In this spotlight feature where we bring you bands deserving of far more love and listeners, we have the overwhelmingly talented Dk-Zero!
Formed up of D-punk who is a talented musician from Seattle, he forms one half of the vocals, the other half of the vocals are by Kato. Many of you may know her as Kato punk, originally born in Wales and moving over to America in 2007 she has become one of the most famous alternative models out there. She also started the original and oldest running steam clothing online store known as Steampunk Couture. Finally there Is Skye on the guitar making for a very unique Industrial band. DK-Zero played the main stage of WGT this year in their first ever European show, no small feat!
Q. Thank you for joining us! Kato I have been a fan of yours for a fair few years so it is wonderful to speak to you in regards to industrial music now. D-punk I must admit, I partially based my dreaded hair on yours. For those who don’t know Dk- Zero who are you, and what is the sound, theme, andstory that make up you music?
Thank you so much! We are excited to be here talking with you; and of course we love talking about our music whenever we get the chance. I am going to give you a little bit of a backstory so you understand the roots of DK-Zero and how we came to be. Kato and I met in early 2015. Both of us were going through horrible breakups with some really toxic people. I had been a professional bassist for nearly 20 years at the time. Kato was in the midst of doing nearly everything else in the world. She was running her clothing business,
running all her modeling websites, talent scouting every day and ultimately landed a staring role in the television show Steampunk’d. So it was a crazy time for us. In the middle of all this we had a crazy night of drinking... Kato started singing and a friend of ours said “you guys should start a band together”.
At first we sort of laughed it off, but a few days went by and we looked at each other and were like “maybe we should do this”. So Kato and I started listening to all sorts of Nu Metal and Industrial Rock and realized this is what we needed to do. We needed to write music that had that energy we loved in some of our favorite bands from that time period. So I scoured the internet in 2015 trying to find any band who were writing music like that... and I couldn’t find any new up and coming bands that had the sound I was hearing in my head. I knew we were onto something. The concept for DK-Zero was there...
We wanted to blend Industrial Rock and Nu Metal from the late 90’s and early 2000’s with Cyber, Breakbeats, EDM and Hip Hop elements. We wanted it to be aggressive and energetic and also retain some traditional song structure. I wanted people to be able to feel that anger and that aggression, but also be able to understand the lyrics and scream along with us.
Q. You recently played the main stage at Wave Gotik Treffen how was that experience for you and were you well received in Germany?
Playing the MainStage at Wave Gotik Treffen... what can I say. It was probably one of the most incredible live show experiences we’ve had so far. It is a huge venue and the sound was perfect. It was absolutely amazing. In a lot of ways I wish every show could be like that. We were really fortunate as well to have Chris L. from the band Agonoize and Funker Vogt play keyboards for us on that show. There are a few clips on our YouTube channel of him on stage with us if you want to check those out. He’s been a good friend of ours for years now and he acted as a translator on and off stage, which made our whole experience at WGT so much fun. We got to joke around a lot with the sounds guys and the stage crew, which made it feel a lot more like family.
Q. Your first album ‘From Nothing’ really was a breath of fresh air with your unique take on industrial, was the album hard to put together and is there anything you would do differently?
Oh wow, thank you so much... we are so glad you feel that way about the album. I think we had a pretty unique and specific vision for what we wanted to accomplish with “From Nothing”, and we took our time putting it all together; roughly two years. Honestly, we couldn’t be more proud of how everything turned out and the response we’ve gotten.
We wrote about 20 songs/arrangements for the album, did full pre-production and tracking for16 of those, took13 of those songs all the way to final mix and master and only released 10 for the album. So it was a crazy process. We started writing in January of 2016 and had the
album fully mixed and mastered by January of 2018. So that was two years of being really focused on one vision, and in the end, I think we got the best out of ourselves.
Obviously, it’s easy to look back at something you’ve already released and pick apart the flaws and wonder, “what could that song sound like now if I just had a little more time with it”. I am definitely guilty of feeling that way sometimes. For us though, “From Nothing” is exactly
what it needed to be. It is one conceptual piece of emotional expression that represents exactly where we were in that moment at that time. Everything we sing about on that album is shit we’ve either personally gone through or experienced... so it’s really fucking honest. I guess to answer your question, if I had to do it all over again, I don’t think I would change anything or do anything differently.
Q. Your next album is due out in September and being campaigned for via Patreon. The single ‘Boom Boom’ has already been released from it; What can we expect from the new album, what ways will it differ from the previous one, and is there a concept to it?
Yes! We are about to release our new album and we are so fucking stoked. Sonically, there will be some familiar territory like you heard on “From Nothing”. Overall though, this new album is a totally different beast.
