Zac and The New Men – Reinvent Me – Album Track by Track

James – Bass, Oli – Guitar, Zac – Vocals Guitar, Will – Drums

Pete Devine: So here we are at Station 18 Festival at Hangar 18 Music Venue in Swansea, just a few weeks away from the release of your debut album “Reinvent Me” I wanted to talk to you about the album and get your thoughts on each of the tracks.


Say It 3:58

PD:  Let’s start with the opening track “Say It”. I get the vibe that it’s about a relationship, as are most of the tracks on the album. Do you feel that you always have someone in mind that you use as a muse when writing the lyrics?

Zac: Not really one person, it’s a universal experience.

Oli: The whole point of the album is that we’ve each taken from different experiences that we’ve had and collected them into these songs. I think “Say It” is a more collaborative song, we’ve all had the same experience. I think “Say It” is more, you have feelings for someone and they do too, but neither of you say anything.

Zac: It’s kind of that awkward period, when you’re not sure if they like you.


Deeper 3:40

PD: Now we move on to “Deeper”, what are your thoughts on this track?

Zac: That was another of the songs that we all wrote collectively as a band. Oli came up with the main riff actually. He said to us “Guys, is this a song?” and then he started playing this riff and we said, “Nah, that doesn’t exist.” He said, “I’m sure it’s from somewhere?” but none of us could think of anything and we asked around, asked our friends and nobody knew. So, it became our riff.

Oli: It’s like when Paul McCartney wrote “Yesterday” and he had that chord progression and he had to ask around about it. I was convinced that that was already a song. Turned out not to be, I guess.

Zac: I think when you are writing songs you are going to subconsciously write similar to what you are listening to. So, I hope we don’t get copyright issues from it.

Oli: I guess the actual meaning of the song is that I think it can be interpreted in many ways, but the real deeper meaning, (pardon the pun) is of someone struggling with their own thoughts and towards the end of the song finds that there’s light at the end of the tunnel.

Will: I know that when we were writing “Deeper” that a lot of the lyrics came from just looking at our notes and I know James wrote the chorus. I remember him saying a few words from his notes and we all thought that it sounds great. All of a sudden it came together as a song that sounded good and that you could understand and comprehend.

Oli: I think a lot of “Deeper”” was made from subconscious thoughts that we were having and then you find that deeper meaning, (Zac, James and Will shout “Pun again!”) in the actual song.


Atom Bomb 2:59

PD: I love the production on the next track “Atom Bomb”, especially the ‘told you once, told you twice’ section.           

Oli: Now that one I wrote about a certain person, we won’t name names.

Zac: It’s about a relationship that’s on it’s last legs and one person isn’t satisfied with it anymore. The chorus with the ‘told you once, told you twice’ part…

Oli: It’s that Davies magic.

Will: We all listened to too much Beastie Boys

Zac: Someone said it sounds like The Beastie Boys, that bit.

Zac: We just all had a turn on the mike, not even singing it in tune. We got really blown away.

PD: Well it works, I love it.


Reinvent Me 3:31

PD: The title track “Reinvent Me” I find is a slower, darker song with an outstanding vocal performance.

Zac: That one is a take on mental health and reflecting on finding purpose. It’s not a song of hope, which is kind of sad, it’s more of a state of mind which a lot of people are in and I think it’s a good thing for people to be able to relate to.

PD: In the song, it sounds like you are asking for permission to ‘reinvent’?

Zac: Yes, it’s like saying to yourself, “Am I able to, am I strong enough?”

PD: So, you’re asking permission from yourself? 

James: It’s kind of a search for something better.

Will: When we sat down, we wanted to write a song that was like, we’re all growing up and we’re growing up fast. Nobody knows what to do with their lives and there’s so many obstacles in the way. There’s a lot of uncertainty in many people’s lives.


Watching the World Go By 4:04

PD: “Watching the World Go By” for me has a real Swansea sound to it. I can’t quite put my finger on what I mean here.

Zac: A lot of Swansea bands are Indie bands, and it’s definitely a step towards Indie and Pop and we wanted it to be more of a paired back song compared to our ‘in your face’ songs.

PD: I love the way it builds and what an impressive guitar solo.

James: One fact about this song, it was the first song that we wrote together as a band.

