Zack Hexum

Zack Hexum

BandPop

Innovative, dynamic artist seeks world domination. Zack is a world class saxophonist and songwriter as well as a singer who "sounds like a record every time".

Biography

Zack Hexum Bio

Indie-rock artist Zack Hexum's latest album, Open to Close showcases the many talents of the singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. The songs are glimpses into Hexum's memories and experiences and are intensified by his sole presence as producer, writer, and performer on the record. Hexum tapped into his jazz background and Midwestern roots to create the diverse soundscapes and lyrical images that color the record. Hexum's ability to weave together interesting stories and beautiful melodies into undeniably catchy and complex tunes is the appeal of his art.

Fans of Zack Hexum's latest album, Open to Close, understand the depth of Hexum's reputable talents. His live shows as full band or as a solo artist have generated a supportive audience around the country. Touring has also given Hexum a chance to connect with his loyal fan base and reach new converts. He has toured incessantly for the past 4 years, playing over 100 shows in 2006. Hexum has opened for 311, Tears for Fears, The Plain White T's, and Ryan Cabrera.

"Touring is a gift because with each performance, you step into someone else's scene. There are moments on stage when you witness someone who's obviously enraptured with what's happening on stage. It's such a warm feeling, to know that you're part of that. It feels like giving someone a perfect birthday present."

Creating Open to Close was a unique process for Hexum. The 12 songs were demoed in hotel rooms and on the bus while touring around the country in the summer of 2007. "I'm fascinated by using recording software as a mobile laboratory. On Open to Close I was Dr. Frankenstein, sometimes setting up mics on hotel lamps, and hoping that housekeeping didn't knock during a perfect take. The freedom of being a self-contained ensemble is very freeing, especially with the portability of modern recording devices."

There is a vulnerability and honesty that shines through all of Hexum's music and lyrics. His diverse musical education and life experiences have provided him the material with a self-awareness that translates into his song-writing. Hexum is a sought after song-writer and has written with artists like Nicole Scherzinger, Jessie Baylin, and Drake Bell.

A graduate of University of North Texas and three-year member of the famed
One O'clock Lab Band, Hexum embraces the influence of his jazz education and acknowledges how it informs his own rock creations. "Jazz is the lens through which I view music. Be it Beethoven or Bad Brains, I hear it as a jazz musician first and foremost. It's hard for me to tell how much of that comes through, but it's omnipresent from my perspective."

Hexum's sophisticated indie sound is influenced by his jazz background and combines his love of Americana with generational pop-rock. Hexum has been influenced by a wide range of artists, including Elliott Smith, Wilco, Jon Brion, Steely Dan, and Joni Mitchell.

Hexum is celebrated for the aesthetic solidarity that characterizes his records. Every song has a unique sound, but his albums are notoriously unified in theme and musicality, "Part of the cohesiveness of my records comes from using the same textures and instruments throughout the recording process. That's something I really appreciate about jazz records. You can play a disc from front to back and it will fit one place, there will be many emotions, tempos, whatnot, but it all fits together."

Hexum is a musician's musician. He is at home on seven different instruments, saxophone, piano, guitar, bass, drums, bass clarinet, and flute. His ability to play them and play them well has earned him the respect of musicians and producers. Hexum has recorded and performed with Brian Wilson, 311, Michael Bublé, Jessie Baylin, and Drake Bell. Hexum has appeared on The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn, had a song featured on Fox's The O.C., and his acclaimed hit, "How Many" was featured as iTunes Single of the Week.

Hexum is a one-man band on his latest record, Open to Close, and he utilizes this instrumental versatility and jazz composition background as he forays into movie and television scoring. He has written for Nickelodeon's Zoey 101, Dan Eberle's award-winning Jail City, James Ferguson's Happy Holidays, and is currently hard at work in the studio helping to compose the score for the full-length feature, Merry Christmas Drake and Josh.

"Writing for television and film forces you to compose in styles that you may never have found your way into. I'm learning so much about harmony and color by painting little sound-pictures that can shade the picture on the screen. I've discovered that writing with a visual is a fantastic launching pad. I hope to steal from my film scoring bag to write pop songs." Hexum is currently working on his third full-length solo project to be released in 2009.

Lyrics

Little City Driver

Written By: Zack Hexum

she rides on empty streets
always takes cottage grove
because she needs the taste of where they used to eat
she feels these days are long ago

this taxi smells like gasoline
and I've seen all there is to see
in this town
every road goes somewhere but I'm still here

she wants her son to have a better view
his guitar is his pillow at night
you know he plays the parts until he gets it right
she hopes the harmony makes him move

so he's not stuck here too

this taxi smells like gasoline
and I've seen all there is to see
in this town
every road goes somewhere but I'm still here

and there must've been a two-way street
I might have turned at differently
these lights never change when you're in the wrong lane
and if you turn turn into me
I'll never forgive this little city driving me mundane

this taxi smells like gasoline
and I've seen all there is to see
in this town
every road goes somewhere but I'm still here

Discography

Open to Close (2007)
Realistic Fantasy (2005)
The Story So Far (2004)