Q: Your band is Zachisatourist but you are also a member of Michael Barrow & The Tourists….when did you start branching off as a solo artist?
A: I’ve actually been releasing solo music for as long as I can remember. I fronted a band in high school and released a few SoundCloud EP’s my first few years of college. I took a break once I started joining other bands and stepped into a side man role. After a few years in MB&T, I had such a backlog of songs that I wanted to put a few out there.
Q: When did you start playing the piano? And who are some keys players you admire?
A: My mom is a piano teacher, so I grew up with the piano in my home. She started teaching me around the age of 5. In terms of pianists that I admire, I’ve always loved Greta Salpeter from The Hush Sound and Landed by Ben Folds is one of the most beautiful pop piano compositions of all time. Period.
Q: Any favorite songs to perform? I see you’re a fan of Taylor Swift’s, “New Year’s Day”. What are your impressions of her new album, Folklore? And name some artists that you admire lyrically? Who do you consider a great songwriter?
A: I’m actually not much of a Swiftie. Haha! My wife is though and I hear a lot of T-Swift’s music through osmosis. That song – New Year’s Day – really stuck with me when I heard it. Folklore is my favorite Taylor Swift album, just because it sounds the least T-Swift. Haha! T-Swift is an excellent songwriter, but I feel like lyrically it’s pretty hit or miss. A lot of strong ideas that could have been improved with some rewrites. Pete Wentz is one of my all time favorite lyricists. I love how he uses self deprecating humor and puns, but they never come across as humorous. And everything is super ambiguous. I think that ambiguity has kept Fall Out Boy relevant. My next favorite lyricist is Charlie Fink of Noah and The Whale. The way he can tell succinct stories that resonate emotionally in a single verse is incredible. I think John Mayer, Colbie Caillat and Shawn Mendes are excellent songwriters. Catchy hooks with solid arrangements, great vocals and solid lyrics. I love performing “Sing Me Something New” with MB&T and “This Isn’t Love” as a solo artist. “This Love” by Maroon 5 and “Waiting on The World To Change” by John Mayer are my favorites to cover.
Q: If you had to say if there was any “silver lining” in quarantining at home, what would it be for you?
A: That silver lining has definitely been more time with family. I played 50 shows across the west last year with MB&T. I was gone a LOT. It’s been good to have movie nights with my wife and kids and go on walks together every night. Quarantine has also been great for songwriting. I wrote a zachisatourist record this year and will be recording it once MB&T wraps production on our new full length record. MB&T also made a TON of stuff this year because of quarantine. We released a lo-fi jams record earlier this year on YouTube, we have a remix record coming out in September, and we’ve put out way more videos than usual. Haha.. It has been a lot of fun to just make stuff again.
Q: Your latest single, You Love Me Anyway, released this year.. it reminds me lyrically of one my favorite performers, Ben Folds. This song is about your wife, correct? How has she changed your life for the better?
A: That comparison is super flattering. I love Ben Folds!! It is about my wife. We’ve been married for almost 6 years and we’ve been through a lot. I’ve made a lot of mistakes along the way, trying to balance all of my roles as a musician, provider, dad and husband. But she’s supportive and has always picked me up when I’m down. Like most artists, I’ve wrestled with a lot of insecurity. She’s my biggest fan. Always having someone in my corner has been huge for me.
Q: Can your fans expect any more music released from you soon?
A: Most definitely! I’m hoping to get one more song out by the end of 2020. You’ll also hear some MB&T songs that I remixed for our next EP. I should have a record out in 2021.
Q: Where can fans listen/find your music?
Thanks Zach for the great interview. Always remember to reach out if you have a new release & would like an interview. Just send me a msg via Instagram @music_stylist.
Until next time, I am Your Music Stylist – Linda Dias.