Interview with Zlader


‎This time, we get to know Zlader in this exclusive interview and gain a closer look of what goes into his multi-genre music.

I’m a metal head from the Central Valley, California; now living in a quiet “woodsie” town in Missouri. I’ve moved on from bringing the thunder to the stage, to evolving my musical appetites through music production with varying music genres. When I was playing in and out of metal bands for many years, I held the position of a lead guitarist and wrote a lot of the song structures or songs. Played with some international acts; most notable for me was Fear Factory. I’m mostly inspired by a lot of 80’s music and video game soundtracks which motivated me on this current music path.  -Zlader

Where are you from?
California, Central Valley

What is your main genre?
Multi-genre…Lofi-hiphop, Darktrap/witchouse, G-Funk

How long have you been making music?
20 years

Can you tell us about your latest release and the background behind it?
“\\Omen”, is a Lo-fi/Dark Trap/Death dream album, that came to me unprovoked by any real intention to express myself in those genres at first. A friend of mine asked me if I would write them some lo-fi music to fall asleep to. I have never applied myself to lo-fi before and thought the process would be creatively freeing from what I was doing before. I’ve listened to lo-fi music quite often in the past and had a good idea of what elements were needed as well as the flow of song structure. I discovered that the sound was actually drawing from one side of my own dogma and was freeing in way to express something about myself sonically that reflected on a more positive state of mind.
This realization would cause me to acknowledge another other side of me however.

I’ve been contracting on a lot of societal moral and spiritual panic for over 16 years. The sociological path way and manipulation form varying industries/corporations with collusion of government powers has been a lasting weight on me. I can’t exactly be so self centered to not worry about those things; and it felt like this music would be a great way for me to deal with that and expel that in a healthy matter.

Before I picked up on lo-fi, I was listening to a lot of witch house and dark trap. I had an epiphany that the genre’s could reach for each other without being too jarring if done right. I needed a genre to represent the frustration, the chaos and intensity of a civilization meeting its worst in eons. To also reflect on my own sanity that kind of had its own spiral into the abyss as well lol.

Intro track to the album being used in my promo for my concept album, “\\Omen”.

So the structure of the album came first. I thought I’ll write an album that starts off representing the pendulum swinging towards the zero point, but is still relatively further to the right or left. it would start off being more tranquil as a sound and more relaxing with lo-fi hip-hop influences and later start becoming more discorded to suggest that things are nearing a snapping point ( before the zero point of the pendulum swing). Midway, there would be a track that would bridge two genres (lo-fi & dark trap) together and I got the idea on how to do that listening to Devin Townsend’s, first track on the “Deconstruction” album; “Praise the Lowered”. The rest of the album would continue on with dark trap/witch house influences and then ending (the absolute point of zero) with a death dream track.

Then the concept came more in picture as I was continuing to write this album out. I thought it would be great to represent the pendulum swing of civilization in a shorter time difference; as the life of a person who’s content with daily routines and then experiences an intense moment of divination that derails everything for them, making them a soothsayer. It would be a sonic representation of civilizations movement as satire. Satire, that would be riddled with occult and folklore references but not in anything lyrical. Everything would be a mockup aesthetic of a death dream album, where the song titles would suggest to you the story.

Some songs holding only short phrases to give you an idea of the state of mind of this person being heavily effected by their visions of the future and seeing everything being reclaimed by a planetary deity at the end if humanity didn’t take their heads out of the sand. I later decided I would pair this project with a meme slide in a promo video to outline the story for listeners; with previews of the songs parallel to them. There is where I would bridge most of the occult references.

Most of the occult references revolve around Saturn worship. In Gnosis, it is known that the demiurge is Satan, a name coming from a layered translation of the planet, Saturn. It essentially is responsible for our creation but was too nefarious and self interested. We were created to suite its own ego and demanded to worship it. Humanity being liberated from its clutches through the bringing of light would take on by biting off the tree of knowledge rather than the withering one of life. All parts representing what is known as the Tree of Sephiroth, which creates new souls and recycles them. When the population of the earth reaches too high, an apocalypse would come, as the Tree of Sephiroth could not produce any new souls. The souls of humanity are artifacts of what was left before the mother of our universe disintegrated herself from trying to reach the inconceivable father. From that arrogant act, the Demiurge and the material world became a thing.

