Interview: Thomas Dekker of Zero Times Zero
Zero Times Zero is an experimental music force working under individual anonymity to create a free-form, artistic, and entirely unique visual and auditory experience through their music and videos. Although a whole horde of producers, artists and musicians are working under a cloak of darkness on the project, one familiar face dares to make himself known.
Thomas Dekker, already known for his work as an actor, has starred in the 2008’ TV series, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles as John Connor; The Secret Circle; and is set to later star in the movie Fear Clinic in October with Corey Taylor (Stone Sour/Slipknot). Despite earning his reputation as an actor, Dekker is currently looking to separate his acting career from his music career. Already Dekker has earned musical credits, co-writing the movie soundtrack to the 2013 release, Plush, directed by Catherine Hardwicke.
One quick look at his current project, Zero Times Zero, tells us that he is definitely going in the right direction with it.
On April 28th, Zero Times Zero released the first single, “Liar” with a lyric video. The song is very dark with some hard synths. But Dekker’s vocals compliment a sound that would otherwise be a definite industrial edge akin to Nine Inch Nails, but with a dance beat. Dekker was kind enough to answer a few questions for me about his music and how Zero Times Zero made their start in the music world.
Carly Knaszak: Who is part of Zero Times Zero?
Thomas Dekker: Well now, that is quite a question to start out with. I completely understand why you’d ask it but I also hope you understand why I can’t answer it. Not by providing all names involved at least. The idea behind Zero Times Zero was to create a nameless, faceless force in modern Pop Culture. Quite an impossible thing to do in this day and age I suppose. As a solo artist under my own name, I felt that the public knowledge of my other career was a detriment to the music. And simultaneously, what I wanted to explore in music was a detriment to what was expected of me in said other career. We are not a “band” in the normal sense of the word. We’re trying to recreate the Andy Warhol factory in many ways here. To be creators of not just music but video, performance and photographic art with one concise and focused outlook between us. So this includes actors, film makers, musicians, dancers, etc. However, I will say, the music department is spearh
eaded by myself.
CK: When did Zero Times Zero begin?
TD: I had been discussing with many friends and collaborators, all of whom perform on this new record including Reza Safinia, Ian Krupp, Kristofer Holst, Etc. what a liberating experience it would be to try and champion the unknown. Or to put it in a less hippie dippy sense: to have the ability to experiment and feel out ideas amidst the freedom of anonymity. We were all coming from different backgrounds and artistic interests but found that we shared a common outlook on greed, hope, Armageddon, religion, sexual revolution, anger, pain, madness, science and methodology. And all could be reflected in simple pop song lyrics but then dissected into deeper meaning within the construct of the project. The name of the group was chosen and the project launched in 2012 I believe. We’ve made two albums, “= 0” and the current one “Love and Razorblades”.
CK: What genre would you describe Zero Times Zero?
TD: Obviously being a large group full of diverse ideas and inspiration, the music in particular tends to jump from genre to genre a bit. But ultimately we would say “Industrial”. Hard core synths and beats matched with orchestral influence. Dramatic, bold, tough. We want to share opinions and not share them quietly. As the leader of the music, I’ve always been happiest working on the technical side of production and electronic intricacy. It’s a process that becomes deeply personal. Probably much more than people would expect from non traditional singer/songwriters.
CK: Is Zero Times Zero signed to a record company?
TD: We are in negotiations with “Cutting Edge”.
CK: What are some of the musical influences for Zero Times Zero?
TD: Musically, we would all agree: Nine Inch Nails, Gary Numan, Bjork, Depeche Mode, Pet Shop Boys, Glitch Mob, David Bowie, Rob Zombie, BT, Goldfrapp, Marilyn Manson. And those are just the modern influences, let alone all the classical that comes into play. But we are equally inspired by photographs and films. Gregory Crewdson’s photography book “Twilight” is a massive inspiration when it comes to the stories we want to tell, both with music and performance art. The early films of Ingmar Bergman helped govern our decisions with the new record too. I’ve always found a strange correlation between the muted desperation of those kind of works and the deafening scream of metal, electronica and experimental rock.
CK: The single Liar was just released, should we expect a new single or a music video for it?
TD: “Liar” is the opening track of the record. We felt it really set the tone so we wanted it to be the appetizer. However, an official music video is not planned for that track yet. YET. The first official music video will be for the eighth track on the album entitled “Superstitions” which I will direct. It’s the story of a club kid running from a ghost who’s dredging up the kid’s self-imposed abuse and memories. Sadly, the ghost is the kid’s dying future self. Think “Party Monster” meets “A Christmas Carol”.
CK: Any plans on taking the music to the road?
TD: We would love to tour! I think we’ve all been a bit overwhelmed by the size of the project we have taken on. Meaning, this is not the kind of music or performance you can put on properly with a few band mates in a small bar. We have video projections, choreographers, programmers, engineers, costumes, interactive experiments. We need the proper funding and interest to really give audiences the hell of a show we have always intended. However, we are so confident in this new album and feel it’s something so special. We believe all of the above will be made possible sooner rather than later.
CK: When will the new album be expected to come out?
TD: We are planning the release date of the full album within the next two to three months. But we will be releasing videos, art installations and leaked tracks in the interim to get those who want us to want us!
Zero Times Zero album EQUALS ZERO can be purchased HERE
You can listen to “Liar” HERE
Warning: This video contains flashing lights which may not be suitable for those with photosensitive epilepsy.
Keep up to date with Zero Times Zero:
Follow Zero Times Zero on Twitter HERE
Follow Thomas Dekker on Twitter HERE