Catalyst Crime with Zoe Marie Federoff
Catalyst Crime is an international cinematic symphonic metal band that began in late 2017 as a project between Xandria drummer Gerit Lamm and American vocalist Zoe Marie Federoff. Accompanied by orchestral composer and keyboardist Jonah Weingarten of Pyramaze, guitarists Chena Roxx and Kaelen Sarakinis, as well as bassist Matt Federoff, the project quickly took shape into a fully formed band blending the epic soundscapes of symphonic metal, the dark intensity of death metal, and moments of free-spirited progressive metal. Upon meeting the band and hearing the project, Alexander Krull (Leaves’ Eyes, Atrocity) eagerly joined the team as producer and recorded the self-titled debut album at Mastersound Studios in Stuttgart, Germany. The debut Catalyst Crime album was released on October 22nd 2021, by Massacre Records.
We wanted to create an album that didn’t fit into one box or genre. Obviously, it’s symphonic metal, but we wanted a very cinematic orchestral sound like a Hollywood adventure soundtrack, progressive elements, and moments of death metal as well. It’s a very diverse album, and it comes from a diverse team.
I think we’re always writing. It just happens. Jonah comes up with several new ideas every month. I come up with new vocal melody ideas at about the same rate. I prefer to write lyrics while travelling, but that’s about as ritualistic as I get. The rest of the band starts filling in the rest of the pieces. It’s a very steady workflow, and I think it’s a matter of deciding which songs will go on which record. At this point, we have the makings of another 2-3 albums at least. I’m going to Lapland next month to finalise some new lyrics.
If we have a fixation? Probably ‘humanism’ is the best answer. There’s escapism, of course, since all art is a form of escapism. The band comes from various backgrounds and belief systems, but we all have so much mutual respect because everyone asks the same questions- what does it mean to be alive and pursue a “good” life?
My father indoctrinated me at an early age. He was a bassist and had me listening to Iron Maiden, Metallica, etc., as a kid, and as I grew, I branched out into symphonic metal, death metal, black metal, progressive metal, and everything in between. He also took me to shows. By the time I graduated high school, I had seen more live concerts than any other kid at my school. I knew I wanted to write and perform metal with my life, and the best part is that all these years later, my dad played bass in my band. He gave me the gift of metal. Now I get to tour Europe playing metal with him next year. What a perfect circle.
Music is extremely powerful. We do not yet totally understand its effects on the human mind. The dopamine rush of a good piece of music can rewire our brains and change our whole emotional state. It transcends language and culture. Art is always powerful, but music, in particular, can change people as individuals and as a group. Is it a spiritual experience? Absolutely.