Zombie Nation: Full-time freakout

Having recently visited us for the Stereosonic tour last summer, Zombie Nation isn’t reluctant as some to battle the jet-lag and make the return trip down under. So enthusiastic is the German that he’s even visiting us during our party off-season, for Winter Sound System and We Love Sounds. He is clearly a believer in our ability to deliver the same party spirit rain, hail, or shine. “I expect [in winter] what I’ve seen there in the summer,” the man enthuses down the phone to inthemix. “Australia is always a beautiful place and the people just love to party over there.”

Before embarking to Asia then to our shores, he has played dozens of shows alongside his ZZT co-producer Tiga, with his Planet Turbo tour around Europe and the U.S. Of course, that’s to be expected. Life never stops moving for a touring DJ with that sort of demanding schedule. He definitely sounds the least exhausted out of the lot – never sounding less than thrilled about the prospect of playing to his rowdy fans.

Though, Florian Senftler (as his mother would call him) isn’t all about touring. Speaking to us from a miserable day in his hometown of Munich, he says he equally looks forward to the jet-setting part as much as he enjoys the isolated four walls of his studio. With release of his fourth studio album Zombielicious last year, his collaborative work with Tiga and many other little projects, he is definitely not one to procrastinate in his little downtime. He hopes to release, “if not an album, a two or three track EP later this year”.

One of the more interesting projects he completed earlier in the year worth noting was his Zombie Nation & Friends concept, which gave birth to aptly named Mind of Many track. He explained that it was pretty simple: he asked to his fans over Facebook, “Wanna make a track together?” Getting a huge reaction, he asked everyone to send him different sounds they had. “At the beginning I didn’t really have a plan,” he explains. “Was I to choose the sounds, or should I let people vote on it?”

Not using any original sounds he created himself, he chose the sounds that were eventually voted on by his fans to create the track. “I like to restrict my own possibilities. With software you have a million possibilities. I think creativity comes to life when you sometimes cut it down. If it sounds shit, I can just blame it on their shit sounds,” he laughs.

Working with others is something he clearly relishes. Working most notably with Tiga, he states that with two minds it is an incredibly flexible exercise. “If you are working alone you spend more time on details and stuff and you can get stuck in one direction. Tiga is like, ‘Hey, let’s work on this for five minutes and if it’s not better we come back to the old [tracks]’. On your own you can spend hours on something that is bullshit. It doesn’t matter if it takes a few minutes, if it’s better than what you worked on for an hour – it’s better.”

Although keeping it very fresh, it has to be said that he is synonymously linked to Kernkraft 400, “that track” he created 11 years ago. You wonder after that amount of time whether a producer gets sick of hearing it (or even hearing about it). It seems though, given the man’s unjaded nature, the buzz of something like that never gets tiresome. “There is no other track like it for me,” he says. “It’s always exciting to see how people react to it. They go crazy; really start freaking out.”

The anthem is even chanted at sporting events, especially in North America, something that is “incomprehensible” for its creator. “When you make a Kernkraft 400, or even if you are the White Stripes making Seven Nation Army, it’s not something you can calculate. It’s a one in a lifetime thing.” Senftler reveals that the hysteria has even gone as far as the Penn State College Football team in the U.S. inviting him to play at one of the games, as they believed the track was responsible in them winning the championship.

With Kernkraft likely to be chanted for decades to come, and his new material just as fresh and exciting as in the past, Zombie Nation isn’t likely to leave the scene anytime soon. And if he miraculously does, we’ll still be spilling our drinks to his distinctive electro well into the future.

Zombie Nation plays the Planet Turbo arena at We Love Sounds and Winter Sound System in June.