‎At Saturn’s northern pole, is a hexagonal storm which is said to be the realm and essence that binds our planet and our consciousness. Its known as the “Black cube” or “the Machine” to some others. That’s why the last track is titled “return Machine(Unified_Consciousness);. I choose to use programming and computer directory syntax to make suggestion of one element that would be critical in our downfall which would be AI (Artificial Intelligence) and to apply that this universe is somewhat a holographic program. Consciousness would return to the root of our creation through the tree of Sephiroth that would reclaim our souls and put us on trial if we should return again in another timeline.

Fun fact: In our solar systems early planetary migration, Earth wouldn’t actually exist as it does without Saturn ;). I’d advise folks to look into that lol.

I think I’ve actually said enough here and kind of gave away enough lol. I want the album to be something to stimulate the imagination to these themes and provoke thoughts. Take the listener somewhere where they can experience it at their own perspective. I hope there is something people can take away from it. It was a very intimate piece of music for me to make.
Promo Video # 3. The final promo for up-coming album, “\\omen”

What do you think of the music industry after 2022?
Hopefully its still here lol. I think its getting easier for us and more difficult at the same time. The music industry continues to become much more saturated with the freedom to share your music online and it does make it harder for us to make reach. I enjoy that we are actually becoming less dependent on labels and can actually put our own teams together these days to serve what we need at the time we need it. We don’t have to put ourselves in debt we can’t really control or have to pay anything back incase the fire burns out a minute and we make a flop of an album. There is less fear of consequences as we are learning to manage ourselves more and be less dependent. But the only possible negative is that we hold ourselves less accountable without having a large margin of failure to loom over us I guess. I only hope that social media makes it easier on the artists to deliver their music to others on multiple streaming platforms and make it easier for others to share us through more sophisticated royalty detection. I would love people to be able to play my music on their video game streams without being fear of copyright strikes and still pull some royalties from their shares.

Who is the most influential artist in your life?
Devin Townsend is my overall greatest influence. He’s why I even chose to open myself up to a lot more music and want to do a lot more than just a few genres. He showed it was possible that someone could market themselves to do what they wanted when they wanted to. The industry made me think I’d be very confined before listening to his music and interviews. I felt liberated from any cage musically after that guy lol.

How do you think you differ from other artists?
My process likely does differ from others. I’m sure we all differ from each other to some extent. I have a lot of music that I’m inspired by and try to take something from it all. I do a lot of sound experimenting while I’m writing and is probably the first thing that I work on first. I know there are other artists applying themselves to multiple genres also, so I know I’m not the only one. But I do however think I find an unique edge as I’ll draw from music that is very polar opposite from each other and mash them up. I’m still crawling my way up with mixing and mastering, but I think my compositional value and sound designing is unique. I’m not really in this game to compare myself to anyone else…I’m just trying to be better than I was yesterday.

Who would be your dream collaboration?
If I was even worthy…I wish I could collab with Devin Townsend, or Mike Patton. For my synthy stuff, I’d like to collab with the producers in Though beings as they come off as one of the most versed producers applying to the synthwave genre while still being down to earth and not acting like the hold themselves beyond others. Seems like the have a lot of interesting things to talk about also.

What was the first album you bought?
I can’t remember the first album I’ve bought with my own money, but the first one I received was when I was in 3rd grade. I wanted the Mortal Kombat soundtrack for my birthday and as the only thing I would receive. I liked a lot more of the electronic music I heard from the movie…But that quickly changed. I heard “Zero Signal” by fear factory and I was driven to heavy metal music since then.

What is your favorite song at the moment?
“You Were a Runaway” by The Juan Maclean

What is your favorite words?
The ones I can use to present someone’s shadow to themselves.

What other hobbies or interests do you have?
mostly study occult, play some retro games, keep a watchful eye on the world, wonder among the populace with family and breathe smoke on everything.

Tell us more about your upcoming project?
I have a album that will be a sequel to “\\omen” I’m working on that is intentionally going to be a Death dream album that will represent transcending the Tree of Sephiroth. Have some surprises for that concept. It might just be a 4 track album but long songs. After that, I was going to make an album that was very much like my “Faust McCree” stuff when I wrote “Bizarre Requiem”. The album will be called “The Book of Faust” Under my current project name.

Any comment 
“You don’t come back from infinity Andy”

Thanks to you, we had a very substantial interview which is well worth reading. will continue to support Zlader. 

Demo mix-down previews of all tracks for my upcoming album “\\omen”, release date coming soon!