the album cycle only really coming to it’s end now with the release of the band’s latest video for the song ‘Jahan’. Adriano describes the entire cycle as being a highlight of not only a few unique experiences, but as a larger chapter of his own and his band mates musical life.

“I think this whole, almost two year period, from metal4africa’s SummerFest’15 – which lead into our February 2015 Retrocide release – up to about a month or so ago. That’s pretty much how far our debut album has taken us. We’ve played all but one major festival locally, received awards for the album, and ultimately riding on the back of Retrocide all the way to Wacken and becoming a part of South African Metal history. It’s a period the five of us will never forget for as long as we live, no matter what comes next. I feel like we’ve been through some serious character equalizing shit together and still managed to come out intact.” ~ Adriano Rodrigues

The video for ‘Jahan’ features footage from the victorious Wacken Metal Battle performance and, from our perspective, appears to be a very suitable victory salute to the chapter described. Of course, with the new year comes new ambitions for them Zombies, together with already three major appearances booked which include Emalyth‘s Arts Expo: Nine Lives, our SummerFest’17, and Witchdoctor ProductionsWitchfest to keep the band under the live circuit spotlight all they way into April.

“‘Jahan’ is pretty much the last bit of major content for us from Retrocide. We’re towards the end of writing the second album right now, but there’s still a lot of work to be done before anyone will be seeing a single, or any new songs in the set. What we have so far excites us. We know it’s going to be a special album.” ~ Adriano Rodrigues

With that news on the table, one would have to ask what source of inspiration has been driving the writing process. We asked Adriano if he’d like to reveal any of the band’s inspirations; on which he focused very broadly rather than in terms of bands or genres:

“Creatively – as clichéd as it sounds – the world, I guess. I used to wonder at a stage if writing metal, and keeping this kind of high energy metal ‘real’ or honest as it were, was something that you’d be able to do and still grow as a person. Now it just seems like that question is a bit of a non-issue given how fucked up everything in the world is right now. I find metal – and specifically the writing of it – coming to my aid these days in ways that I can only compare with my teenage metal obsessed years in intensity. It’s a fucking frustrating world, and I’m lucky enough to have this release mechanism at my disposal.” ~ Adriano Rodrigues

As to the live appearances, and with the Arts Expo/SummerFest double-whammy coming up and the end of the month, and to be followed by international offerings later in the year, Adriano had the following to comment:

“I like to look at community-based festivals like the Emalyth Arts Expo and Metal4Africa as the ‘Reddit’ of South African Metal. It’s where the internet and stars come from. These kind of annual events where everyone basically knows each other while also bringing in a steady stream of new people are extremely important. This is where it all comes from, and then feeds into your bigger fest’s like Krank’d Up and Witchfest.” ~ Adriano Rodrigues

When asked if there was anything else he specifically loved about the South African metal scene, he answered quite simply with:

“The passion that people have. We’ve got a lot to brag about with South African Metal. It’s time to stop being so fucking bashful.” ~ Adriano Rodrigues

Catch Zombies Ate My Girlfriend live in Gauteng at Emalyth‘s Arts Expo: Nine Lives on Saturday 28 January at 23h00, then in Cape Town at SummerFest’17 on Saturday 04 Feb at 22h30.

For full Arts Expo: Nine Lives event details, visit the official facebook event page.
For full SummerFest’17 event details, visit the official facebook event page.

Interview by Kimberleigh Fae Chaye; co-authored by Patrick Davidson
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