Interview with Zachari Smith

By Crystal McKay

BSW: Please introduce yourself and tell us where you are from.

ZS: I'm an indie-folk artist from BC. I grew up in a very musical house. My Dad, Andrew Smith ( is an accomplished singer/songwriter/ finger-style guitarist. I started playing drums when i was 6 or so. i picked up the guitar when i was 12 and later joined a rock band, where I started writing songs. The band disbanded after playing at the Western Canadian Music Festival in 2004 and I began playing solo. Since then i've turned off the distortion and picked the acoustic

BSW: Since the release of your Ep in 2005, how do you think you have grown personally as an artist, in regards to your music and style? Do you feel your music has matured and molded more into what you were looking for since the first release?

ZS: When I released my EP in 2005 I felt like music was just something I was supposed to do (coming from a musical family). Since then, my music has changed substantially. My newest record (set to be released in June) is very far removed from my EP and even my album in 2006. In 2005 I was trying to be a rocker, now, i have found a genre that fits my music much better. During my latest recording I have been really into laid back groove based folk-country, and that, i think, comes across much more organically.

BSW: What is one of the biggest accomplishments to this day you feel the most proud of?

ZS: I think this album i'm really proud of, I was working with a new record company Bullet Train Music which gave me the freedom to really put some long hours in the studio. I produced the record myself which is always a challenge but now i've turned it over to be mixed and i'm really happy with the result. The new album is called "a country once forested"

BSW: You tour across Canada reaching out to new fans and old fans, what do you hope their reaction will be when they see you perform? When will you be passing through Winnipeg?

ZS: I hope they react with action. I sing a lot of political songs and as a songwriter I think that's the most we can ask for. I'm really excited for this tour. I'll be in Winnipeg on August 27 playing at Shannon's Irish Pub. I grew up in Winnipeg so i can't wait to be back.

BSW: If one partakes in one of your shows this summer, what can they expect?

ZS: I'll be touring solo, but with some guests. It'll be an entertaining show.

BSW: For those who may have never listened to your music, how would you describe it to them?

ZS:  I'd say it fits somewhere between alt-folk and alt-country, with influences from Bruce Cockburn to Ryan Adams.

BSW: With the new release of your new album coming up, what do you hope to get from it? And is it different in any big way?

ZS: The new album feels like my own. It's a huge change from Calling Out. I think the album really reflects more of my live show. It has a real folk trio vibe.

BSW: We all know that we are our own biggest critics when it comes to our work, what is one thing you can say you may have disliked or > wanted to change? And anything you were really proud of?

ZS: I've been playing a lot since I released Calling Out but i have really wished I had something that more reflected my shows. I've been playing with a great trio in Kelowna, BC so "a country once forested" really comes at a good time.

BSW: Out of all your songs, (which are all great) do you feel there is any one song that really sticks out to you? Which one and why?

ZS: I wrote this song called "Picket Fence or Bust" a year or so ago which I re-recorded for my new album. The song talks about what will happen when the oil runs out. We spend so much of our time working towards this ideal of the picket fence, this song just takes that as a gamble and looks at what we'll have when the picket fence is gone.

BSW: To wrap this all up, what is one thing you would like to say to everyone who may check you out? And any special message you would like to leave with them?

ZS: Well, I'm really into social justice and I sing a lot of political songs, so for anyone who is into that I would encourage them to come out. Anyone who is interested in a sensible folk with a twist of pop and alt-country it'll be a good show. Here is a little plug. Calling Out is available on Itunes, and the new CD should be up there in a couple months. The dates (which are being added to) are all on Thanks Crystal for the interview!

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