I'd like to thank/congratulate Josh and Julia for being the 299th and 300th subscribers to Zach Steinbach News!
It feels so good to have something to give directly in return for your email address and your interest in what I do. I stand behind this live album 100% and I'm thrilled to give it to you, my biggest supporters. (I pledge to never give you a cheesy nickname, don't worry.)
300 strong. Thanks for believing in me. -z
One of the most difficult elements of my personal growth over the past couple years has been accepting the fact that I hadn't "done life" quite like my father.
Growing up, I never really thought of him having to be much more than a dad to my sisters and me, and a husband to my mother. He did it with such dedication and believability. Into my adult years I've found, of course, that life just isn't that easy and that somehow he must have been able to balance it all so well. Not only the needs of a family but the stresses of his daily life, personal validation, a career... It hit me like a ton of bricks that - Wait, I gotta be satisfied (enough) with what I do in life if I'm going to be 100% for other people who need me. So I can come home every day and not drag it all in the door with me. I wasn't. So I couldn't.
So I've made some decisions to embrace the ways that make me unique, step to the side and follow my own path. A bit non-traditional. It hasn't been easy and I'm not there yet. Still I see the ways I am like him and all the ways he still inspires me to be a better man and, hopefully, someday a good husband and a father. The challenge of my life.
My folks have never put pressure on me to be anything in specific (and I love them all the more for that), but rather, to be happy with whatever I do and to do it with integrity. My father is the type that a son wants to emulate simply because he's an incredible man through and through. Whose talk, whose walk, whose love... is something truly felt and real.
Here's a song I wrote for my father called "Falling" which started as an acoustic demo and ended up being a collaboration with my friend Brandon, Milwaukee-based artist The LMNtlyst. Make sure to click the description on YouTube to find his contact info.
It has a bit different sound compared to what I've been doing, and that's okay.
Happy Father's Day to all. And to all good men and good fathers - Thanks for taking your job seriously.
Entire album download coming FREE to all ZSN subscribers June 3rd. I could explain more but this video does it a little better:
Three weeks ago last night I played an acoustic show in Chicago (3 weeks already?! Really?). Not only did things go really well related to the performance and the recording, but it was so nice to spend the weekend with good friends in the city. One specific conversation I recall was with my friend Beth the night before. A small group of us had gone out for some Italian at Sabatino's (Irving Park) Friday night and wound up staying up MUCH too late at Beth's house in Wheaton, Illinois. I think the four of us all slept into the afternoon on Saturday and still weren't much good for anything til the evening. Absolutely worth it.
Somewhere over the course of catching up, Beth started asking me about my music, how things were going in Nashville, what was next, etc. Specifically she asked me what my favorite part of the whole thing is. "Performing," I answered immediately. And I continued to explain to her that my reasoning isn't even necessarily for the sake of the art itself. I mean, it is. I love music, most definitely. I love singing and playing guitar. But what I love just as much as all that is people! and connecting with people. I love what music does. I am both privileged and honored when I get to be the one drawing them together, to something they can relate to, to each other, to me. It's an amazing experience being at a concert and feeling that instant unity you share with strangers, isn't it? Imagine being the guy who gets to provide the soundtrack to that, using the songs HE wrote. It's a feeling like none other, one I've gotten to experience now in relatively small doses. Each one makes me crave it more and more. More people. More places. To finally make it my livelihood.
I think Beth was a bit surprised to hear that my music wasn't yet paying the bills. And I'm okay with that. After all, I want people to know me as a musician and an artist. Something else I said surprised her as I continued and I confessed to her that if I didn't soon keep reaching more people in more places (like Chicago), I might lose inspiration to keep writing and to keep pursuing the whole thing altogether. She was shocked.
"Zach, I can't imagine you not writing songs," she countered. Okay, this is true. I'll never quit writing. But here also: It's not necessarily the writing process that I enjoy, honestly. Songwriting intimidates me. I often fear that I'm missing how good the song could be – A weak lyric, a stale chord progression, a hook I think is mine only to find later that it was in my head from someone else's record. Whatever it may be. It's not that I never enjoy the process. But the main reason I write is so that I can have the finished work in my back pocket. My words, my story, my melody. So that I can use it to (hopefully) move someone else. You know that feeling you get when you hear a song and the words and the melody shoot an arrow straight through your gut? That's what I've always loved about songs. Someone sending it, and me receiving it as if it was addressed to me personally. That, to me, is another feeling I can't describe. I find that one song or album and I carry it around with me, like a kid and a brand new Matchbox car.
For some artists, the release comes simply in the creation of their work. Some painters simply paint. Some writers, just to get their thoughts on paper. It's probably a weakness of mine, but I feel I'm useless as an artist without both sides– Me sending and someone else receiving. It seems pointless to keep it to myself. Not for the sake of glory or that I need people patting me on the back or praising me for something I did. That's not it at all. It's the fact that having that audience and someone on the other end gives my work and my life meaning. That it's okay I gave up my old life and moved away from my family to do it. That I can do it for a living and not have to make ends meet by some other means. (I hope that makes sense and that distinction is clear.)
The show at Uncommon Ground on March 22 was truly a highlight of my career, and I can't wait to give away the recording. A room of 50 people, completely intent, singing along and cheering loudly... Those people are my foundation, and a couple of them have had my back for years now and I am so grateful for that. The fact is, however, I can't play in Chicago every week or even every month and expect the same crowd. I ought to find more places and more people to connect with. I don't want to get uninspired. I don't want to stop writing and performing, and I'm not going to.
As for right now I'm in Texas. The company I used to work for in Wisconsin happened to contact me and ask if I wanted to pick up some work (Audio/Visual installation) on a large project they have here in Dallas. I don't like being away from Nashville, but I couldn't pass up the opportunity. With it I'm now able to fund a trip to LA in a couple weeks to meet with some industry contacts I've made since moving to Music City. I'll also be finishing a couple recording projects and, finally, taking my music on the road later this year.
I thought this would be a good opportunity to let you know what I'm up to and express just what I love about being an artist.
Thanks for reading. And thanks for asking, Beth.
Click to stream Waiting in its entirety and purchase the album at the price of your choice.
With the Autumn of 2006 came the meeting of Zach Steinbach and drummer Frank Babeck. The two began arranging and recording a few songs Zach had written, and quickly the dream of forming a band was born. Lead guitarist Dave Streese and bassist Dana Nielsen rounded out the positions, and rock/pop band The Color Truth was made official one year later. The quartet would go on to record and release two EPs and perform at many fine clubs and venues including Milwaukee's own Summerfest, Shank Hall, and Historic Turner Hall Ballroom. The Color Truth performed for the final time in August of 2010.
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