ZARDONIC “Pure Power” Lyric Video Premiere & Q&A

EDM has been a growing force in the American music scene for a few years now, with the popularity of certain of the top DJs eclipsing that of the rock star gods of years before. At its core, though, the electronic scene has always been an underground phenomenon, and as much about the spectacle of the audience as the DJ’s performance. While the mainstream scene is currently defined by genres and subgenres, big names and bigger festivals, that original base of producers continues with their own cult following. One of those producers is Venezuelan born Federico Agreda otherwise known as ZARDONIC. Unlike many in the scene, who follow trends in subgenres (with new categories popping up daily), ZARDONIC has maintained an electronic metal sound, whether it be categorized as Bass Music, Drum n Bass, Dupstep, what defines the ZARDONIC sound is that it is, at its core, metal music; it just happens to be electronically produced.

While previously releasing on various electronic dance labels, ZARDONIC was picked up by rock/metal label eOne Music for his latest album, Antihero, the first and only electronic producer on the label. Antihero not only dominated the electronic charts, with tracks premiering on major EDM sites, but also on major rock and metal sites. The album also charted on Tower Records Japan Top 5 Hard & Heavy as well as Tower Records Korea Top 5 Foreign. His following throughout Eastern Europe and Asia is phenomenal, as evidenced by his being the first electronic producer to perform at Japan’s Loud Park this coming October.

ZARDONIC has teamed up with Huffington Post to premiere the lyric video for his hit single “Pure Power.” Filmed at various shows around the world, “Pure Power” is a glimpse into the International Rave Scene, from Poland to Puerto Rico and beyond, showing that music, no matter how it’s produced, is universal.

You’re categorized as an EDM artist, but your music on Antihero is entirely metal, what’s the story behind ZARDONIC and the evolution of your sound as a Metal EDM artist? First of all, I'd like to humbly thank you for allowing me this space. I rejoice in knowing the mainstream media is starting to take notice of the Electronic Dance Metal movement. It's funny because for so many years I was told this would never get anywhere and now, all the labels and the agencies predict it as the future of music. I personally always loved EDM beats since I was very little, although by EDM I mean Electronic Dance Music including ALL genres and subgenres that are Electronic Music people generally dance to, including Techno, Trance, House, Drum N Bass, Electro, Breakbeat and Hardcore, I'm not necessarily referring to the newer trends of EDM. The power in the electronic beat that calls you to stand up and dance. It forces the crowd to attend the show because the experience is mindblowing.

​It's almost therapeutic to me. It's an amazing way to vent out! If you pair that with the aggressiveness of Metal which is often used for the same purpose, you have a winning formula. I'm not talking about the usual industrial metal of the 90s either, which was indeed influenced by Electronic Music, but it was not exactly club electronic music or dance music. This is a different game because I am a DJ that wants to bring metal into the raves, and not a band that has a few bleeps and beats and then calls it dance metal. This is a very different sound, and I'm glad I put my money into it since I started in 2004. I can only see more of it coming, and I very much want to see it happening the way it should have happened years ago! What is the song “Pure Power” about, and how does it fit into the overall theme of Antihero? Pure Power is actually a very sad song lyricwise, which is funny because the beat is very energetic and the video that accompanies it showcases how much fun I have in all my shows. All the people I've reached, the friends I've made, the love I've found and the hearts I've broken. It's a beautiful rollercoaster. But the lyrics of the song refer a lot to the situation in my homecountry Venezuela, destroyed by the false promise of Socialism in a place that was not ready for it. I was crazy about the idea. I thought Venezuela was going to be the next Canada or Norway. But Venezuelans are not Canadians or Norwegians, unfortunately, and there is a lot of education needed for such a complex system to work. It is still considered utopic by some for a reason.

I don't think Socialism is good or bad. It is simply not for everyone. And that's when the chorus says "Say you want a revolution, join the dance of dissolution, peace is nothing but illusion, all I want is retribution...". It portrays anger in a very personal way.

It's hard to believe in something with all your heart and then seeing it crumble before your very eyes. That's what Antihero is about. It's the failure of the heroes, the figures we blindly follow, from gods to philosophers to politicians with all sort of promises that just couldn't be fulfilled because, well... the human factor my friend. The human factor. It's hard to get everyone to agree and you can't force people to agree either, for that would be dictatorship. I believe it's time to stop begging so hard for a savior to change our country or our world and start looking at the true heroes of society, the hard working teachers that try their best to make good men out of our children, the desperate illegal immigrant who risks everything to clean someone's toilet to help his family facing the violent horrors in Africa or South America, the men who stand up when they see something wrong. Those are the heroes. Not these statues or these flags or these suits and ties. The people who work and do things right. That's what I truly believe in. Hard-working people, no matter their race, religion or passport.​

Where is the footage for the lyric video for “Pure Power” shot and what can you tell us about the show(s)?

