"A fireside chat with Zack Borer." – Interview

“Artists” who sound like or have been compared to Dave Matthews are a dime a dozen. One of my college dorm floor mates would be compared to Dave by other floor mates; my best friend in high school got compared to him. Pretty much any coffee shop in the late 90’s early 2000’s with a guy making funny faces and playing a guitar probably would get compared to Dave Matthews.

However, certain artists have been compared to Dave and have been successful, such as Jason Mraz or John Mayer. The reason they’re compared is because their music is relaxing/mellow, but they have their own sound.

Another up and coming artist has been compared to Dave Matthews; only this guy compares the same way John Mayer or Jason Mraz compare. His name is Zack Borer and his songs definitely fit that relaxing vibe, but he has his own individual sound. While is music is relaxing, it definitely makes you bob your head while listening to it. There is also some great guitar playing. He’s also been compared to Kings of Leon and O.A.R. If you own the Google Nexus One phone then you already have a Zack Borer song. His song “That’s the Way” was preloaded into the Google Nexus One phone.

Recently we got a chance to talk with Zack Borer about his music and his accomplishments thus far.

Q - How would you describe your musical sound?

A - I would describe my musical sound as traditional singer/songwriter fused with rock and funk undertones. My sound seems to be growing and changing more so than ever before.

Q - What is your song writing process like?

A - The songwriting process to me varies daily. Songs often develop in ways I never expect. Traditionally, I write in pieces. I tend to start with a musical composition followed by a vocal melody, then lyrics. I never seem to complete songs in one sitting though. It generally takes me weeks or months to complete the thought of the song. Many times, I will experience something that fits perfectly into a tune I had already started. It's always special to me when 2 separate experiences can be incorporated into the same idea.

Q - Do you have to be inspired to write a song, or can you just hammer out an idea until it works?

A - Inspiration always creates something more meaningful and moving, but I think having the ability to "hammer" out a tune for some purpose is a unique and admirable skill.

Q - Your song "That's the Way" is preloaded on the Google Nexus One. How did that come about?

A - The placement in the Google Nexus One came about by some tireless work from my management team who turned the opportunity into a reality.

Q - Tell us about playing the side stage at the Nikon Theater at Jones Beach for the Dave Matthews Band and Jason Mraz?

A - Playing the side stages last summer was an amazing experience for me. To be selected by Live Nation and Jones Beach was quite the honor, and to play to thousands of people who had never heard my music was a great accomplishment for me. And, playing outside rocks!

Q - How did being named a top 5 "Breakout Artist in NYC" finalist for the MTV VMA's come about?

A - Being named top 5 "breakout artist" came about 100% by the support of my awesome fans. They spent hours upon hours voting for me in the contest to place me in the top 5. THANKS TO THEM.

Q - Who are some of your musical influences?

A - My musical influences are all over the map, but my biggest influence to date has been Ben Harper. I have always been drawn to Motown, soul and pop music; artists ranging from John Scofield to Prince.

Q - Who are you listening to right now?

A - I'm always trying to branch out and listen to new stuff. Currently, I'm really into Gomez, Band of Horses, Marc Broussard, and Dire Straits (Mark Knopfler is a beast).

Q - Do you have any touring plans in the works?

A - Not currently. We are focusing all of our efforts right now in New York City. Really trying to climb the venue ladder here and make a splash in this monstrous city, gaining one fan at a time.

Q - What can fans expect from your live show?

A - A typical "Zack Borer" show is becoming more of a rock show than ever before. Lots of energy, passionate performers, killing guitar solos, filled with good people looking to have a good time.

Q - What's your most embarrassing on stage moment?

A - I think my most embarrassing stage moment happened recently. I was in the middle of playing the set closer and my guitar had fallen so out of tune that I had to switch mid song to another guitar, only to discover the guitar amp wasn't working. Needless to say, I am now extremely paranoid about the tuning of my guitars.

Check out Zack Borer at:



Bob Zerull is the Managing Editor of Zoiks! Online. He writes pop culture commentary, does interviews with bands, and reviews music and stand-up concerts. He also administers Zoiks! Online's Facebook page. Follow Bob on twitter at bzerull. Email Bob at bob@zoiksonline.com.

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