Origin: Greensboro, North Carolina
Genre: Hardcore punk, post-hardcore
Years active: 1997–present
Movement in the Music – LP (Crimethinc., 1999; Reflections Records (repress), 2000) and CD (CrimethInc., 1999)
Namasté – CD (CrimethInc., 2001)
Reclaim! – LP (Stonehenge (Europe), Amor y Lucha (USA), 2004) and CD (CrimethInc., 2004)
Zegota – two song 7″ (CrimethInc., 2005)
Zegota is an American hardcore punk and post-hardcore band originally from Greensboro, North Carolina, formed in 1997.
Zegota formed in Greensboro around brothers Jon and Will Ridenour, respectively the group’s guitarist and drummer, bassist Brian (later replaced by Jackie Lee) and singer Eric Moe. Their name comes from Żegota, the codename for Polish Council to Aid the Jews, which saved the lives of many Europeans during the Holocaust.
After releasing their debut LP, Movement in the Music, and touring heavily, Jackie Lee left the group in 2000. He was replaced by Ard, a resident of the Netherlands. Their second record, Namasté, followed shortly thereafter. In 2002, Jon moved to Sweden, giving the group a unique international line-up. Two years later, they released their third LP, Reclaim!, whose sound marked a step away from hardcore punk towards post-hardcore. The final song on Reclaim!, “Sleepwalkers”, was featured prominently in the trailer for the DVD release of the CrimethInc. Guerilla Film Series, Vol. 1.
In 2007, Ard left the group. He currently resides in Amsterdam. Zegota found a new bassist in Mark Dixon, a luthier, artist and musician active in the Greensboro scene and former member of CrimethInc. labelmates Catharsis. The group toured the Northeastern US in 2007 and 2008.
In between band activity, Will Ridenour has spent time studying music in Africa and performing with world music groups. His African musical influences have appeared in Zegota’s music, including his use of the kora. Jon Ridenour has been living in Sweden, where he works with the activist group Kulturkampanjen and was deeply involved in the construction and administration of the Cyclops cultural activity center in Stockholm. His short book of memoirs, Fire & Lightning in Greensboro, North Carolina, was published by Ivory Bell Press.
Related musical projects
Will Ridenour is playing and recording regularly in his home state of North Carolina with a variety of groups, including the world groups Tasuma, Wind and Stars, Zoumana Diabate, the Somnambulist Brain and the indie rock group Dawn Chorus. Jon Ridenour is playing with a noise rock group out of Stockholm called Mad Earth. Mark Dixon is a central figure of the experimental music group Invisible, which often features his unique self-made instruments such as the Selectric typewriter/piano interface, and an analog drum machine that play actual drums. Both Will and Mark are members of Greensboro radical marching band and samba bateria Cakalak Thunder.