Featured Artist: Zach Hurd

February 13, 2013

We’re happy to feature singer-songwriter Zach Hurd before his Buncearoo show this weekend at Foundation Gallery & Liveroom. He released his latest EP She Never Sleeps back in September to positive reception and has continued to push forward in the live circuit, playing many live shows up and down the East Coast. We spoke to Zach about his EP, inspirations, playing in DC, and more! Get to know Zach Hurd below.

Zach Hurd and John Schmitt will play live, this Saturday, at Foundation Gallery & Liveroom

At what age were you inspired to become a musician and what prompted you do so?

I think it was when I was in 7th grade (12 yrs old). I got an electric guitar for Christmas, which I begged for, and started learning some Nirvana songs with a friend. Being able to play something that I’d heard on the radio got me really excited to keep learning and eventually to try writing something on my own…that I would never ever show to anyone, haha.

What musicians – past or present – inspire you to make the music you make?

I’ve always looked up to Beck’s career a lot. He’s someone that always manages to keep his writing/sound fresh and new. He’s never scared to try new things. Paul Simon is another artist whose writing I often look to in order to keep learning how to be a better songwriter. He’s able to write these very personal songs that grab you as well as put you in the driver’s seat of a story that he’s imagined.

You released your latest record She Never Sleeps back in September. How has the reception been to the release so far?

I think the reception has been really great so far. My last album, Changing Landscapes, was my chance to just throw everything at a song in the recording studio, instrument-wise, but with this EP I’m really glad we kept things more stripped down. My producer, Robert DiPietro, helped me develop a new appreciation for my voice. I’ve gotten more of a response from this EP than my previous recordings, so I think I’m moving in the right direction.

Could you talk about the creative process for the record? How was the writing and recording experience for you as a musician?

This time around in the studio, I really wanted to go in with someone else that I was going to learn from. Robert is a phenomenal engineer, studio musician and songwriter and I tried to pick up as much as I could during our time together. A few of these songs had been sitting around for a while, so it was refreshing and, sometimes, challenging to come back and look at them with someone else. I felt like this was a very collaborative effort. I think each of the songs from She Never Sleeps went through stages of being completed and then scrapped. There were so many possibilities for each song.

You’ve play DC before. What do you look forward to most when you come back to play the area this weekend at Foundation Gallery & Liveroom?

I really like the DC area because it’s a cluster of so many other areas. A lot of these areas are where some of my family and friends are too. It’s really fun for me to get out of NYC and play for some new people as well!

Besides live shows – what can your fans expect from you this year?

I currently have a couple video projects in the works which I’m excited about. I’m also going to start working on a new EP in the spring.

Who would you say is your favorite guilty pleasure musician at the moment?

There are a few Katy Perry songs that, when they come on the radio, I’d be hard pressed to change the station. And if I’m in the car alone and one of those songs comes on, well, I’m just glad there isn’t a video camera in the car.

Thanks for talking to us at Pick-Up Productions. Any last shout outs for the readers out there?

Thank you to Buncearoo and Pick-Up Productions for having me! It’s always exciting to be a part of a show where the people putting it together really care about live music. See you all Saturday night!

For more information on Zach Hurd and any upcoming shows, visit his website, like him on Facebook, and follow him on Twitter @zachhurd

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