The summer months have been and gone already, but Halfnoise recaptures that warm, vibrant atmosphere. Ex-Paramore drummer Zac Farro initially set up the project back in 2010, and is about to release third full-length ‘Sudden Feeling’. And to some extent, sudden is what this record is. “I work quickly so I set aside two months to write, and within the first two weeks I figured out what I wanted it to be. I just smashed it out”
In terms of writing, Zac embraces his unconventional route. Through the use of sound editing software Logic, he explains: “I’m sampling sounds, manipulating them and tweaking them. Building tracks and working on the production first instead of the song. I’m kind of writing as if I’m every band member. Once I figure out what the melody is, the keys or whatever, I’ll jump in with the other instruments.”
Like Halfnoise’s more ‘indie’ sound, Zac seems relaxed and confident. Although widely known for his work behind the drum kit, he’s a natural frontman and driving force. “I’m the most excited I’ve ever been releasing my own music,” he says. “When I’m not drumming, this is what I want people to know I write.”
After the frontman figured out what style he wanted, he was ready to chase it. “I really wanted it to feel like a sunny, upbeat, beachy album. It was quite hard when it would start raining in Nashville to be inspired. Weather and location did really affect me, so that’s why I did go to Los Angeles – it’s always sunny there!”
Although the album captures an “upbeat” mood, Zac specifies the more serious importance of relatability. At first listen, the album streams with sunshine and positivity. On another, it sounds a bit more personal. “The funny thing is, the music itself is ‘sunshine goodness’ but the lyrical content is all a common theme for sure.
“I went through a pretty bad break up a few years back and now is my time to get through it I guess. It is kind of a glorified break up album. The good thing about music is that sometimes lyrics are really direct. But I like music that isn’t super direct and is a bit more vast so it can relate to more people.”
If one thing’s for sure, Halfnoise was not created to isolate. Zac admits: “I do love to travel; I get kind of bored at home. So, I think that’s where I get a lot of the inspiration to write, ‘cause if I were to stay at home in Nashville I feel it would be hard for me personally because it’s such a small town. It’s growing, but I like to tour around and see what’s going on elsewhere, so I don’t feel so alone in the world and I can see what’s going on.”
But what are Halfnoise’s long-term ambitions? Zac is positive about what he wants to achieve from his project. “I’m not really concerned about ‘oh I hope it sells a ton and that I headline Reading & Leeds!’ That stuff would be rad, but that’s not really the goal.
“The goal is that this is what I love and I’m having so much fun making it. It’s been super fun and there’s not been anything stressful at all. I kind of want to keep it that way! I’m really excited for people to hopefully catch that when they listen to the music.”
He may not be an “official” member anymore, but Zac will be drumming on his old band’s much anticipated new record. Come on mate, spill the beans.
“You should be [excited]! I love what they’re doing. It will be a really cool album. There’s nothing more I can tell you – if it were my album I’d love to talk about it.
“I was in an interview last week and the guy was like, ‘So, what’s it sound like?’ I was like, ‘It sounds like Santana’. And he was like, ‘Santana?!’ ‘Yeah, you know that Santana and Rob Thomas song – ‘Smooth’?’ I was having to joke around because he was asking me about their album, and I was like, ‘Dude, I can’t tell you that!’
“I’ll be able to talk about it when it comes out, probably. The album’s not even done yet. I guess it’s interesting because it’s Paramore, a massive band that people want to know. What everybody needs to know is that they’re not gonna be let down.
“They’re an awesome band and I worked real hard on that. People always ask, ‘Is the sound going to change?’ And I always say even if the sound’s completely different, if Hayley sings on it, it will sound like Paramore.”
Taken from the September issue of Upset – order a copy here. Halfnoise’s album ‘Sudden Feeling’ is out now.