Published Jan 01, 2006Somewhere between talking about the odds of a short life expectancy for flight attendants and the poor American healthcare system currently doing little for his injured thumb, a good-spirited Zach Schwartz or Zach Rogue, as he's known onstage lists the benefits of trading in the status of singer-songwriter for a full-on band. "It's more exciting because there are more options now," says the singer/guitarist and songwriter. "I do have control freak issues that I try and corral the best I can. Change is important and I don't ever want to do the same thing twice."
After recruiting band members from the miscellaneous website Craigslist in order to tour his self-recorded debut, Out of the Shadow, Schwartz and company have recorded their first album together and regenerated the snappy pop of Rogue Wave. "I never wanted to be a singer-songwriter that to me sounds so pedestrian and very limiting. Having these personalities who listen to different music makes the music more diverse, which I like. I want it to feel like ideas are ping-ponging around; I don't want the sound to be static."
Descended Like Vultures revels in ping-pong transitions, stirring up the quartet's sweet musings with a medley of noisy and quiet pop songs that reveal a darker side of the music something that surfaced during the band's travels. "I had never been in a touring band before [Out of the Shadow]. Driving all over the country and seeing the poverty, loneliness and political rhetoric all of this polarising crap just poisoned everything and affected us in the kind of sonic texture that we were feeling next to the lyrics," says Schwartz.
"You can't help but feel a bit of emptiness when you drive across these huge plains in Utah or Iowa; it really gets into your head. I think the first record was kind of optimistic like, What would it be like if I were a musician?' and then the second one was more like, Oh, that's what it's like.'"