My Music Dealers Spotlight artist Shayna Zaid and the wonderful people who make up The Catch took the time to answer a few questions for us! One of the more hilarious interviews I have read in a while…
You had a long week, don’t worry, you deserve to read it.
If you could control all of the radio stations in America for 2 hours, what would be some of the things on your playlist?
Chris: The Rocky IV soundtrack, Harold Faltermeyer, and some Beatles.
Yan: Pink Floyd, The Beatles, The Doors, Supertramp, The White Stripes, The Racounteurs, Daft Punk, Justice, Passion Pit, The Fleetfoxes, Jamiroquai, BT, Feist, Jean-Luc Ponty, MGMT, Muse, Phoenix, Plaid, Chick Corea, etc… I just read some of my Pandora playlists.
Shayna: The mixtapes my best friend makes me, along with some of my own favorites. There’s Queen, Carol King, the Beatles, M. Ward, Fleet Foxes, The New Pornographers, Jimi Hendrix, Beck, Radiohead, Jason Mraz, Vampire Weekend, MGMT, Charlie Christian, Brett Dennan, Coldplay, Iron & Wine, Billie Holiday, the Beach Boys, Biggie, maybe some TLC.. I think that makes about 2 hours?
Andrew: I would play some good Salsa/Afro-Cuban like Tito Puente or Paquito D’Rivera, some Crosby,Stiils and Nash and The Beatles, as well as a bit of Jazz like Oscar Peterson or Cannonball Adderley, topped off with some funk like Ohio Players or Parliament Funkadelic.
How do you balance your music with other obligations - love, family, work?
Shayna: Phonecalls and emails- I think smart phones can change lives.
Yan: I don’t, I make everything else in my life adapt to my music career. I don’t have a family of my own, no serious girlfriend, no job other than music work, I don’t go on vacation ever; music is my first and foremost priority in life, at least for now. There will be time for other things later…
Andrew: Its just like a job that follows you home. You have to discern between when to put it on hold to spend time with loved ones and when you let it take over.
Chris: Google calendars.
What would you say has been the greatest influence on your overall sound?
Andrew: It’s hard to pinpoint one thing. It is mostly a confluence of records I’ve listened to millions of times such as Abbey Road, Kind of Blue, Deja Vu along with inspiration from people I’ve played with and teachers I’ve had.
Chris: Indie music, and the local scene.
Shayna: The boys. We met, played, and fell in love. Also, both vitamins B and D, because if you place B and D together it makes a big smiley face with sunglasses on.
Yan: My experiences working as a freelancer and expanding into many styles of music. I come from the classical music background, and that was all I played until five years ago. Playing other music styles, pop, rock, country, bluegrass, R&B and hip hop live and working in the studio has positively affected my music playing as well as how I perceive music as a career.
Can you describe your family member’s musical interests and abilities?
Yan: I have only one professional musician family member, my older cousin Rene Izquierdo, who is an incredible classical guitarist and guitar professor at the University of Wisconsin. My parents are huge music appreciators, especially when it comes to classical music, jazz, and Cuban music, so I grew up listening to those styles more than anything else.
Shayna: Mom sang in her church choir growing up (her mother did too), and dad - I’m not so sure. He used to play the guitar during his college days, or maybe they were pictures of him looking cool during his college days. Aside from that - my sister, best friend and I started a band when we were 13 and 15 - we called ourselves SilverStainS, we were bad@sses (Sarah, Sarah and Shayna, ha). I guess I never grew out of it.
Andrew: My uncle is a professional composer and multi-instrumentalist living in Kansas City. My cousin is a Pop songwriter living in L.A ( he was on the Mickey Mouse club when he was young with Christina Aguilera). My parents are casual music fans.
Chris: My mother is a huge music appreciator. Music was always played around the house when I was growing up so from an early age I wanted to become a musician.
Have you worked with licensing companies before, if so, what makes Music Dealers sooooo much better?
Yan: Yes, and what sets Music Dealers apart is their personal touch and approach.
Shayna: Yes. I think it’s the team - you guys have a great team.
Andrew: I have not. Music Dealers seems very well organized and beneficial to musicians.
It’s almost 12 am, you are in the studio and are attacked by the most violent of hunger pangs. What is the first thing that comes to mind?
Yan: The first thing would be: what the hell are pangs? For real, I had to look it up. Now that I have informed my foreign self, the first thing that comes to mind is Wendy’s.
Shayna: Nutella. But if I have to track vocals, it would be a fresh cut avocado with salt, pepper and some crushed red pepper (maybe a little squeeze of lemon).
Are there any strange or weird practices you might have while working on your tracks?
Shayna: Perform voodoo stuff, you know - the usual.
Andrew: Just constant pacing around. I can never sit still when I am recording.
Yan: I like to drink a little bit to get the creative juices flowing and loosen up. Come to think of it, that’s neither strange nor weird, seems to be standard procedure for a lot of people.
What’s the strangest place you’ve ever found inspiration?
Yan: The bottom of my laundry basket. It sounds creepy, but I promise it isn’t.
Andrew: In my car frequently.
Shayna: A strange place I’ve never been. No, really.
What do you feel should be changed, or stay the same regarding the music industry?
Yan: I have fully embraced modern technology and digital distribution, but sometimes I wish that certain artists (and in turn, audiences) didn’t use sleek technology to replace good old creativity. I also wish that digital distribution didn’t make physical record sales so obsolete, there is still huge value on packaged physical products that is overlooked these days.. The music business is an unstoppable T-Rex with its own momentum, and you will inevitably lose if you stand against it, so I just try to run fast enough to stay ahead of it and not get my butt chewed…
Shayna: Change? The battery. Stay? The bravery.
Andrew: The music industry is changing more rapidly than ever. I think this is pushing some new musicians to be more experimental and inventive and this is producing a lot of great new music . The downside is that the music industry is still extremely unbalanced in the distribution of the wealth. A very few select musicians make most of the money while many talented musicians make almost nothing. This is one downside of combining art with capitalism. I’d nonetheless like to think the modern era of technology is helping to change that and give more musicians a voice.
What instrument would you say is most pleasing to the ear?
Yan: Cello and French horn, those are my favorite instruments when it comes to pure sound.
Andrew: Violin, Piano, Cello, Mandolin, Guitar in varying order.
Shayna: I was going to say Cello but the boys stole my answer. So I am going to go with nylon guitar - Spanish guitar.
If you could have your work used in any place, any television show, any movie, any screenplay- past or present, what would it be?
Chris: The Movie Rad, or any Rocky Training Montage.
Shayna: Past - The Notebook (with It’s You). Present - Pinched in a vampire movie or tv show theme song. Someone smart gave me that idea.
Yan: Any Quentin Tarantino movie. I would have loved to have a song placed in Inglorious Basterds, that movie was amazing!!
Andrew: I’d love to write for a Tom and Jerry episode. The music in that show is pure genius and it would be a fun challenge to replicate it using my instrument.
How different do you think peoples lives would be if music never existed?
Andrew: We’d be like the Blue Meanies from Yellow Submarine.
Yan: I don’t think mankind would exist without music, it has been an integral part of the human experience since the hominids (sorry to get all smart-ass about it). I think that music and artistry in general is an inseparable part of being human (for everyone), and there is evidence that it has greatly affected our evolution process.. at least I’d like to think so.
Chris: I think dancing would be much different :) .
Shayna : Movies wouldn’t make me cry, and like Chris said - dancing would be awkward.
Where do your see yourself in 5 years?