It’s no secret that unearthing new and exciting artists is the main vein running through the pages of TMN. Sometimes an album strikes you just the right way, providing our ears with a dose of dopamine, while also signalling a wealth of untapped potential. One such artist and album is Zach Maxwell and his recent Music for Life EP. A songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer, Maxwell’s music manages to flit around the edges of multiple genres while offering a completely unique scope to listen through. Recently, Maxwell has been converting his recordings into a live setting behind a highly buzzed about residency in Denver at the eclectic Your Mom’s House venue; building loads of Mile-High hype over the past year.

Zach Maxwell will be playing the final show of his residency this Saturday, June 16th at Your Mom’s House, and we had the chance to sit down and get to know the burgeoning artist a little better before this weekend’s show. Read our interview with Maxwell below, and be sure to listen to Music For Life streaming on all major platforms.

The Music Ninja: First off, thanks so much for taking the time to sit down and chat with us a little bit. We’ve had the chance to listen to Music For Life a few times through, and more layers seem to reveal themselves with each passing listen. With this being your first official release more than a single, can you speak to the writing and recording process? Was your process any different trying to make a cohesive multi-track statement, or were things pretty routine when it came to getting the individual tracks in order for Music For Life?

Zach Maxwell: Thanks so much for the kind words about Music for Life! I’m glad that more and more layers are revealing themselves in subsequent listens.  It’s interesting, the process for making this EP was super nonlinear for me. Before I decided to release this EP, I spent a few years just making music that I wanted to listen to.  Just flowing with whatever vibe I was feeling on whatever day I happened to be making music. After a few years, I had 100’s of songs to choose from and realized it was probably time to put some of them out in the world! In listening to all the material I had made, certain songs seemed to fit together as a unit more than others.  I wanted my first release to be something that was more of an offering to the listener as a complete unit with a message versus a bunch of songs that I happened to like and put together. Additionally, my friend and longtime music Veteran Jayson Jackson helped me curate the songs and put together something that worked together. So the process was more working backward than thinking from the get-go that I was going to put a collection of music together.

’Zach Maxwell – Are You?’

TMN: Did you bring in any outside musicians to record with you or is this your playing on the entire LP?

ZM: Nope. I played everything on the EP myself.

TMN: Your music has drawn comparisons to the likes of Kaytranada, and even Andre 3000; as well as yourself citing influences from contemporary pop, funk, gospel and soul. What did you grow up listening to in your household, and were there any artists that caused you to start branching out and creating for yourself?

ZM: My father was in show business when I was a kid, so I listened to a lot of musical theater before I turned 10.  My step-mother was a Broadway dancer and used to have all her friends come over for epic dance parties at our apartment in NYC, and we would all dance to Prince in a cypher in the living room.  I would say the artists that really made me start branching out for myself though were Sam Cooke and the Soul Stirrers and Sweet Honey in the Rock. The first time I heard that old school acapella sound I was never the same.  In addition, the first time I ever went to a Phish concert I was 19 and that was a transformative moment in my life as well and solidified that I wanted to dedicate my life to music.

TMN: How did creating music start to become a reality for you? Did you grow up playing traditional instruments or was it something you found on your own?

ZM: My grandmother had given my mother an old piano, and it was in our house growing up, and nobody ever played it.  When I was two years old, I used to play and plunk out melodies on the piano. I don’t remember doing it, but my uncle said I would come up with all sorts of cool melodies when I was a little kid.  I officially started learning how to play when I was three years old, and then I picked up the guitar at 15 and never looked back. I would lock myself in my room for 12 hours a day and just practice guitar. It was awesome.

TMN: You’ve been playing a residency in my hometown of Denver, CO at one of the more eclectically curated venues in the city, Your Mom’s House, and have your last show as part of said residency coming up on June 16th. How do things differ from recording in studio to trying to create your highly textured soundscapes in a live setting?

ZM: As of right now, I rearrange a lot of my recorded songs for my live shows.  I extend them and open up room for musical improvisation, movement and dance onstage and for the other musicians who are playing with me onstage to have room to express themselves as well. Performing live is one of my most favorite things in the world.

’Zach Maxwell – Move Over and Let Me In’


TMN: Do you feel you’re able to relay your ethos of “exploring higher consciousness through music” more in a live setting or through your recordings?

ZM: I think they compliment each other in that they provide different pathways to the same goal of exploring higher consciousness through music.  I think of recorded music as a painting or as a spiritual text. It’s set and unchanging. It can be appreciated forever, and there are new things that can be discovered upon subsequent reading, viewing or listening. Live performance is much more like a sunset.  It’s fleeting. It’s rooted in the present moment and can never be replicated the same way twice.   That in and of itself is a spiritual exploration because when it’s happening, the connection between artist and audience both rooted in the present moment becomes something more significant than itself.

TMN: What have you got in coming down the pipe, both release and tour wise?

ZM: I have a bunch of singles coming out later this year. I am finalizing the first one in the next month or so and will be announcing the release in the coming weeks.  I also have a headlining show at Syntax Physic Opera in Denver on Friday, August 17th. That is going to be a killer show and is at one of the coolest venues in Denver.

TMN: Where can we connect with you and is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?

ZM: You can always connect with me at shows.  I love to talk to people after my sets and get to know people who love music.  Another great way is to sign up for my mailing list which is easy to join right on the homepage of my website I send out unreleased tracks and show announcements and other good stuff about once a month on there.  And of course, you can connect with me on Instagram as well!

You can listen to “Music for Life” on all online music outlets, including Spotify, Apple/iTunes, Amazon, and Soundcloud.

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