PREMIERE | The Zoltars, "In Denial"
Austin local staples The Zoltars have just made a home for themselves at ATX vanguards Austin Town Hall Records, announcing the new album Telling Stories arriving on Halloween, October 31. Presenting the debut of “In Denial”, the band takes all the things that people deny themselves amid the biggest break-ups of their life and feature them in a ballad of wistful departure with tinges of longing and desire that go unmet and left behind in the transition of lovers going their respective ways. The Zoltars craft these highly wrought soundtracks for interior monologues after the dialogues have been dissolve by the opposing party.
“In Denial” tackles the aftermath of what happens in the wake of an ended relationship and the inner fallout that occurs. The Zoltars entertain the subjects of forgiveness, reliving old memories, the thrill of discovery, the attempts and moves toward recovering normalcy and all the pains involved for those that pine in vain for someone that’s long gone. The sting of having a former familiar in absentia is illustrated in reiterations of said fact as the audience draws their own correlating experience to everyone involved. The Zoltars have made a song for the brokenhearted, the disenchanted, the hopeless and the hopeful that are holding on for one glimmer of goodness from somewhere, someone, anywhere that offers a view toward a better life than anything they have ever known previously. “In Denial” is a song to shake all those stuck in the proverbial Groundhog Day of their own ruts and rheumatism by spelling out that avoidance is not the same as being proactive about all the issues at hand. Blending a kind of 1959 crossed with 2019 destitution vibe allows the heart ache to reverberate in a way that feels both out of time, out of mind and yet totally relevant, familiar, important and essential to address lest the condition of chronic, perpetual heartbreak continue to prevail and metastasize.
Jared Zoltar, aka Jared Leibowich, took the time to share some insights on the new album and more:
Origin story of The Zoltars; the story of how you all met, how the group was formed, et al.
The Zoltars started as a two-piece in 2008. My best friend, Richard, and I played music together towards the end of college (in Chicago), and then we both moved to Austin together and started playing shows here. He moved to Florida for grad school, so I got two more friends to join: Donald and John. We were now a three-piece, and this gave us a bit of a new sound. With this line-up, we did the first two albums (Richard was only on a 7-inch as far as our official releases, but he and I made three secret albums together). John moved to Virginia for grad school, so then I got my friends Miranda and Justin to join the band. We were now a four-piece! This also sounded a bit different. We recorded the next two albums with this line-up. Miranda moved to San Francisco, and Justin became a father, so I got two more friends to join, Chad and Jared Canada. Jared Canada is actually the person who put out the first 7-inch and the first album, so it's cool how things kind of came full-circle.
As far as how I met all my bandmates:
- I met Richard and Miranda in college
- I met John, Donald, and Chad through Richard
- I met Justin through the Austin music scene
- I met Jared Canada because he found out about The Zoltars when his roommate was recording our first 7” and Jared offered to put it out on the record label he just started called Sundae Records.
From Should I Try Once More, Walking Through the Dark, the self-titled to the new album Telling Stories; describe the group's natural creative evolution.
Including the upcoming album, there are four official albums by The Zoltars so far (and a couple of 7 inches and secret albums along the way). I try to make each album a little different:
Here they are in order of their release:
Should I Try Once More (2012): a lo-fi concept album that tells a story over the course of ten songs about a person falling in love again.
Walking Through the Dark (2013): A hi-fi album that I tried to go as maximalist as possible with (lots of cello, piano, etc.)
The Zoltars (2015): I pushed myself a little bit too hard on the previous album, so I wanted to make an album that was fun and low-stress. We recorded and mixed it on tape and tried to capture our live energy.
Telling Stories (2019): This album is a collection of short stories told in song form. It's probably our poppiest album. I wanted a little bit of everything on this album: happy, sad, funny, serious, etc.
Even though every album of ours is a little different, storytelling tends to be a big part of my songwriting.
With the sentimental and melancholy sway of "In Denial"; share some insights on the events and things that inspired the song's creation.
Every song on this album tells a fictional story, so this song isn't inspired by a particular event that happened to me, but I'm interested in the idea of re-examining the past once someone who was once close to you is no longer a part of your life. A romantic breakup, the end of a friendship, or the death of someone you knew quite well is usually painful, but each of these events also encourages you to understand how that person affected you and how that person also changed you.
Notes from the Austin scenes.
Austin's great because it has every style of music imaginable. So you can find bands you like no matter what you're into. The musicians are also really friendly here, too.
Local artists that you all appreciate.
My favorite local artists off the top of my head are (in no particular order) Blank Hellscape, Blood, Loma, Chronophage, Stress Group, Cross Record, Daniel Francis Doyle, Grape St., Nevil, Deep Time, Future Museums, Hidden Ritual, Dollar General, Plague Boys, and The Hermits, Nolan Potter's Nightmare Band, but I know there are a bunch I am probably forgetting.
Fall and winter hopes.
Tour in November! And wishing health and happiness to my family and friends.
Parting words of hope and wisdom.
This is the hardest one for me! I guess if I were to give advice, I'd say read Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl. I re-read it every few years, and it deeply affects me every time.
The Zoltars’ new album Telling Stories will be available October 31 via Austin Town Hall Records.