Zoe & Cloyd Interview by Christian Lamitschka for Country Music News International Magazine & Radio Show
Lamitschka: Music has many new fans
throughout Europe who may be hearing about you for the first time. How would
you describe yourself and the music you play to someone who has never seen or
Answer: We like to call what we do “New Appalachian”
music. I’m from western North Carolina
and Natalya (Zoe) is from western Massachusetts. Our hometowns are 800 miles
apart, essentially the opposite ends of the Appalachian mountain region. The music that we write and perform reflects
our diverse musical backgrounds and influences, but it’s rooted in the music
that people generally associate with the Appalachian region and the upper
Lamitschka: Your current single is
being played by radio. What do you feel is special about this song that makes
people want to hear it?
Answer: The first
single off of our upcoming release on Organic Records is entitled “Looking Out
For You And Me.” It’s a song that asks us to consider
those making the decisions related to our collective well-being. I wrote this
song to raise awareness about our shared responsibility to future generations
and the planet.
Lamitschka: How much creative control
do you have over your music?
Answer: I like to think we have quite a bit.
We write and perform whatever we want and that’s a great feeling. Organic Records has been very supportive of
our music and Jon Weisberger, who produced our upcoming album, has been very
enthusiastic and supportive as well.
Lamitschka: Who inspires you
musically and how deep do your musical roots run?
both come from musical families.
Natalya’s father is a jazz pianist and her grandfather, originally from
Russia, was a professional klezmer musician.
My grandfather was a bluegrass fiddler and songwriter who played with
Bill Monroe and Flatt & Scruggs, among others. Some of my favorite musicians include Carter
Stanley, Jerry Garcia, Roscoe Holcomb, Neil Young and others. We’re continually inspired by all the
incredible music at our fingertips these days.
You can easily get lost in Spotify or YouTube.
If you had the chance to change something about the music industry, what would
Answer: To spend more time creating music and
less time on social media and promotion!
Lamitschka: As an artist, you have so
many tasks such as recording, touring, interviews. What do you like best,
what’s your favorite activity?
Answer: Many activities!Writing and performing new songs, working toward
positive social change, traveling and discovering interesting people and
places, and making records that people can enjoy.
Lamitschka: What inspired you to
become a songwriter?
Answer: I would have to say my
grandfather, Jim Shumate. He was known as a pioneering bluegrass
fiddler, but he was also a songwriter. I
guess I got it into my head early on that it was just a normal thing to write
songs. Later, as I got into other
bluegrass artists like the Stanley Brothers and Bill Monroe as well as
folk/rock/jam artists like Neil Young, Pink Floyd, Grateful Dead, Phish, etc. I
found that, for the most part, all of these groups performed their own original
music and that was the most interesting thing to me. Even as I continue to work
mainly in the bluegrass/folk/Americana realm I still love bands like Tool and
Radiohead and pretty much anyone writing good original music.
Lamitschka: What’s unique about you
that will differentiate you from other artists?
Answer: I think that we have a sound that combines a lot of different
elements such as bluegrass instrumentation and harmony with songwriting that
sometimes sounds a little more Americana-like. Add in some old-time flavors,
country, klezmer and a little dash of rock sensibility and you have us. I like to think that any time you’re crafting
original music and synthesizing diverse elements into your sound, you’re
hopefully going to come up with something unique.
Is there any place you haven’t played that you would like to?
Answer: The historic Ryman
Many music fans today get their information about artists online. Do you have
your own website and what will fans find there?