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April 16, 2024 55 mins

Rising country artist Zach Top (@Zach_Top) sat down with Bobby Bones to talk about his fast-rising music career, his upbringing and more. Zach's debut album Cold Beer & Country Music came out April 5th and he talked about what the title means and the process of writing the songs for the record. He also shares how he did not want to post his music on TikTok but then his song "Bad Luck" went viral. Zach also tells Bobby how he feels about Jake Owen supporting his music and saying that he "predicts he is about to change country music in a big way." Zach recalls growing up being homeschooled, playing in his family band, how he started taking music business calls when he was only 7, dropping out of college and moving to Nashville and more! 


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Episode Transcript

Available transcripts are automatically generated. Complete accuracy is not guaranteed.
Speaker 1 (00:06):
I've always begrudgingly used all the social media stuff, and
that was the first time where it felt like, yeah,
this is a way you can reach a ton of people,
and all of a sudden, there's a bunch of people
that know my name.

Speaker 2 (00:20):
This is episode four forty seven, Zach Topp. I heard
about Zach first from Jake Owen, and Jake's like, this
dude is so good. So I know much about him,
and so I went and searched him up. And you know,
he is so traditional sounding. I just thought he'd be older.

Speaker 3 (00:36):
Yeah, he's gonna be poor.

Speaker 2 (00:37):
Yeah, because he's really good, no doubt about it. But
the first time I heard him without really seeing him,
I thought, oh, I see why Jake like some Jake
Love's traditional country music. And I thought, man, it was
this guy coming out finally signed to make a record.
I don't know, fifty three, but he's like right above
being a kid. He's like a young adult.

Speaker 3 (00:54):
Even just say speaking voice is much much older.

Speaker 2 (00:57):
It's like an adult man. Yeah, I really like Zach.
After hanging out with him, for sure. He released his
debut single, Sounds Like the Radio. And also, you think
when you hang out with him, because he's a cowboy.
He's like a real life cowboy, and you think, hmmm,
what are we going to talk about, like how nice
is or how warm will a cowboy be? Because some

cowboys it's not their meme. But it's a hard life,
not that warm. It sounds like a country song already.
I know he's I mean, I really like Zach top
so you can follow him. Zach underscore top a couple things.
It was the number one most added song that sounds
like the radio for two weeks in a row. It's
in the top around the top thirty now, which is

really cool. His debut album, Cold Beer and Country Music
no more traditional album name than that, is out now.
It came out on April fifth, and so what was
cool was it was at least by a new independent label,
which Zach's like their flagship artist. But like he's very independent,
but just is catching some major because people love his

sound and love what he's about. He's going out with
Landy Wilson. I don't know what else to say. He's
a great mustache. Oh dude, it's solid. It's like it's
almost fake looking because it's so solid.

Speaker 3 (02:11):
Yeah, I'm jealous.

Speaker 2 (02:12):
Yeah, would you grow a mustache. She could. I can't.

Speaker 3 (02:15):
I've tried. I can't grow any facial hair.

Speaker 2 (02:17):
Is that hispanic thing?

Speaker 3 (02:20):
My dad has an awesome mustache.

Speaker 2 (02:21):
He like twirls at a fan. He does have an
awesome mustach.

Speaker 3 (02:23):
I can't grow anything.

Speaker 2 (02:24):
You are a failure to your genetics.

Speaker 3 (02:26):
Yeah, now my family.

Speaker 2 (02:28):
Zach underscore Top on Instagram, Zach top on TikTok z ah.
Here he is. I didn't know what I was getting.
Didn't expect him to be young and super nice. Here
he is, Zach Top. Is that good to meet you, buddy?
I use will Bobby, thank you one of my I mean,
now it's it's spread like a positive virus. But at

the time one of my good friends Jaco and yeah,
a long time ago, I was like, you know, Zach
top guy. And I was like, I know he is,
Like I don't know a lot about him yet, but
he was like, man, he's the real deal. I didn't
you were so young. Yeah, I'm a bit of a baby,
I guess. Yeah, because you know your music is extremely
traditional in the sense of traditional compared to today. Yeah. Absolutely.

I mean if you'd have been born in the nineties,
you'd have been not traditionally've been current, Yeah, exactly, cutting edge. Yeah.
So but Jake was like, man, this guy is so good.
Are you starting to feel like a bit of love
from inside the industry, like from some artists that's just like, man,
we love what you're doing. Yeah, definitely.

Speaker 1 (03:27):
There's been a bunch that have reached out and been
real positive and really encouraging.

Speaker 2 (03:33):
You know.

Speaker 1 (03:33):
He was I think about one of the first ones,
and he's been super good to me. And it's funny.
We we joked over at the at the label I'm
signed with, We're like, if Jake Owens ever looking for
a gig, he's going to run the promo team over
here for Zach.

Speaker 2 (03:48):
Yeah. Even I mean really even to me, he's like, man,
this guy's so good. Yeah. So he's been a big
fan for a long time. He's been awesome, which has
made me go, let me check it out. And then
obviously you wouldn't be hereified I think you're you know,
I appreciate that. So this stage of your life, yeah,
are you running all the time right now or is
it kind of the calm before what you feel is

about to be the storm? Like where are you on
the tired scale? At a little bit of both. I
guess I stay pretty tired.

Speaker 1 (04:16):
I like to say I've been busier in the one
Legged Man in a butt Kicking contest for the last
I guess since last August was our first kind of
like it took off, and it was just touring NonStop
and starting to do you know, signed with the label.
So every day there wasn't a tour stop, there was
a radio stop somewhere. So we're run around doing a
lot of that. I feel like it's it's a little

of both. The I guess had a little break in January,
and it's you know, just picking back up into touring now,
and and I feel like as busy as I felt
like I was at the end of last year, I
think it's probably just gonna be about twice as much
as that the rest of this year.

Speaker 2 (04:52):
So it's not even just the cowboy hat. It's not
even just the sound of your music or the jean jacket,
the denim you got the single mustache.

Speaker 1 (05:02):
Well, I'm telling you you gotta have.

Speaker 2 (05:04):
The hole on some And the thing is, I believe
it well because there are some I don't believe. Yeah,
And I know for a fact, well I know what
I feel like is a fact that they're putting on
a bit. Yeah, I feel like you're not putting on
at all. No, I don't ever try to put on
too much. Already had of my stash when you were nine,

and that's how that's how we know.

Speaker 1 (05:26):
No, lord, No, I couldn't look at my face, Bobby,
I can't grow hair on it wor a dang uh.

Speaker 2 (05:31):
No. I it's funny.

Speaker 1 (05:32):
I've been working on this thing for the last it's
probably like the last three years. I made a bunch
of tries at it, and it get kind of long
and whispering, and it's still too thin. I'd shave it
back off, but no, No, my my papa did, my
mom's dad.

Speaker 2 (05:47):
It's funny.

Speaker 1 (05:48):
He and I are real like looking at young pictures
of him, I'm kind of spitting the image of you.

Speaker 2 (05:53):
I guess it's gonna be a permanent thing. Oh yeah,
it's not like it because I grew my hair as
a joke and I cut a lot of it off today,
but it was all a bit. But this is this
is part because it should it looks. It's it's all
real deal. Yeah, I know. You don't even get your
pants tailored you just roll them up. That's right, that's right. Well, yeah,
these things are too dang long, and so I just
rolled them up. You're from Washington, yes, sir, states where

they make all the good country music, didn't you know?
You know I can't agree with that state, not DC
for this for those one dam I've been to watching
a bunch of times different parts of the state. It is.
It feels at times very isolated because it's it's a
couple hours back. It's way to the north. Yep, you
know you're up in the corner. What was what was
country music? What was music like for you within your families?

