Chris Zurich Record Release Party on 12/14 @ Philly Sound Studios!

Experimental Singer/Songwriter, Chris Zurich, will celebrate the release of his latest record, Black Ink, with a Record Release Party at Philly Sound Studios on Saturday, December 14th.  Fusing an array of musical influences, from hardcore music to neo soul to opera, Zurich creates a sound all his own. Rock On Philly got the chance to chat with this talented local artist about the record and about exciting details surrounding his much anticipated Record Release Party.


ROP: How long have you been making music?
I’ve been making music since my early teens.  I was the new kid at school in 7th grade and didn’t have any friends until I met a guy who was a drummer and said his band was in need of a bassist.  I played guitar, but I lied and said I could play bass and the rest is history.

ROP:  Tell us about Black Ink. What was the inspiration behind it?
Black Ink is my debut record, so a lot of the songs have been floating around in my head for a while.  The image on the front is of an octopus shooting out the ink they use as a defense mechanism.  I called it Black Ink because first records are very personal and there’s the debate of how much to share in your music.  It can be a little nerve- wracking bringing things to light about yourself that you know might offend those around you.  Ultimately, its the right thing to do, but its a scary process.  So, the imagery is like a veil: how transparent did I want to be about myself throughout the process?

ROP: Any favorite songs?
In terms of favorite songs, I’d say “Annie,” “Bend Song,” and “The Sounds” are up there.  I like the others for other reasons, but those three hit their mark in my mind.

ROP: What’s the songwriting process like for you?
Its actually been changing.  But for this record I usually recorded rough versions of the songs solo up in Brooklyn.  Then I’d bring the recordings back to my band and let them mess with the parts and fill in their personal touches.  Like the tradition of most great songwriters, I’m a pretty average guitarist.  So, the process became about working with a lot of collaborators, bringing out the best in them and then editing their ideas into a coherent piece of work.  In that way, its a bit of a collage, like putting puzzle pieces together.

ROP: Why did you choose to have the release party at Philly Sound Studios? How did you find that venue?
I chose Philly Sound Studios because it was striking inside.  Its made out of a converted church, so the acoustics are out of this world.  But I just wanted to do something different.  So many release shows are at venues, but what’s the fun in that? I like to do things that are memorable and out of the ordinary.

ROP: What can the audience expect from the party? Will you be performing solo or with a full band?
I’ll be performing as a duo, with an accompanist.  I don’t want to give too much away, but I intend for there to be a few surprises throughout the evening.  I plan to play a portion of the record, but also want to hint at a future direction that my music will be going.

ROP: Who are you listening to right now?
That’s a tough question, so I’ll just list off the last few things that I listened to. I’ve been into the new Sky Ferreira record.  Its a good record, not a great record, but I keep going back to it, so go figure.  I’ve also been going back to the old Robyn records from a few years back.  Then there’s this guy named Jai Paul  that released a highly anticipated record earlier this year.  But he’s such a perfectionist that he took it down off-line within a day.  One of my friends had a bootlegged copy for whatever reason and he passed it off to me.

ROP: That’s quite the assortment of sounds! So fun question for you, if you could invite any famous musician to your Record Release Party, who would it be and why?
I’ll probably get hate mail for saying it, but I’d invite Kanye.  There’s this hip hop blog that I read and they have a section where people recount their most memorable experiences and tell it in a story.  Its becoming a trend that everyone has a memorable Kanye experience.  I think wherever he goes, something happens.  So, since I like to invite that kind of excitement into my life, I’d have to include him.

If you’d like to attend Chris Zurich’s Record Release Party, click here to RSVP. Tickets are only $10. I plan on attending as well and am keeping my fingers crossed for a Kanye cameo.

For more on Chris’ music visit: www.chriszurich.com

Finally, you’ve gotta check out this super cool claymation video for his song, “The Sounds!”

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