​Phew, all over the place! Anywhere and everywhere from Russia to Ukraine to Netherlands to Poland to Puerto Rico to Spain to Portugal to Czech Republic. It even amazes me when I see it. You see, on the stage, I become this sort of a God among men. I perform at my best, I feel unstoppable, invincible, omnipotent. I take off the mask and let everyone see my human side, and it's the same guy talking to you right now. The same guy that put that video together and thought "WOW, did I just do all that??", and I even get people coming to my shows telling me that my music SAVED them and helped them through hard times. It's interesting because I never chose to be a motivator. I am simply telling my own story, but I guess people feel motivated when they see a guy born and raised in Venezuela, which is a country completely oblivious to this sound and where the media mentions me just because they know I'm successful, but my music does not exactly play in mainstream radio there if you know what I mean? They know it's uncommon, but I like to swim upstream. It motivates me to go on with a constant challenge, to make better music, better shows, and reach new places.

How did releasing on eOne impact your sound compared to such labels as Jet Set Trash? It's a different game with both pros and cons. The first positive thing is you obviously get more financial support and hard work behind it, but exclusive deals do limit me because I'm used to certain promotion strategies that I cannot continue doing under contract. Fortunately I have a good relationship with eOne and we always talk things out to make this work because everyone wants to make the project work. And that's why Charles Book worked closely with my management at Rocktagon Worldwide to get this record to Japan. They knew it was going to do great there. James Jeda, my manager and CEO of Rocktagon, is a man of vision and iron fists. A true pitbull who fights, bites and beats everyone's butt to get things done. You pair that with a solid release and things DO get done. Jet Set Trash on the other hand is a more underground kind of label and their support is limited, but they still made amazing efforts in promoting my previous releases and I'm glad I could give them a release as well. I'm all about their sound! You have a HUGE following in both Japan, as evidenced by your placement on Tower Records Japan Top 5 Hard & Heavy (alongside Dream Theatre, Megadeth, Conquer Divide, and Fleshgod Apocalypse) and Tower Records Top 5 Foreign. Why do you think your music resonates so strongly with Eastern audiences? How do Eastern fans differ in their response as metal fans engaging metal EDM?

​I am more familiar with fans in Europe than in Japan at the moment, honestly. I did perform once in Japan in 2012 and everyone seemed to love it, but I think I'm about to be faced with something much different right now. It will be nothing short of interesting given the amount of sales we have there. It's the country where my music has sold the most in my entire career. It almost makes me nervous, but then I put the mask on and you know the rest of the story. I'll leave the insecurities in the backstage.

I believe people are more appreciative of heavier genres elsewhere because they always allow space for all different forms of art to grow. People go out, you know? They're not listening to overly repetitive songs all day or doing duck faces on Instagram or Trap or this thing they now call Pop which has nothing to do with what Michael Jackson called Pop. These people like content. Something that shakes them, something that touches them, something they can remember. Rock never died, it simply moved places. And I'm gonna take it back to where it belongs.

You’re about to be the first electronic artist to play Loud Park (10/8-10/9) alongside such major international metal acts as Scorpions, Whitesnake, Shinedown, Sixx A.M among others, how did that booking come together? How do you prepare to perform in front of a metal audience vs. an EDM audience?

I'm not really very concerned​ about that. I'm bringing to the audience what they expect Zardonic to be. Not heavier, not friendlier. Just Zardonic. I sometimes sell the show to a promoter like a friendly show if I have to just to get them to do their job, give me my money and let me do my thing. Then they are amazed and don't understand why I made all those people bounce like crazy with such dark music. It's like they were afraid of it, and it makes no sense. I'm there to make people dance. To make them vent out, you know? The metalheads are of course a bit of a different crowd because they're used to heavier music so the shock value is different. I shock them with bass. Think about this. Listen to any metal album and compare the subs they have with any of the songs on the Antihero record. That's when you realize what I do is way more EDM than you think. I think everyone will love it or loathe it, but I think it's safe to say they will love it considering the amount of sales we have in Japan.

Where do you see ZARDONIC going forward? Will you be continuing your foray into metal or do you see yourself as EDM?

People like Pendulum or The Prodigy were always somewhere in between, and they didn't do so bad! I think it's safe to say Zardonic will simply continue to be Zardonic.

