â€œYou canâ€™t act like youâ€™re having this much fun.â€ Indeed, it is no act. It is nothing less than a genuine love for music. This love shows in everything the seasoned artist does, especially his high-energy shows, which frequently send people into â€œZach Attacksâ€ â€“ uplifting moments where people are compulsively risen out of their seats by the passion to dance, sing, cheer, or scream out. â€œI love reaching people. I know Iâ€™m doing my job when people come up to me and say â€˜Iâ€™m kicking drugs,â€™ â€˜Iâ€™m quitting a job I hate to do something Iâ€™ve always wanted to do,â€™ â€˜Your music has helped my autistic child become more sociable and make major progress with his condition,â€™ or â€˜Your music has helped me get through some bad times, or Cancer or something, or has turned around a bad day.â€™ That is why I sing. How could you not put all of your passion into that?â€
Zachâ€™s newest CD, Face With a View, released in the summer of 2005, is certainly flowing with this passion. Though he has self-released three prior CDâ€™s, this newest one is his crowning achievement. â€œThis record was the first that I really took a good deal of control over, and so I was able to really communicate more so than in my previous recordings. The growth Iâ€™ve gone through over the last three years is incredibly prevalent. The songs I chose this time needed to fit the concept of a very genuine and sincere emotional cycle that I felt the record needed to portray.â€ Its true beauty is in soulful simplicity. The title was chosen to fit this cycle as a reminder that there is beauty everywhere, even if it has to be actively sought at times. Zach was accompanied by the living bass legend, Jeff Berlin, on a song called â€œGirl in the Corner.â€ â€œJeff was perfect for this song. Because of his feel and technical abilities as well as his interest in the pop music world, I knew he could take the song to another dimension of beauty and innate communication with his extraordinary melodic bass style.â€ The first single, â€œDistracted,â€ brought in producer Michael Seifert (Guided by Voices, Bone Thugs-n-Harmony), drummer Joe â€œCoachâ€ Hanna (Toby Lightman, Gavin DeGraw), and Billy Sullivan (the Raspberries) to fully augment this proven popular hit. â€œI thrive on all environments that challenge both myself and everyone around me to grow. Working on this record has been this way, which is why it captured my intents so successfully.â€
Zach is no stranger to touring. He performs over 200 shows a year, taking him all over the country, and placing him on stage with Chicago, Bad Company, Catie Curtis, Maia Sharp, Steve Poltz, Rick Springfield, Rusted Root, Farm Aid, Jen Chapin, Michael Bolton, and Buckwheat Zydeco. His exciting, high energy shows and spiritually emotional material have gathered a devoted following and give Zach the ability to win-over and move audiences both in and outside of his genre. â€œPeople want to be entertained, but you canâ€™t always be mindlessly entertained. That only goes so far and only fulfills so much. You need substance too.â€ The coffee shop scene permitted Zach the opportunity to begin and grow as a performer, and he still gravitates toward the more intimate settings. â€œI love to rock out and dance around! Anytime. But songwriter shows, especially the New York Songwriter Circle at the Bitter End, are so fundamentally based on the song and not the show and are mentally very gratifying. It is so inspiring to be on such a legendary stage with peers on both sides of your career, learning from them. You never stop learning. Itâ€™s one of my favourite aspects of life.â€ Zach is being dubbed a role model for the echo-boomer generation, though he is very appealing to all age groups. His fan-focused approach to performing and promoting, which includes the widely popular â€œZach Pack Newsletter,â€ has earned him a growing and dedicated fan base, resulting in, among other things, his website, Zachmusic.net receiving around 30,000 hits each month. Zachâ€™s heavy performance schedule has also awarded such accolades as #3 All-Time Best Artist as nominated by the 20,000 listeners of WAPS 91.3 FM The Summit in Akron, Ohio and a Finalist in the Soul City CafÃ© Music Quest sponsored by pop-star Jewel.
â€œIâ€™ve always been drawn to writing and reading.â€ Zach is not only a highly prolific songwriter, with over 200 songs in only four short years, but an accomplished fiction writer, too. A short story Zach wrote as a senior in high school, â€œBolero,â€ won 6th place in the New Century Writerâ€™s Award, was a finalist in a Francis Ford Coppola/Zoetrope Magazine writing contest, and was read at the Nation Undergraduate Literature Conference in Utah. â€œIâ€™m inspired by everything, especially things that are artistically and culturally enhancing -- that really brings out the best in my creativity.â€ In addition to this, he has finished two novels, which he plans on releasing in the future. â€œWho knows, maybe someday, Iâ€™ll be doing the soundtrack to the movie of the book I wrote. But really, happiness is simply singing my songs to people, changing the world one minute, one life, at a time.â€
â€œâ€™You must be the change you wish to see in the worldâ€™â€.