I know you big blue grass? Yep, if you guys
all played together, yep. What was music for you growing
up ages? You know, six to thirteen, that.

Speaker 1 (06:40):
Was, yeah, a ton of blue grass and started to
the first thing that like kind of made me fall
in love with music. The thing I got the bug from.
My folks were just huge George Strait fans. They had
that playing in the house NonStop, and I thought he
looked pretty cool in the cowboy hat and holding a guitar.
So why they like him, I think probably just the songs,

and you know, it's it's the cool thing. You know,
him being a real cowboy actually was attractive. My dad,
you know, works in the livestock business, still has for
a long time, and you know, so it's kind of
we were living. You know, I would not call myself
a cowboy, but I got to play cowboy.

Speaker 2 (07:19):
A good bit growing up.

Speaker 1 (07:20):
And uh and so you know we listen to music
that kind of fed into that a little bit, him
and Marty Robbins, and you know that that was kind
of the earliest stuff I remember, just always here in
on Texas.

Speaker 2 (07:34):
Yeah, I mean, yeah, you know I think of mart Robbins.
Do I think if obviously just l Passo, Yeah, oh
yeah absolutely, but Washington. Did you live in a rural
part of Washington that felt like a rural part of
the South or Texas, because there are parts of New
York that's rural that feels like the South.

Speaker 1 (07:50):
Yeah, yeah, absolutely, I think yeah, having seen it now, uh,
it's I mean, it's it's a little different thing with
you know, the the north West is I would say
it's more like like a Colorado.

Speaker 2 (08:02):
Or Wyoming feel.

Speaker 1 (08:03):
Where I was at, I think high desert and you know,
we're the Cascade Mountains run down the middle of the
state over you know, everybody thinks of Washington, think Seattle
and rain and over where I was at Hill it
barely rains three inches a year. It feels like out
there nothing at sage brush and cheek grass, and.

Speaker 2 (08:19):
So it was.

Speaker 1 (08:19):
I would say it feels a lot like you know,
some of them West kind of towns more than or
or parts of the world rather than South.

Speaker 2 (08:27):
But what about school? What was how big was your school?
What was school? Like? What kind of student were you? Yeah?
We it was a big school, three students. I was homeschooled.
Are you serious? Yeah?

Speaker 1 (08:36):
Oh yeah, yeah, man, my mom homeschooled all of us
kids up through basically our sophomore year of high school.

Speaker 2 (08:44):
Was that just a trick, said they should get to
do more work around the house? Uh, there was some
of that, you know of that, yeah, around the house.
Yeah exactly. So you, you and two of your siblings
were homeschooled. Yeah, well all four of us. My my
oldest sister is just a good bit older. She was
kind of yeah, she was out graduating exactly, she graduated,
she was doing she was exactly top academy. She was
doing as she went to community college.

Speaker 1 (09:05):
I guess by the time, I you know, kind of
remember doing school. But yeah, we my younger brother and
then I got a sister. We're all sixteen or eighteen
months apart, and we uh yeah, so it was it
was a lot of I was a pretty good student.

Speaker 2 (09:19):
I was good at math. Did you learned on the
road a lot? Because you guys were playing music? I
mean you were what seven when you started playing with
the family band? Yep? Did you since since you were
playing a lot of music, was that really why you
were homeschool so you guys could play music and travel? No,
not really.

Speaker 1 (09:33):
The homeschooling thing was a big like the church that
we grew up in and stuff. It real fundamental type,
you know folks. And that was a big thing in
our church. Was you know, keeping you know, protecting your
kids from the world. I guess a little bit. And
uh so we uh that was just kind of the
culture we were all in. So what they what they

decided to do with us. And you know, as far
as learning on the road, we didn't. The way bluegrass
stuff works, it's really really heavy in the summer and
then there's not a ton of stuff, you know, it's
a bunch of outdoor festivals and stuff like that. There's
not a bunch of traveling that we did during the
you know.

Speaker 2 (10:08):
School year.

Speaker 1 (10:09):
I guess there was maybe three or four festivals that
we'd go to during the winter, and then that was
more than you know, we'd play basketball and then baseball
in the spring, so we could do some sports as well,
and then pretty much the whole summer was just dedicated
to the music thing.

Speaker 2 (10:24):
How did you play sports? Because if you play basketball, yeah,
they got two more players than you on the oh yeah,
five v three it's hard to win. Where did you
How did you play? Well?

Speaker 1 (10:33):
We it was all like club teams, you know, was
just starting in little league obviously.

Speaker 2 (10:38):
In Arkansas. Yeah, exactly, So you played ball, played basketball, yep, yep.

Speaker 1 (10:42):
I was through in baseball. That was kind of it
for me. And it started golfing pretty early on to
my my mom's whole side of the family's big golfers
and and my dad loves playing too, so that was
a big one for us early on.

Speaker 2 (10:55):
Do you have to pass like a graduation test.

Speaker 1 (10:59):
Yeah, the way like the homeschool thing, the state you
still have to pas basically just have an assessment at
the end. Of every year, the state sends you a
test basically just you know, go over your knowledge and does.

Speaker 2 (11:12):
Anyone look over you taking it? Can your mom take
it for you? Well she didn't, but maybe I'm saying
could other people have cheated the system? Probably?

Speaker 1 (11:21):
Yeah, I don't know what the verification was like. There
was no you know, camera on us or anything.

Speaker 2 (11:26):
Take and trying to do, Zach, how can homeschool my
kids when I have home and take there and so
I can just make them do housework perfect? I think
I think you can get away. I'm not accusing you.

Speaker 1 (11:34):
Way for me to do that, Well, cameras are so
much more prevalent now. I'm sure they make you, you know,
sit there with your kid on the camera taking the test.

Speaker 2 (11:42):
Musical instrument that you played first?

Speaker 1 (11:45):
My parents said they started me on piano first. The
first memories I have is with a guitar. They got me,
you know, I say that they got me a Walmart
first at guitar when I was like three or something like.

Speaker 2 (11:55):
Small, like yeah, little little thing, and I.

Speaker 1 (11:59):
Was left handed and they got me a right handed guitar,
and neither of us knew the difference. So I just
banged around on an upside down, but starting to take lessons.
My oldest sister was a really, really good, classically trained pianist,
and so she started teaching all us younger kids.

Speaker 2 (12:15):
I don't know that must have been four or five.

Speaker 1 (12:16):
I took my first guitar lesson when I was five,
so it must have been somewhere right in there about
the same time that I started taking piano lessons as well.

Speaker 2 (12:23):
Do you remember loving music as a young kid or
just thinking this is what we do because older sister
siblings we did this is just part of school that No,
it was. It was definitely uh.

Speaker 1 (12:35):
As far as the guitar playing side in country music,
I love that forever. The piano lesson thing, they my
parents kind of dragged me kicking and screaming through that,
and I hated. I wish i'd have applied myself more now,
but I think it was all. You know, I didn't
have any interest in learning Beethoven and Chopin. I was,
you know, I wanted to if somebody was teaching me

how to play piano like Pig Robbins, I probably would
have loved it, but.

