We had the good fortune of connecting with Kostyantyn Chumakov and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Kostyantyn, we’d love for you to start things off by telling us something about your industry that we and others not in the industry might be unaware of?
Musicians make very little money from actually performing. Usually when we sell tickets to a show, we only get a couple bucks from each ticket we sell, and only from the tickets the WE sell. Some promoters and show organizers are cool and will split the whole of ticket sales among the performers, but that still isn’t nearly enough money to consider quitting your day job. The best way to help out your favorite smaller or up and coming musicians is by buying their merch, the next best way is sharing their music and concerts with everyone you know so that they hopefully buy some merchandise and keep the music going.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Zero South began as a long time goal of mine to start an awesome metal band. In college, I was lucky to connect with a lot of talented musicians who also liked metal, so finally I was able to get the dream in motion. Our writing process (with a couple exceptions) typically starts with most of a song idea that I come up with, and then bring to the rest of the band for them to pick apart, revise, rearrange, and add onto. We are very collaborative, and also perfectionists, so finishing a song takes us a long time because we are never satisfied with either the difficulty or arrangement.

We also try to do as much as we can without spending any money out of pocket, so we record, mix, and master all of our music ourselves (thanks to our original lead guitarist, Jackie, who has spent a lot of time developing his production skills). Our last batch of shirts that we made were all hand made by my girlfriend, Andrea, and her friend Katy. Any money that the band makes is kept within the band for future band purchases, so aside from the gear that we bought for our in ear monitoring rig, we have not had to spend money out of pocket on anything else the band has needed.

From the start, I wanted this band to have a streamlined live performance setup, so we run our guitars and bass through digital amp modelers that allow us to plug directly into a venue’s sound system, so we have no amps on stage and the only sound on stage is from the drums and vocals. The downside to this, we found out very early on, is that it is not practical to rely on stage monitors to hear all of the guitar, bass, and vocals all at once, so we invested in setting up in ear monitoring, which allowed us to hear ourselves better, play to a click track (which helps us stay consistent with our more difficult songs), and further streamline our live setup as we no longer require the venue sound engineer to set our monitor levels.

We have had one major lineup change, and are currently going through another one, but because we’ve established ourselves as high level musicians with a professional setup, finding capable new members has thankfully been a smooth process.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Since we are a band, let’s keep to the live music theme. There’s the bigger venues like Soma (where we would love to play again, this was one of our first shows and we made lots of friends), Brick by Brick (probably our favorite stage to play), and the Observatory. We’ve had a pretty good time playing and going to shows at the Bancroft bar. Love the concept behind Metl Bar, but their downtown stage wasn’t the greatest for our personal all direct setup (most other bands would fare better than us here), but a cool spot nonetheless. Even though Zero South hasn’t performed at the Che Cafe, since we’re all UC San Diego alumni, it’s kind of like a second home and a great spot for intimate shows. As a craft beer fan, it’s cool to play and see live music at Legacy Brewing up in Oceanside, I would love to play at more local breweries.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Brick by Brick has been good to us and invites us to perform every so often and it’s a great stage to play on so thank you for continuing to give us these opportunities.

Riot Scene and King Batt Entertainment have put on some great shows that we’ve been a part of and they respect the performers that they bring on.

The San Diego metal and heavy music scene. All of the bands and musicians that we’ve interacted with have all been awesome and they all deserve recognition.

Instagram: @zerosouthsd

Facebook: facebook.com/ZeroSouthBand

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChd-vRVOvrMigZ_MrdIILGg

Image Credits
Dread Pirate Photography Photo Sami/Samantha Madnick Photography Kyoka Matsunaga (kokomokie) Esra Elhendy

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutSocal is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.