Longtime friend and Play Too Much collaborator Zach Surp has returned from Paris with a new musical offering. Zach Surp’s latest track, “Ideas” is a broody down tempo jam with a brawny synth bass line and shimmering acoustic guitar parts. Surp’s self-seeking lyrics are about chasing an open mind and heart. His charming falsetto voice is coated with pitch shifted vocals. The track also features some of the celebrated signature sounds of producer Zeno Pitarelli aka Bad Cello.
We chatted with Zach to learn more about his “Ideas”. Enjoy the interview below.
Play Too Much: Tell us a little bit about the song; the writing process, inspiration, etc?
Zach Surp: “Ideas” is about pushing forward past lost love and maintaining an open mind in the process, not becoming jaded. Spontaneity is extra important in my lifestyle and definitely wanted this one to have a scent of it on it’s breath
PTM: Right on. I know you’ve spent a lot of time in Paris lately, was this song written while you were in Paris?
ZS: I teamed up with Zeno (Bad Cello) in Upstate NY just a few days before Paris to record the foundation of this and to be honest I kind of just found the hook, then improvised the rest. I wrote some notes down then recorded it one more time (laughs). It was very natural.I received the first mix about a week later while in Paris and it really stoked my flame, because at the time I was there with a group of musicians from Baltimore so I was psyched to blast the first mix aloud in the living room for everyone without hearing it yet myself.
PTM: Do you think living in Paris has affected your approach to writing and performing?
ZS: 1000% Their style is unmatchable, Parisian women are the foxiest I’ve ever come across, ever. I had a lot of great experiences out there so I wrote and recorded quite a bit for sure. I also saw it as a good time to grow my first true mustache out there (laughs).
PTM: That’s amazing! What was it like working with Bad Cello on this recording? Tell us about the process!
ZS: Zeno has such a great heart and puts that into his work so much. He also happens to be really damn good at producing. Funny story, I’d ridden my bike in the rain to his studio on the day we recorded and he offered me some extra fluffy, dry socks the first moment I walked in the door.
It just shows that he let me be me and do my thing especially on vocals, guitar and bass, then totally flipped everything into a fully composed piece that really really hits.
PTM: We’ve worked with Zeno before, and we agree he’s the best! How would you say this track is different than your previous releases?
ZS: All of my past releases have been pretty lofi, so this release is a huge step for me, Zeno really set a new bar for my sound. I know zeno’s work is going to take him so far, so I’m really fortunate to work with him while I can. I really respect his time a lot
PTM: That’s really sweet. So, what’s next?
ZS: Oh man, so much to output.I’ve been feeling more and more like the world could end at any second so truly trying to create,release projects as the inspiration is hot. Lots more vids for sure, working more with Zeno on tunes is a must. I also have my ears on some fresh and alternative vocalists to maybe do some duets with. Everything’s really full circle right now and being in the middle of that circle has me extra psyched.
“Ideas” is out via Newlywed Records