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INTERVIEW: Zackary Kibbee

Hi Zachary, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Thanks for having me. Things have been great. I’m excited for my first album to be out on May 3rd.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “See Right Through You”?

“See Right Through You” is the first single off my upcoming album “Songs From The Mud.” It was written a while back with my producer Joseph Holiday, it’s actually the only song on the album not written entirely by me. When it came time to release a first single for the record it was an obvious choice, it’s one of my favorites and it is very definitive of my sound and style.

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

There isn’t a single event in my life that lead to the lyrics of this song, rather a collection of experiences. It’s about a relationship with a girl, but for me it’s a culmination of several relationships I’ve had in my life. It’s about being head over heels with someone and they’re being coy and acting disinterested even when you know they are interested. It’s about being with someone who has baggage, and wanting them to let it go so your relationship doesn’t suffer. People often bring old baggage into new relationships and it usually hurts them,. Hang-ups and fear often stifle the growth of a relationship and can even be the cause of it’s failure. That’s what this song is about, I’m telling “the girl” to let go of the past stop letting it ruin the present and future.

Any plans to release a video for the single?

A video for “See Right Through You” has been shot and is being edited right now! Hopefully it will be released sometime shortly after the album comes out. That’s a secret though so let’s keep that between us and the readers.

The single comes off your new album Songs From The Mud – why naming the album after the band?

I wanted my first album to have a title separate from a song title or lyric from the album because I didn’t want to have emphasis on any one song. The album is very bluesy throughout and I like the visual that comes along with the word mud. It’s dirty and raunchy, and has a sort of grit to it that I think describes the way the album ended up. I conjure images of nature and swamps and darkness that I think are themes of the record.

How was the recording and writing process?

I’ve always written a lot of music. For this album I think I ended up writing and recording about 30 songs that were then whittled down to the final 12 on the album. I think most of them are good, but I wanted a concise record with good flow. The hardest part for me is staying in a straight line when writing. I often times find that I stumble across many genres when I write and I think that can be heard a bit on “Songs From The Mud” even when I try to stay in a specific style. It’s just tough to do!

How did the moment you opened for BB King influence you as an artist and your music?

At the time I didn’t really think too much of it, it wasn’t a big deal. I was young and I don’t think I really grasped how cool it really was. It was also a bit blown up, we played several hours before him and I didn’t even get to meet him. Obviously, looking back it has had a profound influence on me. I’ve always been fond of the blues and I’ve been playing it a long time. I’m glad I got to have that experience.

Not trying to get into comparisons, but I can hear a strong influence of Black Keys – did they play any role on this record or your music in general?

I don’t try to make a secret out of the fact that my music is similar to The Black Keys, they are a great band and I am happy to be mentioned in the same sentence as them. I think my music, and this record especially, came to have a Black Keys style somewhat organically. I had been writing bluesy tunes for a while when I partnered up with my producer Joseph Holiday, and he and I spoke about creating classic bluesy type tunes with very modern production techniques. As we started producing the songs they kind of just fell into that sound, although I hope it’s not too on the nose. There is definitely inspiration from other bands I love like The Eagles or The Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?

I’ve always liked the story telling of classic blues songs and the themes that go along with that. The idea of being broken down and losing everything and the emotions that go along with that. Girls, addiction, money problems, depression, and the strength and will power to keep trudging along are common ideas in blues and I write mostly about that.

Any plans to hit the road?

If you visit my website you can see my tour schedule where I’m always adding shows up and down the coast and in the southwest. We’re playing in Arizona and Nevada this weekend (Tucson, Phoenix, and Las Vegas) and there are dates up the coast in early June.

What else is happening next in Zachary Kibbee’s world?

My song “My Own Two Feet” off my first EP “Little Clocks” is in the new Jackie Chan/Johnny Knoxville movie “Skiptrace” in theaters soon! My album “Songs From The Mud” will be out May 3rd and a couple music videos are in the works for that as well! You can stay up-to-date on all my doings on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and of course at ZacharyKibbee.com. Thanks so much!

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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