What is your name?
Zac from Zac and The New Men.
What is your genre of music?
We play Heavy rock with a bluesy edge
mWe formed during the Covid Lockdown about a year ago. Will (the drummer) and I had been
jamming together for a couple of years in high school and when the lockdowns hit I started writing
songs and asked Will to play drums on them. From there, Zac and The New Men was born. We
released the songs in January and February of 2021 and began making plans for writing more and
getting out gigging. We invited Oli who had been in high school with us to join us as a keyboard
player and guitarist and then found James who was on the same college course as Will and Oli to
play Bass. Once the lockdowns ended in July we started doing some Pub gigs covering songs by Stevie Ray Vaughn, Jimi Hendrix as well as the classic favourites of Kings of Leon, Stereophonics and the killers
but we always threw in several of our own songs which seemed to go down well. We ended up
playing about 30 pub gigs, 3 festivals and then when we got the chance we started doing our
originals gigs. Our first gig was such a great experience, to have over 50 of our fans there singing
along and jumping to our songs was so amazing. It made us hungry to do more. since then we’ve
done a few other gigs including our first headline show in December and we have another on 5th
February in the Bunkhouse in Swansea to celebrate the release of Deeper our next Single
What made you go into music?
I’ve always had some music playing in the background even if it was EDM when I was younger! My
parents don’t play any instruments but love listening to loads of really diverse music from Hozier to
AC/DC and James Brown to Queen. When I was 14 and my Nan gave me an old guitar that she found
in her attic and I learned to play “Smoke on the water” (sorry) then I just put “best guitarists” into
google and found Jimmi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughn. After that I just kept learning, watching
youtube videos and practising. My parents promised that if I kept playing for a year they’d buy me an
electric guitar. Once I had my first electric guitar there really wasn’t anything else I could see myself
doing in life. I’m really lucky because my parents are supportive and helped me and the band to get
to the point we’re at now
Who are your influences?
It’s Blues that I really love, the feeling that the greatest musicians can put into their music is
something that gets inside you. Listening to Hendrix, SRV and BB King just make me want to pick up
my guitar and play. More modern influences would be someone like Philip Sayce and Eric Gales. With
the band, I love playing a more heavy Rock sound that gets a crowd moving. We all love the Royal
Blood, Cleopatrick, Rage against The Machine, Black Stone Cherry sound as well as the Anthemic AC/
DC and Led Zeppelin vibe. Basically, if it’s loud and gets you moving we love it
Are you signed?
No, it’s one of our goals but we’re not chasing it we’re just enjoying ourselves making music. I think
these days to get signed you already have to be proving that you can make it before anyone pays
attention and at that point do you need to get signed? Don’t get me wrong having the backing of a
label would be amazing because it would help us move up to another level but we’re young enough
and have plenty of time to build our fanbase
You released your new single ‘Deeper’, tell us more about the single.
Deeper comes out on Feb 4th. It’s the first song that we all wrote together as a band, we did a load
of pub covers gigs last year and we saved our gig fees to be able to promote it. Hopefully, we’ll get it
heard by a wider audience.
What is the meaning behind the single?
With Deeper we wanted a song that would get a crowd or an individual moving, so we wrote it based on a riff we’d been jamming. Lyrically, it’s about being judged by outward appearances and expressing anger at feeling held back by others perceptions of who you are. It’s meant to be an empowering and encouraging song that keeps you moving forwards to achieve your goals. Don’t be put off by others, do it for yourself, aim high and you will succeed. We think there’s a rawness and energy that’s relevant to young people today. The whole song was recorded “off the floor” giving it a great dynamic feel with changes of tempo adding punch and huge guitar riffs providing the energy to push you onwards
What was the writing and recording process like?
So the writing we do when we meet for rehearsals, we get together for three or four hours twice a
week and we normally spend an hour or so just jamming and working on a song. With Deeper we
worked on it over a few weeks and then started playing it at a couple of our pub gigs.
Recording it, we’re lucky enough that I’ve been able to set up a studio and record the songs
ourselves. We wanted to try “off the floor” recordings so we all played while we recorded the drums
with Will and then we went back and each recorded our parts back to the drums. It means the track
isn’t perfectly in time but we got the feel and energy that brings which is what we wanted. It did
present some challenges with the production but overall I’m really happy with the sound.
