Quotes by Zach Condon

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I write one step at a time, always finishing off the part I'm working on before even thinking about the next part. I need to hear it all together before deciding what goes next. I even mix before moving on...in other words, I write by recording. more...

The way Jacques Brel writes a story, getting into the character, bringing out all his faults and qualities in the same song.... Not that I could ever write in such an epic way, but it really is a different way to go about writing lyrics...and I find that quite inspiring. more...

I want a song that raises the hair on the back of my neck when I sing it live and I want to feel it every time. more...

I try to shut my brain down as much as possible. And let the melodies flow, if possible. more...

I tend to hear rhythm and melody, chord-progressions, long before I hear words. more...

I think I spent more time on the mellotron than on any other instrument in the studio, and it got to the point where I was like, "Well, you can't write an entire album on this instrument." But maybe I would! more...

I think, if I had my choice, I would spend all my time in the studio writing, and creating music. more...

There is a beauty to touring - to be honest, there's a way that music connects and you really feel the actual reaction of people to the music that you're making, and I feel like if I didn't do that I just wouldn't know, and I don't think my music would be the same. more...

I think that there's a proliferation of music that is done entirely in the bedroom for an Internet audience, but there's no way in hell that you could actually kill off a live show, and its importance in the creation of music - it's just impossible. more...

I just reached the point where I realised, I need to stop repeating myself if I'm ever actually going to enjoy the music I'm creating. more...

I think it's become much harder because I'm more afraid of every step I take. I'm more aware of its ramifications, I'm more aware of the less creative aspects of music - like the business-side of things for example. more...

I became very aware of what I was used to relying on, almost tricks. It's funny because I could feel myself creating a formula and sticking with it and I just told myself, 'That's not me, that's not really how I am, god forbid I have developed a formula - it's music; songwriting.' It's heretic, honestly, in the church of music, so I had to unwind a few tricks in order to get past it. more...

I put myself in the studio and I really made sure to say, 'Well, if I would normally reach for a trumpet, why don't I reach for the next nearest instrument instead?' more...

I think that within the world of music that we work in, which is so not perfect, I think that you really do have to learn to accept your own mistakes as part of the beauty of music itself. more...

I could probably spend the next five years reworking an album from ten years ago, if given the chance, to make it better - make it best, so to speak. more...

It's funny because you do often read in recounts of very famous albums, people tend to focus on mistakes in really positive ways, and there's certain mistakes of my own that I always do find on every record that I needed to accept. I find it really interesting to talk about. I always write songs at the wrong tempos, and I have to learn to accept that a little bit. more...

My thought with harmonies and melodies in general, is that if it doesn't come right away then it's never going to come at all. more...

I'm very flash and burn - the first thing that comes to mind is obviously the best idea, and that's because it should come out of a natural place, and if you don't do that then you're writing someone else's music, not your own. more...

I like to think that location, travel, etc, is a launching point for purely imagining. more...

It was funny to just take a backseat and be like, 'Wow, I might be in this crazy place, but maybe I don't need to understand everything, maybe I don't need to be someone else.' more...

The more I know, the more I realise I don't know. And the more I realise I'll never truly understand. more...

I think that sonically, music speaks volumes more than words do, and I have always thought that and will continue to think that for the rest of my life. more...

As much as I try to grow as a lyricist, I tend to laugh at even calling myself that, because I think that my actual talents lie more in arrangements than they do words. more...

Often when I find myself listening to music, at least 60 to 70% of it is foreign, so I don't understand a word of it. Melody to me will always be a million times more important than words. more...

Lyrics are what I tend to tear hair out over and they're where I tend to feel weak musically, if I'm being very honest. It is not something I feel like I know anything about; I would not consider myself a writer. I just want to sing, I just want to sing a melody, I just want to feel a melody, and be part of the song, and everything else is not so important. more...

I have tried to write soundtracks, and the main problem with those was that the directors often had in their minds a much stronger sense of what they wanted to hear, than what I was willing to give them, and I guess there was no way to say, "Well why don't you write your scene around my music?" Because that's just cocky and awful. more...

I do feel like my music, in some weird way, is probably better suited for cinema than for anything else - I can't really explain, other than I think that music has been mostly inspired often by soundtracks. more...

You always know when a real inspiration is behind the melody, arrangements, even lyrics. And I know that's really vague, but it's true. more...

If every element of the song doesn't come within the first hour of writing, then you're never going to get it - if that makes sense. It's kind of like you need to be in a mental state where everything is so reactionary that you don't double-think anything, and so if it's not immediate then it's probably not going to happen at all, and you should probably toss the song. more...

I feel like I've met most people I look up to musically. I just want to meet Chef. more...

As a teenager and a young adult, I never felt like my own story was interesting enough to tell, so I always wrote lyrics from someone else's perspective - told someone else's story. more...

I'm swept along by larger forces out of my control. more...

I'd been living out of a suitcase since I was 17 years old, and it just got to the point where it was ridiculous. Besides, it was really hurting everything I was trying to do in music; to feel so consistently homeless was no way to endure touring and stress. more...

I love the community and the entertainment too much. I'm used to it - it's what I saw first. more...

In the age of the mp3, you gotta make the package special, something that's worth owning. more...

