Zac Wilkerson

Monday, December 15, 2014

By Kate Kinder
Editor in Chief

Zac Wilkerson of Amarillo, TX, USA. The closest thing to a hobby is he has is the love for electrical engineering, specifically for audio equipment. He had a side business that made, modified, and repaired effects pedals, amplifiers, and electric guitars.

Are you currently touring? If so with who?
“I tour both as solo artist, and with my backing band, "The Wayward Souls" with Daniel Davis on Keys, Paul Douglass on Bass and Stephen Galvan on Drums .”

Who all have you toured with?
“Never been on tour with anyone else. “

When and why did you start playing?
“I fell in love with music very young. I knew by the time I was 4 or 5 that all I ever wanted to do was play music. I started singing solo when I was 4. Started playing piano at 7, band instruments at 8, and picked up guitar at 12.”

Which instruments do you play?
“Piano, Guitar, Bass, and a bunch of brass instruments that is useless as of now. Haha”

What drives your passion?
“Jamie Wilson once said "There are those who play music because they can, and there are those that play music because they must." I guess I fall into the "must" category. I have tried quitting music many times. Each and every time it was excruciating. I play music because if I didn't I'd most likely be a ward of the state and live in a padded room.”
Where do you usually gather songwriting inspiration? What is your usual songwriting process?
“My inspiration comes from people; Relationships, struggles, pain, loss, longing, desire... The human condition is a treasure trove of  material. My process is undefined; I purposefully have an "anything can happen" mindset when writing.. I've written songs in so many different methods. I write primarily on electric guitar but have been known to write on piano or with no instrument at all. Lyrics come first sometimes, and other times a melodic phrase leads the process.”

What were the first songs you learned?
“The first two songs I ever learned were "House of the Rising Son" and "Jambalaya."”

Is your family musical?
“Yes! My dad sings and played guitar for many years. He taught me those first songs and got me started on a lifelong love affair with guitars. My older brother played saxophone like a boss in high school, and my younger brother played band instruments in high school and is a great guitarist as well.”

Which famous musicians do you admire? Why?
“That's a long list!
Buddy Holly - He changed music both in musical style but also in the way it was produced and even changed the business. He would rather turn down money than play and record music any other way than what he heard in his head.
Bill Withers - One word: PASSION. You can FEEL what he feels when he sings. Keep your cool and calculated music, I want music with PASSION.
Walt Wilkins - His honesty, humility, and truly musical soul is unlike anything I've ever experienced. There are few people I would rather hear sing than Walt. “

Which famous musicians have you learned from?
“Besides the musicians listed above, I was a student of the voices of Soul greats like Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Otis Redding and Percy Sledge.”

What are your fondest musical memories?
“When I was growing up we attended several high school band/choir/orchestra/jazz band concerts that my older brother was playing in. I have vivid memories of experiencing music fill up the cavernous auditorium and being simply hypnotized by how huge the sound felt.
I also have a vivid memory of the first time I played an "E" chord on my guitar correctly. It sounded enormous, and I remember feeling like the universe had just opened up and I found my musical voice.
Making my record this summer at Jumping Dog Studio in Austin TX, produced by Walt Wilkins and Ron Flynt and accompanied by a host of incredible musicians will always be one of my fondest memories.”

Were you influenced by old records & tapes?
“Absolutely! My mom and dad had a great record collection and I was being fed Bill Withers, Ray Charles, Eric Clapton, Steve Miller Band, Roy Orbison, Roger Miller, Willie Nelson, Hank Williams Sr, Jim Croce, Creedence Clearwater Revival, and a whole lot more from the time I was born. My folks records had an enormous impact on me musically.”

Who are your favorite musicians?
“Bill Withers, Walt Wilkins, Ben Harper.”

What is a typical week like for you?
“I spend the early part of the week at home with my family in Amarillo being a stay-at -home dad. My band and I rehearse a couple times a week in there someplace too. The end of the week is spent traveling and playing.”

What's your favorite thing about being on the road?
“Meeting fans and musicians.”

What's the funniest thing that's happened on the road?
“The last trip we took with my old van and we had to stop 3 times to literally duct tape it back together. It's only funny because there was nothing left to do but laugh.”

Best place to eat while on the road?
“FUZZY'S! Tacos are life.”

What's the best town play in?
“Austin has some great listeners, but for raw gratitude from the audience to the artist, Red Deer, Alberta, Canada wins every time.”

Since everyone was a startup once, can you give any smaller or local bands looking to get gigs and airplay some tips?
“1. Be careful and honest about the songs you choose to play and/or write. If your career takes off you'll be playing them hundreds of times, so your best bet is to play music you really believe in.
2. If YOU don't believe what you're singing, no one else will.
3. Drink plenty of water.”

Don't forget to download his self titled album!

Don't forget to follow Zac on social media

Instagram: @zwilkerson
Twitter: @ztwilkerson


 Thank you so much Zac!!

Xxx West Texas Sweetheart

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