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EDM has been a growing force in the American music scene for a few years now, with the popularity of certain of the top DJs eclipsing that of the rock star gods of years before. At its core, though, the electronic scene has always been an underground phenomenon, and as much about the spectacle of the audience as the DJ’s performance. While the mainstream scene is currently defined by genres and subgenres, big names and bigger festivals, that original base of producers continues with their own cult following. One of those producers is Venezuelan born Federico Agreza, otherwise known as ZARDONIC. Unlike many in the scene, who follow trends in subgenres (with new categories popping up daily), Zardonic has maintained an electronic metal sound, whether it be categorized as Bass Music, Drum n Bass, Dupstep, what defines the Zardonic sound is that it is, at its core, metal music; it just happens to be electronically produced.

While previously releasing on various electronic dance labels, Zardonic was picked up by rock/metal label eOne Music for his latest album, Antihero, the first and only electronic producer on the label. Antihero not only dominated the electronic charts, with tracks premiering on major EDM sites, but also on major rock and metal sites. The album also charted on Tower Records Japan Top 5 Hard & Heavy as well as Tower Records Korea Top 5 Foreign. His following throughout Eastern Europe and Asia is phenomenal, as evidenced by his being the first electronic producer to perform at Japan’s Loud Park this coming October.

Today Zardonic has teamed up with Huffington Post to premiere the lyric video for his hit single “Pure Power.” Filmed at various shows around the world, “Pure Power” is a glimpse into the International Rave Scene, from Poland to Puerto Rico and beyond, showing that music, no matter how it’s produced, is universal.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0x5QiNvDQ9o&feature=youtu.be

You’re categorized as an EDM artist, but your music on Antihero is entirely metal, what’s the story behind ZARDONIC and the evolution of your sound as a Metal EDM artist?

First of all, I'd like to humbly thank you for allowing me this space. I rejoice in knowing the mainstream media is starting to take notice of the Electronic Dance Metal movement. It's funny because for so many years I was told this would never get anywhere and now, all the labels and the agencies predict it as the future of music. I personally always loved EDM beats since I was very little, although by EDM I mean Electronic Dance Music including ALL genres and subgenres that are Electronic Music people generally dance to, including Techno, Trance, House, Drum N Bass, Electro, Breakbeat and Hardcore, I'm not necessarily referring to the newer trends of EDM. The power in the electronic beat that calls you to stand up and dance. It forces the crowd to attend the show because the experience is mindblowing.

It's almost therapeutic to me. It's an amazing way to vent out! If you pair that with the aggressiveness of Metal which is often used for the same purpose, you have a winning formula. I'm not talking about the usual industrial metal of the 90s either, which was indeed influenced by Electronic Music, but it was not exactly club electronic music or dance music. This is a different game because I am a DJ that wants to bring metal into the raves, and not a band that has a few bleeps and beats and then calls it dance metal. This is a very different sound, and I'm glad I put my money into it since I started in 2004. I can only see more of it coming, and I very much want to see it happening the way it should have happened years ago!

What is the song “Pure Power” about, and how does it fit into the overall theme of Antihero?

Pure Power is actually a very sad song lyricwise, which is funny because the beat is very energetic and the video that accompanies it showcases how much fun I have in all my shows. All the people I've reached, the friends I've made, the love I've found and the hearts I've broken. It's a beautiful rollercoaster. But the lyrics of the song refer a lot to the situation in my homecountry Venezuela, destroyed by the false promise of Socialism in a place that was not ready for it. I was crazy about the idea. I thought Venezuela was going to be the next Canada or Norway. But Venezuelans are not Canadians or Norwegians, unfortunately, and there is a lot of education needed for such a complex system to work. It is still considered utopic by some for a reason.

I don't think Socialism is good or bad. It is simply not for everyone. And that's when the chorus says "Say you want a revolution, join the dance of dissolution, peace is nothing but illusion, all I want is retribution...". It portrays anger in a very personal way.

It's hard to believe in something with all your heart and then seeing it crumble before your very eyes. That's what Antihero is about. It's the failure of the heroes, the figures we blindly follow, from gods to philosophers to politicians with all sort of promises that just couldn't be fulfilled because, well... the human factor my friend. The human factor. It's hard to get everyone to agree and you can't force people to agree either, for that would be dictatorship. I believe it's time to stop begging so hard for a savior to change our country or our world and start looking at the true heroes of society, the hard working teachers that try their best to make good men out of our children, the desperate illegal immigrant who risks everything to clean someone's toilet to help his family facing the violent horrors in Africa or South America, the men who stand up when they see something wrong. Those are the heroes. Not these statues or these flags or these suits and ties. The people who work and do things right. That's what I truly believe in. Hard-working people, no matter their race, religion or passport.