Speaker 2 (13:00):
But you know it was I just wouldn't.

Speaker 1 (13:02):
The music didn't do anything for me, So I just
kind of hated it, and gosh, I wish I could play,
you know, if i'd applied myself and be able to
play piano, like I can play guitar at all, Yeah,
I can, fool I can do you a little piano man,
Billy Joe.

Speaker 2 (13:16):
You know, you can fake it for a couple of songs,
make everybody think you're good. Yeah, I could get by that. Yeah. Yeah,
well I used to do. I used to do this
bit at my comedy shows. I don't know anymore because
everybody finally had seen it. But I well, first I
took piano lessons as an adult, yeah, which was very hard. Yeah.
How old when you thirty thirty? Yeah, older than you. Yeah.
And it was like I was like, I want to

learn to play piano because I want to because I
played guitar for comedy reasons. Yeah, but I'm not a
guitar player, but I play enough. Yeah. I was like,
I'm gonna learn how to play piano. So I learned
some chords just so I could write some funny songs. Yeah.
And I had a TV appearance once and I played
a song on I actually played it on a piano.
It was okay, but I was really nervous, not comfortable
piano at all. But then I just recorded the track,
and I thought, what if I do my comedy shows

and I just take a keyboard and fake it, nobody
knows the difference. Yeah, just played the track over the
top like the DJs do sometimes. Yeah, and so but
then I it was fun I would just sing it.
But the song was pretty funny. If it wasn't any
it was crazy funny. But then I thought, what if
I do the song and then all of a sudden,
I have somebody else record the track for me, and
all of a sudden it turns into like a Beethoven
chowpin and I look like I'm up there, just yeah

you go, And then it's so advanced. Yeah. So then
I end up like standing on one foot just doing
it like bugs bunny. Yeah yeah yeah. So then everybody
knew it was a joke, right yeah yeah, but makes
it a bit. Yeah. Then I stopped doing piano lessons
because it was extremely hard as an adult he to
wrap my head around it.

Speaker 1 (14:33):
Man, It's it's funny that I think about that a lot,
like the fact that my parents did you know, let
me be cause they didn't. My parents aren't musical at all.
They didn't have any background in it. My oldest sister
basically started playing pianos so she could play in church.

Speaker 2 (14:46):
So is she the leader of the band, the family band? Then? No,
that was me? It really yeah, Okay, we'll come back
to that. He wont before you're telling me now.

Speaker 1 (14:53):
But yeah, so we I think about that a lot,
the amount of time that, like, I probably from the
ages of five to fifteenrobably played guitar like three hours
a day or something. And just like knowing other artists
and people that have started, you know, in their teen
years or something, I can't imagine because you just don't
have time anymore to do that, you know, let alone

being actually having to work full time as an adult.
I remember my dad for a second was gonna so
we had I played guitar, obviously, my little brother played mandolin,
Maddie and my sister played fiddle, and then the oldest
sister lake and played bass for the little bluegrass family band.
And so we're missing the banjo. So my dad got
a wild hair that he was going to be the
banjo player at some point. But it was the same

sort of thing where you know, he it was probably
a couple months. He had a lesson every week, but yeah,
you know, he ain't got time to sit down and
practice and let alone just your you know, you get older,
it's hard to Yeah.

Speaker 2 (15:48):
It has already established how it's gonna work. Absolutely. You
say you were basically the leader of uh top top strings. Yeah,
the top string. Yeah, my mom was really proud of
that one. Still, but you're not. You weren't the oldest,
So how do you lead if you're not the oldest sibling.
I would just think naturally the oldest of the oldest
would be like, I'm the leader of the band. Yeah.

Speaker 1 (16:08):
I think I wanted it worse than anybody else. For sure,
they did it and had fun with it most of
the time. I think I was pretty difficult to work
with at times. Maybe that hasn't changed. I don't know,
but anyways, Yeah, we hic. I booked our first show.
I guess an old family friend of ours, Randy, had

called my dad and asked the first show we played
was opening for a Passiklin musical at the at the
local high school, and Randy had heard that we were.
He was part of the roadary clip you know, help
him put it on or whatever. He had heard that
we were taking music lessons, and you know, we kind
of we didn't even weren't even doing it as a band.
Everybody was just learning their instrument individually and we were
all doing our own thing kind of. We had nothing

worked up together. And he called and asked my dad
if we'd like to come do the come open for
that musical And my dad said, well, Randy, you're gonna
have to ask them. I can't answer answer that for him,
and so he put me on the phone.

Speaker 2 (17:02):
I don't remember that. How were you seven? I've been
told the story enough. He uh. He was like, Hey,
we'd like you come do the show. And I said, well, Randy,
that sounds great, we'd love to and he's in.

Speaker 1 (17:15):
My first question was how long is it or how
much time do we have and he was like, oh,
showing for a couple months, and I said, well that's perfect.
We'll know some songs by then and we'd love to
do it.

Speaker 2 (17:25):
So then you start rehearsing, yeah, yeah, and then we
started actually, yeah, trying to work up stuff together. So yeah,
kids do the darness things, do they ever? That was
you at seven running the business. Yeah, Why would you
play guitar for hours at a time? Meaning? Was it
pure enjoyment? Was it pursuing the dream of music? Was

it pursuing the idea of getting out of Washington? Not
a negative way, but no, right, yeah, why would you
dedicate so much time to it? In your mind as
a kid? What did you think it would lead to?

Speaker 1 (17:58):
I really don't know that I thought it would lead
to anything. All I knew was I loved the music,
and country music specifically. I remember my folks had a
remember them briefcase things that had a bunch of slots
for tapes.

Speaker 2 (18:12):
Yes, at tapes.

Speaker 1 (18:13):
They have one of those down downstairs, and we still
had a tape machine. I think it was pretty out
of date at that point, but we had a tape
machine down in the basement and I would go through
that thing, just one by one, take one out, play
it through, trying to learn every song on there, to
learn how to sing them, learn how to play them,
just sit down there in front of that tape machine
for hours, sitting there with my guitar.

Speaker 2 (18:34):
Did you want to be amer?

Speaker 1 (18:36):
I loved performing, Yeah, for sure. I loved being on stage.
I was always, you know, the front man from the start,
the one talking between songs, doing most of the lead singing.
My sister Maddie's an awesome singer as well, and Jorman
Lakenar too, but we the two of us did most
of the lead singing. And yeah, I really it was

a long time before I ever thought anything about now,
maybe I could actually do this for a living.

Speaker 2 (19:01):
It just I was ate up with the music. I
loved it. It was just passion. It was just it
was just a love yep. Whole bunch of old bluegrass records.

Speaker 1 (19:09):
I remember I got a box set thing with like
eighty George Jones songs on a CD. I went through
all of those, learned all that stuff. I remember the
first time they had the uh Don't Close your Eyes
tape of Keith Whitley, and I about lost it when
I heard that thing.

Speaker 2 (19:24):
Learned every song off of it. And then it's like
you're two hundred inside of a body of a well
seven year old. Yeah, now twenty five, do you did
you always feel a bit more mature than the kids
your age when it came to the art that you enjoyed.

Speaker 1 (19:39):
Yeah, yeah, I think so, And I always, you know,
I think I always hung out with you know kids
that were I played up a good bit, whether it
was sports or music or anything. I was always hanging
with kids that were a couple of years older than me,
and and especially in.

