Below are some excerpts from an exclusive twenty-five minute interview with Zach Deputy. He discusses everything from his early musical development, how his act took off, his influences and his new album slated to come out this summer.
To read the full interview, click here.
GMNS: That’s real good of you. All right, well switching gears here, how did you get into music in general?
ZD: I just had songs in my head, man. You know? I just had music in my head and I had to get it out.
GMNS: How old were you?
ZD: When I started having music in my head? I was young, like 9. Nine where I can remember having music in my head and wanting to get it out. I was singing before then. I was singing since I can remember. But it was 9 when I started imagining bands in my head. Like I would imagine an orchestra and I would close my eyes and I would imagine all the instruments and I would jam out. When I was little I’d be jamming out in my head. And I thought everybody did that. Turns out, not everybody does that, you know? But I would create songs in my head and create all the parts in my mind and I really wanted to make it happen with an instrument. And I didn’t end up getting an instrument ‘til I was 14, but I started asking rigorously when I was about 9. And I finally got a guitar when I was 14.
GMNS: What’s your favorite part about doing what you do, going around and playing music for everybody?
ZD: I don’t know. Knowing that it helps and it improves peoples’ minds and hearts and lives, you know? And I think that’s the only reason I keep doing it, you know? There’s purpose in that. I love playing music, that’s obviously what I play on stage and you see it, but it’s very draining, traveling across the country playing music every day. In and out. It’s exhausting, you know, and being at home with family, my friends, it’s relaxing. So I think the thing that really keeps me going is knowing that it actually helps people. So I guess that’d be my favorite thing.
GMNS: What about your CD?
ZD: The new one coming out?
ZD: I think they’re saying it’ll be out in June, which is great, but it’s hard to describe. It’s a different sound. All my albums are a different sound. My first album’s got its own thing, second album’s got its own thing, and this one’s got its own sound, you know?
GMNS: What’s the sound, if you could describe it?
ZD: It’s kind of just organic soul you know? It’s really soulful, there’s more ballads on this album I ever did. I don’t think there ever was a ballad on an album before, and there’s probably like four ballads on this one, or five. And a lot of songwriter-esque songs, you know? Different songs that I wrote that I don’t even do live. It’s got a completely different… I would guess or say more mature feel to it.
GMNS: Is it less “jammy-groovy?”
ZD: Yea, it’s less jammy, for sure. It’s more focused on the songs. I mean, it still grooves. It still grooves. Even slow songs, to me, have to have some sort of groove to ‘em. But, yea. It’s more focused on the songs than, you know, everything else. And the way I record albums, I do ‘em so fast. You know, I book this time, I wanna do it with these guys, we’re going in and we’re gonna do it in ten days.
GMNS: Just like that?
ZD: Yea. Well, we recorded everything in three days. Then we did overdubs and extra vocals in one day. So everything was recorded in four days, and we did the mixing and mastering after that. So the whole process took I think nine days. Nine, maybe ten, but I’m pretty sure nine. Same thing with my last album. I recorded everything in four days, mixed everything in three days.
GMNS: So you just bang ‘em out then.
ZD: Yea. So I go in there, I don’t really over-think it, I don’t have the money to over-think it, you know? So I go in, I sing the songs, I never sing a song more than three times, you know? It’s very raw. I would love to spend time on an album, but I can’t so I just bang it out, you know? They’re always quickies for me. In and out. But this one’s really good, man. This is the most professional sounding record I’ve ever done, for sure.
GMNS: This one was done with a band? It wasn’t a loop machine?
ZD: Uh huh. It’s done with a band, yea. Some great musicians, too.
GMNS: Anybody we would know?
ZD: I can’t remember anybody’s last name. Graham was my drummer and he plays with David Byrne, Al Cardy, the bass player, plays with Alicia Keys and Rob Thomas, Miles, my keyboard player, he’s awesome but he doesn’t play with any big names. Yea, so I just put together some really, really good New York cats. I recorded it in Brooklyn. It was good. I really liked my producer, Scott Jacoby. Really easy guy to work with. A lot of fun. It was an easy album. There was no stress involved, it was just easy-breezy. Walk in, walk out. My voice was gone the whole time. I had a sinus infection. So I sang the whole thing with a sinus infection. So, you know, it is what it is. But that;s why I like it, you know? It freezes moments in time. The songs are what’s important. That’s why you come to live shows. You hear songs and it’s like, wow that’s way different than the album, then you come to the next show and I don’t play anything that I played the night before, then you come to the next show and I play some of the songs you really wanted to hear again, and then they’re different than the version they heard that was different than the album. And they’re like “wow, this is crazy.” I think when people realize that, that’s when they start following me a lot. When they start realizing how different the shows go. How they can go in this direction, really deep in this direction, and how they can go really deep in that direction.
GMNS: That’s why you record your shows and put ‘em on your site, right?
ZD: Yea, just to show where they go. And to remember. I can flip myself out sometimes. I won’t remember songs sometimes and I’ll be like, “Whoa, when did this happen? This is crazy!” you know? So it’s cool to remember those moments and bring them back. Revisit them. Some weird things happen.