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Interview with psytrance giants Zetan Spore

With Waveform festival coming this September, Parallel PR have been kind enough to send us this interview with psytrance giants and Waveform performers Zetan Spore, who I’ve had the pleasure to stomp to numerous times when I lived down in Cornwall where they’re based. Excellent words – even better beats. Hope to see you at Waveform!

ZS Promo 2011

One of the most loved and respected acts on the UK festival scene is the live Psytrance duo Zetan Spore. The Cornish twins Ian (Synths /Programming) and Mark (Guitars/Didgeridoo) Hasdell, have been plying their trade around Europe and the world since 1997, headlining at gigs such as Antiworld and Synergy Project, with top slots at festivals including Waveform, Sunrise, and Bearded Theory, the highlight being a cracking performance in front of 25000 at Euphoria in Singapore. With nine albums under their belts, these talented Geminis are as prodigious in the ‘studio’ as they are on the circuit. Their pumping, energetic Psytrance is instantly recognisable, often because of Mark’s unique use of the didgeridoo, which adds a haunting, tribal element to their sound.

The guys took some time out of their busy schedule to have a quick chat with Parallel PR about….stuff.

Parallel: Did you both realise that music was going to be a major part of your lives at the same time, and how young were you?

Zetan S: Yeah, kind of – Mark started playing bass and then didgeridoo when he moved away from the South-east to Plymouth in the late 80’s, while I stayed up there doing vocals in a band and then later experimenting with keyboards and electronics. After moving to Cornwall there was a space of a few years before I started back on electronic music and Zetan Spore was born in 1995. Mark joined about a year later playing didgeridoo and also learnt guitar. After our first gig in 1997 we realised it was what we really wanted to do and the rest is history as they say.

Parallel: Who were your EARLIEST influences?

Zetan S: Our dad got us into Tangerine Dream and Jean Michel Jarre in the mid 80’s. In the late 80’s we got into space rock – Hawkwind , The Magic Mushroom Band, Porcupine Tree, Poisoned Electrick Head and the like and then early dance acts such as Astralasia and then Eat Static in the early 90’s. When psychedelic trance came around for the first time in the mid 90’s we were off!

Parallel: Has the didgeridoo been part of Zetan Spore since the very beginning?

Zetan S: It’s cheating, we know, but see the first answer….hah!

Parallel: Yes, then. OK. Next please. Although live psytrance is your very enjoyable ‘business’, what OTHER genres of music do you enjoy as listeners?

Zetan S: All sorts – I’m still well into Space Rock and other forms of psychedelic music and I still love my Punk and Ska – I listen to nearly all genres – everything has a time and place depending on ya mood. Mark is more into his progressive Psy and Psy Dub/Chill.

Parallel: Who else do you enjoy on the Psy scene at the moment?

Zetan S: Still loving people such as Talpa, Commercial Hippies, Mad Maxx, Eat Static, etc., but haven’t heard anything THAT mindblowing come out on the trance scene for a while – tend to keep going back to acts such as Wizzy Noise, Electric Universe, Talamasca, Cosmosis, Juno Reactor and the like. Loving the Psy Breaks scene though – can’t beat a bit of Hedflux, Bad Tango or Neurodriver to get the dancefloor going.

Parallel: You’ve played hundreds of gigs since ’97. Do you prefer a crowd of 25,000 like Euphoria, a smaller festival like Waveform, or the intimacy of a club/room?

Zetan S: We love them all – Euphoria was a bit daunting but awesome, we really enjoy the UK festivals, especially Waveform, Alchemy, Bearded Theory, etc., and still love doing smaller, more intimate gigs where you’re right down with the action rather than up on a big stage.

Parallel: You appear regularly at several festivals, what is it about Waveform that brings you back year after year?

Zetan S: The atmosphere at Waveform is the best of any festival we’ve been to, it’s so uplifting – we always come away with aching faces and fucked knees! I suppose it helps that we seem to know half the people there too!

Parallel: That’s how we feel about Waveform too. Do you spend as much time in the studio as you’d like, or don’t you like the studio much?

Zetan S: (IAN) My flat is my studio so I’ve got no choice! I like to be comfortable when writing, so I’ve set everything up so I can work from my sofa.  It tends to take about one and a half to two months for us to write a track in between gigging, rehearsing and the admin side of things – I’d like to spend more time writing and experimenting but there’s just not enough hours in the day. When everything’s coming together in the studio it’s a great feeling – we love creating something and imagining what it’s gonna be like on the dancefloor – I often find myself drawing the curtains and busting it up to check that the section I’m sequencing all works properly!

Parallel: Do you have any projects on the go as we speak?

Zetan S: I’ve just finished our latest track “Tribalistics” and have one more left to write (probably starting next week) before we release our next (9th) album. By the time you read this it may already be done – we’re hoping for a Spring release so we can hit the festivals with it over the Summer. Mark’s busy putting the finishing touches to his second Lunarsonic album also due for release this Spring – you’ll be able to catch both at this year’s Waveform!

Parallel: And finally, what are your long term plans for Zetan Spore?

Zetan S: More gigs and festivals all over the World – we want to take Zetan Spore to as many different countries as possible and party with as many different psy tribes as we can, and still be doing it in another 20 or 30 years’ time!

Parallel: Brilliant, guys. Thanks a million for taking the time to answer our questions. We wish you every success, and if we don’t catch you somewhere beforehand, we’ll definitely see you at Waveform in September.

Zetan Spore will be appearing at Cat’s Cradle Stage at Waveform 2013. Mark’s Lunarsonic will be playing the Gaia Chill Stage at the same festival.

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About Tricksier Bond

Tricksier Bond is a writer, author, and currently the editor of PsypressUK: Journal of Psychedelic Writing.

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