Zirocco (28.10.2021)

Welcome Zirocco! Please introduce yourselves
We are Zirocco, a metal band formed in Luxembourg in the summer of 2020. We consist of 4 members:

Sebastian Rengifo (vocals and guitar)
Marcus Dackner (drums)
Louis Guillaume Stiévenart (bass)
Nick Kellam (guitar)

The sound of Zirocco has been heavily influenced by various genres, including thrash, deathcore, punk, groove metal, the list goes on. We are indeed a metal band, but we are not afraid to experiment and push the boundaries of what classifies as “metal music” in the year 2021.

What is the origin of your band name?
Nick came up with the band name Zirocco during geography class at school, when his teacher mentioned a type of wind in the Mediterranean Sea known by the name of “Sirocco”. As soon as he heard the sound of that word, he knew it would have to be the name of the band. Nick thought to change the S in “Sirocco” to a Z to better reflect the band’s aggressive musical and thematic style as well as to turn the word into our own. We had also been looking for a band name for what seemed like an eternity at that point, so we were more than happy to finally settle on “Zirocco”.

It is always interesting to see musical influences evolve over the course of time. What are your current sources of inspiration?
As was stated prior, our music has no genre labels as it has been influenced by many different genres, due to all of our band members coming from similar, yet quite distinct musical backgrounds. However, if we do get into specifics, some notable genres that influence Zirocco’s music include thrash metal, groove metal, deathcore, and punk. But with that being said, we are also not afraid to bend boundaries and experiment with sounds outside of metal to create something fresh and new. A small selection of some bands that have influenced our sound would be Lamb of God, Gojira, Bring Me the Horizon, Pantera, and Ingested.

What is your approach to the songwriting process?
The songwriting process is very collaborative. One band member may come to band rehearsal with an initial idea, such as a riff or drum part, and then we all jam on it until the entire song is worked out as a band. This allows for a distinct sound as all the different influences from each individual member can blend together to create our best work.

Which are the main themes and messages of your lyrics?
That is a very good question. Before I tell you what our songs are about, I’ll tell you what they’re definitely not about. I am aware that saying this may upset some people in the scene, but then again, we’re not afraid to upset some people either. My point is, I have always believed that the whole concept of death, darkness, and tragedy in metal music has grown stale and horrendously repetitive over the years, which has lead to an endless cycle of bands feeling obligated to include these themes in their songs simply due to the fact that they play extreme music. But when you really stop to focus on your emotions and your mind while listening to some of these lyrics, at least for me, you realize that you don’t really feel anything.

It’s the same old story, this obligation of needing to write about death, darkness, and mindless negativity bullshit has become nothing but a depthless metaphor forced upon metal songwriters. I would even go as far as to say that bands writing these sorts of lyrics when they don’t feel or relate to these lyrics at all is just as meaningless as the lyrical themes in the mainstream music that we metal musicians love to despise so passionately, which is so painfully hypocritical, when we in the scene ourselves force ourselves to write dark songs even if we don’t really feel the lyrics, simply because this is the status quo in the genre.

What I am trying to do with Zirocco’s lyrical themes and messages is redefine what metal lyrics should and can be about, because the whole point of this music community is complete freedom, so why should I feel obligated to write lyrics about the same exact concepts every other metal band in the history of Rock N’ Roll has ever written about? The best way I would describe Zirocco’s lyrics is as a beautifully fucked-up, sometimes fittingly nonsensical and utterly abstract conglomeration of reflections on humanity and all its beautiful yet destructive antics and assumed purposes. The pain, the pleasure, the mystery of the soul, and everything in between that we can’t quite ever describe but can always feel and experience. This is the concept that we want to share with the world.

If you could play any international music festival, which one would it be and why?
To be completely honest, our dream festival would be our own festival, completely off the grid. How cool would it be to play a metal festival on a tiny island in the middle of Polynesia? Or in the Sahara Desert? Or in space, who knows?

What are your plans for the future?
We hope to continue what we’re doing and only to move forward. Playing gigs, small or large is always something to look forward to. We have been writing songs for a while now and we hope to come out with an album in the near future so that is something to look out for.

Concluding words?
We are looking forward to playing throughout Luxembourg as well as wherever this project may take us.

Check out Zirocco here
(available online presence at the time of the interview)