Speaker 2 (19:55):
The in the music sense of it.

Speaker 1 (19:57):
I guess I grew up with a handful of guys
that I ended playing in a band with called North
Country for a little while. And those, you know, they're
most of the guys in that band were ten years
older than me or something, but I love they.

Speaker 2 (20:09):
Were because I'm familiar with the band. Yeah, so like
twenty fifteen, you guys start, what was your role in
that band? It was I came in.

Speaker 1 (20:17):
They they had a mandolin player that got picked up
by it.

Speaker 2 (20:20):
Now they find it.

Speaker 1 (20:22):
We just uh, they were Washington guys too, so all
the festivals up in the Pacific Northwest, we were going
to all the same festivals, so we'd see each other,
non stuff, you know, just for a long time, just
jam and having fun. We didn't think it was. But
when they lost that fellow Nick Doomas did most of
the lead singing for him and played mandlin, they asked
me if I would like to learn mandlin and come

be their lead singer.

Speaker 2 (20:44):
So did you learn mandolin. Was it pretty easy to
go one to the other.

Speaker 1 (20:50):
On the one hand, Yeah, it's it's weird. It's just
like technical things. It's a different attack that took me
a little bit to get used to. But they asked me,
I guess in like November of twenty fourteen. I think
our first show was in February of twenty fifteen.

Speaker 2 (21:07):
Man, it's awesome because I want to watch Ricky Skaggs. Yeah,
and I know Ricky from me playing the opera at
the same Yeah, and I was a Ricky Skaggs fan, yeah,
as a kid, and then get to get to know
Ricky at the opry. Yeah, But then to watch them
play up it's just yeah, it's so yeah. Man, it
just feels so intense up it close, way, way more

intense than it seems from afar.

Speaker 1 (21:31):
Yeah, and I think it's I think it's a more
difficult instrument to play in my opinion the guitar, And
probably that's partly because I've spent more time on the guitar,
but like just from like physically, you got two strings,
you know, the double strings tune the same, so you're
depressing two strings at a time instead of just one.

Speaker 2 (21:50):
You know, just little things like that.

Speaker 1 (21:51):
I felt like it was hard on my hands compared
to and it's tiny too, like you're wrapped around a
whole handle with your hand and the frets are smaller.
I felt like it was kind of I faked my
way through it.

Speaker 2 (22:01):
When's the last time you played a mandlin? It's been
a minute. If I handed you one, could you fake
it like you did? You can't? Oh yeah, I could
play I fake it. I'll still play it, yeah, yeah, yeah,
but you could make somebody feel like yeah of course, yeah. Yeah. Man.
That week, I can't think anything that good. Nothing, I
can't think anything.

Speaker 1 (22:18):
I've gotten so good at faking so much stuff. I'm
telling you.

Speaker 4 (22:22):
Let's take a quick pause for a message from our sponsor,
and we're back on the Bobby Cast.

Speaker 2 (22:36):
So you're in another band at this point. It's another group.
It's another group dynamic yp were the thoughts ever? Hey,
I think I can do this by myself or I
want to pursue something not to lose the other guys,
but something that's more real, true and traditional to me,
which is you know the sound we call your traditional sound? Now, yeah,
when did that start kind of creeping in that was.

Speaker 1 (22:58):
I guess when I started work working with Carson Chamberlain,
my producer and co writer on everything, that started to
feel like once I started working with him, he was
really focused on trying to like That's why from the
first times we talked together he impressed upon me in
the importance of that too, Like, all right, so we

know you love Keith Whitley, and you love George Jones,
you love Merle Haggard, and you love George straight. But
when you sing a Keith Whitley song, you got to
start figuring out how to sing like Zach not like
Keith Whitley all the time. And you know, or whoever
it was that I was covering the song, and so
there was a lot of you know, when we would
be writing, and or even when I just listen to

demos or whatever it was, it was a lot of
working on figuring out my thing that was, you know,
gonna set me apart from everybody else. And so at
that point I think it started being like, all right,
this needs to be my thing, not as much of
a The way all those bluegrass bands worked was, you know,
it's a collie of effort. Everybody's got their input on

what songs they think we should be doing and how
we should arrange them, and.

Speaker 2 (24:05):
You know, all this different type of stuff.

Speaker 1 (24:07):
And so once I started, yeah, focusing in on who
I was as an artist, then it all of a
sudden it felt important that it's like, all right, I
got to call the shots now, sort of like when.

Speaker 2 (24:20):
You were seven, Yeah, exactly. North Country was North Country
bluegrass though. Yeah, well so that was a issue.

Speaker 1 (24:26):
Yeah, very much like if you the early skag stuff,
and you know, even Whitley in that last you know
thing he did with J. D. Crow where it was
it was mostly bluegrass instruments, but they had some drums
on some stuff, and some steel on some stuff, and
piano I think too in.

Speaker 2 (24:39):
There a little bit.

Speaker 1 (24:40):
We loved everybody in that North Country band was a
big fan of that kind of hybrid thing. So we
were doing a bunch of country songs. We played all
bluegrass instruments. It was an entirely acoustic band, but we
we loved, you know, bridging that gap a little bit between.

Speaker 2 (24:54):
Since you were the young, they were ten years older
or so. Generally was their mind, Hey, we're just doing
this for fun. We got jobs and kids.

Speaker 1 (25:05):
Mostly, Yeah, I mean they they all loved the music.
There was one other kid that was he's a couple
or yeah, a year or two younger than I am.
Whose phenomenal musicians from up in uh Squamish, British Columbia.
So we were the youngest in the band. And but
the older guys I think definitely was more of a
for fun thing.

Speaker 2 (25:25):
It's funny. The other guy that was kind of the
band leader.

Speaker 1 (25:28):
I started being responsible for a lot of the song
selection and in uh set list or like writing yeah,
set list. And but this guy, Will mc seventy was
kind of the band leader. He ran the you know,
as far as the business side of things and everything.
He took care of all of that and did some
of the co writing on some of them songs with
me too. He was he's here in Nashville now, he's

got a little he's got a small bluegrass label.

Speaker 2 (25:51):
He's got a few artists signed too.

Speaker 1 (25:53):
So he's kind of you know, I think, really enjoys
the business side of the thing, probably more than the
you know, being the one on stage making the music.
So he's in the music business still. But I think, yeah,
for the rest of them, it was more of a
you know, it's a fun thing to do on the weekends.

Speaker 2 (26:10):
If you're in a band and I don't know, did
you sneak off and do something by yourself for the
first time or were you just like, I'm gonna go
recorded you just like the band's no longer, I'm gonna
just like the first song you recorded? Was it under
the because once I snuck and worked at another radio station,
didn't tell anybody. Yes, yeah, use a fake name, because like,
let me see if I like it. Yeah, what was
the first record when it was just Zacktop or was

it Zachtop? Was that your name? Yeah? Oh yeah, okay, Yeah,
So what was the first song you recorded? And was
it when you were like, I'm not in the band anymore?

Speaker 1 (26:41):
No, it was so after that North Country band, I
joined up with another group that was I mean they
were all scattered around. Fiddle player from Murphy's Boro, bass
player from just outside of Saint Louis, mandolin.

