Zombie Disco Squad on Starting a Cantonese Rap Band and His Love for Prince
Full of house, tech-house, and elements of nu-disco, the first full-length release from Nat "Zombie Disco Squad" Self, Brains, is probably not the soundtrack you'd imagine accompanying a zombie invasion. It sounds like it would better suit a night out with your friends in a seedy European club. As the Made to Play label's only full-length release this year, Brains features tracks with ghetto-tech talent DJ Funk and British soul vocalist Omar, and will soon be followed by a remix EP employing the talents of Eli Escobar, label-head Jesse Rose, and more. We recently spoke with Zombie Disco Squad about tour life, going solo, and why he loves Prince. He headlines Monarch this Friday for Lights Down Low, with support from Nick Monaco and local residents Joaquin Barta, Richie Panic, and Sleazemore.
We heard some weird things happened last time you played S.F. Are you excited to be back again?
Last time I was in S.F. I had a crazy time -- I'm not going to go into details, but I still have a pretty decent scar. I'm really excited to be back! I love the city!
You started out making an EP that turned into the first full Zombie Disco Squad full-length. How did that evolve into Brains?
I started writing ideas, and after I had five or six down, I saw that with a bit of work, well actually quite a lot, I had a long player on my hands. I got into a lot of coffee and didn't sleep for ages and Brains was the outcome.
Was it more liberating to make a full-length versus an EP?
Yes and no. No, because with a EP you just write a couple of tracks and it's a job done. Writing an album takes much, much, longer and is much more long-winded. There are loads of songs that didn't make the final cut. Yes, because it allows you the freedom to try things you wouldn't normally do and it's really satisfying when you finish it.
What was it like working so closely with Made to Play chief Jesse Rose on it?
It was cool. We are both quite firm in our thoughts and feelings, so on the final edits there were definitely some debates.
What track on the album pushed the boundaries of your creativity furthest?
Ooof -- hard question. I would have to say "Righteous Sound." It was really hard getting the vocals right and it was the first time I have worked with a singer.
You're also creating a remix EP for the album. Can you tell us a little about that and which artists might be on it?
So far the list is Shadow Child, Monkey Safari, Sasha Robotti, Mercury, Wildkats, Daniel Dexter, Eli Escobar, and oh, Jesse Rose. I'm really happy with how all the mixes have turned out! There will also be some extra tracks that didn't go on the album.