“You find yourself thinking about the end of the line/ I find myself thinking about it more than I mind/ but ooh the setting sun ain’t sitting down on you/ tomorrow’s love will make a way through” These lines written about his father facing terminal cancer (and are yet, even more relevant today) open What I Meant to Say, the latest offering by Akron, Ohio native Zach. This is a big year for Zach: it marks his 10-year anniversary of playing music (and over 2,000 performances) as he releases his 9th album.
The new record is something different for the singer/songwriter, as well as something that has been a long time in the making. “This is a much more personal record than any of my others. Each song comes from a place of sharp emotion – both up and down. And it has taken me a while to be able to get out of the writing process enough to write things that are really truthful and honest for me.” Many songs on this record were written about or in the aftermath of his father’s passing from Pancreatic Cancer. One, “Wherever You Are,” was written after the sudden passing of a friend. Yet, this is not a melancholy album. It is decidedly optimistic. “How could it not be? Many of these songs started in dark places, but the light found them. If you don’t have hope, then there is no point to anything. I have a song that goes I’ll die trying/ to light the night sky.”
“In the time since my last record, I’ve really come into my own, and into my own skin much more, in writing, performing, and my life in general. What I Meant to Say is a reflection of that growth.” Along with personal growth, Zach has surrounded himself with a talented band who all traveled down to Atlanta’s Tree Sound and Namaste Studios to record with Nick Chawala (Gym Class Heroes, Collective Soul, Outkast). “To lock yourself away in a different town and record is an amazing feeling. It really bonds the band. And that is important – this is definitely a band record.”
Zach started writing songs and playing guitar after he landed in a near death-bed from a burst appendix. “I really believe I was shown my path, and I’m just trying to do the best I can with it. If I can make someone smile, forget about the horrors of the day, to dance, to maybe be a little bit more conscientious of others, than I’m doing my job. Then I can be happy.”
What I Meant to Say is being released on April 25th with an Album Launch Concert at Cuyahoga Falls High School at 7:00pm, with proceeds benefiting the high school’s Stage and Sound Crew program.