ZEROTHIEST Frontman CHRIS STOKES: The band is ‘not about writing the catchiest and most radio-friendly material”
SupportOklahomaMetal recently conducted an interview with Zerothiest frontman Chris Stokes about the band name, the current metal scene in Oklahoma, and future recording plans. Here’s the following from that interview.
The Bloodrock cover is great. What made you decide to choose such an obscure band/song?
-Thank you! Bloodrock was a band I was introduced to as a child by my parents and I loved how creepy and dark the song was. The band has very eclectic tastes when it comes to music and a great appreciation for the classics, so it was only natural that I show them the song. The history of the song and its lyrical content are intriguing and very metal to say the least. The fact that it was banned from most radio play and still hit #36 on the Billboard charts is pretty awesome. We all saw its potential as a killer cover tune and as a tribute to a highly underrated band. Plus, we also didn’t want to do something everyone else has done a million times over.
You have a distinctly sludgy/groove-based sound. Are you heavily influenced by NOLA bands like Crowbar and DOWN? What other influences have shaped your musical style, metal or otherwise?
Personally, I’m HIGHLY influenced by just about everything that comes out of NOLA. Overall, yes, Down and especially Crowbar have had a big impact on our sound. As cliche as it is, just about everything on the spectrum influences us in some way. Whether it be bands like Bloodrock or ZZ Top or Motley Crue to bands like Pantera, Metallica, System of a Down, Devin Townsend, Cannibal Corpse, or whatever. We as a group listen to and learn from it all.
What is the meaning behind the name “Zerotheist?” I’m assuming it means “No God” or at least some pronouncement of atheism. Is it a reflection of your stance on organized religion?
The name originated as what my last band, Final Riot (http://www.facebook.com/finalriotband) was transitioning towards; a new name, new sound, etc.. but when the band broke up and the project never truly came to fruition, the name stuck with me on to this group. Yes, essentially it is another word for atheism, but it is flexible in that even if you are religious in some way, it’s a reflection of your free will as a human. The definition of Zerotheist is as follows: “One who holds the power to make free choices that are unconstrained by external circumstances or by an agency such as fate or divine will.”
What kind of subject matter inspires your lyrics? Are they politically based at all?
I write about personal matters, history, fantasy, politics, socioeconomics, current events and basically whatever I have on my mind. The debut EP ”Recession” is highly influenced by politics and the economy, hence the name of the album.
Your Facebook bio states that you are “striving to crush all opposition in the stale, copy-cat, trend-driven metal scene.” What sets Zerotheist apart?
I think with our influences and the sound we have because of them compared to our peers definitely sets us apart. With us, it’s not about being famous or trying to copy our favorite 2 bands and it’s definitely not about writing the catchiest and most radio-friendly material. Our willingness to be ourselves and go where other bands of our genre wouldn’t go separates us from the pack. I think our sound is appealing to just about any metal fan because of our range and diversity, so there’s something everyone can latch on to.
What do you think about the current metal scene in Oklahoma?
The scene is definitely not as strong as it should be. Supporting each other’s groups, posting flyers, going out to shows and buying merch is key. There is a sense of entitlement among some in the scene and that needs to stop immediately. As well as certain groups gaining a lot of undeserved attention for underwhelming performances, so-to-speak. Respect is given when it is earned. Besides that, there are a lot of great bands in Oklahoma, a lot of bands that DO deserve attention and praise. If the metal community of Oklahoma came together state-wide, we could develop a thriving, powerful scene that would be a staple for others in the region.
You’re playing Rocklahoma on May 27. Are you pretty excited about this opportunity?
Yes, we are pumped! We’re very thankful to everyone with D.M.I. Sound Productions, Rock Addict Radio and our supporters for giving us this opportunity to be a part of Camp Debauchery. We’re hoping for a great turnout of course and we hope everyone comes out and rips it up with us out in the G.A. campgrounds that weekend! Debauchery it will be indeed!
I purchased your EP ”Recession” online, but do you also have a physical copy for sale?
Once again, thanks for your support! Yes, we have copies available at every show and for sale online via PayPal (along with the rest of our merch). Our online store is currently under construction, but people can just email us, hit us up on Facebook, Twitter, ReverbNation, or Youtube and we can get ‘em what they want!
Any recording plans in the near future?
We actually have plans to hit the studio by early May. We’ve been in hardcore writing mode since March, so we’re ready to lay down some tunes. I can’t disclose exactly what we’re doing yet because details are still being worked out, but people can look forward to at least 5-6 tracks of driving, anger-fueled heavy metal (including another exclusive free download). Hopefully it’ll be out by mid-June/early July at the latest, but we’re all too familiar with Murphy’s Law, so we’ll keep everyone up to date! haha…
Any big shows coming up that you would like to promote?
Besides the Camp Debauchery at Rocklahoma gig, we’re playing with our good friends in Deadcore (Lawton, OK) and A Dying Art (OKC, OK) on Saturday, May 19th at the Railhead in Lawton, OK. Other than that, it’s studio time! Watch out for the new stuff coming soon!
Thanks for taking the time to check us out and giving us this opportunity! We appreciate it!
“Recession” can also be purchased online here: