Interview with Artist Zac Crye
By Mick Michaels
COSMICK VIEW: Hello, Zac! Welcome to The Cosmick View. Thank you for taking some time out of your day to chat with me, it's greatly appreciated.
Do you feel that it's still possible for an unknown band today to be plucked
out of obscurity and make it to stardom? Can a dedicated core of fans sharing
their music make that possible or has the internet and social media changed the
Zac Crye: It depends on how you define "unknown," I suppose. Most bands are relatively unknown by the masses. I think the best bet for bands is to find a niche market that best fits their style and to focus on those scenes, but you could have a cult following in your hometown and be unknown in the next state. That's where social media really plays a role at launching you to the next level of success. To answer your question, I don't think bands are being plucked from obscurity, I think anyone looking to invest in your band is looking for a band that's already cultivated a following on social media. My friends in Holy Death Trio have done just that, they are a prime example for how its done!
Do you feel that given the accessibility and social awareness of modern times
that a music underground still even exists today as it once did?
ZC: Yeah, but it's super niche. I could foresee a near future where people start to turn away from social media and broadcasting everything all the time, and slide back into a more grassroots, 'underground," way of doing things.
What do you see as the biggest difference in music and how it is perceived from
back say 35 years ago compared to music today? Has both the music and the
artist evolved from your point of view?
ZC: Certainly. In nearly every aspect. Compared to 35 years ago, now its more about image - people see things before they hear them. Now we are submitting this new era - the "TikTok era" of music where everything's boiled down to 30 second sound clips accompanied by some silly, intriguing content. Making the music has now become a very small part of being a musical artist. It is much more about producing content and engaging with your audience, so the artist has all but lost their mystique.
CV: Do you believe bands and artists who have the biggest impact on fans and other artists are aware that they are or is there more of a tunnel vision sort of process for them keeping them somewhat in the dark? Can influential artists see past their own work to be aware of the ripples they make?
ZC: If they're truly great then they must know how their product will be received, or they have at least contemplated the effect they would like to have on the art form. I think most great artists move deliberately.
Does music need to be influential to be considered worth listening to in your
opinion? Or can music simply be just an enjoyable auditory experience devoid of
ZC: I’m not sure how influential mainstream music really is. It's something you hear while you're at work or shopping. I suppose it could influence you to go and buy shit. I don't need music to have some societal message, but it's cool if it does. I'm fine with songs about nothing.
The world has been rocked by the COVID pandemic. The economy has been
sent into a tailspin in its wake, unfortunately. Bands worldwide have
been restricted with performing live and some it seems, restricted from earning
a living. How has the pandemic affected your career? Are you hopeful that
2021 will see many of the restrictions lifted?
ZC: Well, I’m certainly hopeful for 2021, but we've already seen Europe canceling festivals, so its still looking bleak for us in the States. My band hasn't been nearly as affected as some of the other bands in the scene.
What do you feel artists and bands can do right now to stay relevant,
especially in an environment, such as the present, where performing in front of
a live audience is being restricted? What immediate options do you see
ZC: Right now, we've all got a chance to breathe. Sometimes it feels like we're all running at the speed of light, and for what?. This pandemic has shaken society to its core, and a lot of people are using this time to get grounded and spend time with the people they love. If bands want to be relevant, I supposed they could keep releasing singles and putting out intriguing content, but I don't see anything wrong with just being irrelevant for the time being. A lot of bands I have been following through the years, who were very active before the pandemic, have basically gone radio silent, and I don't necessarily think that's a bad look. Hopefully we're back at it sooner than later, but it's fine to take a break.
CV: As an artist, what have you learned from the events of 2020? Are those lessons learned different for you as a person than as an artist or are they one in the same in your opinion?
ZC: Well, I've struggled at being a "full-time" artist, and I was bummed that I had to work full time and not pursuing my musical career. When the entertainment industry came to a halt, I saw a lot of people I've looked up to who suddenly found themselves with no way to support themselves. It made me grateful that I did have a career to support me through this, and I've been humbled by the fact that I can still do music on my own terms. It's like that Stones song, "You can't always get what you want, but you get what you need."
What's next? What can fans expect to see coming in 2021?
ZC: I've got a 5-track EP titled, "All the Same," coming out 04/16, and the title track is currently streaming on all platforms. There's a video for that song that premiers in Feb, and I'm already in the studio tracking the follow up project. "All the Same," pre-orders are now available for just $5 www.zaccrye.bandcamp.com.
CV: Thank you again Zac for spending some time talking and sharing with our readers. It was such a pleasure. I wish you all the best.
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