Interview with Zoltan Farkas (vocalist & guitarist)
By: Lisa R. Rosner
Hailing from Hungary is a very aggressive band known as Ektomorf. Their newest CD entitled Instinct features cave drawings of lions. However, after listening to these 12 tracks of brutal intensity, you may feel like you have just been trampled by a horde of mighty miffed mammoth! (Try saying that five times fast!) This is definitely a CD that can come in handy on particularly stressful days. (Note: if you are offended by that ‘F’ word, stay clear of this one!)
Vocalist/guitarist, Zoltan Farkas was kind enough to answer a few questions about the band and their latest release….
Lisa – Your new CD is quite impressive. This is the first I have ever heard of Ektomorf and I am interested in hearing more. Any possibilities you might get to do a North American tour with this release?
Zoltan – It would be really great to do a tour in North America! If we get the possibility to get on the road there, we’ll take it immediately! We would love to play there!
L – I found the origin of your band’s name interesting. How did you hear of the term ‘Ektomorf’ and what made you decide to use it?
Z – Yes, Ektomorf is a Latin word. It’s actually a gene-sickness and it means a very, very thin body. I found this word in a fitness magazine ten years ago. The word ‘ektomorf’ sounded good to me and that’s why I used it as my band name.
L – I think it is very innovative the way you use instruments like the sitar in some of your songs. Are you a Ravi Shankar fan by any chance?
Z – I have never heard his music, but maybe I will check it out. I use the gypsy folklore in my music because it’s a part of me and my brother, Csaba being half gypsies ourselves. The gypsies originated from India and I like to use Indian instruments like the sitar. What I use and what you hear on the Instinct album is very old gypsy folk music from our village in our home country.
L – What kind of musical background did you have while growing up? Who and what were some of your influences?
Z – I have no musical school background, if that is what you mean. One day, I started to play guitar and kept playing it since. My influences came from Metallica, Slayer, Sepultura and Machine Head.
L – What bands do you enjoy listening to the most these days?
Z – I listen to Machine Head, Soulfly, Metallica, Pro Pain, Iron Maiden, Asian Dub Foundation, music from Divan Gasparian; he wrote the music for The Gladiator movie (our intro when we play live), and my own music.
L – Since this is your sixth release, do you feel confident in the sound of Ektomorf’s music or are you always striving for new ideas in which to expand?
Z – I’m very happy with the results! But like any musician, I always get new inspiration and ideas that I want to use when it’s the right moment.
L – How would you personally describe the musical style of Ektomorf?
Z – It’s a musical mixture of powerful thrash metal, hardcore, punk and gypsy folklore (resulting from the Roma roots from me and my brother Csaba). It shows aggressiveness, energy, plus a lot of social critics. At the live shows, we get a lot of brutal moshpits and jump arounds!
L – What is the heavy metal scene like in Hungary? Are there many metal bands in your country besides Ektomorf? (Any worth mentioning?)
Z – In Hungary, the metal scene is not that big, also the population is not that big. Anyway, the metal bands over there play any style you can think of. Nowadays, it’s growing. Hungary has a few very cool metal bands like Replika; the singer is a good friend of mine, Cadaveres de Tortugas and Tankcsapda. They are all doing very well in Hungary, but I think mainly because of the language, they decide to stay there because they have more success.
L – I don’t have any lyrics with the promo, but I was wondering if the songs “Fuck You All” and “Burn” were about anyone or anything in particular?
Z – The song “Fuck You All” is based on a few personal experiences in my life. It’s a clear message from us for those people that think they stand above us all because of their money and power they have. They have no respect for people that have less and work really hard every day to make a living. Or people that look down on you when you look different and follow a different lifestyle. They think they know everything better, but actually they get more blind day-by-day, with their attitude. So the song “Fuck You All’ is for them! In this way, you can not repeat it enough I think! The song “Burn” is related to my ex-manager. It’s my rage that comes out. It’s like I’m burning him with my fire of rage, but it’s not meant literally, of course.
L – What other things inspire your songwriting? What is daily life there in Hungary like for you?
Z – I don’t live in Hungary now, but in Amsterdam (Holland) together with my girlfriend. The things that inspire me in the daily life are things how I look at my life and the world. I put it into music to tell people how I feel about it, but also to open the people’s eyes and act.
L – What are some of your future plans and goals for Ektomorf?
Z – We will do a headliner tour in October through the whole Europe and Eastern Europe and let’s see what comes from it. Hopefully a lot of new tours and opportunities for the band as well in your country as in other new countries. For the rest, I am working on the new album and we hope it comes out at the beginning of next year, so check it out guys!
L – What are some of your other hobbies and interests besides music?
Z – I like running!
L – What is a live Ektomorf show usually like? Do you get some pretty wild pits going? (It seems to me like you probably would.) Do you make it a point to greet your fans before and after the shows?
Z – Like I said, at the live shows, we get a lot of brutal pits and jump around. “It’s an energy boost that comes over you” I hear the people say. Well, when I’m on the stage, I talk to the people/fans always and when we do signing sessions, I also take the time listening to them. Before the show I don’t talk to fans, maybe sometimes outside the backstage.
L – What is your personal favorite track off of Instinct?
Z – That’s “Show Your Fist!”
L – What were the most challenging and/or gratifying parts of putting this new CD together?
Z – The outcome of it after recording it in the Antfarm Studio from Tue Madsen in Denmark. The sound that we got is mainly the result of Tue, his own way of producing our album. But it also has to do with the instruments we use in the studio. We are planning to record our next album also in Antfarm Studio. Also, to think about the artwork for the cover is always nice to do. The artwork with the lions is originated from real Stone Age cave paintings. We thought it would be perfect for the booklet because in that age, everything in life depended on your instinct! It was the only way to survive.
L – Is there anything else you would like people to know about Ektomorf, or any closing comments in general?
Z – Thanks a lot for your support! Please check out Ektomorf, our album and website. We will see you guys hopefully on tour soon! Take care.