I mentioned some time ago that I was a DJ for a small local station here in Boulder. I can't even begin to explain how much I miss those days. There's something very uplifting about being surrounded by incredibly cool and talented people. Because the station was one of those underground operations, we were sometimes considered a bunch of misfits, but our mission was to give a voice to the community. More than promoting a "fuck the man" statement, pirate radio for me was about changing outdated regulations and giving the airwaves back to the people. Certain individuals sometimes look at pirates and assume they are a bunch of rebels without a cause, but most of us were involved in supporting local bands, helping charities and covering news that the mainstream media seemed to be missing.
When I was involved with the station, I had some incredible opportunities to conduct interviews with amazing people. A few that stand out in my mind are: Josh Rushing, Hosea Rosenberg, Joanna Blakeman and Aimee Heckel. In addition to regular interviews, I was lucky enough to be involved in conducting question and answer segments as part of the live band sets on the air. Quite often, I was blown away by the talented musicians who rolled through the studio. I'm not sure what it was about Zach and Adam, but the interview I did with Young Coyotes was one of the most thought-provoking sessions I have done in radio. We discussed everything from music to politics.
More recently, I caught up with Zach on facebook. I was happy when he agreed to answer a few questions. I wanted to know and share what he has been doing since the last time I saw him.
The following is an interview with Zachary Tipton:
Last time we did an interview, you were part of Young Coyotes. How have things changed since then?
I have worked on a full length record for about a year and a half now. I have gone through a few different names since then, but I will release this record under the name Mister Zach.
For people who didn't get to hear the first interview, when did you get into music, and how did it happen?
I remember a few records my mom had around the house: Steely Dan's Aja, Santana's Greatest Hits, and Carole King's Tapestry. I don't mind having strong memories associated with those albums, but I liked how I felt when I sang along to them. When I turned thirteen, my mom's then-boyfriend helped me purchase a bass and amp. I practiced a few hours a day and tried to slap my way into the record books. By the time I had turned eighteen, I could play a few songs on guitar and started singing for a band I didn't like. It took me years to understand how people made music, but I try to learn something new as often as I can.
How did you come up with the new name of your band?
I work at a tutoring place sometimes, and my name tag reads: Mister Zach. Over the past year, people have called me that even without the name tag. I guess it just stuck. I have heard that folks from the South use it in a colloquial way, but that doesn't devalue it in my opinion.
Again, for anyone who didn't hear the first interview, do you have other hobbies outside of music?
I love to paint portraits of the people and animals in my life. College takes up most of my reading material, but I won't go anywhere without a book.
What are some things that inspire your lyrics?
I soak up reality like a sponge and eject my experience through sound and words made by my mouth and fingers. Books help too.
What are your thoughts on how music is distributed these days? How do you feel about illegal downloads?
People need to adapt and accept the situation. I haven't found a rule of law in capitalism that says money must flow into the hands of people who create things. If I take money out of the equation, what do I have? I have a digital artifact that will make its way around the internet and will allow people from all over the world to find something I created. If we don't kill ourselves and/or the internet, each uploaded song could last longer than other formats. As an extra bonus, the possibility of a digital miner from the future finding and liking one of my songs adds a special quality to the whole process.
Any thoughts on pirate radio?
I fully support pirate radio. Everyone should have the option of expressing their opinions and tastes without imposing them onto others.
Where do you feel you are heading?
Because I have an unfortunate vantage point, chance will always supersede my actions. I love the habit of making music. Since I have that, I try not to question the future.
Zach will be releasing a new album in March. Keep up with Zach on twitter for all the details: https://twitter.com/iamthedot
Or on Myspace:
Or on Myspace:
I am The Dot interview
ETA: Here it is! It is fantastic, too: