We had the opportunity to interview Zak Trojano, a singer songwriter originally from New Hampshire. Trojano's music can best be describe as alt-folk or even a bit alt-country. What it does have a heavy dose of is masterful finger-picking guitar (on his trusty Martin) work by Trojano and a baritone vocal style that is smooth as hell. Lyrically, there is a lot to Trojano's work, as it often deals with themes of life, aging, and rekindling fire from the prime of youth. If you haven't listened to him yet, you need to do so ASAP, his music is the perfect kind to put on when its a rainy day, and it's just you and your thoughts. Trojano's new album Wolf Trees is due to be released on August 10th.
How did you come to pursue music and how long have you been at it?
My father is a drummer and his father was a drummer. There was a beautiful 60’s rosewood Sonor kit setup in the basement, and sometime around the age of twelve, I decided I wanted to give it a try. My dad and I would work on rock grooves and rudiments when he got home from work, and were just starting to get deep into jazz when I went off to college. I studied a little of everything in school, but ended up gravitating towards composition and guitar. I wrote a rock opera for my senior composition project, and found out how exciting it is to hear music in the real world that started somewhere in the imagination. I’ve been writing ever since, and at some point I discovered that if you can get good enough at finger style guitar, you’ve got an ensemble with you whenever you want one.
Could you walk us through your process of writing music?
It differs from project to project. On Wolf Trees (my newest record) I wanted to make an album that fit together like a piece of classical music, or like an old Pink Floyd record. I was listening to the Beethoven String Quartets and revisiting Dark Side of The Moon and Meddle. Usually I come up with a guitar part or a chord structure and a fragment of a melody, and see where the song wants to go lyrically and structurally. On this album, I wrote songs to fit into a particular space on the album. Much of the lyrical and musical content was found through necessity- like putting a puzzle together. I had the box top sitting on the table in front of me and I was just trying to get the puzzle to match the picture.
What artists have inspired you in your career?
I’m a huge John Prine fan. Pink Floyd, John Coltrane, John Fahey, Chris Smither, Jeffrey Foucault, Frank Zappa…
What is one thing that you want the public to know about your music?
What it sounds like. Seriously. Everyone seems to be moving a mile a minute these days and fewer people are taking the time to give things a solid listen. The few folks that can sit for the full 38 minutes of the new record will get far more from it than the majority of people streaming it song by song on the internet. Or maybe what I’m talking about is subtlety - a dying art. You’ve got to dial in to catch the good stuff.
Do you have any upcoming projects you would like fans to know about?
I’m releasing an album called Wolf Trees on August 10th. It’s an album of nine songs written as a single piece. It’s about modern life, technology, and finding a place in the world. It’s a solo record played on a low tuned Martin guitar and a baritone Weissenborn lap steel. I’ll be touring in support of the release throughout New England, the Midwest, Europe, and any other place that I can get to. The album is available for pre-order now at http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/zak-trojano
Be sure to check out Zak's work and keep it tuned to Alt Revue for all things alt music!