ZANIAS remains grounded in her solo pursuits, continuing to produce, sing, perform, and DJ with unwavering passion and dedication. Read the interview!

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Her musical odyssey truly began to take shape in 2011 when she met Ryan Ambridge in London. Bonding over their shared passion for sonic exploration, they founded Linea Aspera, a project that would soon captivate audiences with its haunting melodies and evocative lyrics. Amidst her academic pursuits in archaeology and anthropology, Zanias found solace and inspiration in the creative process, channeling her experiences and emotions into the fabric of their music.

Relocating to Berlin, a city renowned for its vibrant electronic music scene, proved to be a significant moment in Zanias’ career. The mixture of artistic expression and experimentation, she expanded her horizons, collaborating with an eclectic spectrum of musicians pushing the boundaries of dark electronic music. From Sid Lamar of Schwefelgelb to Black Rain and Dax J to name a few, Zanias fearlessly embraced new territories, infusing her music with a raw intensity that resonated deeply with listeners and took them to different dimensions not even once.

Despite her diverse collaborations and ventures, Zanias remains grounded in her solo pursuits, continuing to produce, sing, perform, and DJ with unwavering passion and dedication.

In the follow-up to 2023’s ‘Chrysalis’, Zanias returns with ‘Ecdysis’, which travels even further into alternate dimensions, casting off all language and song structures in favour of something far more alien and sensual. “There were times during the making of ‘Chrysalis’, a process which coincided with the total destruction of my former life, when I was struck by how moments of extreme psychological pain are so often followed by an increased acuity for the beauty that’s all around us.” – explains Alison Lewis

Zanias keyi Keyi Magazine Alison lewis

Hey Alison, it’s so nice to have you back, both as a huge fan and a friend. Can you share something about yourself that we might not know? How is your tour going? What has changed since the last time we saw each other? It feels like a lifetime!

I’m about to head back to Australia for 3 months to escape winter and decompress from an insane year, and also plan to work hard on writing music for two new projects.


The tour went well insofar as there were no major disasters (unlike basically all of our previous ones!), and we’re super grateful to everyone who came out to see us. But if I’m honest, it was a little disheartening overall to notice that gigs aren’t seeing attendance as high as they used to be, and people aren’t buying so much merch anymore. Things feel quite dark out there in the world, and people are struggling. Capitalism is failing and it’s becoming very obvious and painful to watch.

I guess the biggest change since the last time is that I’m way more directed in my path now. I know that I want to keep making music, I feel free to make whatever I want, and I also know that my voice as an artist must be used to enact change in the world, even if it sometimes feels like it doesn’t make much of a difference… it feels imperative to at least try.

ーAilson、おかえりなさい。あなたの友達としてそれからあなたの活動のファンとして戻ってきてくれて嬉しいです。まずは私たちが知り得ないあなた自身の今について教えてくれますか? ツアーはどうでした? 前回会ったときから何か変わりましたか? まるで一生涯分の再会のような気がしますね!




Tell me about your touring histories, seems like it’s not all time as smooth as it could be… What are your thoughts about the future of touring?

It’s a bit complex and wouldn’t be so great for us to discuss the details publicly, but basically touring internationally when you’re independent is just always tempting fate a little. Crossing borders becomes more of a challenge when you’re traveling for work, especially in a line of work that’s puzzlingly treated with increased suspicion by the authorities. We’ve never knowingly done anything wrong or broken any laws, and yet we’ve been thrown into really stressful situations regardless. It feels unavoidable, and that’s really quite depressing. Because all we’re trying to do is bring a bit of joy to people’s lives by sharing our music, and it doesn’t feel right that it so frequently leads to punishment.

In the current economy, it’s becoming less and less viable to tour as extensively as we used to. We just can’t earn enough to make it worthwhile, and the toll it takes on the body and mind is really extreme. I come home a little more broken every time, with a nervous system so over-active that I can’t sleep or eat properly.

Recovery from the exhaustion can take weeks. It’s not just Laura and me, it’s a lot of our friends too. Until the world is functioning better, it doesn’t make sense to destroy ourselves for the sake of gigs. The cost to the climate also feels quite unreasonable. The amount of flying I’ve done this year doesn’t align with my values. says Zanias.





Currently, you are touring with your dear friend Laura – Neu-Romancer, such a talented artist. Could you tell us more about being together and supporting each other? How does it work for both of you?

She feels like an indispensable limb at this point. We have the kind of supportive friendship that makes all the challenges feel way less terrifying. It’s a very intense way of connecting with someone, being bandmates, especially when touring alone in places neither of you are at home in. We know each others’ moods inside out and usually when one of us is down, the other switches into gear to take the lead. You become so grateful for one another’s strengths, and very protective of their wellbeing. Feels like family, and the love is incredibly strong. 

