Last year, former Paramore drummer Zac Farro decided to pack up and move to New Zealand for a while, searching for inspiration away from the crowded Nashville scene in the hopes of making music for his new project HalfNoise.
The time away proved both therapeutic and fruitful for Farro, and resulted in the recording of HalfNoise’s debut album, Volcano Crowe, named in part after Farro’s geographical surroundings while recording the album as well as the family who took him in when he was writing it.
Music Feeds caught up with Farro to chat about his experiences in New Zealand, working as a solo artist, how he has moved on from Paramore and his plans to debut his new work for Australian audiences in the new year.
Watch: HalfNoise – Mountain
Music Feeds: As a solo artist, do you feel like you have more room to explore your own musical ideas that you couldn’t previously?
Zac Farro: I definitely feel like there’s an obvious difference between writing with a band and as a solo artist. Especially when your primary role is drumming within the band. So in that regard, yes, I feel like I have more room to explore musically for myself.
MF: How did your trip to New Zealand in 2013 reignite your passion for music?
ZF: Being from such a musical city, Nashville, I am constantly surrounded by artists and bands. When I took my trip to New Zealand to play some shows, although there is an amazing music scene there, I fell in love with the fact that life didn’t exist around music. I could have a normal life where music was secondary.
For me, that was the clearest my head has been in years and I wrote music out of the passion of my heart and not out of the worry of my mind. Through enjoying life and feeling fully present with my music. I feel this album really tied the two together for me which reignited my passion for music again.
MF: How much of this is imprinted in your new record Volcano Crowe? What is the meaning behind the name Volcano Crowe?
ZF: This was everything for me on this album. It’s simply why it exists. Sounds dramatic I suppose, but it’s true. I felt so alive and excited about my experience, I didn’t even think twice about music. I made what came naturally and that was it.
That’s what Volcano Crowe is, a snap shot of that time. The name “Volcano Crowe” comes from two things. The first house we recorded was at the bottom of Mt.Ruapehu, New Zealand’s largest volcano. Rowan Crowe and his family have taken me in several times over the years and become my NZ family.
MF: Did you enjoy the process of making the record? Have you been happy with the response from fans?
ZF: This was the funnest and most enjoyable album I’ve ever been a part of and yes, I am beside myself with the response from fans. My previous band had the best fans and the ones who have followed my new project have been so encouraging and new fans have been so supportive and inspiring.
Watch: HalfNoise – Hurricane Love
MF: Are you excited about coming to Australia, and have you been before?
ZF: More than excited to come play Australia. I have been a few times with other bands, But haven’t with HalfNoise. I am so stoked to share this band with Australia. I love it there!
MF: Do you find it difficult starting with something new after having been a part of something as big as Paramore in your past? Do you think fans expect something similar? Do you think it is a help or hindrance?
ZF: Although it’s obviously been a huge help, I do not compare myself to my previous band or successes I’ve had in the past. I am so thankful for the experiences Ive had and am so stoked to make new ones with HalfNoise.
MF: Where do you draw inspiration for your songs from? Do the lyrics inspire the music or vice versa?
ZF: I almost always start with music when writing. From that comes the melody and lyrics. Most all the inspiration for my lyrics come from life experiences, however they have affected me.
MF: How different is it writing and touring alone, as opposed to the group atmosphere with Paramore?
ZF: It’s very different writing for yourself as opposed to writing within a band. Not a bad different, some things come easier with just one opinion and some things take longer to do alone. But touring is touring really. I always have a group of friends playing with me so in that regard it’s the same.
MF: If you had to pick one song from your new album that was the best depiction of everything that HalfNoise encompasses, which song would it be and why?
ZF: It would be Mountain. I feel like this song sums up all of what HalfNoise does. It’s a very personal song with a lot of emotion within the lyrics and melody. Musically I feel it’s the most interesting and of course, always a lot of different drum patterns and sounds.
MF: What can people expect from your tour and live shows?
ZF: People can expect a lot of energy and a lot of drums. I normally have two different set ups a long with a drummer. The shows will be very first HalfNoise shows in Australia so it will be so exciting and fun!
‘Volcano Crowe’ is out now. HalfNoise will be heading to Australia for a handful of tour dates in 2015. See full details below.
Watch: HalfNoise – Volcano Crowe – Album Trailer
Halfnoise Australian 2015 Tour Dates
Tickets on sale 9am Friday, 19th December
Friday, 30th January 2015
Newtown Social Club, Sydney
Saturday, 31st January 2015
Shebeen Bandroom, Melbourne