It’s not every day that top industry professional Jimmy Iovine labels you as his next big thing. While to many up and coming artists this seems like some sort of dream, to Zander Bleck, it’s a reality. Recently signed to Interscope Records, Zander Bleck, a singer-songwriter who has been compared to big time artists such as Queen’s Freddie Mercury and Bono, will be releasing his album Monument in the coming months. His lead single “Temptation” has already scored him many a fan and even opportunities such as performing with bands such as The Wanted. I got a chance to talk to Zander Bleck about his upcoming album and what it’s like to be working with such huge names in the music industry!
Where did you get your start in music?
I got my start in New York City! I had my first band and it was called Monument. I just started playing dive bars and little venues around the city and it just kind of grew from there. That’s really where I got my feet wet, as far as being a working musician, paying my dues on the streets of New York.
You've been compared to Bon Jovi and Freddie Mercury. Is that who you pull your inspiration from?
I think my inspiration starts with classic rock, that’s really the foundation of my inspiration, especially vocally, anyone from someone like Freddie Mercury or Bon Jovi or Bono, any of those big singers from the 70’s and 80’s, that’s who I draw from song-wise. I’m from New Jersey originally, and my music is very pop-rock, so there are definitely a lot of comparisons to Bon Jovi. I like all sorts of music and I’m trying to combine a bunch of different elements from all different genres whether it’s electronic, whether it’s pop, whether it’s rock and roll. But if I had to put my music in a bubble, I’d say it’s futuristic rock and roll. That’s kind of what I’m going for. Someone needs to do it, right? It’s been awhile since someone’s reinvented rock.
Jimmy Iovine has referred to you as "the next big thing. Is it intimidating to feel like you have to live up to that?
Not really, Jimmy is a brilliant mind, all across the board, whether it’s marketing, whether it’s music, but at the end of the day, he’s really a musician and a phenomenal producer, and he really understands working with artists, he understands music, he understands songs, and I’m really honored and lucky to have someone like him on my team because he’s such a genius and a visionary, and he really is ahead of the curve musically, and as soon as I played my first demos with him with RedOne [producer for artists such as Lady Gaga and Jennifer Lopez], he got it right away. I wouldn’t say anything intimidates me, I’m up to any challenge!
Where would you like to see your career go in the next few years?
Obviously, I want my album to be as big as possible and I really want people to just have a good time listening to it, but I think my primary concern is that I want to be become one of the biggest live bands in the world, and I really want to bring back that 80’s stadium rock vibe that I feel like has been gone for so long. I mean, DJs are almost the new rock stars, and I feel like the time is now to bring back that organic musicianship and vocals that were so prominent in the 80’s, and I feel like people are ready to embrace that kind of music, both live and on the record.
Your album Monument is set to come out later this year. Do you have a favorite song on the album?
I do! Every song on the album has a part of my heart and each one is based off a pretty accurate time in my life or a distinct memory, or just a story in my life, but each song I have a pretty deep connection too. But the song that I wrote called “Rendezvous” is my favorite song and it’s my favorite song to perform live as well. I just love the melody and it just takes me and it just takes me to a really nice place.
You also performed with The Wanted not too long ago. How was that?
Yeah! We’ve been opening up for a bunch of dates with The Wanted. It was pretty wild, it was awesome! The fans were spectacular, and they really, really embraced my music very quickly, even the first show that we played with them, they were singing back some of the choruses which was spectacular. It’s great, The Wanted has a really powerful force behind them and to be able to join them on that ride was really nice, so we’re looking to do some more stuff as well.
Any advice for aspiring artists?
It’s a whole new and different world that we live in now, just with the Internet age. My best advice is to figure out what you can do better than any other artist, something that really makes you stick out. Be true to yourself and really stick with that and polish it, and just work and work and work and find ways to make yourself stick out! I think that you have to stay true to yourself because now with social media and Youtube and Facebook and Twitter, your fans kind of grow with you, you can’t really pretend to be anyone that you’re not, you have to really be yourself because it’s just too revealing, there are too many outlets for social media. Your fans kind of go on the journey with you. Just work as hard as you can and just be yourself and try to find that factor that you have that no one else has. That’s the key, finding your little niche. You just have to work relentlessly. You can never give up.
You can download Zander Bleck’s new single “Temptation” on iTunes or check him on Facebook and his website zanderbleck.com!
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