Speaker 2 (26:54):
Player still living up there. I was still living in
Colorado at the time. Yeah, and uh, and I don't
even know when you moved in Colorado. Oh yeah, that
was seventeen.

Speaker 1 (27:03):
We played our last show with the Family Band the
summer of twenty fifteen, and you moved to Colorado eventeen
for what reason? Both my sisters were moving out there.
My parents kind of shipped me off. They wanted me
to get out of town. I was dating a little gal,
and they thought I shouldn't have a little business.

Speaker 2 (27:22):
Yes, yes, that's making sure. She's a regular side. Okay, regular, God,
it's making sure. Yeah.

Speaker 1 (27:29):
So they they kind of were like, because I thought
I was gonna stay there and uh, you know, just
get married her and get married and go to wazoo
or something, And anyway ended up that's WSU I guess
probably for Washington people.

Speaker 2 (27:43):
Yeah. Perfect.

Speaker 1 (27:45):
So anyway, they kind of My sisters were going out
to Colorado to see you, and they kind of just
shipped me off with them. And you living Boulder yep,
as a bolder for the first it was really fun
while I was. I was in school there for a
year and had a blast while that went on. As
soon as I had decided I was done with school
and quit that and started working.

Speaker 2 (28:06):
I got pretty tired of it pretty quick. What'd you
do for work? I started working construction? Were you still
playing music? Yeah? On weekends yep. And what did you think?
What did you foresee happening within the next five years
or so once you decided school's not for me. Yeah,
you still played music, obviously loved it. Did you see
a future in it for you long term? Yeah? Yeah.

Speaker 1 (28:27):
That was the reason that I quit school was that
was like, hell, I'm well, I guess I was only
one year away from finishing I was a mechanical engineer.

Speaker 2 (28:36):
I was only one year away from finishing my degree.
Didn't you want to hang another year? Huh?

Speaker 5 (28:40):

Speaker 2 (28:41):
I was just like, I.

Speaker 1 (28:42):
Gotta be done with this, and you know it's going
into debt on school. I felt like I was just
digging myself a hole to where obviously, knowing what I
know now on the music business side of things, it's
not good to start in a hole because you're going
to get yourself in more one trying to start this
kind of career. So but the yeah, I basically was
just like, I got to make some money and save

it up so I can move to Nashville.

Speaker 2 (29:05):
So that's why you're working.

Speaker 1 (29:06):
Yep, that's why I decided to quit and what my
parents were thrilled as you can imagine that I decided
to quit my mechanical engineering degree before.

Speaker 2 (29:13):
You know one year, I get it, I get it.
I see why. Oh I know I quit as a sophomore.
Yeah no, not a junior senior. Yeah, but no, you
knew what you wanted to do. You're right, and you
obviously had a head on your shoulders. It was pretty
good considering how old you were. That seems to be
the thing that's in common throughout your whole life, if
you're seven, or if you're nine running the band, or

if so when you moved to Nashville, what was that
number you needed to hit, either financially or because you're
saving up money? But what are you saving to have
so you can move out? Just enough to move to
move and half five thousand of the bank? Like, what
was it?

Speaker 1 (29:48):
I think more than financially, it was just like to
be in a position where I and you know, construction
is just a thing. You can do that anywhere, So
that was kind of I'll save up a little money
and then I'll move to Nashville. I'm sure I can
get a construction job out there, and that's what I
did for the first little bit that I was out here.
But I think more than anything, like I didn't know
how to get to Nashville, or what the hell I

was going to do when I got here. I had
no clue about the music business outside of just you know,
the tiny.

Speaker 2 (30:13):
Little world of bluegrass.

Speaker 1 (30:16):
So when I started talking to Carson, that was Carton
Chamberlin yep, Carson Chamberlain.

Speaker 2 (30:22):
Uh Spring of twenty eighteen.

Speaker 1 (30:24):
After Daryl Singletary passed away, I put up a video
of his song Spilled Whiskey, and that thing kind of
blew up for me.

Speaker 2 (30:30):
I'd never you know, i'd been.

Speaker 1 (30:31):
I'd started posting some videos just pretty much on Facebook.
I guess I didn't even have a Instagram. I don't
think anyway, I was. I was posting stuff on Facebook,
and i'd got, you know, fifteen hundred views on a
video before or something, and that thing kind of took
off and shot up to three hundred thousand views on it,
and had a bunch of people reaching out to me.

Were you living here then or still color out? Yes, sir,
I had a bunch of people. You know, I felt
like shyster's for her a better term. You know, it's
the kind of thing whereas you can come up with
twenty thousand dollars and you know, we'll cut your record
and put it out. It was I didn't know anything,
but I knew that that didn't feel right, and I

was pretty sure that wasn't the way it worked. But
around that same time, Carson Uh reached out to me
and we started talking, and you know, just seeing his
resume and all the you know, hit songs and people
he's produced and all the work he's done throughout the industry,
was like, all right, this guy's a real deal. And
from the you know, moment we first started talking, he

was much more of a long term, big picture. You know,
we're not going in and cutting next week, We're probably
not doing it this year. And so it was that
made sense to me that it everything he was saying
and telling me felt like the way to build a career,
not just like let's capitalize off a little bit of
online buzz.

Speaker 2 (31:58):
Was that video going a bit viral? What was the
final part of the catapult that made you just go,
I got I need to get out there.

Speaker 1 (32:06):
I think it talking to Carson was was what kind
of he find you?

Speaker 2 (32:11):
Because the video?

Speaker 1 (32:12):
Yeah, yeah, he found me Country Rebel if you know
that page they had reposted that video and Uh and
so he found it on there and starting to you know,
I spent better part of two years flying in and
out of town. I'd come, you know, once a month,
I'd come in for a week and he'd set up
co writes for us. I'd stay at his house and

all that. We did that for a little while. But
that was finally once I started working with him, that
felt like, Okay, now I've got something to move out
there for. And because as much as bad as I
wanted to get out here, I didn't feel like there
was much point in, you know, just coming out with
nothing to I don't know, I guess it just finally validated.

Speaker 2 (32:54):
That's like, all right, this guy wants to work with
me a shot. Yeah, now, like lend you stand his
how yeah? Oh yeah, oh yeah.

Speaker 1 (33:01):
He's treated me like another kid to his make you
do the dishes well sometimes.

Speaker 2 (33:06):
Okay, See that's how you know it's real. Absolutely, So
you're moving from Colorado to Nashville. You just pack up
the truck and drive it. Were you more excited or
nervous or were you what was your mindset, like, let's
just give it a shot and see what happens. If not,
worst case, I go back home.

Speaker 1 (33:22):
Yeah, I was pumped I was very excited. And you know,
it was funny when I told my parents I was
quitting school and coming out here, like I said, they
were not thrilled.

Speaker 2 (33:33):
I was being facetious. They were not fans of that.
I think we all got that, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Speaker 1 (33:39):
And so it was I had a bit of a
rocky relationship with them for a little bit.

Speaker 2 (33:43):
Really. It did create a bit of splinter for a while. Yep,
it did.

Speaker 1 (33:47):
And then but I think, as you know, when I
could call home and tell him I was working with
this Carson Chamberlain guy and explain to them, you know,
what he'd been been doing for the last forty years
and you know, send home some of the songs we've
been writing and that sort of thing, I think that
validated it to them as well, and so I think

they kind of jumped all on board and they were
very supportive after a minute. So it did feel like
when I moved out here, it's like, I'm gonna go
for it. We'll see, I've got a you know, safety
net I can, I've got family, and I felt like
I had Carson looking after me to where I didn't
feel like I was just going to be out here
on my own trying.

