Mexican duo Zombies in Miami recently released their EP ‘Take It Off’ on New York based label 2MR. Known for their disco-ish and psychedelic vibe Canibal and Jenice have spread their sound in clubs and festivals around the globe for nearly seven years. Torture the Artist caught up with the horror movies loving musicians shortly before their SXSW Festival gig to chat about their relationship with Miami, their musical influences and plans for the future.
Torture the Artist: Where are you at the moment?
Zombies in Miami: We are in Austin at SXSW Festival. We will play a show here. Very excited! Our first time in Austin and this festival.
Sorry to let everyone down, but we don’t have a deep story about the name.
Torture the Artist: What’s the story behind the moniker ‘Zombies In Miami’?
Zombies in Miami: Sorry to let everyone down, but we don’t have a deep story about the name. The name came about because a long time ago we did a song with Miami Bass influences and in the chorus of that track we sang ‘Zombies in Miami’, it was very catchy, so the people in our city always asked us to play that song, that’s why we decided to go for it.
Torture the Artist: You describe your sound as a hybrid between rock music and electronic, how has your sound evolved.
Zombies in Miami: That description is a little bit old now to be honest, but we still have a little bit of that I guess. I would say that we’re now very open to playing lots of styles and mixing them to create our unique mental-mysterious dancefloor sound.
Torture the Artist: What are your musical background and studio diynamics at the moment?
Zombies in Miami: Well we’re not studied musicians. We learned all empirically. Our studio is pretty normal, with two monitors and a big desk so that we’re comfortable in our production. We have one big rack with drum machines, synth, modulars and we improvise everything. Just playing, playing, playing and then we edit all the instruments into the arrangement view of Ableton.
You know about a year or so ago in Miami there were stories of people on drugs eating people.
Torture the Artist: ‘Canibal’ and ‘Zombies’ hint a fondness for human flesh, does this relate to your approach to music and lifestyle in general?
Zombies in Miami: Ha! Actually Canibal is just a nickname Cani got when he was 15, and Zombies came when we started doing music together. We are very into horror movies though and of course did a track called Zombie In Miami. You know about a year or so ago in Miami there were stories of people on drugs eating people. The media called them the zombies of/in Miami. True story.
Torture the Artist: You’ve been touring for quite some years now, what has been your best memory?
Zombies in Miami: I think it has been seven years now and we have a lot of good memories. The first transatlantic flight was very special for us. Also our first show in Panorama Bar was amazing. It was huge for us to play there. We have lots of beautiful memories and many new friends.
Torture the Artist: Mention three tracks from yours that you’re most proud of.
Torture the Artist: What is the best setting to produce music?
Zombies in Miami: In our studio for sure, but we spend a lot of time on the road. Sometimes we are working in hotels, bus, train, planes basically we use any free time we get. Sometimes our studio is only one laptop and headphones.
I think that with our music we are trying to explore different parts and ingredients of our life that we don’t aways get to experience normally.
Torture the Artist: There are some elements of psychedelia and acid when it comes to describing your sound, do these elements come to play in your life?
Zombies in Miami: I think that with our music we are trying to explore different parts and ingredients of our life that we don’t aways get to experience normally, like the psychedelia and triteness. We are very calm, but of course we also like what this adds to our sound.
Torture the Artist: What is the process for producing a track? do you have a certain label in mind when you produce? or you seek for a home label after producing an EP with a particular sound.
Zombies in Miami: Most of the time we can’t produce a track already thinking what the result might or should be. When we’ve tried this we ended up doing something completely different to the plan, so we enjoy producing and having the freedom to add elements and improvise.
Start sending demos to cool – new labels.
Torture the Artist: Which advice would you give to fellow Mexican artists striving to get touring abroad
Zombies in Miami: Ahhh ok. So find your own sound and when you feel comfortable with it, start sending demos to cool – new labels. It’s getting harder now, there are a lot of DJ/producers around, so if you want to stand out you have to be ingenious and very creative.
Torture the Artist: Which musical venture would you like to embrace in order to keep growing as an artist?
Zombies in Miami: I think it would be interesting to start Zombies in Miami as a live band with guitars, percussions etc. for festivals or special events. Also we’re thinking about starting our own label.
Torture the Artist: Where do you find inspiration the most when producing tracks?
Zombies in Miami: Honestly, most of the inspiration comes when we travel. We listen to a lot of sounds, genres and get inspired by them.
We still love Egyptian Lover & Maggotron!
Torture the Artist: What were your main musical influences when you started Zombies in Miami?
Zombies in Miami: At the beginning we were influenced by Miami Bass, Electro and percussions, but with time we evolved and discovered and developed our sound. But we still love Egyptian Lover & Maggotron!