Sunday Spotlight: Zeitgeist Zero

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1. Hello! Who are you, where are you from and all that good stuff.

Hi, I’m Corin Zero. I play guitars and synths for Leeds based alternative band Zeitgeist Zero. I was born in Leeds but the rest of the band originate from several European cities: Teresa Dead (vocals) is originally from Belfast, Bex Noire (bass) is from Brussels and Peter Geist (drums) is from Verona.
Our latest album Ghosts of Victory was mixed by the legendary Steve Whitfield (The Cure, Terrorvision), who approached the band after hearing a track played on BBC Introducing, and was released after a successful crowd funding campaign raised over £4K in pre-sales in under four weeks. It is available on iTunes, CD and gatefold vinyl.

2. Tell us a bit about the music you make.

Our music is quite varied but essentially we fuse alternative post punk with sultry vocals and eerie electronics. Combining guitars, electronics and visuals, our unique sound and darkly glamorous style have received extensive and favourable press and radio coverage including BBC Radio 6, BBC Radio Leeds and BBC Introducing. We have diverse musical tastes and we draw on this when we are writing. Over the years our tastes have expanded and we enjoy everything from punk and metal to electro and early blues. We like anything done with passion and originality. I think the more varied your musical tastes, the more that you can draw on and push boundaries. The theme of our latest album ‘Ghosts Of Victory’ is triumph over adversity. Over the course of the three years whilst we were making this album myself, Teresa and Bex all lost our fathers separately, suddenly and without warning. The songs reflect a very difficult time for us in our personal lives and it was the band and our music that helped us to work through this period in our lives.

3. When did you start and what made you want to start making music?

We started the band nearly fifteen years ago in 2003. The original concept was born out of a growing disillusionment with the new millennium and the general lack of originality and increasingly stale music around at the time. We really wanted to harness our interests in various styles of music and combine them to create something of our own: passionate and heavy, yet tuneful and emotional.

4. Stage or studio?

As seasoned independent artists the band has played over a hundred shows and enjoyed touring both the UK and Europe and has provided support for many acclaimed artists including a tour of Germany supporting The Cruxshadows from the USA.

We have our own purpose built Inner Sanctum studio that we have improved and added to over the years complete with a vocal booth. We can pretty much record everything we need in our own studio with the exception of acoustic drums. In the studio we normally write the drum parts using a combination of Roland V-Drums and Native Instruments drum plug ins. This way we can chop and change the drums around in midi until we are totally happy before recording the final drum tracks in a pro-studio.

5. What gear do you use to make your tunes?

Until recently I mainly composed and recorded in Cubase, although I am currently in the process of migrating across to ProTools. It was a bit of a learning curve at first but this will help at the later stages of production, being compatible with the industry professionals we collaborate with who all use ProTools. We also use Native Instrument Komplete Ultimate plug-ins and have just added an NI Maschine interface.

With the exception of our debut album, everything was recorded via our RME Fireface 800. We have used various mics but in the studio mainly use a Lewitt Mic which we bought after spending a whole day auditioning every large diaphragm condenser mic in the Leeds Red Dog Music store. For live vocals Teresa favours an Electro-Voice N/D767a or an SE H1 Condenser with a TC Helicon Voice Live 2 delay processor. Teresa also uses Sennheiser wireless In-Ear Monitoring for with ACS Custom moulded in ear headphones.

Guitar wise I play ESP EC1000 guitars with a custom Bigsby vibrato modification. For amps I prefer a completely modelled stereo set-up and currently use a Line 6 HD500X. For backline I run the HD500X into a Crate Powerblock with a Marshall 1960a Stereo Cab whilst I use the XLR left and right outputs for recording and Front Of House sound. I am currently considering an upgrade to either a Line 6 Helix or the new Headrush pedalboard.

Bex mostly plays 5-string electric but in the studio also plays upright double and bowed bass. Live she uses a ZOOM B3 bass processor an EHX Crying Bass wah and an Ampeg SVT 3 Pro amp.

We both use Line 6 Relay G50 Wireless. Previously, I have tried AKG and Sennheiser, but I much prefer the Line 6 Relay. Super reliable, easy to use and transparent to the tone.

Peter plays a Sonor Hybrid X-Tend Kit with Pearl and Mapex hardware, Pro-Mark drum sticks and Evans Drum Heads.

Our last two albums used a range of synths and plug-ins but our favoured keyboards are: Access Virus TI Polar, Korg Triton Extreme and the Novation Supernova (until this recently died after 10 years of use RIP). I have just bought a DSI Prophet Rev 2 and I am also super excited about the soon to be released Behringer Model D (Minimoog clone).

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6. And what is your choice bit of gear and why?

ESP Eclipse EC1000 Guitars. I love the classic Les Paul styling combined with modern features such as the hi-gain EMG pickups and through-neck.

I’m also very impressed with the DSI Prophet Rev 2. The Curtis filter alone is so awesome.

I know Bex loves her EHX Crying Bass wah pedal. It can get really gnarly.

7. Where can we check out your tunes?

On our website, Soundcloud, and Youtube channel.

Red Dog Music is the UK’s friendliest musical instrument and pro-audio dealer. Between our 5000 square foot Edinburgh shop filled with an incredible range of products, a spectacular shop in Leeds, and a London showroom in Clapham specialising in high-end instruments, dj and pro-audio, Red Dog Music has you covered from north to south and from performance to playback.

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