Interview: Anthony Pattera of Zombi Talks ‘Direct Inject’

Prolific instrumental band Zombi are at it again with a new record, Direct Inject, out March 22 via Relapse Records. Written and recorded collaboratively in 2022, the album more than proves that the band can still hang with the best of them despite how long they’ve been at it.

“We got together at our friend’s spot, a studio outside of Pittsburgh, and we spent about a week there and just recorded a bunch of stuff,” says drummer Anthony Pattera about the new record. “We had some rough stuff and some completed pieces, and we picked out the good bits and constructed things and then did another phase of demo writing and went back to that same studio to record drums after our tour. It’s the first time we’ve been together and writing in the same room instead of remotely since 2015, so that was nice to get back to.”

Although the record is instrumental, thematically, the band still have plenty to say, but the ideas don’t necessarily coalesce the same way they would if the band had lyrics.

“I think for instrumentals, it’s tough because there’s no lyrical content kind of guiding or showing anyone, ‘This is what we’re thinking,’” explains Pattera. “ And I think for us, it really starts with the music, and the titling of the songs kind of comes from things we’ve been reading or shows we like or words that sound interesting together. And that’s always the fun part. I definitely think there are some dark themes and warnings about the future, but we don’t really write music with themes in mind.”

And while they’ve had a fruitful career, they also assure us this is not the end.

“We recorded a lot of stuff, and there are things that didn’t fit on this record, not because they aren’t good, but because we couldn’t fit them, so we have other material that I think we could make into an EP or something. It will depend on how Relapse wants to play it, but that’s what we did with our 2020 album. We recorded a lot of stuff, and then we put out an EP follow-up about a year ago, so we’re hoping we can do a similar thing with this. And we do have some other recordings we’re sitting on.

Overall, as he reflects back on his career and also looks at what is in store for the band, a big theme that comes up for Pattera is gratitude.

“I think when you’re a band celebrating 20th anniversaries, when you’re in your 50s and you’ve been around for this long it’s always interesting to see if the current climate is going to be kind to you and if people are still into the music we make. We’re just glad that still seems to be the case, and we can’t wait to get back out there.”

Direct Inject comes out on Friday and you can pre-order it from Relapse Records. Follow Zombi on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for future updates.

Photo courtesy of Shawn Brackbill.

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