Truly, a breath of fresh air.
ZACH FACT SHEET
1. Born May 13th, 1981
2. Birthplace: Parma, Ohio
3. Astrological Sign: Taurus (Celtic Tree Sign: Poplar)
4. Eyes: Blue Height: 6â€™1â€
5. Favourite Foods: Rice, Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches
6. Favourite Colours: Black, Red, Green
7. Lifestyle: Non-Smoker, Non-Drinker, Non-Drugs
8. Books that Changed My Life:
*Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke â€“ the most inspirational thing I have ever read. Every word was written to me for me. Kevin Spacey referred this book to me, and I am more focused and defined in my music, art, and vision because of it.
*Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll -- the first book I ever read over and over and over again. It single-handedly began my interest in words and word play. The more times I read it, the more inspired I get.
*White Nights (Memoir of a Dreamer)/ the Brothers Karamozov by Dostoevsky â€“ The most beautiful words I have ever read. A lot of my writing is a description, or emotion, or description of emotion. I wish I could someday do it all well as it is done here.
9. Favourite Authors: Kurt Vonnegut, Fyodor Dostoesvsky, Gogol, Kafka, Albert Camus, Tom Robbins, Woody Allen, Bob Frissell
10. What brought Me to Music: 3 things:
*Appendicitis â€“ I nearly died from a ruptured appendix, and the recouping time dashed my hopes of making the high school basketball team. During the time I was in the hospital, I had gotten a gift of a Beatles cassette and the Best of Queen CD. By the time I came out of the hospital, I had wanted to learn to play guitar and had already begun writing songs.
*Jewel â€“ I fell in love with her debut album, and saw her at an intimate venue outside of Cleveland, Ohio. The show was so moving to me, and she communicated her music and personality so well to the audience, it felt like the show was a personal one just for me. When I left, I knew I needed to be performing and seriously making music for the rest of my life.
*High School Talent Show â€“ I knew I was onto something good, when I had the sell-out 1,000 seat venue screaming and singing along with my own song. Then a huge fight and riot erupted. The police came. And I continued singing. The power of music!
11. My Fiction Writings: Iâ€™ve always been drawn to writing. My short story, Bolero: won 6th place in the 2001 New Century Writer Awards, was entered into a competition with Zoetrope Magazine and Francis Ford Coppola where it was a finalist, and was read at the National Undergraduate Literature Conference in Utah for the same year. I have also finished two novels.
12. Radio Writings: I wrote the jingle/theme song â€œInto the â€˜70â€™sâ€ for a syndicated oldies radio show created in Cleveland, Ohio that is currently on over 150 stations and counting! It has been my first adventure into writing music for platforms other than pop music. And it has been hugely successful.
13. Pets: I have an adopted Humpback Whale named Patches that lives in the Atlantic Ocean, and a little black cat named Zero.
14. I believe it is our responsibility to change the world for the better, to add meaning and value into life and culture. That sounds naÃ¯ve, but it is very easy to change the world for a few minutes, or to change someoneâ€™s world for a few moments. Itâ€™s as the saying goes, â€œThe journey of a million miles begins with a single step.â€ We must all â€œbe the change we want to see in the world.â€
15. Why â€œFace With a View?â€ We are always looking at beautiful things. To realize this is to truly feel. The music follows this whole theme. You should listen to the disc in its entirety. The answer is there, waiting. The answer is always the easy part.
