INTERVIEW: Pop-Rock’s Newest Songbird, Zach Brandon

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

I’m doing great! Grateful every day for that my family and friends are all healthy and happy

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Tell Everybody I Don’t”?

I wrote “Tell Everybody I Don’t” two years ago after I broke up with a girl I was dating. I knew that I had made the right decision, but I realized quickly that I was making efforts to prove that I was happy with my decision instead of making an effort to grieve and move forward.

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

Most of what I aim for in my music/writing is to make people feel like they are not alone in the journey of life. Most of the things that, as people, we struggle with, tend to indicate a “weakness” of some sort (even though we all go through similar struggles). As such, people tend to keep their struggles to themselves, and in all honesty, I think a majority of the emotional problems that our youth faces today is largely due to the notion of “secrecy” around struggles. When I write, my goal is to expose my struggles in the hopes that I can inspire others to address their own problems with the confidence of knowing that the people on their left and right are going through it with them.

For the visual of the song you paid tribute with Risky Business – what made you want to go on this direction?

That scene is notorious for lightheartedness and representing excitement, and although TEID is lyrically and thematically heavy, the music and feel of the song is fast, loud, and fun, which was important for me to spotlight. 

How was the filming process and experience behind the video?

Honestly, really fun and easy. With a crew size of 2, it was very efficient. Typically, on a set, there are so many cooks in the kitchen that things get slowed down and overthought, but with our team for that video, we were able to get everything done in one swoop and move on to editing.

Also, being in my apartment gave me the freedom to really be myself and not think about anything other than the music.

How was the recording and writing process?

I write all my songs on acoustic guitar first because I want to make sure that they can hold up without production. Recording wise, same as my process as always! Record a demo, then record drums and bass, add guitar, vocals, and the rest! Gotta have a strong foundation.

What was it like to work with Charlie Midnight and Jan Fairchild? How did those relationships develop?

Charlie and Jan are like family to me at this point. We have spent so many hours together, and our relationships are what every artist dreams of in an artist-mentor(s) relationship. We get into heated arguments constantly about everything ranging from lyrics, to production choices, even to the industry, and at the end of every session, we hug and say “love you, see you tomorrow.” Everything is done with the goal in mind of: “how can we make the best, most honest music we can?” We trust each other unconditionally, and I feel very fortunate to have found them so early on in my career. 

How did they get to influence the song?

Charlie has had a major influence on my writing specifically… he taught me the value of hooks and how you can use a hook to bring home the message of the song. It’s very important to make the song palatable for the generic listener, not the person who prints out your lyrics and reads them to understand what you mean. 

Jan’s mixing abilities and musical knowledge took my musicality five levels above where it was before I met him. Watching him showed me how having a good musical understanding of your instrument can play a pivotal role in what you come up with in the studio, whereas I used to really only think about it in terms of its importance at live shows. 

In the case of Midnight – how would you say he has influenced your work and approach to songwriting?

In all honesty, I think that one of the reasons that my relationship with Charlie is so strong is because he really hasn’t influenced my approach to songwriting. From the second we started working together, we were of the same school of thought – that there is no such thing as writer’s block, and that you have to write about what is true to you or people will be able to tell it’s not authentic. 

Some days will be better than others in terms of writing, but if you’re going for gold every time, you will be immediately dissuaded. Write about the smell of water on the grass at sunrise, write about the metal-on-metal sound of the key going into the ignition as you venture into unknown territory… just write, write, and write again, then throw it out, then write again.

How would you say the current quarantine has influenced your music?

I would say quarantine has more influenced my creativity in general.

Does the new single mean we can expect a new material – how’s that coming along?

Ohhhhhhhh yaaaaaaaa. Follow my Instagram to stay up to date. But short answer: new music soon.

Any tentative release date or title in mind?

*lip zipper gesture* 😊

What else is happening next in Zach Brandon’s world?

Hopefully more collaborating, and definitely more writing (always). 

Watch here.

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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