A Conversation with Sunday Radio



Vince:
So, first, I'd like to thank you for your time. And, as an arbitrary place to begin--Where'd the name Sunday Radio come from?

Zong:
Haha, my friend JUST asked me this. most of my music was created on lazy Sundays in the spring and summer.
and also, it was a really cool synth sound in Reason (one of the programs I use)

Vince:
To get the compulsory question out of the way: What brought you to the SixtyOne?

Zong:
I went down to visit a friend in Raleigh, NC. We got back from the bars at 2 in the morning one night and her fiance brought up this website – thesixtyone.com. He stole a bunch of my songs off of my phone and asked if he could make me an artist account. I said sure! and that was it. Ironically, I didn't even sign myself up, haha.

Vince:
Well, your music has certainly been warmly received. Did it surprise you to make as many fans as you have?

Zong:
I was quite surprised - T61 is one of the best places to dwell as an artist in my opinion. People here really care about the MUSIC. To everyone who's brought my songs to the homepage - thank you so much.

Vince:
How long had you been making music before having it hijacked from your phone and shared with the world? And what got you started in the first place?

Zong:
Well, it wasn't really hi-jacked per say - I was just as excited as he (Matt) was to share my music. But back to the original question... I started playing guitar freshman year of high school and almost immediately started writing and recording music on a cruddy little 4-track! I hope the few people who have heard those songs will never talk about, share, or breathe a word about them, haha. I'd have to thank my mother for starting me on the piano at age 4. She is incredibly musically inclined and was an accomplished pianist herself.

Vince:
At what point did Sunday Radio come into being? Have you had--or do you have--any other musical projects?

Zong:
I was in a bunch of bands in the past and played everything from metal to indie-rock. I was actually playing bass for a band and sprained my left wrist quite badly.
I decided to pick up a MIDI controller and software for the couple months I was incapacitated so I could keep making music. And it just kind of took off from there.

Vince:
What was the first song you would attribute to "Sunday Radio"?

Zong:
The first song wasn't ever released! It's a little tune called "Radio Track" that only a few people have heard.

Vince:
Well, let's get to the fun stuff. I have noticed that there seems to be a range of techniques and inspirations across the songs you've uploaded to TheSixtyOne, where you have something like California, upbeat and playful; and then something like The Break-In, where you seem much more careful and focused. Do you see your music heading in either of those directions, or will you try to keep a mix of the two?

Zong:
I've always been a fan of artists who write a spectrum of music - it keeps things fresh and unpredictable. Who wants to listen to an entire CD of the same type of song?
I think I'll try to keep a mix of the two.

Vince:
Have you written anything since your arrival on TheSixtyOne? And if so, would you say there were any artists on there who influenced you in any way?

Zong:
Death Cab for Cutie is on T61 - but they have been a longtime influence. Owl City just recently joined too - Adam was another one of my early influences.

Vince:
Moving on from influences--I'd like to talk about your lyrics. They quickly became one of my favorite parts about your music—can you give us some idea of what inspires you to write a song?

Zong:
To put it vaguely - Everything. I love photography and trying to see things in a different and new perspective. I love sitting down to analyze exactly how I would feel, or other people would feel, about a certain situation. I was really angry at the pharmaceutical industry at pushing happy pills all over the fucking place so I wrote Pharmacists and Anarchists.
I often dream about moving out to the west coast and sunbathing and surfing all day long so I wrote California. I guess my inspiration comes from desires and complaints about different aspects of life. Is that cliche?

Vince:
I'm not sure what is considered a songwriting cliche, but I think your music certainly speaks for itself as far as originality goes. I know you've got an EP coming out—I believe it's available on iTunes now—called Building Seascapes. Would you say the songs flowed from that idea, or was the name an attempt to unify the songs afterwards?

Zong:
Definitely an attempt to unify the songs afterward. Actually, my good friend Andrew, who's helped me in many different ways during the last 6 months of recording this EP, came up with "Building Seascapes." I think he said that the music sounded very fluid and oceanic. I loved the title as soon as I heard it.

Vince:
For various legal reasons, I understand that your cover of Transatlanticism--to date your most successful song--could not appear on the EP. I suppose that's got to be somewhat of a bittersweet feeling--but do you have any more cover songs planned?

Zong:
One of my favorite songs of all time is "Never Meant" by American Football. I might take a shot at that. And actually, this idea was Andrew's. So was covering Transatlanticism.
The kid has a lot of good ideas.

Vince:
Well, that's all I've got. I'd like to conclude by thanking you again for your time, and by tipping my hat to Andrew. Any final thoughts you'd like to share?

Zong:
Not really. I'd just like to thank the listeners again - many people say this but I really do appreciate my listeners and their feedback. So thank you.

1 comment:

Micah said...

awesome, sunday radio is such an plethora of amazing sound. please give us more ZONG! ILISM