Age Zero in an intimate interview

Age Zero in an intimate interview

A dark traveler gives honest anwers

Jan Weisbrod from 'Age Zero' takes us to a jour­ney through Japan and very per­son­al dark feel­ings on his new album 'Age Zero III'. In this inter­view he reveals us his intim­ate emo­tion­al world, talks about self-doubts and sadly maybe the last Age Zero album.

1. You did a 5 years creative break since the last album and released only 7 new songs. Have you actively distanced yourself from music? What are the reasons for your disappearance?

So I've nev­er stopped work­ing on new tunes. I'm not the quick­est musi­cian by far but it‘s also a long grow­ing and evolving pro­cess for me to cre­at­ing sounds, writ­ing and select­ing some thoughts and put that all togeth­er in a song. On the oth­er hand I wasn‘t sure if I can / want to make anoth­er new album any­more. But these doubts are normal.

2. Let's be honest, the new album is much darker than before. Does the album reflect your current emotional world or is it more an observation of the environment?

Age Zero - Age Zero IIIAll my music is reflect­ing my thoughts, opin­ions and also my state of mind and brain. I talk with people and friends, observe my own beha­viour and emo­tion­al world. If you have a pen­chant for mel­an­choly you are con­ceiv­able able to get lost in depres­sion. Above all when you lost your love, beloved people passes away and some oth­er crises come into your life. I sur­vided all these shitty moments and the res­ult is a very per­on­al album.

It‘s not just promo bla bla, it is very intim and per­son­al. It would take more than this inter­view to explain my „dark waters“. However mel­an­choly can be help­ful to cre­at­ing feel­ings and emo­tion­al soundscapes.

3. Lyrically, the album deals with extremely gloomy themes such as depression, suicide or self-doubt. What is the essence of the message to the listeners? Are there some words of hope for the listeners?

Sure, you can find hope­ful mes­sages in most of the song. You see, I‘m still alive and I know there is a reas­on to get up every­day. On this album I wanted to express my thoughts and feel­ings as rough as pos­sible. No fil­ters or even cen­sor­ship. AZIII is not a ther­apy it’s a diary of a paranor­mal mother­fuck­er, a record of tiny thoughts.

4. There's a proverb that says: "Travel changes you". You were in Japan for a long time and some of the songs are about it. Did you have particularly drastic experiences there? Or did you already deal with the culture in advance and therefore started the journey?

Find places, to leave your life. A Traveler wants to be invis­ible to see the every­day situ­ation of oth­er people. I want to see the nor­mal life on these oth­er plan­ets. Of course I also see the tour­ist stuff too but for me I don‘t see myself as a tour­ist. It is ter­rible and romantic at the same time to „dis­pose“ your­self in a beau­ti­ful wood near the Mt Fuji. To die on beau­ti­ful places is impossible. Thats the essence of Aokigahara has to wait. You can‘t when you see these beau­ti­ful landscape.

5. I also think the sound of Age Zero's music has changed a bit. Sound and text passages sound almost mantra-like. Is this also an effect of the Japan journey or is it a natural progression?

Every trip is a influ­ence. My brain works end­lessly and a new place oper­ates as a cata­lyst. When I was 2018 in Iceland, I listened to the raw pieces of AZ III there and I was com­pletely in love with this sound­scapes. Before the trip I wanted to delete all that at home. After feel­ing this beau­ti­ful island togeth­er with these songs I was so sure to bring it out. This man­tra-thing is just an acci­dent like the most of the vocals. I‘m not really cre­at­ing or think­ing about, it‘s more what is music doing to me.

6. You told me you set yourself under pressure with a deadline to finish the new album. Are you happy of the final result?

Sometimes I'm too pre­cise. I would nev­er find to an end if I wouldn't do that dead­line-thing. So, if you wanna reach your per­son­al goal you have to tell it people out there, because when every­one knows the date you don‘t wanna dis­s­a­point and you will final­ize it. Am I happy? Oh yes – I am.

7. The electric guitar sound in 'Out Of Pain' and the drums in 'Perfect Desperate Mess' for example sound very organic. Were they recorded with real instruments or were they created on a synthesizer?

First, a Synthesizer is a real Instrument. ;) Everything could be used as an instru­ment. Also a dynam­ic pro­cessor like a com­pressor. I love the free­dom that I can play not really an instru­ment, that I‘ve nev­er learned to pro­duce a song, but I play Instruments and pro­duce the songs. You don‘t need edu­ca­tion if you have some ideas. You‘ll find a way to bring it to a res­ult. I don‘t think my music would be so rough if I would do everything in the „right way“. But I love listen­ing to people who can play instru­ments and I admire them of course.

Jan Weisbrod (Age Zero) Selfie February 2020
Jan Weisbrod (Age Zero) Selfie February 2020

8. What is the focus of your creative process: Music or lyrics first?

Usually I start just play­ing or find some samples. Lyric-ideas devel­op par­al­lel and indi­pendently from music. My focus is to make the best song ever for me. I fail in 99,9% of the cases but when I have this one track I‘m so happy.

9. Do you have a favourite track on the album? And if yes, what’s the reason.

It‘s chan­ging every day. At the moment I would say „Out of Pain“. „Dark Traveler“ brought tears in my eyes, after I fin­ished it. Every track has a story, that's why I love all my babies.

10. I don't think that titles are difficult for you because you write excellent lyrics. Will the next album be called 'Age Zero IV' or will you break the pattern?

Thank you. Maybe it was the final album, who knows? I like chro­no­lo­gic­al order. If you would check my CD col­lec­tion, you would find all CDs sor­ted from A to Z and by release date too. The point why I gave no names is simple. Every album is a restart, an Age Zero. You can‘t really give a name three times. People would start to nam­ing the albums by themselvs.

11. The setting: “The DJ in your favourite disco must urgently leave and he asks you to represent him”. What does your spontaneous DJ set look like (List 10 tracks)?

Bad idea, I would do that to the audi­ence. But I would always help my friends. Spontaneous:

12. What are your favourite, latest band/artist discoveries that you also would recommend to Electrozombies and its readers?

I also dis­cov­er many old artists like Talk Talk or Kate Bush.

13. I know only a few artists in our scene who can live from their music. What do you do to pay your bills beside making music?

Working.

14. What media do you use to stay musically up to date?

If you love music you have to search for it. Youtube, Soundcloud, and oth­er stream­ing portals help me to find good and often unknown music. My friends also recom­mend good music.

15. What important life wisdom would you have given yourself 20 years ago?

Simply do it.

16. Tell me a particularly good and a bad property of you.

Good: I‘m very accur­ate, considerate
Bad: Impatient, always thoughful

17. Do you have some kind words to Electrozombies for our testimonials section 'People who spread love'?

Electrozombies is is a very unique magazine, which is work­ing very pro­fes­sion­al and caring. Thanks for the oppor­tun­ity to intro­duce myself here.

18. Your last words to our audience?

Simply do it.

Thank you very much for your pre­cious time to have this really hon­est inter­view with us.

By the way, th album 'Age Zero III' also made it into our art­icle 'The best Synth Pop and genre-related albums 2020'. Read now.