Speaker 2 (34:27):
To figure out through the barren tundra of Nashville, what
was this sound like for you when you moved out here,
or at least what did it? What was your perception
of Nashville the first six months, because my definite perception
was different than what it is now. It was dumb.
I hated it because Carson told me.

Speaker 1 (34:42):
I figured when I'd get moved out here that I'd
be playing in bars every night and writing songs every day.
And he told me, absolutely not, you don't need to
do that. We'll write a couple of days a week,
and you keep working construction. And I think, you know,
looking back, as a ton of wisdom in that, just
to keep from getting kind of swallowed up in the

Nashville machine and becoming one in the crowd, I think
I was able to keep the town just a little
bit at arms length and keep working on, you know,
my own thing that made it stand out. So it was,
you know, I moved to spring Hill, Uh it was,
you know, So I was. I wasn't on Broadway every night.

Speaker 2 (35:24):
I didn't.

Speaker 1 (35:25):
I think i've been. I haven't even spent a night
on Broadway. I didn't have much interest in that I
found kind of some of the more divy places that
were playing some old school music that I liked, stuff
like the local and music city bar and grill and.

Speaker 2 (35:38):
Stuff like that.

Speaker 1 (35:40):
But so I was still, you know, I was working
construction four or five days a week and right in
two days a week, and it was.

Speaker 2 (35:49):
It was work a little bit though, Like I'm in Nashville,
Dan Man, I want to.

Speaker 1 (35:53):
Do more big time and like looking at other sort
of peers of mine, uh, you know that were you know,
they already had publishing deals or what have you, it
felt like they're doing what I want to be doing.
And uh and I think it was. It was even
once I got my first publishing deal, I kept working

construction and that was all you know, Carson kind of
urging me to do that and not ever play in
town pretty much. And you know, I had a decent
little road schedule.

Speaker 2 (36:25):
Still, what kind of shows were you playing on the road.

Speaker 1 (36:29):
It was I had a country band at that point
and we were, you know it just whatever we could
get into some smaller time festivals, you know, play little fairs.
Just you know, a lot of some bar owner saw
a Facebook video of mine, and so he wants me
to come play, and it was a bunch of that stuff.

Speaker 2 (36:46):
Did that Facebook video, that Darrell Singletary video, did it
live a long time before? People were still like, dude,
I just saw this video and you're like, that's four
years ago.

Speaker 1 (36:53):
It felt like not that long, but it felt like
for like the whole year after that.

Speaker 2 (36:57):
Yeah, that thing kept coming back. That's pretty cool. Yeah,
yeah it was. It was the.

Speaker 1 (37:01):
First kinda I kind of I've always begrudgingly used the
all the social media stuff, and that was the first
time where it felt like, yeah, this is a way
you can reach a ton of people. And you know,
when I had nothing else going on, all of a sudden,
there's a bunch of people that know my name and
you know, are following me now, and I think that, yeah,

it's funny. I didn't ever want to make a TikTok
I didn't want to post on Instagram.

Speaker 2 (37:28):
Yeah you're not the guy. To me that seems like
he's just craving TikTok no, But it has now been
seen that is, if you don't do it cheesy, it's
not cheesy NOx And I mean now, because there was
such a I'm not gonna get on TikTok because I'm
not doing a dance, I'm not being a g But
now it is what you make of it. The band

that really switched that for me was like, I don't
know if you know Red Clay Straits. Yeah, man, I
had him on my show week. I just love love
us all Alabama boys and it's kind of this mixture
of like retro rock the country. Yeah, Jerry Lee Lewis, Yeah,
just awesome. So they came up to the show and
I was like, when next time you guys are in Tennessee,
come play my show. So they did. They showed up,

we played, We did the whole thing on the air.
But I told them they were like the first band
to meet them in Lake Street Drive Yeah, lake Street Diving. Yeah.
They made it not cheesy yep, because they just did
what they did. Somebody just captured what they were doing
and it didn't feel like some you know, some strings
being pulled by someone trying to create the content that

they think will work. Yep. And those were the artists
that really made me tell my other artist friends, like,
shut up, just do what you do. Just have somebody recorded. Yeah, yeah,
use the platform for what you do, don't they kill't like, yeah,
don't run towards the platform exactly. Let the platform come
to you. And if it doesn't, that's okay. Yep.

Speaker 1 (38:49):
No, yeah, it's just if you're making compelling content, people
will watch it. You don't have to be dancing or
you know, doing something funny or whatever.

Speaker 2 (38:55):
That was.

Speaker 1 (38:56):
That's all I've ever posted on TikTok pretty much just
me sitting there with a guitar dance playing an old song.

Speaker 2 (39:01):
No, there was.

Speaker 1 (39:02):
One video that I considered not posting, U There's I
made it.

Speaker 2 (39:09):
Well. I was working on this house up in north
of Nashville.

Speaker 1 (39:12):
It's I've got my tool belt on, you know, I've
got my hammer loop in the back, and guys will
do a trick where they toss the hammer up and
and it goes in the loop. And so that was
the closest thing I kind of came to doing a dance.

Speaker 2 (39:23):
I guess, yeah, it's not close to doing a dance.
So you're so good in my.

Speaker 1 (39:27):
Well, there was I mean I was shaking my ass
around trying to trying to catch the thing, you know
a little bit. So as it was, I think some
people enjoy can you dance? I can two step a little.
I have swing dance a little, this swing dance top.
My grandma taught me a two step. I'm from Arkansas,
so you know, my grandma taught me to two step.
And then I also grew up in the you know, nineties,

two thousands, when music was then universally available online now
after yep, so you could really have any kind of music, yeah,
at all. So I also went to a school that
wasn't just all white like a two step.

Speaker 2 (40:01):
But then I would just grind. Yeah, I just get
on a button grind. Yeah, that's what we did at
the dance and then and so, but never really had like,
you know, I wasn't super good at I Want to
Dance with the Stars. I won that show, but he did. Yeah,
I didn't know you were on that the mirror balls
right behind there. But it's like I never was good. Yeah,
but I really I I enjoyed it fine. It was music.

Oh yeah. Yeah. My point was I line danced a
little bit. Yeah, I tried to. I never could get
into that much.

Speaker 1 (40:29):
When I was out in Colorado, I had a bunch
of you know, kind of rednick buddies that I lived with,
and we'd go down to the Grizzly Rose and lay
there before.

Speaker 2 (40:37):
Yeah, I believe it. Yeah, I love that place.

Speaker 1 (40:39):
We spent a lot of a lot of time in there,
and I tried the line dancing thing a little bit
and it didn't.

Speaker 2 (40:45):
It wouldn't my thing if I didn't have a you know,
i'd like to have.

Speaker 1 (40:48):
I don't think I will girl under three, a little girl. Yeah,
that's what I want to be dancing. If I'm dancing
by myself, I look dumb as hell. And so I
spent more time on the pool tables.

Speaker 2 (40:58):
I guess I definitely look dumb. Yeah, but I was
okay with it. But it's I love it. You know.

Speaker 1 (41:02):
It's like a wedding dance party. Like you said, you dance.
Oh yeah, I'll get out there.

