Forming in 2014, the mysterious duo Zombie Cats quickly became one of the hottest names in the neurofunk scene. After releases on Cause4Concern, Blackout, Eatbrain, they went through something of a transformation last year, experimenting with a much more diverse range of sounds. Having toured the world since 2015, drum and bass is more than music to them, it’s a lifestyle to be appreciated from every angle, and their aptly titled album “Mutation” is here to prove it.

With them firmly in the swing of their new sound, the album is the first all-encompassing look into their more wide-reaching view of drum and bass. Ranging from heavy club hitters like “GRRRRR”, the deep vibes of “Drift and Dreams”, a blast from the past in “Always and Alien”, to the genre-spanning titular track “Mutation”

The enigmatic duo sat down with us to discuss their album, the new direction they’re taking, the recent remix by drum & bass legend Kemal, a.k.a. Konflict, and their plans for the future. Enjoy!

– With your announcement last year about a new chapter for Zombie Cats, would you say this is the first time you’ve truly been able to showcase your new sound? Does it encapsulate the direction you’re heading in?

We have thrown a few balls down this alley but the album will really cement what we are doing and showcase What kinda vibes we can put out with dnb as a medium!

– Why is now the right time to release this album? What can we expect from you stylistically in it?

No. This is an absolutely terrible time to put out an album!!… but we wrote the music and it’s ready, from a business perspective we cannot tour the music we are releasing but that shouldn’t stop us from putting it out. Stylistically it has shades of deep, tech, heavy, rolling (by rolling we mean fast and groovy, not to be mistaken with the oddly named sub-genre “rollers” which typically do not roll a whole lot ).

– You’ve already released tracks with Critical Music and Liquicity this year, two very diverse labels. Which other imprints would you want to work with? Which one do you think fits your new style the most?

It is just fun to work with these labels and to us, it is no opposition to work with deep, tech, neuro, or liquid labels. In 2019, we did a “Reboot” as we didn’t want to paint ourselves into a corner stylistically. When we started to DJ and produce there was not a division in many subgenres in drum and bass. It was just: drum and bass music. If you are asking us at this moment in 2020, which style fits the most: It would be tech elements and deep elements, not necessarily at the same time. But we will stay dirty with the neuro vibes, we will stay techy, we will stay liquid and we would love to work with a classic label, something like Metalheadz.

– What track was the most fun to produce? Which one is your favorite on the album, and which one do you feel showcases your new style the best?

‘Mutation’ the title track is a great turn that sits in the pocket of a lot of our vibes. ‘Drift’, and ‘Dreams’ are super nice for us, deep, textured, and very original. ‘GRRRRR’ is a beast and ‘Always & Alien’ is our personal interpretation of neurofunk-tech from the 2000s.

– What new challenges did this album offer in terms of production? How do you keep producing fresh and interesting for yourselves?

We used a lot more analog gear on the album (Moog sub 37, Dave Smith OB6, modular gear). It is not necessary but for us, after making a lot of dnb it’s a nice way to keep things fresh. Halfway through the process, Ross had to move back to Australia, from Germany, because of covid. So, that was a bit hectic, but once settled in Perth, the rest of the album was finished!

– Recently a remix of your track “Did you know” was released by Kemal, how did it feel to be remixed by such a pioneer of the genre? What happened behind the scenes for this to come together?

Kemal a.k.a. Konflict is a legend. We were excited when he appeared online in 2020. We reached out to Rob Data and had a chat about future plans. Rob passed “Did you know” to  Kemal. We introduced ourselves this way because there was no connection from the past. After a while, Kemal and us had an email conversation about the remix and he sent the final product in October. Especially Paul (El hornet, Pendulum) was very supportive to spread the word about the remix. A lot of young listeners don´t know Konflict and we should be happy that a legend is back in the game.

– Do you feel the global lockdown has affected your creativity in any way? Is this reflected on the album at all?

No, not really. We are pretty cruisy guys and we always do our thing regardless of how confused and angry people are outside.

– Considering the current world situation, do you have any plans for a virtual album premiere? Have you thought about experimenting with virtual events during the global lockdown?

When the pandemic started we had a couple of live streams with Eatbrain. Generally, we think it is a good way to stay connected to the audience. Besides streams and virtual events, we would like to make a podcast & show with our good friend Fabian (Districtbass), in which we discuss various topics “dnb & non-dnb”.

– Any final words before you go?

Big up to Liquicity Records, Critical Music, T>I, Mefjus, Camo & Krooked, Ant TC1, and Bassic, Districtbass, Heist, Eatbrain, Rohaan, Waeys, Current Value, Kemal, Abis, Smooth, Trex, the crab-family and all people in the dnb music & step scene!

Once again a huge thank you to Zombie Cats for taking the time to chat with us. “Mutation” is out on the 15th of December 2020 and you can grab it here.