Harriet Kaplan

INTERVIEW: Singer/Songwriter Zander Bleck

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Zander Bleck and Band will be performing an industry showcase at the Sayer’s Club in Los Angeles on Thursday, August 24.

ZanderBleckNew Jersey born singer/songwriter Zander Bleck is on a mission to take his music into new and uncharted territories thereby forging his own path. He has been touted as “creating epic, anthemic music to propel powerhouse rock into the future.” Zander draws musical inspiration from some of the greatest icons of rock: Freddie Mercury of Queen and Bruce Springsteen. Zander has a melodic and captivating vocal style combined with a charismatic presence. He is also a compelling modern rock artist. Zander recently spoke to SoCalMusicToday.com to discuss the release of his latest single, “Alive” and its lyrical inspiration, his mixed experiences being on Interscope Records and working with producer Jimmy Iovine, the invaluable lessons being a recording artist in the music business and more.

You’ve released four singles including the most current one “Alive” and one EP. How do you feel you’ve evolved musically over that time period?

“Alive” is the first of three new singles that will be released this year. I can’t even tell you how excited I am to finally be getting this music out and how proud of it I am. I have certainly evolved from my first stuff with RedOne, but it’s still very much “me” I’ve always written my music, but the production now really fits who I am more than ever.

Can you tell me about the video for “Alive” and the lyrics, what was your inspiration?

After my second record deal fell apart, I was left in a really rough place.  A lot of “friends” disappeared and I had to build up on my own.  “Alive” was an ode to myself to regain my strength and rise.  It was an amazing experience as a human as well as an artist, especially to triumph to where I am now.  But it was the first song I wrote to myself.

You were on Interscope Records. What was that experience like and working with Jimmy Iovine?

Jimmy Iovine to this day was the most remarkable person I’ve ever worked with. It pains me that we never got a chance to really build more together.  He is such a visionary and unique character. He’s as real of a deal as they come. I hope that our paths cross again.

What is the biggest lesson you have learned about being a recording artist since you got your start in the music business?

Believe in yourself. Sounds so cliché but it’s very true. Keep your head in the clouds but your heart on the ground.

How has that lesson shaped you into the artist you are today?

I think that I’ve been able to survive such craziness and ups and downs, that I am still standing, stronger than ever… It’s built an almost impenetrable confidence from within that I think is so important. When you truly go for your dreams, relentlessly, there’s nothing to lose!

Would you do anything different if you knew what you did then going forward?

The industry has changed so much in the last 5 years, I think I had more success with the majors I wouldn’t be in the position I am now, or the artist I am now. I wouldn’t change a thing honestly.

Does being an independent artist give you a lot of freedom and do you enjoy it?

For sure, it’s all about efficiency and connecting with your fans. Now it’s easier than ever to do that.

What are you most proud of so far in your career?

This song I wrote called “Mercy Me” which will be coming out this fall.

Whose career would you most like to emulate?

Chris Martin of Coldplay is the best in the game right now. He’s my hero. I think Jared Leto has a good handle on what he’s doing.

Where do you hope to be professionally in five years?

I hope to be reaching and performing to millions all over the world. Pushing boundaries of my creativity and to have a social message that inspires people to make the world a better place.

What is the songwriting process like for you? Do you write the music first or the lyrics and do you collaborate at all?

I freestyle gibberish over piano or guitar chords or over a basic production and a shocking amount of what I say in that first take ends up shaping what the song is and what it’s about.

Who are your musical heroes and influences and why?

Bono, Chris Martin, Freddie Mercury. Just all absolute masters at bringing people together through their voice and just phenomenal artists in every sense of the word.

What can we expect next from you?

I expect things to continue to build as they are. My next single is this battle anthem called “Battle Call.” I am shooting the video for that in a couple days and then my baby “Mercy Me” will follow.

Do you have any superstitions or rituals that you do before you perform?

I go for a jog during the day, drink a gallon of water, try to do a little meditation, don’t drink coffee day of and have a sip of tequila right before show time.

Do you play out a lot and do you like being in the studio more than performing live and why?

I’ve spent the last couple years slaving away in the studio and just now have started playing again. As much as I love the studio, right now I am obsessed with performing and can’t wait for more of what’s to come.

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