Zac: First time I ever went down Oli’s house when we became friends, the band didn’t even exist, and we were in his dad’s little studio that he’d set up. We came up with “Watching the World Go By” and there’s a demo of it called “Oli Is Sexy”.


Embers 3:16

PD: Now we come to “Embers”, which is my personal favourite on the album. I feel that with this track, it will be popular with so many different genres. It seems to have everything in it.

Zac: We really wanted to go towards a groove which was easier to listen to for a lot of people, cos not everyone loves ‘in your face’ rock. So, we wanted to still keep ourselves, but pair it back. And if you listen to the end, it kind of comes back to what we’ve done before. Yeah, that one, there was a lot of production on that song. It was lot more deep in the lyrics.

James: I think there was a lot of thought into the lyrics on that one, more than usual at least.

PD: Was that intentional, to have that effect?

James: Well, I think the vocals are more in the spotlight on that song, rather than the riff based songs that we do, where you listen to the riffs and the groove. With “Embers” it was all pulled back.

Will: I think with the album, it’s almost like multi-genre, we just wanted to show people what we can do, what we enjoy to write,  and our versatility.


That’s Ok 3:45

PD: The latest single “That’s Okay” is next and this time it is noticeable that you have given this one a fuller sound.

Zac: That one was a big one for production, that’s one we use backing tracks on with live. We filmed the video for that at Hangar 18 (Swansea).

Ben (Manager): Matt kindly opened up for us and we had some friends down to ‘star’ in it. It has been produced by the guy that did “Deeper” and “Birdcage” and it will be out on the 4th May.

James: I think the reason why you say that you think “That’s Ok” sounds deeper, it’s cos it’s the latest one that Zac has mixed and produced and over the years we’ve been together, his production skills and mixing skills have just gone way up.

Oli: He understands that we as a band and definitely Zac has been able to understand our sound even more as we put more out.

Zac: and apart from the band, it’s all I do (laughs).


Social Blur 3:29

PD: Another stellar track with another amazing guitar solo. Now this one has been around a while?

Oli: That’s a classic, that is.

Zac: That was inspired by a lot of my influences, there’s a lot of licks and things on there which I’ve taken my own spin off some of my favourite guitarists. Which they are quite unknown really, which is quite sad, but within the guitar community, they are kind of praised and stuff. So, the solo came from that and there’s some radio hosts that have said they like that solo too.


Birdcage 3:20

PD: Out and out rocker “Birdcage” is next.

Oli: I think “Birdcage” is just hard-hitting, straight from the start it just hits you in the face. It’s just all the way through it’s just energy.

Zac: The drums are what’s driving it really. Will’s drums are…well 2 bands have tried to cover the track and they’ve just given up cos Will’s parts well it’s really showing off his skills and what he can do.

Yeah, it’s really driven by the drums and it’s just a fast paced rock track.

Will: It’s so demanding that I’m dead after we play it. (all laugh) It’s such a fast pace and I think it shows all of our abilities off as well.

Oli: It’s one of those songs that we wrote to show what we can do.


The Lesson 3:03

PD: Album closer, “The Lesson” is another solid rocker of a track, again the production is top notch here, especially the chorus.

Zac: There was a song which inspired me, it was so simple and it was just like one note that was constantly booming in your face. I was like, well why can’t I use one note in my song that was just hard-hitting.

I was on holiday and I wrote that because I was bored and I wanted to make it really hard-hitting, almost borderline metal. Yes, it has a catchy chorus on it and a really fast double-time on it which is always good live and that’s when we always have a mosh-pit in one of our own gigs.


PD: Thanks for taking the time to chat today, where can people pre-order or buy the album from?

Zac: The album comes out on the 19th of May; you can get the CDs from our website. We are meant to be getting vinyls at some point and you can get t shirts etc from our website too.

PD: And the album launch show on the 12th May at Hangar 18.

Zac: Oh yes, and I can’t wait, we’re going to make it a show to remember.

PD: Are you going to play the whole album?

Oli: Yes…and more

Zac: Tickets are only £3 and we have support from Swansea band Mercer and Tom Auton who Will has  recently seen.

Will: Yeah, he was supporting Feeder in Newport and he was insane.

Zac: It’s going to be a great night.

 click the pic for tickets

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