Zenith DJ Nadir are an electro-rock band from Mexico City. They kindly agreed to complete an interview for Song Revelation. Zenith DJ Nadir consist of the following artists:
Zenith – voice
Aithne – violin
DJ Nadir – programming, keyboards, second voice
Read on to find out how events during 2010 and their spiritual belief has helped shape their music in 2011, what their currently working on and their musical inspirations.
Q: If you could use a tagline of less than 20 words to describe your music and who you are what would it be?
Upbeat elements mixing electronic, rock, pre-Hispanic and Latin influences creating an amalgam of unique sensations combining futuristic visual art with symbolism.
Q: What is your musical background?
Zenith has a lot of experience in the music industry as promoter, manager of indie bands in Mexico, having an indie record label and as a singer.
Aithne started playing the violin when she was 9 and mainly played in folk groups, symphony and chamber orchestras, and studied music at Lancaster University, UK before coming to Mexico and getting involved in modern music.
DJ Nadir studied as an audio engineer in Mexico City as well as playing the keyboards for many years in different bands.
Q: How was 2010 for you?
2010 was a turbulent year, full of ups and downs which inspired most of the songs and artwork in our first album.
Zenith started the year on a down note after having been manager and promoter of various indie bands in Mexico City, but due to their attitudes, selfishness, egos and other things they didn’t respect the work he’d done nor the fact that they could have had more success if only they’d listened to him. He had invested money and lost, and didn’t really know what to do. The disappointment and betrayal of these bands and his partner in the record label they opened together (as he robbed any money there was in the company) led to Zenith having big problems and he started spending almost every night out, becoming more and more depressed… until one night, he was out and while going home he was set upon by 3 men who were drunk and very aggressive who punched him to the ground and then one held him while the others kicked him in the face and stomach. After some other people became involved and broke it up, Zenith was taken to hospital where he had to have surgery as he had blood in his stomach/intestines and he realized that he had to get his life back on track. So he decided to get together another band, asking 3 friends (Aithne, DJ Nadir and another friend who had recorded bands Zenith had launched in the past called Gustavo Velazquez – who also collaborated in some of our songs) if they thought Zenith would be a good vocalist, passing their test, we formed Zenith DJ Nadir. However, during the process of creating songs, Zenith still had many problems as hate started to form in his heart against the 3 men who had attacked him and also against the bands and people who had betrayed him. He needed to release and disperse that hate …
So asking a friend who happens to be a shaman, for help, he said that he could help him but he’d have to accompany him to the desert. They went to Wirikuta, a desert near San Luis Potosi, which is also a sacred desert for the Huichol people and now under threat from a big company as they want to put an OPEN mine on the site which is the place where the Huichol people gather every year and have ceremonies to ask for peace and harmony on Earth. A very spiritual place. A place which should be preserved instead of being destroyed.
Many things happened to Zenith here. He had a Mexican Royal Eagle, which the shaman had been taking care of as he has permission from the government to have them and he said to Zenith that they should release the eagle as it is a wild animal and should be free. Through his words, he also said to Zenith that releasing the eagle would release many thoughts and problems that Zenith had and he would be also free. They walked from the village nearby where they had met with other local people and other shamans to the top of the mountain (Wirikuta) and set the eagle free. At this moment a cross formed in the sky (I’d like to add that we’re not Christians) but this is a notable event as it was a strange happening that it occurred at the same time as releasing the eagle.
The problems came when Zenith and the Shaman wanted to return from the mountain, as many pathways opened in the desolate desert. They spent 3 days looking for a way out which they couldn’t find. They met other people lost in the desert who thought it was a place to have an adventure or get high and they were crazy with fear as the desert at night is not a desolate place – There are coyotes, snakes, small animals, and many other dangers such as the nopals which are full of spines. Zenith met with every one of these obstacles and wished he was once again with his friends and family and realized that he had to make a change in his life. After 3 days of wandering, thirsty, hungry and weak from not eating or drinking for 3 days, they were thinking about death – Zenith and the Shaman, they decided to prepare for the end. But then suddenly, a truck came along and a man shouted “get in” so they immediately moved and ran after the truck jumping in the back while it was still moving… Zenith was so relieved and realized that he had another chance to make something of his life. More details of what happened can be found in our song REDENCION.
So because of this experience, we have 16 songs in our album, as Zenith started to write about his experiences in the desert, about his thoughts about people, feelings and emotions today, about humanity and materialism, and what we have become… Once the lyrics were written, DJ Nadir and Aithne, worked on the music to bring together the whole album.