In some ways, I feel like I've been such a dilettante for so many years, just picking up instruments and stretching myself so thin. more...

After so many years of whispery, DIY vocals, there's this new generation of voices that are really starting to burst through the seams. more...

When a city is unstimulating, you get pretty isolated. more...

I dropped out of high school and I tried to go to community college for a little while. I can't be a student. I always hated that lifestyle. more...

My dad is obsessed with music, so I was raised around this guitar player that really wanted me to be a guitar player. more...

I fell off a bridge when I was 14, then had surgery when I was 17. Now my left wrist is an inch-and-a-half shorter than my [right one] and doesn't quite have the mobility to wrap around a guitar neck without a bit of pain. more...

I was a very good student until about sophomore year, and that's when I just became so disillusioned with the whole thing that I just became an awful student. I was still making good grades. But I was cutting class three days a week and faking papers that I got off the internet. more...

When I came back to America, I realized that world music is no joke, it really has a lot to it. more...

I'm not an amazing trumpet player. It's mostly smoke and mirrors. You shake the trumpet and it starts to vibrate in a ridiculous drunken way, or you flop notes at the right time and you don't have to play stuff that would take seven years to learn. more...

Raucous drunken trumpets and instrumentation tend to guide the way you think. They can give you a path to follow lyrically. more...

I'm writing songs about New York. A lot of them carry the names of neighborhoods in Long Island. Maspeth, Montauk. I'm getting into the idea of a F. Scott Fitzgerald-esque Long Island back when New York was...New York. more...

It's a natural tendency of mine to not even listen to lyrics. more...

I spent my entire life working with the smallest budget I could get. Just working with old, junky, donated equipment. The only things I bought myself were the trumpet and the $9 ukulele. more...

I'm sure that's every adolescent's complaint about their home town. When a city is unstimulating, you get pretty isolated. more...

I can't be a student. I always hated that lifestyle. more...

The greatest thing about my house was that I was in the far end of it and I could make as much noise as I wanted. By the time I moved out, I had a full-sized piano, two full-sized organs, bits and pieces of a drum kit, and a whole computer set up for Pro Tools. I had this mattress in between the piano and the organ. That was the only walking room. more...

My dad is obsessed with music, so I was raised around this guitar player that really wanted me to be a guitar player. One of my earliest memories is him kind of forcing a guitar on all my brothers and me. You know, "You have to practice three hours a day!" I hated guitar at the time. I kind of picked up trumpet to spite him. more...

I tried to go to community college for a while, and it's a funny story. I walked into the English class on the first day, and they told us to write about what we did over the summer. I can't remember exactly, but I think I walked out exactly at that point and went to the office to ask for my money back. more...

It's a weird thing to be nineteen and be in the public eye. It was a crazy thing, it was a big deal to me, and it changed me in a lot of ways. And now that it's five, six years later, I wanted to look back at that, the start of it all, the excitement and the naivete about it, and it just fascinated me to reflect on all that. more...

I mean the reason that I started writing close to home, "Santa Fe," et cetera, was a kind of looking back on past events. I don't know, it's just some of the dark spaces I've been. And it feels like with a music career and whatnot, I've been able to crawl out of those places. So it's interesting to look back on them and try to hold on to the feeling of what you went through. more...

It's a little cheeky; growing up in Santa Fe was kind of a weird experience, because it's such a touristy town. So sometimes it feels a little like you're in a town that's just on display. You walk around downtown and all the shops are galleries or high end boutiques, so it can feel like you don't belong there even though you are from there. more...

What was pretty crazy was to plan a wedding around a tour. It felt very getting-hitched-in-Vegas style. It was like, we played a show in Salt Lake City, ran to New Mexico, we got married, and then I was off to Lisbon. more...

I can't work in Brooklyn. Unless I'm completely locked away in a studio, there's just too much distraction and stimulation. more...

There was always a unique Beirut sound, it was always there, and so this time I just dove straight into that, instead of daydreaming and wandering. more...

I was always looking outside of myself for stories and ideas and influences and then I kind of realized in 2010, that all of this time, I've developed a "sound." And I've never fully explored it. more...

It feels much more natural to move forward and grow with the instruments I've grown accustomed to. Piano, accordion, brass, ukulele. more...

It's just not an image I had ever put out about myself - the bedroom synth guy. The whole thing seemed ridiculous. more...

I released that side of things really as kind of an introduction to where I came from musically, back in the day when all I had was a keyboard, a drum machine, and a four-track. So I was doing these little synth-pop ditties, and it's how I learned to write. more...

You can never not feel like that, as a working artist these days. It's funny - time off makes me nervous, but so does time on. At least the pressure wasn't coming from outside. more...

I felt like I needed to get a few side projects out of my system before I settled in to do the new record. Usually what's asked of you, everything's a year cycle. When you get caught up in that cycle, it can be kind of brutal, actually. It was good I got to take a year off, with no pressure coming from anywhere. more...

I didn't realize how different our band's senses of melody actually were. I would write a part that just made perfect sense to me, but for them, it was mind-boggling. Likewise, they could play stuff with relative ease that I never could have. If there was something lost in translation melodically, it wouldn't work at all - we'd just be 17 people in a giant room staring awkwardly at each other. When that happened, I'd go home, figure out what was wrong, fix it, and then return to smooth sailing. more...


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