In this third and final installment of my conversation with Andrew Zap, the topic matter revolves around building one's life around one's passions and the self diagnosed and incurable case of wanderlust.
A: Ok, so San Francisco in your twenties, sculptor, display making jobs, etc., you did mention that you toured, how did that start?
Z: When I had Zap and the Naturals...
A: What was up with that?
Z: That was me and my ex girlfriend, two other guys, well one was the drummer and we would have a rotating bass player and we would also have these horn players come in and play.
A: How long ago was that?
Z: That was like two years ago, two and a half years ago.
A: Ok so you would be in your mid thirties when you had this traveling band.
Z: That's right.
A: So you were kick around with music, but this is when you made a band and you were like, "I'm gonna do this."
Z: Yeah, and we started to do well and started to pick up these mini tours, but I was really conflicted for a while there. I didn't know how to achieve the things I wanted to do. And that was probably what I felt about my entire life. It was just my art, it was my life. I wanted to create to create an interesting life. Doing the things I liked doing. I grew up like everyone being taught to get a job because you needed money and that's how it worked.
A: Right.. and to what end?
Z: Yeah. Just make it work. You need money? Go get a job. And it wasn't like, go fulfill your passion and figure out how to do that even though everyone wished me to do that. No one could tell me how. And I'm still in that process of building that ultimate life, of doing the things that I really love that's not this self indulgent thing. It's more about creating and becoming that person you wanted to be.
A: Right. Back to the touring.
Z: We were opening up for national acts.
A: Which national acts if you don't mind me asking?
Z: It was a couple, it was good, better than nothing. Not Dispatch... State Radio, the guys from Dispatch, one of the guys from Dispatch / State Radio, and a guy from our years, G Love and Special Sauce.
A: Get outta here!
Z: Yeah, so it was fun man. But, you don't know what this stuff is going to turn into that you're creating.
Z: You don't know whose going to see it, if anybody will care. But it doesn't stop you and you keep doing it but there are times when you ponder it, like is this going to go anywhere?...
A: Yeah, you have to keep pushing, and there is no answer.
Z: There is no answer! And sometimes you get these moments and flares of validation.
A: Yeah, totally.
Z: And that's what spurs you on. It's taking time, but it is worth it.
A: I'd like to add to that and personally think that you have to accept the fact that there are no answers, you're not going to get them from anybody, and the only way this is going to happen is you actually make this happen.
A: You know you get to this place where you are like, "Oh my God!.. I have to do this." So you resign yourself to it and you do it. And then half way through or in the beginning you're like, "uhh is anybody else saying its OK for me to do it?" You keep going back into this, but with age or let's just say experience you realize that it's your hand. You know... stop looking for approval and again getting to that point of honesty, it becomes seamless, your life, your work, this world that you want to have. It's your work. It's the work you have put into it.
Z: Yes very true, and it is a reflection of that dedication, of that experience, and getting your voice. Finding that voice that is the most honest, the most expressive to you for that moment.
A: So here you are touring with some big acts, you're like how the hell did I get here? Oh my God, I can't believe this is happening.. Band ends. Seems like it's been a heuristic process where you are feeling your way through life. I think that's largely what we said was the creative process. How did you end up here? You've seen a lot, you've traveled a lot. You have traveled quite a bit. You have a case of wanderlust it seems like.
Z: 100% That is the easiest thing.
A: Why wanderlust? This is something that fascinates me.
Z: Why wanderlust? You know the comical answer is to fulfill my ADD. But it's not that comical.
A: Comical answer... to fulfill... Hold on. Joke. Answer. Fulfill. A.D.D. How can you fulfill ADD if you have wanderlust?
Z: Well the thing is I don't like doing one thing. I get very, very bored, and I don't like sitting doing one thing. I have had a thousand different things to do for work, so many different jobs.
A: But music is a constant.
Z: Music is the thing that has always been at the pulse no matter what job I have had I'm always singing away. And I am always out there wanting to be doing that. But the wanderlust is... I just want to see how other things work. It really is a hunger that needs to be fulfilled. I need to see what else is happening.
A: So then you keep coming back to this place you call home.
A: Why? You've been everywhere, you've seen so many places. These shores keep beckoning you. You are always back here.
Z: I ask myself this all the time.
A: Why Williamsburg?
Z: I like the art school vibe that it has. You see people doing a photo shoot, a film shoot, you see movies being made. You see artists with wheat paste putting their pictures up. You don't get that everywhere else, the tolerance for people just being artsy. I like the people who create and this is a very creative place.