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Emil Nystrom (Zonaria)

Interview with Emil Nystrom from Zonaria
by Yiannis Dafopoulos at 20 October 2008, 10:29 AM

When you come across a young and talented band, it is my humble opinion that you ought to help them present their work and have their chance to shine in the Metal world. When I reviewed ZONARIA's latest really good album, I immediately contacted them for an interview and they were more than positive. So, here is what Emil Nystrom, the band's guitarist had to say…

Hello there! Congratulations on your new album! You've got some nice stuff in there! So, tell us a few things about ZONARIA. When and how did you form? One more thing. I know that you are a pretty young band. How old is each member?

Thank you very much! Emil Nystrom here. The band was formed in 2002 by Simon, I joined the band just a short while after the band was formed. Back then we were only 14-15 years old in the band and all eager to play Heavy Metal music. The members are now 19-21 years old with our drummer being the youngest and Simon being the oldest. Hehe.

Why did you left Pivotal Rockordings and how did you sign with Century Media? Did they find you or did you send them some of your work?

First of all I must say Pivotal is the best label a debut band ever could wish to have. But since they are a really new record label they have limited budgets and distribution network. But since the label always put the band in first hand and not the money they all were very eager about pushing us forward in our career. So after we released our debut album we got our name out quite a lot for being a young band, they realized that it was time to release us. So we sent out contact info and a promo to a bunch of labels and got some that were interested. We were pretty much settled for an other label when Century Media came and swept us off our feet.  

Are you satisfied with Century Media until now? On the one hand it is a big label, but on the other hand I have heard some not so good stuff about the way they treat small bands.

Well I think that's all depending on what you expect. I mean, we're just a young band playing extreme Metal. We don't expect to get a million Euros the first day. We have to work hard to get somewhere and to sell albums. And if we don't sell albums we don't expect our label to give us more money. But so far so good. We've got all you can ever expect.

Which bands have influenced your sound? I noticed that you have some similarities with DIMMU BORGIR.

DIMMU BORGIR, METALLICA, HYPOCRISY, STRAPPING YOUNG LAD, BEHEMOTH just to mention a few. I mean the list goes on. Everything influences us in some way.

Why did you choose to name the album The Cancer Empire? What does this title mean?

The Cancer Empire refers to a nation that infects the world around it by spreading lies and deceit in order to dominate. For example all politicians and fanatic religious leaders who use other people and lie to get more power. For us it has a realistic reflection on the world today

You are from Sweden, a country that has produced lots of Metal bands. Why do you have so many bands up there? What is responsible for this endless production?

I think that maybe the way the government treats young kids. It's very easy for a new and young band to rehears at their school or so. There are also a lot of musical schools. Once you get in the age of 16-20 it's more difficult. Another reason is that there are so many bands here that the ones that really wants to do it work really hard to get good enough.

I know that you were previously a Power Metal band and you were called SEAL PRECIOUS. Why did you choose name and most important, why did you change the music that you played?

To be honest we didn't play Power Metal, but we were very Power metal influenced when we were 14-15 years old.  As time went on we started to play more and more Heavy and Death/Black Metal influenced Metal. So it was very natural for us to change name to something more fitting. We never sat down and discussed how we would sound, it came very natural.

You worked with Fredrik Nordstrom for the production of the album. I suppose it was the first time you collaborated with a well known producer. How was the Nordstrom experience? Are you satisfied with the work he did?

Yeah definitely, it was a really stressful experience though. Because we were on a really tight schedule, so we basically worked 20 hours a day. But in the end it came out being really good. It's never perfect and you always find things you could do different, but at the same time, maybe we would have over worked if we had more time. Haha.

What are your plans for now? I guess you are going to play some gigs in order to promote the album.

Yeah, we have one tour booked now which is starting the 17 October. We're planning on more tours for the beginning of 2009. I can assure you that we won't rest much during the next year. Haha.

Who designed the cover artwork? I believe this design was the best way he could describe the title.

Yeah I really agree. We had a really long discussion in the band before we brought our idea to Par, the artist. It's a local guy so we had a meeting with him and discussed the idea and what would be possible. He was really fired up about the project so we really picked the right guy for the job!

In some days from now you will be touring with VADER. How did this tour come up and how do you feel about having the chance to share the stage with VADER?

It was their booking management who offered us the tour and we said yes. I think it's a great opportunity to play with such an experienced and well known band as VADER. We're really looking forward to it.

Thank you for your time and I wish you only the best! Is there anything last you would like to add?

Thank you very much and see you on the road soon!


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