The artwork for the album was also thought up by Zenith due to dreams and things that had happened to him in the desert as well as theories and ideas about science fiction, creating the concept and the ideas for the drawings in the album cover design, which were brought to life by Kathy Marshall (drawings) and Aithne (graphic design).
In November 2010, we launched our album “Revolucion Evolucion 2012” – musical revolution, evolution – creating awareness about our society today. We managed to get it distributed by Believe Digital UK in all major digital stores like itunes, amazon mp3, play.com, napster, limewire etc. And we had our press conference where the album was very well received by the press in Mexico City. You can see our press conference here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qAgr2IVK85o
Q: Who inspires you musically?
Janis Joplin, The Doors, The Sex Pistols, The Cure, Depeche Mode, Bob Dylan, David Bowie, Marilyn Manson, Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles, Beethoven, Mozart, Chopin, Bach
Q: Which modern day artists do you look up to?
Daft Punk, Gabriel Garcia Marquez (writer),
Q: Is there anyone you would like to collaborate or gig with?
Gig with Depeche Mode, collaborate with Damon Albarn
Q: What songs are on your ipod at the moment?
Sonata Artica, Aleks Syntek, Miami Horror, Stromae, Swedish House Mafia, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, The Bloody Beetroots, Santana, The Doors, The Sex Pistols, Morcheeba, Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, David Grey, Billy Holliday, Badly Drawn Boy, Gotan Project, JJ Cale, John Martyn, Lila Downs, Moby
Q: What is your creative process for creating a track?
Zenith writes the lyrics to a song and then DJ Nadir and Aithne come up with the music or vice versa.
Q: What’s more important, melody or lyrics?
Both of them are important, the lyrics are very important so that you can understand more about what the author wants to get across, what is he saying or what his message, the feelings and emotions which are created. The music complements what the lyrics are trying to say, helps you get into the song and the rhythm contributes to the emotions the listener is feeling. Some people concentrate more on the lyrics and some on the music. It’s a very personal preference really. Sometimes in certain genres the lyrics could be the most important thing in the song and vice versa.
Q: Where are you based?
At the moment we are based in Mexico City.
Q: What’s it like being where you’re from?
Zenith and DJ Nadir are from Mexico City, a big city where there’s always something happening, the main interesting places are Coyoacan, la Condesa, San Angel, Chapultapec and of course the centre of the city where there are many museums and important buildings to look at. There are always gigs to go to, theatre performances, places to see, people to see and it’s an extremely busy place to be. Sometimes you have to be careful not to go to some parts of the city but generally if you are alert you are fine.
Aithne is from Beverley in East Yorkshire, which is a small market town and also full of culture – more folk and classical influences than modern day. It’s a bit of a sleepy place but has a vibrant pub culture and nightlife where the people are very friendly. Also, excellent features are the impressive stone churches, the centre of the town, and the Westwood which is a large green area with a small wood to the west of the town where you can relax and watch time go by.
Q: What are you currently working on?
We’re currently composing, recording and working on our second album which will be ready for June/July 2011.
Q: What’s been the highlight of your career to date?
At the moment, to record and launch our first album was a great experience as well as to perform in front of many people making them part of our story and inspiring them with our music.
Q: What are you hoping to achieve in 2011?
We’re hoping to consolidate the band and inspire many people to join us in our story, play many gigs, promote our albums, tour Mexico and make plans for tours to other places like Europe. Anything else that comes along is fine with us…
Q: Do you have any gigs or shows that you’d like to tell us about?
At the moment, we have gigs in Mexico City so it’s a bit far away but for more information about our gigs, please keep checking our websites and “friend” us.
Q: What do you do to relax?
RELAX?? What’s that? lol
Q: Is there anything else you’d like to let our readers know about?
We would like to invite them to join us on our social networking sites and also send us comments, thoughts and anything else that occurs to them, to buy our music and if they like it to recommend us to their friends. That would be excellent…
Editor’s Note: Zenith DJ Nadir use music to educate and inspire. If ever you’re in Mexico you should definitely try to get down to one of their gigs.
If you’d like to learn more about or contact Zenith DJ Nadir, just follow the links below:
twitter link: www.twitter.com/zenith2012
myspace link: www.myspace.com/zenith2012
web page link: www.zonaindie.tv
soundcloud link: www.soundcloud.com/zenith2012
reverbnation link: www.reverbnation.com/zenith2012
Youtube embeds: www.youtube.com/zenithfans
Anything else: http://zenith2012.believeband.com