DJ Interview: Zombie Zeth

This is an exclusive interview with DJ Zombie Zeth. His show, Songs for the Dead, is noon to 2 PM on Sundays

“I love Neil Young,” says DJ Zombie Zeth holding some of his favorite albums including Young’s 79′ album, “Live Rust”

How long have you been a DJ at KWVA and why’d you start?

I’ve had a show since Fall term of 2019 but my friend had a show last year and they’d always invite me to come and be a guest so I had a good sense of the studio when I officially started. I feel like I have a pretty unusual taste in music and think its fun to share with people. I really like finding old cuts of music that are harder to find or might not be at the forefront of what people want to listen to. Being able to expose the deep cuts, the remixes, and the cool covers keeps being a DJ interesting.

Do you stick to a particular genre? 

I play a lot of different stuff on my show but it’s usually pretty heavy. For a while, it was fairly eclectic but mostly consisted of rock music I liked. I only played vinyl records from my collection so I was fairly limited to classic rock, jazz, accessible techno with some twists thrown in. I‘d say it was standard music you’d hear on the radio. 

Seth’s monster record collection. He boasts his most prized record, an original pressing of The Smiths ‘Hatful of Hollow’, as his most expensive.

After a while, I got kind of tired of that and went record hunting for the weird stuff. The atmosphere of college radio is different than your average station because you are, in a way expected to be pushing music that’s more obscure. I’ll often stick to a mood throughout my show over a specific genre, my show is called “Songs for the Dead” after all so I try to keep it creepy.

How is it working from home as opposed to the studio? Are there any other ways COVID-19 has affected your show or routine around your show?

I’m having a lot of fun with the home recording software, Audacity. It’s a bummer on one hand ‘cus one of the best parts of DJing is spinning vinyl in the studio. But in Audacity, I can put in audio effects to make my show a little moodier (screams, eerie noises, friends making announcements, etc…) I can also make the transition from song to song super smooth so five songs can sound like one twenty-minute song without skipping a beat. It definitely takes more than two hours (Seth’s showtime), to make, but it’s very rewarding and I have nothing but free time.

Even when I was in the studio I created a persona around “Zombie Zeth” and now there’s so much more opportunity. It’s silly, fun, and obviously different than how I act when I’m around my friends and showing them music. It makes it that much better when I do play the music that’s heavy or gothic because it fits in perfectly with my character. My music taste definitely correlates with the horror stuff but I also just like playing music that’s fun and what I like. My show is called “Songs for the Dead with Zombie Zeth” so using our at-home program, Audacity, has allowed me to do some fun things with mixing. I’ll play graveyard music and witch screams around my announcements for songs that work perfectly with the mood of my show.

Favorite albums to play on air?

Inna-Gadda-Da-Vida by Iron Butterfly. It was sorta one of the first heavy metal albums, even before Sabbath. It’s a 17 minute-long record so I definitely don’t play it as often as I used to, but its heaviness fits the mood perfectly

Computer World by Kraftwerk. It’s goofy and super dancy yet raw and really abstract. Interesting all over and has so many hits on it. Super influential just like Iron Butterfly but for techno music.

To hear Songs for the Dead with Zombie Zeth make sure to tune in every Sunday noon to 4 PM!