Zack Freeman got tired of being in a band, so he started wearing a sampler.He was in a few Colorado a cappella groups that wouldn't bend to his creative whims. "A cappella's kind of snooty," Freeman says. "It's not really jam-based or spontaneously collaborative. I wanted to be more free with my music and the way that I made the sounds."Freeman moved to Albuquerque in 2000, and two years later he started tinkering with a four-track tape recorder. He wanted to be able to record himself live. " I had seen a guy do it with, like, a bunch of indigenous instruments," Freeman recalls. " That stuck in my head and I was like, Well, time to go figure out how to do that." He found a sampler that could help him become a one-man band and set to work. He sharpened his beatboxing skills and learned how to use his voice to craft the rhythm, melody and harmonies of every song. "It's all vocals," Freeman says. "There's no guitar, no drums, no nothing." Lyrically, Freeman rails against politicians who betray the public's trust while encouraging individuals to take on the onus for creating change. "You can't escape your responsibilities," Freeman explains. "If there's something you're supposed to be doing, you have to take care of it." Freeman's anomalous skills landed him a spot on NBC's "America's Got Talent" in August 2006. He made it all the way to the final showdown of the episode but lost to a guy who played guitar with an eggbeater. Freeman says he has no hard feelings about being denied the win. "I didn't really care, man," Freeman asserts. "We all had a good time. TV is the farthest thing from reality." On his latest record, Freeman teamed up with TuMan Productions, also known Matthew Lowe and Michael Jaramillo. On the album, TuMan Presents Zack Freeman TuMan provided background instrumentation, such as guitar, drums, harmonica, etc. Freeman did the rest. He credits Michael Jaramillo and Matthew Lowe for helping him fashion his most meticulous effort yet. "We would all really work on honing the sound to make sure that it sounded like me," Freeman says. "We'd do it over and over and over again. That was the fun part, because it helped me develop a vocal style, as opposed to just singing really loud and kind of half-yelling."
By Simon McCormack