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Interview

Ektomorf Frontman Says Soulfly/Sepultura "Big Influence," But Not Only One

Zoltan “Zoli” Farkas has spent the last 15-plus years as the sole consistent member in the revolving door of Hungarian metal known as Ektomorf. Like many metal warriors, Farkas has seen several members come and go from his band, but through it all, he’s stayed true to his vision.

The vision is a power-packed brand of groove/thrash metal that is often compared to Soulfly and Sepultura. Some critics have slammed Farkas for too closely mimicking those bands but to him, imitation is the truest form of flattery - and his influences go far beyond those two bands.

And on his latest, “Redemption,” the Brazilian-core influence remains but there’s much more going on – such as a Megadeth or even Alice In Chains influence on “Sea of Misery” or a reckless hard rock edge on “The One,” which features Danko Jones.

Suffice to say, Farkas puts his own distinct stamp on each track. He took a few minutes to chat with Metalunderground recently about the new album, the many lineup changes, his love for Johnny Cash and the gypsy persecution he’s been subjected to throughout his life.

Driftski: So how are things going man?

Zoli: Hi Man ! All cool thanks. I’m just back from our European headlining tour for the new album. It was three weeks - really fucking great tour full of killer shows and more and new fans! I'm back to Hungary right now in my home town, which is a small shitty town. But it is ok right now cause in two weeks I'm up to shows again so it's all cool. And be honest after three weeks of touring every night, (doing) 1 ½ half hour shows, it’s good to rest a bit.

Driftski: Tell us a little about this album, where it was recorded and what the creative process was like this time around.

Zoli: The album was recorded in Denmark with Tue Madsen. I've worked with him for six years; he's the best! So this time we spent about two weeks in his house and in his studio. It was killer and you can hear it on the album! The sound is killer. We used some different stuff like overdrive pedals and Gibson guitars since I got endorsed by Gibson last summer at Wacken fest. Anyway, I wrote the whole album at home in Hungary . . . I had to move home about a year ago from Hamburg Germany for a private reason and I wrote (about) what happened … It was not a good time man but you can hear that on the songs.

Driftski: You've had a lot of lineup changes in recent years. What is the current state of the band and how have the changes impacted Ektomorf's sound?

Zoli: You know I formed the band in 93 and since then a lot of changes happened. That's life man…and you know EKTOMORF is me. I write the songs, the lyrics and I believe in what I do the most, so those changes made no changes at all. In one way, I got new people around me and (that) is always good man.

Driftski: What type of metal scene is there in Hungary?

Zoli: To be honest, I don't really follow since Ektomorf plays maybe once a year in Hungary, not more man. We got all kinds of metal and rock music shit but as the country is small, the scene is small too. That's why I feel very happy about what I have. And I'm happy to do this interview right now.

Driftski: Can you please tell us what it was like for you growing up as a gipsy in Hungary? What types of challenges/difficulties/prejudices did you face?

Zoli: Man it was like I had to do everything double or more. I got it in every way of my life: check out the song “Gipsy” from the “Destroy” album. (It’s all) in the lyrics. You know from the my childhood to the school years and then my ex-girlfriend's family - I got it everywhere man . . . But you know, fuck that cause it's just made me stronger and made me fight to make my dream come true.

Driftski: Your style has been compared a lot to Max Cavalera. How has Max and Sepultura/Soulfly influenced you as an artist?

Zoli: Well he's just one of my favorite artists (but) to be honest lately not so much. My biggest metal influence is James Hetfield. But really my favorite artist is Johnny Cash. He’s my favorite and I know he played a very different kind of music but no matter. Yes, Max was a big influence on me and I got compared to him and I’m happy if someone does it in a good way.

Driftski: What can metal fans expect in 2011 from Ektomorf?

Zoli: Lots of live shows - clubs, festivals, touring, etc. One more new video clip from the new album and I hope we will tour for the first time (in) the US. I would love to do that!

Driftski: Any parting words to your fans?

Zoli: To all my US fans thanks for the support. I follow it all through the internet and I know we will meet soon! So see ya on U.S. Tour!

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