Being a student was able to spend quite a bit of time mixing and getting the songs to sound the way
we want so I’d do some of the production work and play it back for the others when we met. Their
feedback was mostly constructive so I’d work on the mix again until everyone was happy.
Describe the track in two words.
Who did you work with on the single?
It really was all our own work. Everything from the mic placements right through to the final
mastering. The only other person who even heard the track outside of the band was my dad who is
acting as our manager at the moment. He’d just give me an extra pair of ears when I needed it.
Because we’d played the song at gigs and rehearsals so many times the actual recording didn’t take
long. In fact, the drums and Bass were done in one take each, Will and James are both so talented
they were able to bring energy and feel to the track because they are so tight, It’s one of the reasons
that we wanted to record the way we did. They also make it a joy to play with them live, I always
know I can trust them to keep the groove no matter what Oli and I do. I think that knowing that Will
and James are so good is what lets Oli and me bring our personalities to the stage when we perform,
I feed on the energy and fun Oli brings and know that if we want to extend a solo or throw in a
cheeky guitar battle then no-one misses a beat. I think Deeper reflects our relationship as a band, it’s the first song we wrote together and it was just a product of the fun we have. Having played the song so many times live made it a challenge when it came to the actual production.
Will we see a Music video for ‘Deeper’, what can we expect from the creative process?
Yes, we’ve just recorded a video. We’ve been amazingly lucky in that Nick Jones who runs the
Roofstock festival on The Gower is also a filmmaker and offered to help us organise and write the
story for the video. He’s been awesome, found the locations, organised the camera work and the
editing. All we really had to do was turn up. So I just want to say thanks again to Nick. We filmed it just a couple of weeks ago so haven’t seen it ourselves yet but we had the most amazing blue sky day and were lucky enough to film it in the lot at Bay Studios in Swansea so can’t wait for it to be released, which should be on 19th February. We’ve also got an acoustic video out on January 29th and our lyric video is out on Feb 12th though, I wanted to add too and not detract from the live version. Its why I’ve kept the beginning of the track quite clean and then added more depth as the song progresses.
Will we see an EP or Album and if so, can you give us a teaser of what to expect?
When we were recording back in October the plan was to release an album but actually, I think we’re
going to try to release six singles individually in 2022. We want to keep some momentum going with the releases so it feels like a better plan with the way the industry works at the moment to stay current. I can tell you that out of our next three releases two are pretty heavy and one is a more commercial rock song. We’re not sure yet on the order we’re releasing them in but anyone coming to our gigs will hear us playing them live.
Do you have any live shows or a tour coming up and if so let us know where we can catch you at?
We’ve got a few shows coming up and more to be announced:
Bunkhouse, Swansea 5th February
Dragonffli, Pontypridd 18th Feb
Jac’s, Aberdare 25th Feb
Hanger 18, Swansea 17th March
Venue 1, Tredegar 2nd Apri
What else can we expect in 2022?
For us 2022 is about getting ourselves heard by a wider audience, giving our fans the best shows we
can, and having fun doing some bigger gigs. We’re planning on getting back in the studio in October
as well so we’ll be writing some new songs along the way.
Where do you see yourself now in 5 Years?
For us, we’re on a journey and we all want to be able to make our living doing what we love so we
just want to spread our name out across the UK and Europe more. Hopefully, play a few well-known
festivals around Europe and keep enjoying ourselves
What quote or saying do you always stick by?
It’s a bit Cliche but “Go big or go home” sums it up. Taking every chance and making the most of
every opportunity. As a band, we always try to “Live Life Louder” so maybe that should be it?
When you are at a gig, what are 5 things you cannot forget?
I’m not superstitious but I love wearing a medallion and having a scarf on my mic stand and belt.
I have a “Lucky Pick” that Oli cut grooves into to give it the extra grip that I need when we’re going
for it on stage.
I love a bit of mascara
My gig bracelets
Free badges for the fans who get up close and make every gig feel amazing
Do you have social media accounts so your fans can follow you?
all our socials are @zacandthenewmen