ZOiD creates music that works in all settings and transcends genres. His openness to a wide range of sound is what has both made him a widely loved favourite, but also someone who operates in his own parallel musical world. We had a chance to talk to him, so enjoy your reading and check out his latest releases.
How is your sound evolving? What artists and genres do you enjoy mixing right now?
My production is getting better. I've been listening to lots of Morgan Geist, his productions are amazing but the musical ideas really flow along. Lots of changes but without losing the thread of the track. I love "The Driving Memoirs". Dan Curtin does it too. I often put too many ideas into a track so I'm trying to pair it down a bit, but when I listen to their music there are loads of ideas but it never sounds like too many. It's really hard to do!
How do you feel that your music influences or impacts your listeners?
Not sure... I would hope it moves them in some way... sometimes makes them smile. I use humour in my music sometimes. I would be happy if people burst into a fit of giggles occasionally while listening to my music on headphones on a train or bus. That would be a great reaction. Like one time I was listening to Coltrane "A Love Supreme" while walking through my local town and it just sounded so good I burst out laughing! So it's a high bar but that's what i'm aiming for.
What projects are you working on right now?
I'm working on a follow up to ZOiD Versus the Jazz Musicians of Ireland Vol 1. It's called ZOiD Versus the Jazz Musicians of Ireland Vol 2. Each track features a different jazz musician (from or based in Ireland) playing over various beats and synths. There's a track with my brother Matthew on drums. Also an album of songs with 4 vocalists and a string quartet. All the material is written and recorded, just have to finish the post production. One of the vocalists is Meljoann, one of my all time favourite producers/songwriters. Another album ZONGS is almost finished and will be out next year. And then there's an album of instrumental techno and electro which will have some special secret puzzles embedded in it.
Where are you and what have you been doing now?
I'm at home in Dun Laoghaire, just got home from work after an 11 hour day. I run a music school and teach music. It's hectic! Now I have to work on a track or two before I fall asleep...
Has your sound changed a lot in recent years? What is your musical criteria?
Yes. Got into eurorack in 2019 so that had an impact... Also a big change has been getting a Fishman Tripleplay pickup on my guitar. Now I record midi from my guitar in nearly every track. It's so much better than programming everything cause i can think really quickly with the guitar. I never had a good keyboard in my studio so i hardly ever used a keyboard to record midi. My musical criteria is that it has to be good and not boring!
Do you feel safe now to play a more experimental sound?
Experimental is a subjective term. My music is going to sound weird to some people and not weird enough to others! But I just want to make what I like. You can only please yourself really. I do like to experiment though.
We all know that the digital revolution has affected sales, but has it affected creativity?
The modular approach is kind of different, returning to earlier technology than midi and giving up convenience for quirks and accidents. I like it, because sounds and rhythms come out different every time you patch up your modular. It appeals to the jazz musician in me.
Can you tell us what your present and future projects are?
I'm involved with a new label project called Pen Pals with friends from Redrackem's Patreon group. My own label Zoitrax is releasing singles every month and an album next year called ZONGS featuring loads of great singers like Jenna Harris, Suzanne Savage and Miriam Ingram. Today the next single from ZONGS came out, "Wish You" by Esosa.
I'm playing a gig this Sunday with an Irish harpist Aisling Ennis, hopefully will do more gigs and recordings with her cause she's mad. Mad good! haha. I want to collaborate more with vocalists (like Loah! hi Loah!) and write 1000s of songs.