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Zoe & Cloyd Interview by Christian Lamitschka for Country Music News International Magazine & Radio Show

Zoe & Cloyd Interview by Christian Lamitschka for Country Music News International Magazine & Radio Show

Lamitschka:  Music has many new fans throughout Europe who may be hearing about you for the first time. How would you describe yourself and the music you play to someone who has never seen or heard you? 
Answer:  We like to call what we do “New Appalachian” music.  I’m from western North Carolina and Natalya (Zoe) is from western Massachusetts. Our hometowns are 800 miles apart, essentially the opposite ends of the Appalachian mountain region.  The music that we write and perform reflects our diverse musical backgrounds and influences, but it’s rooted in the music that people generally associate with the Appalachian region and the upper South. 
Lamitschka:  Your current single is being played by radio. What do you feel is special about this song that makes people want to hear it?
Answer:  The first single off of our upcoming release on Organic Records is entitled “Looking Out For You And Me.”  It’s a song that asks us to consider those making the decisions related to our collective well-being. I wrote this song to raise awareness about our shared responsibility to future generations and the planet.

Lamitschka:  How much creative control do you have over your music?
AnswerI like to think we have quite a bit.  We write and perform whatever we want and that’s a great feeling.  Organic Records has been very supportive of our music and Jon Weisberger, who produced our upcoming album, has been very enthusiastic and supportive as well. 
Lamitschka:  Who inspires you musically and how deep do your musical roots run?

Answer:  We both come from musical families.  Natalya’s father is a jazz pianist and her grandfather, originally from Russia, was a professional klezmer musician.  My grandfather was a bluegrass fiddler and songwriter who played with Bill Monroe and Flatt & Scruggs, among others.  Some of my favorite musicians include Carter Stanley, Jerry Garcia, Roscoe Holcomb, Neil Young and others.  We’re continually inspired by all the incredible music at our fingertips these days.  You can easily get lost in Spotify or YouTube.
Lamitschka:  If you had the chance to change something about the music industry, what would it be?
Answer:  To spend more time creating music and less time on social media and promotion!  

Lamitschka:  As an artist, you have so many tasks such as recording, touring, interviews. What do you like best, what's your favorite activity?

Answer:  Many activities! Writing and performing new songs, working toward positive social change, traveling and discovering interesting people and places, and making records that people can enjoy. 

Lamitschka:  What inspired you to become a songwriter?

Answer:  I would have to say my grandfather, Jim Shumate.  He was known as a pioneering bluegrass fiddler, but he was also a songwriter.  I guess I got it into my head early on that it was just a normal thing to write songs.  Later, as I got into other bluegrass artists like the Stanley Brothers and Bill Monroe as well as folk/rock/jam artists like Neil Young, Pink Floyd, Grateful Dead, Phish, etc. I found that, for the most part, all of these groups performed their own original music and that was the most interesting thing to me. Even as I continue to work mainly in the bluegrass/folk/Americana realm I still love bands like Tool and Radiohead and pretty much anyone writing good original music.
Lamitschka:  What's unique about you that will differentiate you from other artists?

Answer:  I think that we have a sound that combines a lot of different elements such as bluegrass instrumentation and harmony with songwriting that sometimes sounds a little more Americana-like. Add in some old-time flavors, country, klezmer and a little dash of rock sensibility and you have us.  I like to think that any time you’re crafting original music and synthesizing diverse elements into your sound, you’re hopefully going to come up with something unique. 
Lamitschka:  Is there any place you haven't played that you would like to?

Answer:  The historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. 
Lamitschka:  Many music fans today get their information about artists online. Do you have your own website and what will fans find there?
Answer: Our website is www.zoeandcloyd.com and fans can find our music on Spotify and other streaming platforms as well.  We love new friends so please follow us and keep in touch!

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