Speaker 2 (41:07):
You're not cool to do it? No, No, you got it.

Speaker 1 (41:10):
A couple of beers in me and I'll start taking
clothes off and doing things nobody's ever seen.

Speaker 2 (41:15):
No, I'm good not knowing about that. Yeah, that's all right.
In college pictures you can find No, I'm good in college.
I took line dancing, okay, because I know all the
girls were. It's a class. Yeah, just at one of
the clubs or something southern Arkansas. No, I get class.
It was a college class. It was a college class. Yeah,
like a Tuesday Tuesday evenings. I would go and take
line dancing and I learned the dances because I was

like this is but really I just wanted to get
What got me though, was I went. I was like,
I'm gonna meat all these girls because apparently it's like
ninety percent female, but it was like ninety percent female,
non traditional so they're all like fifty Oh there you go. Yeah,
so I really you'll have that. I really just that
was really just you just became a really good dancer. Yeah.
I just got a lot better at life. I didn't
have no distraction.

Speaker 5 (41:56):
The Bobby Cast will be right back. This is the
Bobby Cast.

Speaker 2 (42:10):
The Washington State music scene. I'm not gonna even say
Seattle because Seattle to me, obviously is what it's associated with.
To me is two things won the grunge in the nineties. Yeah,
of course from Nirvana you can go to and then
even a bit of a hip hop movement yep, with Maclamore,
absolutely that what the Washington state country scene. Is there

a country scene or is there the bluegrass scene? Even bigger?
I don't.

Speaker 1 (42:40):
I mean, it's hard to say the bluegrass scene was
not big out there. We have there's a festival in
Washington somewhere every weekend you can go to all summer,
and a handful of good ones in the winter as well,
So it felt like it was big at the time.
I mean, it's nothing like the Southeast. And as far

as country, there was no like. I didn't play any
country music up there. I was playing country songs in
my Bluegras sets. But there's no like, there's not a
circuit of clubs you can play.

Speaker 2 (43:12):
No straight ahead country clubs. No, no, not really.

Speaker 1 (43:16):
There's one that Tractor Tavern in uh In, Seattle is
a pretty strictly country spot. I have not played there yet,
hopefully soon. But that was, you know, and even just
music to country music to see that, you know, it
was basically when you got the County Fair Rodeo, they
bring in something. I remember the first big show I

went to see was John Michael Montgomery opened up for
uh Dwight Yoakum, I believe, and I took that little
gal I was dating that was she.

Speaker 2 (43:45):
Had grown a little by then, she had grown, she
had gone pretty good. Yeah, yeah, absolutely, we were talking
about like a video going viral, but I saw that
bad luck had really blown up on Yeah, and that
wasn't that was just you. That was just you doing
your thing.

Speaker 1 (44:00):
Yeah, it was me doing a stupid thing. I was
laying on a dang seat in a pontoon.

Speaker 2 (44:04):
So my jeenst, what did you learn from that? Man?
It's so funny. I don't know, because.

Speaker 1 (44:14):
I don't know what it was about that video that
was compelling to people, because it was like, you know,
if I listened back to it, it wasn't the best
I've ever sang. It wasn't the best I've ever played guitar.
It was like I was sitting in a position where
it was difficult to play guitar. And I don't know
if it was just because it was kind of goofy that,
you know, I'm wearing jeans on a boat, I look

uncomfortable while I'm playing. I don't know if there's something
goofy about that that kind of made it resonate with
people or what. But like I can point to twenty
different videos on my TikTok where it's like, no, now
that was a compelling performance of the song got anywhere
near the amount of views that one did. It feels
like such a like it's the wild West out there.

You don't know what's gonna hit her, you know, Even
with that song. I've loved that song ever since we
wrote it. But I figured just the type of song
it was, the fact that.

Speaker 2 (45:04):
It's so different doesn't sound like anything was.

Speaker 1 (45:08):
It felt to me like this is probably gonna be
like my sneaky favorite on the record, and most other
people won't pay attention to it, and or was I
wrong about that? So it's it feels so strange to
I feel like I know a good song when I
hear one, and know something like that can be a hit.
But even that one, I didn't call that shot, that's

for sure.

Speaker 2 (45:29):
And I think because I've also seen the video, it
seemed You're right, I don't even know why. I'm comfortable,
but it just seemed so not shiny. Yeah, because it wasn't. No,
I think that is likeable, And I think too, it's
just like you just do your thing over and over again.

Don't don't get don't be distraught when it doesn't work.
You just keep doing it. Because because it's not going
viral doesn't mean that it's not going to connect. No. Yeah,
like it's almost like you have to keep doing it
over and over again until you catch the freaking algorithm.

Speaker 1 (46:06):
Yep, yep, it's wild how that stuff works. Yeah, Like
even like reposting. We you know, at the beginning of
my well, I had it when we first hired my
management team hired a company to start running my socials
because it was you know, it gets to be too
much for one person to run. They you know, they
would even repost the same video a couple of weeks

later and.

Speaker 2 (46:30):
Do totally different numbers, good or bad, right exactly.

Speaker 1 (46:32):
And you know, just keeping on hammering that, keep throwing
mud against the wall and at some point something will stick.

Speaker 2 (46:39):
The dumbest thing. I did a video the other day
just ad my hair. I was growing it out because
I thought it was hilarious. Yeah, for no other reason. Yeah,
my wife wanted to kill me. But I put it
in like five different little ponytails, which I've never done
that before. Yep, I'm not ponytail guy. Really got I'm positive, yeah,
got a million strings on that video. I didn't do anything. Yeah,

I had my hair in five ponytails, and I was like, hey,
hope you guys are having a good day. Yeah, that
was I mean, that was really nothing. It's it's wild
and I think if I did it again and make
it like a thousand, right, it's there's no telling there.
There's a combination of the two things, me being so
good looking and so charming, and those together really made
that video work.

Speaker 1 (47:17):
Those would be the leading factors, no doubt. What does
your hair look like? It's fluffy. There's a lot of
it right now.

Speaker 2 (47:22):
Look at you. Yeah, there's you have all that. You
have all the hair. Oh you have like Aaron Tippin hair. Yeah,
I wish I had these muscles. Yeah, well, I saw
we can work on that. He like five years ago,
a pre pandemic. He came to the studio and he
was in his sixties now yep, still pretty jagged. Oh yeah,
oh yeah, big time still Yeah for a sixty year

old dude, that to me, like that was that part
of country music. I used to roofhouses. We listened to
a lot of Aaron Tipping because we felt like we
felt like he was roofing houses with us.

Speaker 1 (47:54):
Yeah, he's he was kind of the blue collar, yeah,
working man's country guy.

Speaker 2 (47:59):
For like he's working man's PhD. Right, yeah, exactly, that's him.
I guess his songs just told me and I just
believed him. Yeah exactly. But then I met him and
I was like, no, he was telling the truth. Yeah exactly,
he wasn't because he was yeah. Yeah. So what's the like,
what's what's the goal for you in country music? Like?
What would make you the happiest if you had? What? Blank?

Speaker 1 (48:26):
I want to write and put out songs that stand
the test of time that in fifty years people are
still coming back to them and being like this is
the gold standard in country music.

Speaker 2 (48:40):
But what if they're not successful? Now, what if they're
just good? But in fifty years they're still good? Would
you give that up to be great for ten and
then be forgotten after?

