Q&A with Zeeshan Zaidi of The Commuters
NYC-based indie rockers The Commuters just released their new EP, Before I Was Born in August, marking their first release since their 2012 debut full-length, Rescue. With a few years to grow into their own sound and many personal experiences to make up these songs, Before I Was Born hosts some of The Commuters' best work to date. Vocalist Zeeshan Zaidi recently talked with us about the new EP, the changes that the band has gone through and the future - read the full interview below!
Interview by Shannon Shumaker
Can you tell us a little bit about The Commuters for any readers who may not be familiar?
We're a 4-piece alternative band from New York City. Rocking the globe, one stop at a time...
How do you feel being based out of New York and that music scene has shaped you as artists or affected your sound as a band?
We love New York City. Center of the universe. The energy, the intensity, the creativity inspires us every day.
I think our music has been more shaped by New York as a city than the New York music scene. When people talk about the New York music scene, they're usually referring to the hipster indie scene and we're not really a product of that. I think our vibe is about the fusion of lots of different perspectives and influences -- which is more about New York in general.
You guys just celebrated the release of your new EP, Before I Was Born on August 12th! What was the most rewarding part about working on these songs?
Just being back in the lab! It was a long time away and just letting the creative juices flow again, playing around with new sounds and arrangements was refreshing.
Before I Was Born marks your first release since Rescue, which came out in 2012. How do you feel you’ve grown or evolved in the four year gap between releases?
I think with time our sound and our has evolved and we've grown as individuals, which has definitely impacted our music.
What was the main inspiration behind the songs on Before I Was Born?
They're all based on very personal themes for me -- the birth of a child and the relationship between the child and its parent, the inner fighting spirit in the face of oppression, the immigrant experience, a loved one battling serious illness. All based on things I experienced or themes I care a lot about.
Are there any tracks on the EP that you’re particularly proud of?
That's like picking a favorite child! Proud of all. Although if I had to pick one I would say the title track "Before I Was Born" -- very happy with the place we got to sonically with that one.
What would you like listeners to be able to take away from Before I Was Born?
More than anything I want people to think about their own lives. Hopefully the songs get people to think about things in a new way, or reflect on their own experiences.
With Before I Was Born out now, what is the rest of 2016 looking like for you guys? Do you have any plans to hit the road any time soon?
For sure! We're playing a release show on September 14 at the Cake Shop club in New York -- as part of the Mondo Music Festival.
Then we're thinking about playing some additional East Coast shows, so stay tuned!
Thank you for taking the time to chat with us! Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Thanks for featuring us again -- really appreciate the chance to connect with your readers!