â€¢ â€œZach is an awesome talent! John Lennon's compassion courses through his veins. I'm very impressed with this kid and believe he is a star! He is also a down to earth, level headed decent human being willing to do whatever it takes to make it. Also, I've seen him live and he's just as good live as his recorded presentation and a charmer as well.â€
Formerly a DJ on WIXY, WHBQ, WIBG, WLS, WAVA, WKLIF
â€¢ â€œZACHâ€™s performance is in a word, INCREDIBLE! I have never seen a solo performance like it. If you've never seen one of his solo shows you gotta go.â€
Rudedog Music Promotions
â€¢ â€œZachâ€™s music is pop/rock at its best, with catchy hooks and insightful, clever lyrics. At times, Zach sounds like James Taylor, others like "80's group Crowded House. But through it all, he is forging his own unique sound that is getting attention.â€
â€¢ â€œHe's (Zach) very cool. I think "Distracted" is my favorite one. I also love the guitars in "Son Of The Circus." Nice and crunchy. I hope it does well. He definitely deserves to be heard.â€
â€¢ â€œWhat's clear is that people loved Zachâ€™s stuff. We received emails and message board postings from people who are blown away by his work. His music has touched many lives through this competition and we're all very grateful for his participation. Soul City Cafe is extremely proud of its association with Zach.â€
Soul City CafÃ©
â€¢ â€œI enjoyed listening to the CD â€¦ someone will recognize his talent.â€
â€¢ â€œThe CD (A Beautiful Possession) is excellent and a unique blend of acoustical showcases, lyrical magic and hard rockinâ€™ electric guitar and drums. His soft voice has immense range and depth and his well-written lyrics are clearly understandable on every track.â€
â€¢ â€œI put local CDs we get in the changer with four national discs to see if the local one stands outâ€¦ when I heard Zachâ€™s, I had to take (the CD) out and see whose it was. I said â€˜Wow, this is really good. Who is this guy?â€™â€
Program Director 91.3 WAPS The Summit
â€¢ â€œZach has the quiet intensity of Elliot Smith.â€
Cleveland Free Times
â€¢ â€œThe title track (Turquoise Dreams) and â€œInvisible Manâ€ are songs that make you feel like you are experiencing brilliance on the rise.â€
Michael J. Media Promotions
â€¢ â€œZachâ€™s not just good for his age; heâ€™s just good.â€
â€¢ â€œThis young poet puts his mindful, sensitive, yet hip lyris to catchy, toe-tapping groves that uplifts audiences, while making them think at the same time.â€
Station Manager 91.3 FM WAPS The Summit
â€¢ "He's electric...enter Zach and everyone lights up"
â€¢ Zach â€“ Kim Thore's Review June 29th, 2004
Go Triad Magazine
My personal taste in music may be as varied as my wardrobe but there's one characteristic that must remain consistent -energy and passion. There is nothing that will bore me faster than a musician or band that plays their music with the vigor of a slug. I'm not saying once on stage you have to act like you've been on a steady diet of Hydroxy Cut and Mountain Dew, but please at least act like you are enjoying what you are doing.
If there is one musician that I will never have to worry about fitting into the afore-mentioned slug category, it's Zach Friedhof. Zach is a young 23 yr old singer songwriter from Ohio who has started making some rather impressive waves in the music industry and my guess is after seeing him perform at Rubber Soul Thursday, he and his music might hit Sunami proportions in the near future. When I wasn't watching Zach move effortlessly from acoustic to electric guitar and from profound and evocative songs to crowd pleasing covers, I was watching the crowd. Not many singers can boast a fan base that ranges in age from 21 to 51, and in that Zach has an edge over most. His youth and effervescent personality draws the younger crowd in as this feels like "their" music and the more mature listeners wish for the same. As one person commented to me, "you can't "act" like you're having that much fun". Indeed it is no act. Zach is truly enjoying himself and it comes through in his music. Songs like "A Beautiful Possession" and "Liar" stick with you in a catchy way but there's also another quality to Zach's music that is often a rare find. His songs weave a tapestry that paints you a landscape and serve as a backdrop. Much like the last words of a good novel stick with the reader so do the notes of his guitar and the echo of his voice. So good are both, you don't want to shake them off. Zach's cd "A Beautiful Possession" is a must have , if for no other reason than it is probably the most aptly named cd of the summer.
Zach's website: www.zachmusic.net
ZACH is releasing his brand new CD, FACE WITH A VIEW, in June 2005! It features guest musicians such as Jeff Berlin â€“ the Worldâ€™s Best Electric Bassist, Joe â€œCoachâ€ Hanna (Toby Lightman, Gavin DeGraw), Billy Sullivan (the Raspberrys), and Michael Seifert (Bone Thugs â€“n- Harmony, Guided By Voices).
Check out the artist's website:
4. Chase Me Away (Girl in the Corner)
7. My Highway
9. Distracted (Saturn Mix)
11. Girl in the Corner (Chase Me Away)
12. A Little Love