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Ektomorf: What Doesn't Kill Me Makes Me Stronger

Interview with Zoltan Farkas of Ektomorf by Vera in February 2009

Hungary… the first band I got to know from that country was Omega. Their ‘Transcendant’ (1996) album had a progressive Ayreon approach. Later on Sear Bliss became a favourite band: a black metal band that leaps to the eye because of the use of trumpets. But one might expect even more authentic things hailing from Hungary. In 2000 I read an article about an energetic thrash metal band that infiltrated gypsy music in between their ultra heavy riffs. I purchased the album ‘Kalyi Jag’ (2000) and Ektomorf was no longer a stranger to me. The ethnic influences have been diminished through the years in the music of Ektomorf, but their rebellious musical dissipations have gathered a proper core die-hard fans during the last ten years. Today I travel to Kerkrade for a listening session of the new album ‘What Doesn’t Kill Me…’ and I talked to the mastermind of the band: Zoltan Farkas (composer, vocalist, guitarist), a man with willpower!

The press gathers in a small room above the venue The Rock Temple. With good care of the Rock Inc. guys we are welcomed and introduced to Zoltan “Zoli” Farkas. He is accompanied by his Brazilian girlfriend who appears to be his management now as well. Soon all attention goes to the music. ‘What Doesn’t Kill Me’ will be released on March 20th, 2009 by new label AFM Records after three records on Nuclear Blast. The album includes thirteen new songs and the bonus track on the limited edition digipak will be a different version of ‘War From Destruction’.

Of course most of the tracks are based on groove-laden riffs of Zoltan and co-guitarist Tamas Schrottner. Most of them have rebellious slogan-like one-liners, fetching and easy to get incited in a live situation. Zoltan tells that it is planned to play live as much as possible. In April they hit already the road, but mainly in Germany and Central Europe, until now the region where Ektomorf’s success is the strongest. They will be supported by Debauchery and Drone. Zoltan gives a short introduction to every song and tells a bit about the lyrics.

Rat War
Nothing Left
What Doesn’t Kill Me
Revenge To All
Love And Live
I Can See You
I Got It All
New Life
Sick Of It All
It’s Up To You
Breed The Fire


Since we only had a listening session and no other information is leaked out, you better tell me about the new things in Ektomorf’s evolution…
‘What Doesn’t Kill Me’ is the fourth album since we left Hungary. We have a new record company AFM Records and that’s why we are here, and of course to promote the new album ‘What Doesn’t Kill Me’ of which I am very satisfied and proud of. In April we come with our own headline tour. I think there will be a gig in 013, Tilbury. In Germany we play with Drone and Debauchery, but in Tilbury I think it is with Sturm Und Drang, very different music…

What about the writing of this album and touring?
It is mainly written by me as always. And I am really happy to say that it has no influences, it is really Ektomorf. The grooves, the voice, the lyrics, you cannot compare it to nothing. That’s why I am happy. My songwriting was the same as before, but so much has changed in my life – we live in Hamburg now – I met my soul mate (gives a hug to his fiancée) and it turned my life upside down. I moved from Hungary, from my parent’s home to Hamburg and we’re doing fine together. The change from record company was also something important. I am happy to do face to face interviews today for instance. And I hope we can play the first time in North America with this record, they are working at this now. The plans are: in April we have a tour, but only eighteen shows, it is like a teaser tour, then festivals as much as we can do. I can’t say at the moment where and what, it is all under construction. In September we are going to do another European tour, but a bigger and longer one. And in October/November we go to the States. So it is a busy year.

Where did you record the album?
At the Antfarm with Tue Madsen. His assistant did it now but it was cool. We go there because he is a friend and he knows what I want and I know what he wants and this is just great.

What about the lyrics?
I always write the music first and then the lyrics. We had a line-up change but we are still four. But as you can hear on the record it is different now. Different grooves, the conception of the lyrics is very different. I can say it is very unique because I’m singing about stuff and playing grooves no one does today. If you listen to other bands, everyone is tuning up the guitars as high as possible and going fast as a concord plane. I have grown up with music like that too, but I just want to do something different and you can hear that.

And what was the main inspiration?
My life.

And what is the contribution of the other guys?
The other guys are my biggest fans. It is really strange, but I’ve played with different line-ups and they were always fans of Ektomorf before. I started the band in 1993, so they grew up with Ektomorf. And some of them even played in a band together before. For example Szabolcs, the bass player and Tamas, the guitar player, they played in a band called Warpath, the Hungarian one, not the German one. They never released an album, they just have demos. They opened for Ektomorf thousand years ago. It is so strange because Szabolcs was my guitar tech and now we had the line-up change and now he joined the band as a bass player. It was like a little reunion.

How do you arrange rehearsals and studio work when you are living in Germany and the rest in Hungary?
Through the phone we communicate a lot. On tour I give them a CD with new ideas. Before we go on tour I go to Hungary, to my parent’s house. There is a youth place we rent for five days and we intensively practise. Same goes for the studio work. They were there for five days to do their part and I was there for two weeks to assist the production. The production was done by me and Tue Madsen. Before the tour in April we practise for five days and for the rest we play so much that we don’t need more rehearsals than that.

Maybe a few words about the artwork…
Yeah I was thinking: What am I going to put on the cover? The title is ‘What Doesn’t Kill Me’… Sarah came up with the idea to put myself on the cover but I had my doubts. In the end she convinced me because on the cover of our 2000 album ‘Kalyi Jag’ was a reflection of my eye. And the title deals with myself. So we took a few pictures and I have photoshop on my computer, it worked out well. The inlay and the booklet is done by Sarah.

Time was running out and we said goodbye to Zoltan and Sarah and headed for a good meal. Later that evening we could enjoy fine gigs of Perzonal War and Sodom who put the roof on fire at The Rock Temple.

Geplaatst door Vera op donderdag 02 april 2009 - 10:48:35
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