Where is the footage for the lyric video for “Pure Power” shot and what can you tell us about the show(s)?

Phew, all over the place! Anywhere and everywhere from Russia to Ukraine to Netherlands to Poland to Puerto Rico to Spain to Portugal to Czech Republic. It even amazes me when I see it. You see, on the stage, I become this sort of a God among men. I perform at my best, I feel unstoppable, invincible, omnipotent. I take off the mask and let everyone see my human side, and it's the same guy talking to you right now. The same guy that put that video together and thought "WOW, did I just do all that??", and I even get people coming to my shows telling me that my music SAVED them and helped them through hard times. It's interesting because I never chose to be a motivator. I am simply telling my own story, but I guess people feel motivated when they see a guy born and raised in Venezuela, which is a country completely oblivious to this sound and where the media mentions me just because they know I'm successful, but my music does not exactly play in mainstream radio there if you know what I mean? They know it's uncommon, but I like to swim upstream. It motivates me to go on with a constant challenge, to make better music, better shows, and reach new places. How did releasing on eOne impact your sound compared to such labels as Jet Set Trash?

It's a different game with both pros and cons. The first positive thing is you obviously get more financial support and hard work behind it, but exclusive deals do limit me because I'm used to certain promotion strategies that I cannot continue doing under contract. Fortunately I have a good relationship with eOne and we always talk things out to make this work because everyone wants to make the project work. And that's why Charles Book

worked closely with my management at Rocktagon Worldwide to get this record to Japan. They knew it was going to do great there. James Jeda, my manager and CEO of Rocktagon, is a man of vision and iron fists. A true pitbull who fights, bites and beats everyone's butt to get things done. You pair that with a solid release and things DO get done. Jet Set Trash on the other hand is a more underground kind of label and their support is limited, but they still made amazing efforts in promoting my previous releases and I'm glad I could give them a release as well. I'm all about their sound!

You have a HUGE following in both Japan, as evidenced by your placement on Tower Records Japan Top 5 Hard & Heavy (alongside Dream Theatre, Megadeth, Conquer Divide, and Fleshgod Apocalypse) and Tower Records Top 5 Foreign. Why do you think your music resonates so strongly with Eastern audiences? How do Eastern fans differ in their response as metal fans engaging metal EDM?

I am more familiar with fans in Europe than in Japan at the moment, honestly. I did perform once in Japan in 2012 and everyone seemed to love it, but I think I'm about to be faced with something much different right now. It will be nothing short of interesting given the amount of sales we have there. It's the country where my music has sold the most in my entire career. It almost makes me nervous, but then I put the mask on and you know the rest of the story. I'll leave the insecurities in the backstage.

I believe people are more appreciative of heavier genres elsewhere because they always allow space for all different forms of art to grow. People go out, you know? They're not listening to overly repetitive songs all day or doing duck faces on Instagram or Trap or this thing they now call Pop which has nothing to do with what Michael Jackson called Pop. These people like content. Something that shakes them, something that touches them, something they can remember. Rock never died, it simply moved places. And I'm gonna take it back to where it belongs.

You’re about to be the first electronic artist to play Loud Park (10/8-10/9) alongside such major international metal acts as Scorpions, Whitesnake, Shinedown, Sixx A.M among others, how did that booking come together? How do you prepare to perform in front of a metal audience vs. an EDM audience?

I'm not really very concerned about that. I'm bringing to the audience what they expect Zardonic to be. Not heavier, not friendlier. Just Zardonic. I sometimes sell the show to a promoter like a friendly show if I have to just to get them to do their job, give me my money and let me do my thing. Then they are amazed and don't understand why I made all those people bounce like crazy with such dark music. It's like they were afraid of it, and it makes no sense. I'm there to make people dance. To make them vent out, you know? The metalheads are of course a bit of a different crowd because they're used to heavier music so the shock value is different. I shock them with bass. Think about this. Listen to any metal album and compare the subs they have with any of the songs on the Antihero record. That's when you realize what I do is way more EDM than you think. I think everyone will love it or loathe it, but I think it's safe to say they will love it considering the amount of sales we have in Japan.

Where do you see ZARDONIC going forward? Will you be continuing your foray into metal or do you see yourself as EDM?

People like Pendulum or The Prodigy were always somewhere in between, and they didn't do so bad! I think it's safe to say Zardonic will simply continue to be Zardonic.

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