ー現在、あなたは親友であるローラ (Neu-Romancer)とツアー中ですね。楽しかった事実として、彼女が初めてDJセットをプレイしたのは私たちのイベントでしたね、本当に才能あるアーティストですよね。お互いどのように支え合っているのか、具体的に教えていただけますか?


When speaking about the idealized life of an artist, we could imagine yours as a perfect example, with your voice breaking down walls and being supported by the most talented musicians for years. However, if we look at the struggles that are most likely not visible to others, what do we see? How do you perceive the current state of the music industry, and what are your thoughts about the changes?

My life is far from ideal from the inside! Not that I’m not grateful. But I’ve had to learn a tonne about separating myself from my thoughts and handling stress in my body to survive the chaos of life as an independent musician. There’s very little stability but a never-ending list of responsibilities that it’s hard to take a break from. I’m learning my limits though, and figuring out how to detach myself from the main sources of stress – says Zanias.

The music industry is like most other industries nowadays, growing uglier and more exploitative with every passing year. The trouble is that when profit is valued above all other things, creativity does not thrive. Artists need to be able to survive without working themselves to death, and they need a level of freedom with their time. It’s almost impossible to create amazing art if you’re constantly just battling to survive, or, if you’re ‘lucky’ enough to have reached the point of getting booked frequently, grinding constantly on tour. If everyone is burnt out, we’re not going to be hearing exciting new sounds.

With the technology at our disposal, we have the opportunity to create a utopian creative landscape, but with this technology currently subverted for profit, it’s going to take a long time for that to materialize. We need to collectively decide to change things and work hard to build something new.

ーアーティストの理想的な人生について話す時、あなたの生活は完璧な例のように思えます。ー歌声が壁を打ち破り、才能あるミュージシャンから長年サポートされ続けています。しかし、他人からは見えないであろう苦悩に目を向けるとするならば、どのような状況が見えてくるのでしょうか? 現在の音楽業界の現状をどう受け止め、その変化についてどうお考えですか?




As you speak, the creation of ‘Chrysalis’ was a retreat from what seemed like an endless string of unfortunate events, a cocoon from which Zanias could weave hope from hopelessness. Even though anytime we have a chance to see you we feel such a positive aura. On a personal level, we can perceive shifts in your artistic direction. If we were to revisit the beginnings, how would you describe your transformation? 

I’ve gained so much confidence in myself over the years, and become so much less afraid of being perceived as ‘uncool’. When I look back at who I was in my 20s I can barely recognise her. She was so unsure of herself and so scared. I guess I ran out of fucks to give or something. I also just got tired of needless suffering. Over the last few years I’ve been working hard on becoming exactly the kind of person I’d like to be around, shedding negative behavioral patterns and insecurity.

I learned that our capacity to give increases exponentially when we learn to love ourselves, and that’s really the key to becoming a person of exceptional social gravity. Becoming one’s own best friend is a priceless gift, and allows you to be an even better best friend to your actual best friends.

I’ve also learned the value of community and connection on a wider scale. They’re the solution to basically all of our problems both as individuals and a society. Together we can be almost invincible, but we need to intentionally foster that togetherness. 

These are all things that we intuitively know are true and seem blindingly obvious, but it’s all too easy to take them for granted, especially in a society that’s taken on a weird acceptance of antisocial behavior as ‘intrinsically human’ (which I think is bullshit, the most intrinsic element of our humanity is our kindness and generosity – we are a social species, not an antisocial one). I wish they taught subjects like positive social interaction and community building in schools. We’d use them a hell of a lot more than complex mathematics. 

ーあなたが話すように、 ‘Chrysalis’の制作は、絶え間ない不幸な出来事の連続からの撤退であり、ザニアスは絶望から希望を紡ぎ出すための繭のようでした。あなたに会う機会があるたびに、とてもポジティブな雰囲気を感じます。個人的なレベルでは、あなたの芸術的な方向に変化が感じられます。キャリア初期の段階から見ると、今のあなたの変容をどのように説明しますか?