After our Fall 2018 tour, we had a lot of ideas about where our music should go. We payed a lot of attention to what people were responding to every night from the stage and what we thought we were missing in our live shows. The original goal was to write a handful of songs and try to push the boundaries of our tempos and our lyrics into something even more Cyber-Industrial. To quote our Facebook Bio... “What we ended up with are 9 tracks absolutely packed with high energy beats, crazy sci-fi sexual lyrics and fits of rage polished into a beautifully twisted package of neon infused Industrial ear candy!”
The new single for the upcoming second album
Q. Kato, having been originally from Wales, will we ever see Dk-Zero play in the UK, possibly in the famous UK home of Gothic music that is slimelights Elektrowerkz?
The Slimelight!!! I love that place. I definitely see us doing a UK specific tour in the near future. We have actually been talking about that a lot this year, so I think by next Spring/Summer you can expect us there.
(E.V: I for one, really hope so!!!)
Q. So far you have two music videos for ‘iFeel’ and heavily apocalyptic ‘Turn up the hate’ what are the stories behind those two songs and videos?
It’s crazy how things work out, because those two songs were actually the last songs we wrote for the album... and I would say they are probably two different versions of the same emotion.
To give you some backstory... We hired a friend to help us with our final mixes for the album, and in the process he stayed at our house for a couple of weeks. We ended up finishing the bulk of the album in about 8 days and he turned to me and said “you got anything else we could mess around with”. So I pulled up the original arrangements for both of these songs and without any hesitation, he was like “dude... give me a day or so, go write some lyrics and let’s regroup.” Literally three days later we had these two songs done.
As far as the video concepts go, we really wanted “iFeel” to have a clean, intentional, Cyber-y look to it. We felt like that concept fit well with the lyrics, the sound, and of course Kato’s style. “Turn Up The Hate” on the other hand... that was meant to be as outwardly violent and apocalyptic as possible. Again, we felt like this would be the best way to visually represent the lyrics; and it also gave the audience two very extreme versions of what the band could do musically and visually. One track focusing solely on Kato and looking as clean as it does and the other focusing more on me and looking as stylized as we could make it.
Q. What got you both in to industrial music and what are some of your most influential industrial bands?
Kato is definitely more the Nu Metal kid, some of her favorite bands are Static X, System of a Down, Korn, PM5K and pretty much anything Mike Patton has ever done. I am probably a little more influenced by classic Industrial Rock like NIN, Marilyn Manson, Ministry, Skinny Puppy, KMFDM. Lately we’ve been getting into bands like Circle of Dust and Celldweller. I love the last Prodigy album that came out “No Tourist”. Mindless Self Indulgence has been heavy on my playlist lately. I also really like Rabbit Junk, I think they just played Infest. 3Teeth is kicking ass, they just dropped a new album and I think it hit #1 on the Metal charts last week. There are so many good bands out there!
Q. Who would you like to share the stage with in future?
Honestly, I think my dream would be to go on tour as direct support for NIN... If we got that call... I’d probably shit myself. I don’t think I’d sleep for a week.
Q. Finally is there anything you’d like to say to your fans?
We just want to say thank you so much for all your support. Thank you for listening to our music. Thank you for sharing our music. Thank you for following our journey. Thank you for being awesome!
Album Review: 'From Nothing'
For those of you who have read the interview, as D-Punk said this album is a niche sound not found elsewhere in industrial at the moment; much in the same way that Priest has no other band sounding similar to them. Also just as he said, the album gives a powerful early 2000's Nu-Metal vibe but still very much drags it in to the industrial modern world with the aggression and cyber future sound blending perfectly. Kato is very much the cool as hell cyber goth half and D-Punk is very much the post apocalypse rivet head. This duality between them plays evident across the entire album leaving it very hard to describe or compare to anyone else within the genre. The wonderful thing about their music is that they are already Jacks of all trades and seemingly mastered them. Some of the tracks are light and easy to listen to, others are heavy and violent, and in some places the tracks are gloriously sexual in the lyrics making for a real mash up of choice that anyone would be able to find at least something to satisfy their appetite from this musical buffet of an album.
Please head over to Spotify and have a listen as it needs to be heard in order to get the points I'm making across.
My personal favourites on the album are 'My Shame' as the slow growled lyrics remind me of older Slipknot pieces but the chorus is riff heavy and the vocals are clear in a very upbeat rave metal way. Second is 'Death bus' as the lyrics are sexual in the same atmospheric tone as Combichrist's 'Shut up and swallow' and it makes for a truly interesting ride. Overall this is a real gem of an album that should be on everyone's playlist mix and I hope this article makes a few more people fans of a type of band that is quite frankly, desperately needed to further bridge the divide of genres and bring more fans in to the industrial fold to prevent it from stagnating. I wish Kato and D-punk all the best with the next album and future shows! You can support the next album via their Patreon here
Also check out their sci-fi as hell website: https://www.dkzero.com/
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