Artist of the week: ZES – An interview

Zes is an artist from Holland ( Zes means six in Dutch, which stands for six important turning points in his life). He prefers to stay anonymous so he preforms with a 3D printed mask. shortly after his debut album “outcry” he signed to Fog Mountain. Zes creates an atmospheric, futuristic beat. His voice and subtle use of guitar creates a feeling of melancholy.

KALTBLUT: Hi Zes, how are you after your performance at the STRP art and technology festival?

I am fine, Saturday was very nice.


KALTBLUT: How did Zes start and did you expect all of this?

Zes: No definitely not. It started out of some kind of frustration, I missed freedom in the music I made at first. And I wanted to start something where I could put all my emotions and energy in. And I am a difficult person to work with I think, definitely in music. My music is about my emotions and it’s hard for me to accept what people bring in, because it’s so personal.

KALTBLUT: With what kind of music did you start?

Zes: When I was around 12 I started playing in trash/doom metal bands, the kind of music my parents would describe as noise, that went so bad I wanted to start something for myself, so I started teaching myself how to make electronic music, I started with Dub-step and drum n bass but I am done with that. Two years ago when I started with zes, I started thinking, why am I not using my guitar anymore. Why am I not putting in  more than I do now. And that’s how I got at this point.


KALTBLUT: How would you describe your music?

Zes: People describe my music as dub-step or post dub-step but I do not agree with that, we think its hard to put it in one kind of genre, I wouldn’t know how to describe it.

KALTBLUT: Zes stands for six events in your life that were important for your music. What happened, or would you rather not talk about it?

Zes: Mostly romantic events, not always positive. Because the negative things or endings trigger me more. It leaves an emotion that I want to use in my music. the process after the happening inspire’s me and I will be able to make more music. That makes me happy agian and helps me to clear my mind. it helps me to process it.


KALTBLUT: Is that also a reason why you chose for anonymity?

Zes: A little bit. Its comfortable to hide yourself behind a mask, it gives you more freedom and space to breathe actually. And it was also some kind of an experiment. I wanted to see what happens when you don’t give people a face to look at. How they would react when your hear emotional music but you don’t see the face behind the music. So it’s a combination of an experiment and for my own comfort.

What I noticed is that things happens differently. It only happens on stage and when you get off nobody knows its me, and I think its great but it was also something I needed to get used to. Not having contact with your crowd.


KALTBLUT: Where does the 3D Printed mask come from?

Zes: It’s someting that I did together with Fog Mountain, Remy ( The manager ) Came with the Idea of a 3D Printed mask. We scanned my face trough the connect camera from the Xbox and then Sander made polygonal surfaces over my face and that’s how the mask was made.

KALTBLUT: Who is your inspiration?

Zes: from the more populair artist, Burial, Flume and Odesza.
And in the underground scene, Manuel Göttsching, flying lotus and Brian Eno.
But sometimes I don’t even know anymore who inspires me because I listen to so many different artists.

KALTBLUT: What kind of music do you listen to in your spare time?

Zes: Now days I listen to so much different genre’s, from ambient to industrial and sometimes even metal. People always look weird at me when I tell them what sorts of music I listen to. I believe that if you can listen and appriciate different sorts of music, you listen to music in a more intelligent way. You’re able to look at the different layers and elements in music.

KALTBLUT: Are you planning to play in Berlin soon?

Zes: Yes I would love to, but first I am gonna play in London and maybe Australia. But it depends on with who we get in touch.


KALTBLUT: What are your plans for the future?

Zes: I have a lot of plans for the future, but on the short term, I am working on some remixes for artists I think are really good, but I can’t say much more about that. And for the shows, I would love to tour more across the borders.



STRP Biennial

All photo’s by Lauren.

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