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Interview: ZZ Ward is Back at it With New Album ‘This Means War’

ZZ Ward

ZZ Ward earned the attention of music fans across the world after her nostalgically soulful voice and gut-wrenchingly honest approach to songwriting defined her debut record, ’Til The Casket Drops. “I was completely heartbroken when I wrote that album,” she explained. “It was the easiest album to write because I was so depressed about everything that it was easy for me to just talk about it to get it off of my chest.”

After three years of touring, ZZ just released the song “Love 3x” as the first single leading up to the release of her second album This Means War. The songs on the album reflect the changes in her life over the course of those three years and how she found that breaking up isn’t the only thing that can make you feel vulnerable. “I found myself, now being in a relationship – and I had thought that in some magical way once I was in a relationship all of my problems would go away and I would be happy every day and everything would be perfect – well, that wasn’t the case.”

“I found myself realizing that being close to another person in a relationship was just mirroring my flaws even more and shining more light on them. It was amazing to realize that I still had all of these internal things going on within myself just in a different situation in my life.”

This Means War is the next step forward on the journey of the one-of-a-kind artist that is ZZ Ward. I couldn’t be more excited to hear what’s to come! You can see ZZ on tour this fall and win tickets to one of the shows on her Love and War Tour on Tunespeak!

Please enjoy our great conversation below!  You can also keep up with ZZ Ward news on her Facebook page!

Hi ZZ!  I would love to hear about “Love 3x”! How was your approach to this song and this record different from ’Til The Casket Drops?
ZZ Ward: Well, it’s really interesting because I started to realize as I was beginning to write this album that I still had these internal struggles going on within myself. On the first album, I was heartbroken. I was trying to be in a relationship and it wasn’t working out. I had all of these fears and doubts going on and insecurities happening.

When I turned around to make this record, I had been on the road for three years, so I really had to stop and take a second to slow down to figure out what I wanted to talk about. “Love 3x” was the first song that came to me off of that album — which is kind of amazing because it’s kind of all encompassing of what the album is about. I found myself, now being in a relationship – and I had thought that in some magical way once I was in a relationship all of my problems would go away and I would be happy every day and everything would be perfect – well, that wasn’t the case. I found myself realizing that being close to another person in a relationship was just mirroring my flaws even more and shining more light on them. It was amazing to realize that I still had all of these internal things going on within myself just in a different situation in my life.

Did you feel more confident this time around?
Absolutely! In the sense that, on the first album, it was such an incredible experience to meet fans and for them to tell me, “Hey ZZ, this song in particular really helped me get through a certain point in my life,” or “this is a song I really connect with”…

To be a brand new artist and have people tell you that they connect with your music and thank you for being so vulnerable and letting them into your world — that support really did make me feel free on the second album, even more-so, to really let my guard down and let my fans in and to really talk about what was going on in my life.

We’ve spoken a few times over the years, the first time being when you toured with Grace Potter and the Nocturnals – what are you most proud of accomplishing in the time between then and now?
I think through my career so far, I feel like it’s all so incredible. There are so many incredible parts to the journey that I’ve been so far, whether it’s touring, meeting fans, playing festivals, playing late-night shows or being on TV. I think my proudest moment would probably be creating the new album because at the end of the day, I’m just trying to be like the people I grew up listening to — the Blues artists that I grew up listening to. Tom Petty or Led Zeppelin or David Bowie or Robert Johnson – the thing I liked that I loved about those artists the most is that they were willing to be transparent with their music and let their guard down and talk about things that were going on in their lives. So, for me to be able to turn around and do that on the second album and really let my creativity go wild has been my proudest moment in my career.

When you think about ’Til The Casket Drops, do you still feel those songs deeply or do they feel sort of separate from you now?
It depends. I’m not in the same headspace as I was when I wrote that album. I was completely heartbroken when I wrote that album. All of those feelings were wearing on me every day. It was the easiest album to write because I was so depressed about everything that it was easy for me to just talk about it to get it off of my chest.

It was tricky with this album because I had so many things going on inside myself that I wanted to talk about, I just had to dig a little bit deeper and get a little more vulnerable to talk about things. One thing I learned growing up singing the blues is that you really have to be authentic to the story — you have to sing the story for yourself, my dad always told me that. No matter the crowd out there — there’s a difference between entertaining people and having a genuine feeling behind something. So I may not be in the same place that I was when I wrote ’Til The Casket Drops, but I can certainly find something to connect me with the story that I’m singing about.

What are you listening to these days?
The new Dre album is pretty sick, so I’ve definitely been listening to that! And I was just listening to the Lil’ Dicky album, he’s a really talented rapper/comedian, so that’s what I’ve been rocking!

 

Thank you, ZZ!  We can’t wait to hear more!



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