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A Chat with Zoe Zobrist About Classic Rock, Starting a Band at 13, and Motherhood

Hailing from Dallas, Texas, alternative rocker Zoe Zobrist has already cemented herself as a music industry veteran at just 23 years old. Raised on classic rock records and Laurel Canyon desert-folk, she started playing piano as soon as she could walk and began writing songs at the age of seven before many children have learned how to read.

Zobrist has received heaps of praise in publications like FLAUNT, Under The Radar Magazine, and Culture Collide, and has also graced the stage at legendary venues around the country including The Troubadour and The Viper Room in LA. She also recently appeared in John Mellencamp’s 2019 touring documentary.

Now, Zobrist is on the brink of return with her forthcoming single, “Oh Baby,” a gentle acoustic open letter to her unborn child. Stepping into parenthood can be a challenging endeavor that can trigger uncertainty but also genuine joy and elation.

I spoke with Zobrist prior to the release of “Oh Baby” to discuss her blossoming career and stepping into this new chapter of her life.

You’ve spent the majority of your life writing songs, and I was wondering how you have evolved or learned from past triumphs and mistakes since the beginning?

Yes! I started writing when I was 7 & have used songwriting as a tool to sort through my experiences since then. Something I’ve learned and continue to remind myself is that at the end of the day I write because it makes me genuinely happy. Not every song has to be “good.” It’s just about getting out of your head and creating, not putting a bunch of pressure on yourself. 

Having a child is a very exciting chapter for both your life and career. What are some of the most significant things you’ve discovered about yourself as an individual and a public figure throughout the process?

I’ve grown so much over these past nine months. Literally and figuratively hahaha. Emotionally though, it’s been really good for me. I cut out drinking, vaping, caffeine and made a lot of lifestyle changes in general. The discomfort this brought ultimately helped me reflect on things I hadn’t in a long time and heal.

Were there any specific records that influenced the new single or—since it was much more personal—did it come together more organically? 

I think some of my favorites that I was listening to regularly were Phoebe Bridgers, Elliot Smith and Bon Iver. In general I tend to write in a very diary-like way regardless, so personal is the goal.

I’m so amazed by people’s strength. I hope to foster an inclusive community where people can really relate to what I’m sharing.

– Zoe Zobrist

How have the past 18 months of the pandemic affected the way you listen to music? Have you found more comfort in the familiar, new discoveries, or both? 

The past 18 months have really given me gratitude that we have access to all of the online platforms that we do. It would have been an even more isolating experience otherwise. I found a lot more music online & enjoyed playing some virtual gigs. (Although I’m very excited to get back to live shows/a combo of both.)

Are you hoping that other women (as well as non-binary femmes and trans folks) living through pregnancy will be able to see themselves positively represented in your work?

Absolutely! I think that regardless of where someone is on their fertility/pregnancy/parenting journey – the changes and challenges you go through are huge and I’m so amazed by people’s strength. I hope to foster an inclusive community where people can really relate to what I’m sharing. 

What is the earliest time, place, and situation when you can recall music changing your entire world? 

I’ve loved music for as long as I can remember, but I went to a festival with my mom around age 5 where I saw a girl singing on stage and realized “I want to do that!” And that was that haha. 

What are some of your favorite records that were released in the past year and a half? 

Punisher by Phoebe Bridgers and Orca by Gus Dapperton 

How does a change in location affect your songwriting, whether it be in LA, Dallas, or Georgia?

It’s all different inspiration which is great. I’ve felt a bit isolated in Georgia because we’re living near a military base and there’s not much to do. I’m looking forward to moving back to southern California over the holidays. Anytime I feel creatively blocked a change of scenery is a great move even if it’s just a quick road trip! 


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Listen to “Oh Baby”

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