Speaker 5 (48:52):

Speaker 2 (48:53):
I would.

Speaker 1 (48:54):
I just the all the icons that I like emulated
and and the guys that I look back to as
like that was country music at its finest right there.
You know, if it's Merl Haggard or George Jones or whatever.

Speaker 2 (49:08):
You know.

Speaker 1 (49:08):
Gary Stewart, I think, is a great example of somebody
that didn't have a huge career for a lot of reasons.
You know, he wouldn't know Garth Brooks or George Strait.
But some of those records and some of those songs,
that's like, that's the gold standard in country music right there.

Speaker 2 (49:23):
So then I'll go back to those time after time
after time.

Speaker 1 (49:25):
Yeah, obviously I'd love to be selling out stadiums and
you know, do all that too, But most importantly, I
think it just put out songs that people will keep
coming back to and be like that was that was
as good as country music could get.

Speaker 2 (49:40):
April fifth, the full album comes out. Yes, sir, you
went with a wild name that's totally off brand telling
you cold beer in country music? Yes, sir, is that
a track? Yeah? I thought it was. That was one
of these facts. Yeah, that was the first thing. Why
did you select that as your that because again, you
can pick there's a lot of that. I mean we

could roll through that. You could have been cowboys like
me do it could have been there are a lot
bad luck could have been there.

Speaker 1 (50:06):
Why why that sounds like the radio? I mean that's
just me to a tea right there. You see that title,
you know what you're getting. You're getting the country music here,
and you best get the cold beer out because you're
gonna want so soon as you hear the first track.

Speaker 2 (50:18):
What about warm beer? That would be fun too, but
it's less enjoyable in a pinch. I've never drank beer,
so I don't I've.

Speaker 1 (50:26):
Drank a warm one before when there would have no
cold ones to be having a hot beer, I'd probably avoid,
Like you like tea, like it's.

Speaker 2 (50:35):
Lose all the carbonation. That would be horrible. You haven't
done it right, Maybe not a tea beer. I don't
think i've that's I never had a beer, so I
can have all the reason they keep it all cold,
I'm sure. But I just think you could just tell
people it's different, good and they think it was great.
We're doing hot beer.

Speaker 1 (50:54):
Yeah, I could be a big branding thing for me,
the country music guy.

Speaker 2 (50:59):
So oh, this record's gonna come out. Yes, the songs
that we haven't heard yet. Because by the way you're
that this sounds like radio crush. That song it was
like most added or whatever. Yeah, yeah, it was one
used added for three weeks straight. I think, like that's all.
How does that make you feel?

Speaker 1 (51:14):
It's I was blown away. It felt like a bit
of a sigh of relief. It's kind of you know,
I knew that that song obviously sticks out like a
sore thumb compared to anything else on the charts right now,
and uh, I figured, if it sticks out that bad,
it's either going to be a love it or hate
it thing. And so I just very thankful, felt like
we could Okay, we weren't making it up, we weren't

crazy this, this might work.

Speaker 2 (51:37):
Once that came out and it got that response, the
rest of the songs that we haven't heard yet, h sonically,
what are they more the same? Baby?

Speaker 1 (51:45):
I said that ain't a Billboard interview recently, and I
didn't even think of it when I said it, But
when I read the ride up after, I was like, ah,
it was pretty fun.

Speaker 2 (51:54):
It was a pretty good line.

Speaker 1 (51:55):
I said, Uh, for those of you that like it,
that's great. You're gonna get a hold much more of
the same. If you don't, you're not getting anything different.
So it's it's more country music, as as good as
I can manage to make it.

Speaker 2 (52:10):
Do you still listen to any any blue grass that's
being made like current current bluegrass? Not much, that's the
same sort of thing.

Speaker 1 (52:21):
I feel like if I go listen to some bluegrass,
it's usually older school stuff. Larry Sparks or you know
that old JD. Crown, the New South stuff. I love
bluegrass album band stuff. That's where it was at for me.
Lone from River Band. That was the stuff that made
me fall in love with it, that I wanted to
emulate and play Dirks.

Speaker 2 (52:37):
Obviously you're going to do something, yes, sir. That dude, Yeah,
he'll bluegrass all day, yes sir, and legitimately ye, Like
it's not an act. I mean he went record, yeah, exactly,
and spend a bunch of time and money and energy
and just because I've he loved to do it. I
mean I was talking to Dolly and she was talking
about blue Ger said she had to get rich before
she could do something that she wanted to do when

she was poor, which was make a bluegrass record. I
think Ricky's Gags had a line about that too, something about, yeah,
I went and made some money in country music so
I could afford to keep making grass music. Well man, congratulations,
It's really cool because I mean so many just so
many of the folks around here that I like kind
of vouched for what you were doing. Sure, because I

mean there are ten thousand things coming in all of us,
every single day. Yeah, absolutely, you know with you people
with me, and so I don't get around to everything
i'd like to, and I make a note go. But
there were two or three people that were like, Zach
top's awesome, like he's like the neck and so I
was like, well, let me see, and I'd listen. I
liked it, but then I was like, let me see
if this dude's putting on or not, because like you know,

oh absolutely, you look like you could be cosplaying a cowboy,
but it's really you. Yeah. The mustache is not only real,
it's just af. I mean, if you didn't have a mustache,
I would go like, you need a mustache. Yeah, yeah,
it feel it feels like it completes the picture. But
you're just like a kid. Yeah, and my mustache looks
like a kid's mustache. Oh no, it's good. No, no,

it's definitely solidciate. Well, man, I'm a big I'm a
big fan now, and thank you so much. I'm rooting
for you. I like anybody who it doesn't matter what
style you're doing. It doesn't have to be a country
music can be whatever. I like anybody who doesn't really
change because the temperature says so and it can be
a bit difficult to be doing it one way when
everybody says, hey, maybe you should just modify slightly, and

I just don't feel like you've done that. And I
feel like that's the strongest thing about you, and that's
what's gonna really propel you, the same way you talk
about your songs like you gonna love it, You're gonna
hte it. You know, with you, that's all. That's where,
that's where you want everything right, because you can't get
any traction if you're just pretty good. Nobody cares. Yeah, yeah,
somewhere in the middle of it doesn't do you any
at all. And so like, I just think you're gonna

kill it because you're You're the real deal as far
as what you present, and if you don't like it,
you're still the real deal. But you don't worry about them.
There are enough people that love what you do. Really cool, man,
This has been super fun for me. You guys can
follow Zach at Zach unders or top on Instagram and
then Zach Top on TikTok. But you got more TikTok

followers and Instagram followers, Yes I do. Yeah, TikTok's been
good to me. It's so funny, isn't that weird? Never one,
you are the one that TikTok has been good to.
Yeah it is goofy. It's ironic, dentim on dnom that's right, jeans,
rolled up, mustache, wearing Aaron Tipp and hat having Yeah,
well he didn't have had the hair hair hair hair
yeah anywhere. That sounds like the radio which is now.

But this podcast will live on in perpetuity. So whatever
you're putting out, everybody check it out. Zach, top, Mike,
anything you want to say to Zach here.

Speaker 3 (55:35):
It inspired me to grow a mustache. I've been trying
for like twenty years.

Speaker 2 (55:38):
Come on, don't stop believing. I have a hope now,
don't stop believing, all right, Zach, good to see buddy,
Thank you, Bobby, thanks for listening to a Bobby Cast production.
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