metalcore – groovemetal – posthardcore


In March 2004, music producer and session bass player Marcel van der Zwam (Consortium, Scuttle Buttin’, Ian Parry, Cloudmachine) had one of his head-ups with his brother, composer/guitarist Alfred. Alfred just concluded his jazz project Pyrogee, and had put his musical career on the backburner. They were sharing ideas, opinions and impressions regarding what they considered to have been a metal revival for which the ground had been broken by bands such as Machine Head and Deftones. Their conclusion was that this revival had culminated in a sub-genre called metalcore, blending the legacies of thrash, heavy metal, punk-(post-)hardcore and Göteborg-metal into a cross-over which, however initially innovative, was gradually falling victim to predictability – a musical infection caused by a productional approach rather than a musical one. Marcel challenged his brother to create his own musical design for this genre, also disclosing that he had already checked vocalist and sound tech Michel Zandbergen (Picture, Montany, Pangaya) and drummer and studio engineer Ed van Wijngaarden (Joe Stump Band, Carthago, Montany) for their availability for such a project. Alfred accepted, and KAIRO was born.

The foursome dove into Ed’s rehearsal studio in Katwijk, not to surface again for several months but eventually joining the world of the living again with 16 new songs. Extensive recording sessions in Marcel’s Braineye Studio ensued and KAIRO’s first EP, Homeside Helpdesk, saw the light of day in 2005. A short home tour in support of their EP followed, featuring venues such as Het Kasteel (Alphen aan den Rijn), Kwatro (Alphen aan den Rijn) and Scum (Katwijk aan Zee). Plans were prepared for a tour through former Yugoslavia and KAIRO was gradually picking up its momentum. But Marcel’s impending emigration to Brazil, effective in May 2006, put the band to a grinding halt, taking KAIRO into a hiatus that would last for almost half a year.

Michel’s sister Natasha Zandbergen (Tools R Us) was eventually recruited on bass guitar in replacement of Marcel, and her powerful sound and gloves-off musical approach sparked new life into KAIRO. Initially upholstering their existing repertoire with new arrangements, it soon became evident that KAIRO had inadvertently uncovered the root of their own principle: unabashed and brutal metal, in a form not based on instrumental showcasing, technical prowess or complex riffs, but on harmonic richness, droning mid-tempo beats, crushing breakdowns and overall dynamics and intensity. New songs, more blistering and moving than ever, were written, evidence of which can be sampled on their new EP Pulse, recorded at NetRecords Studio, Purmerend and released in 2008.

During summer 2009, Kairo’s agenda has been comfortably cluttered with live-gigs in The Netherlands, predominantly scheduled at rock venues and mid-sized festivals, frequently alongside bands such as Gangrene and Pound. KAIRO deems the creative process involved with writing new songs as their main artery and they will spend every minute they can spare in doing so, so don’t be surprised to be offered one or two songs you’ve never heard before when you see them play live next time!