Hey Vents! I’m been doing great! I’m excited and nervous! I’m looking forward to everyone finally getting to hear this new collection of songs.
Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Born Ready”?
Three words come to mind about this song: Gritty, honest, and motivating.
Born Ready is a song about overcoming the odds that are against you. It’s a huge track to get hype and motivated. At the same time it is dark and speaks about real stuff.
I had been sitting on this lyric for a while that says:
I don’t believe in no devil,
cuz I done raised this hell.
I’ve been the last one standing,
when all the giants fell.
That lyric is gritty and tough, so I knew I was going to have to get my hands dirty again musically to meet the expectations of that lyric.
Any plans to release a video for the single?
We released a really cool lyric video for Born Ready, and I think those are really important now. It seems that I have a huge growing fanbase on youtube that doesn’t speak english as their native language. And they love being able to see the lyrics.
We have finished a full music video for another song on the album called HUSTLER. We did a vintage video game vibe meets Game of Thrones type thing. The video is kinda fun and not too serious, and stars two wonderful ladies who fight to the death at the end.
The single comes off your new album Golden Age – what’s the story behind the title?
Truth is, I wasn’t planning on releasing a record. I really wasn’t even planning on pursuing being an artist again. I was very happy working as a producer and with my drum sample company called That Sound. I had not been a part of an artist project for nearly 10 years.
But last November 2015 I was working on some new songs that had a heavy beat, and I was going to have someone else sing them. It didn’t work out with that singer, and my voice was already on the songs as a demo. I sent them over to my friend and now business partner Jessica Cole at Lyric House, and she immediately licensed two of the songs in some big tv promos for Fox.
From that point, she and I started working on concepts for more songs. I kept writing and recording, and the momentum just kept building. This summer she came to me and said, I think you should put all of the songs together and call the album Golden Age. Meaning: “A period of great peace, prosperity, and happiness.”
It wasn’t until I wrote the song from the album title Golden Age did I finally embrace being an artist again. Music really pulled me back. The Golden Age album is my story. The songs are little bits and pieces of me rising up and overcoming to arrive at a place of happiness.
What good and bad aspects of your life did you get to explore on this record?
There is at least one moment for everyone, that they’ve been in a hell, and they’ve managed to pull their self out of it and overcome.
There are songs on this record about being a father, being married, being broke, fighting your way back. Walk Through the Fire is a very personal song to me and it came out of some broken things in my extended family. Hustler is mostly about the music business. HA. The song Be Free was written after my wife and I had some long talks and several drinks after our most recent anniversary.
How was the recording and writing process?
I had just purchased two new huge vintage bass drums that are 28″ and 32.” I recorded performances of me slamming those drums, then I sampled them and re-processed those drum hits to make them bigger and dirty.
Every single Zayde Wolf song starts with a big heavy beat. That beat sets the tone for the song. Things take shape around the how the percussion is constructed.
I’m recording and writing most all of the songs by myself. My studio is set up so I can grab all kinds of instruments from drums to guitars to synths to get a musical vibe going.
When I’m recording vocals, I’m usually doing several versions of each song. Live Life had 5 different verses or choruses, New Blood had 4, and Hustler had 5 versions and then 6 different edits of the song. I’m never afraid to scrap everything and try something new on a song.
Do you tend to take a different approach when you are producing for someone else than when you are writing for your own?
When I’m producing another artist, I do several of the same things with the Zayde Wolf songs, but I spend more time listening and guiding the creative process. Zayde is more like a ship that is zig zagging all around, but myself as a producer is a much more smooth and navigated process.
Any plans to hit the road?
Nothing specific right now. Being a music producer / drum sample company owner keeps me really focused on that. I will be doing a few special performances, but a touring option would have to be really really special for me to leave home.
What else is happening next in Zayde Wolf’s world?
Well, the album drops on Nov 4th. There are 14 songs in total. It’s pretty massive, but most of the songs have had a license for a tv promo, trailer, or in show spot, so we wanted to get them all out there to the public!
Also… we just found out that the Cleveland Cav’s are licensing a song for their highlight reel. I always thought Lebron + Zayde is a dope combo.