 これらはすべて、私たちが直感的に真実だと認識していることです。目もくらむような自明のことのように思えるもの。それにも関わらず特に反社会的な行動を「本質的な人間の在り方だ」と奇妙に受け入れている社会では、当たり前のことと考えるのはあまりにも簡単です(私はこうした考えが馬鹿げてて、私たちの人間性の最も本質的な要素は優しさと寛大さです – 私たちは反社会的ではなく、社会的な存在です)。だからこそ、これからは 積極的にコミュニティ形成といった科目を学校で教えてほしいとすら考えます。複雑な数学よりも、よっぽど役に立つはずじゃないでしょうか。

 これらはすべて、我々が直感的に真実であり、まぶしいほど明白なことであると感じるものですが、特に反社会的な行動を「本質的に人間らしい」として奇妙に受け入れられている社会では、それらを当然のことと考えることが非常に簡単です(私はそれがクソで、私たちの人間性の最も本質的な要素は優しさと寛大さであるべきです – 私たちは反社会的な種ではなく、社会的な種なのですから)。学校でポジティブな社会的な相互作用やコミュニティの構築のような科目を教えていたらいいのにと思います。複雑な数学よりもずっと役立つでしょう。

Well, there’s definitely a lot of disappointment involved in any artistic career, so much so that the concept of being ‘successful’ is usually something viewed from the outside and rarely perceived from within! A huge, character-building lesson of being an artist is that the day you feel you’ve ‘made it’ will never come. It’s all one long journey with no known trajectory. The process of being an artist is the process itself, and the path to ‘success’ is actually a path to accepting and embracing that process. I’d argue there’s no paranoia there though. Just a recognition and acceptance of struggles.



Can you describe your live preparation process? Do you typically test new tracks and ideas in front of a live audience before recording them, or do you record the tracks first and then adapt them for live performances?

Tracks are recorded long before they reach the stage. Mainly for reasons of efficiency. My time is very precious, and going back and making changes to backing tracks, samples etc later on would consume far too much of it. Also, my drum pads depend on muscle memory for me to learn them, since they’re literally all just random samples assigned to random pads, so once I’ve laid that down I’d prefer not to make too many changes or I’ll just fuck up all the time!

However, one thing we’ve done to adapt tracks for playing live is to add the bass guitar to them. That’s what we did for most of Chrysalis and a few older tracks. It’s given them a really nice elevation for the live setting. 




Speaking about your album and track  “Simulation” it has the viewpoint of an individual who has experienced numerous disappointments, observed much, and now has a tweak of paranoia. Do you think it’s a part of the process of being a successful artist?

As we go through the album, we’d like to focus on ‘Lovelife.’ It appears to be euphoric, charismatic, and uplifting, and it prominently features Laura’s bass. Do you recall the moment in your life when you worked on this particular track? What was the defining moment that led you to create this piece?

I’d just returned home from an ill-fated visit to someone I’d trusted who treated me extremely poorly. It was a pretty traumatic experience of watching someone transform into a monster before my very eyes, and I lost a lot of trust that day. I was in shock, quite broken, and pretty convinced that I’d never experience a ‘lovelife’ ever again. I wrote the song to soothe my soul at that time. 

ーアルバムを通じて『Lovelife』に焦点を当てたいと思います。このトラックは陽気で魅力的で力強く、特にローラのベースが際立っています。制作したときの瞬間を覚えていますか? この作品を作り出すに至った決定的な瞬間は何でしたか?


Speaking about your latest update of the album and releasing the remixes, how did you pick the artist to whom you gave that opportunity and contribute?

Some of them picked themselves by requesting it, but it was mostly just friends whose work I like. It all happened very naturally over a long period – I let everyone pick the tracks they wanted and gave them no deadlines. I’m super proud of every single one and thrilled with how each artist embraced their chosen tracks. 



If you had the opportunity to collaborate with Grimes, how would you approach it? Is that something you would consider working on?

If Elon were still in her orbit I don’t think I could do it. I hate him far too much. And to be honest, I don’t really have an answer to this question. I cross bridges when I reach them rather than pondering them in the abstract. 

ーもしGrimesとコラボレーションの機会があれば、どのようにアプローチしますか? それは考えていることですか?


Going back to your label, Fleisch, and the collective itself, as you mentioned before, you always work with friends. How does it work with the upcoming releases? Currently, do you think about having a wider spectrum, or is it already enough, and you focus on details? What are the next steps for the label?

I’ll keep working with friends, to the full capacity that I’m capable of with the energy I have to spare. I have limits so will be sticking to them. There are more friends with releases in the pipeline, but no plans for expansion. If anything, I need to cut back on the number of things I’m doing!

ーレーベル「Fleisch」とコレクティブの話に戻します。今まで話されてきたように、友達と一緒に仕事をされることを好みますね。今後のリリースに関しては、どのように進行していますか? 現在より広い視座を考えていますか? それとも逆に焦点を当てていますか? レーベルとしての次のステップは何ですか?


Three wishes to the gin ?

For the dominant system of governance to be an ecologically-minded matriarchy, for the empowerment and freedom of indigenous people, and for the end of the fossil fuel industry. Easy enough for a genie, right? 



What does the future look like for Zanias?

A blue expanse of ocean, with both danger and beauty hidden in its depths. speaks Zanias.



Interview: Grzegorz Bacinski

Translation: Hiroyoshi Tomite

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