Zud has had gone through two very distinct "phases," if that's the right word. The first was just me playing an octave mandolin and recording material in places with lots of natural reverb, then adding vocals and other layers of sound over that. It was a slow process but not because it was difficult or anything. There just wasn't any intent with it, but eventually there was enough material for an EP, which I released in 2011 with a very limited run of CD-R's. I may have it properly mastered some day and pressed for real. "The Good, the Bad and the Damned," was recorded with a normal "metal" line-up which I assembled last year. Those with their ears tuned properly should be able to hear the loyalties which both "phases" have to each other, while they are both very different at the same time. These two releases form, in my mind, a pretty limitless foundation for Zud.
2. How would you describe your musical sound and also do you feel that with your recording's that a new genre of metal might evolve out of them?
"The Good, the Bad and the Damned," is best described as sleazy 'n cheesy, bluesy, rockin' black metal. I don't think a new genre will be born or anything like that, being that all of those elements have existed for over 30 years and some go WAY back before that. Any asshole can play the blues through a HM2 although to be fair, there are a lot of places one can go with that, even though most just do the same thing over and over.
3. What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?
Mostly things based from real life experience mixed with dreams or intuitive feelings. Most of these in turn have something in relation to death and how it is always nearby as we "evolve" throughout this journey that is life; while always searching for ways to go about things on as close to ones own terms as possible in this bizarre and hilarious, shit-hole of a world.
4. I know that the band name comes from the Mongolian language, what was the decision behind using it as a band name?
When I saw the word and read what it meant, I knew that was the name. I think it serves as a perfect moniker for both phases the band has gone through so far and I believe that it will continue to do so for however long the band might exist.
5. What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and how would you describe your stage performance?
There have only been four shows as I write this and each were very cool for different reasons. The fourth was probably the overall best. The second show was very interesting...
6. Do you have any touring plans for the future?
Yes, but only in the US for now and I doubt we'll be going much further south than NYC or Philly until the spring.
7. Currently you are unsigned, are you looking for a label or received any interest?
No, but if offers come in, we will sort through them accordingly.
8. On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of black and underground metal?
Though it only been out for a minute, feedback for "The Good, the Bad and the Damned," so far has been very positive. For the "Fevered Dreams" EP there was never any feedback because I only shared it with friends, though everyone I shared it with seemed to enjoy it.
9. What is going on with the other musical projects these days?
Both Zak and Greg are in a thrash band called Stone Tools, which I would say has a shit load of potential and could probably take over the entire "modern thrash" genre if they play their cards right. Greg has a very interesting band which has been in the works for a long time. It doesn't sound like anything I've every heard, but fans of Negative Plane and Arizmenda would likely be very interested in it. Stay tuned...
10. What direction do you see your music heading into on future releases.
That is a secret, but I don't think it's very hard to figure out...
11. What are some bands or musical styles that have influenced your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
Our influences are pretty broad. Apart from Bathory, Mayhem and a few others, there isn't too much to look to for in musical influences for Zud in the black metal genre. A lot of the shit that was on the classic rock radio stations in the late 80's/earlier 90's when I was 1st discovering the world of rock 'n roll has a HUGE presence in Zud's sound. Stuff from the late 70's/early 80's, plus the basic NWOBHM stuff of course. Lot's of really cheesy and sappy stuff like W.A.S.P., Van Halen and even Heart. Also a lot of Roky Erickson and some fairly obscure older shit like Aphrodite's Child and the Message which I didn't discover until more recently. Another big one of course is Ennio Morricone, whose stuff has been saturated in my head since I was a little kid. I think Zud comes out with such a "blackened" sound because of who we are and how we go about things, not because we "wanted to play in a black metal band," or anything. I think that later approach is where most metal bands make their first big mistake usually. It is not an attempt to put on an act or an imitation. It is just Zud and it is from the fucking heart. It's up to the listener to take it or leave it.
12. Outside of music what are some of your interests?
They are never ending. Many are very obscure and most do not go hand in hand with any of the others at all. I have a lot of goals in life, as do the other members of Zud. Some of them have already been accomplished. Some of them may never happen, but a lot of them will.
13. Any final words or thoughts before we wrap up this interview?
Stay tuned and Beware...