Journalist of the Week: Zac Westdyke

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After reading Zac's awesome article on the very strange "Turn Down for What" music video, we wanted to recognize his great work by naming him this week's Journalist of the Week! Read his interview and be sure to check out his spring snowboarding playlist.  

If your life had a soundtrack and you could only pick two musicians/bands to play every track, who would they be and why?

The first one would have to be Mayday Parade.  These guys have been one of my favorite bands since the beginning.  Even after all of the publicity from the first full album, they continue to put out amazing stuff.  They also have a pretty diverse sound, and sound great acoustic as well.  I can listen to just about any one of their songs and it's bound to affect me emotionally in some way - you can just hear it in their music.

The second band would be Sleeping At Last.  These guys are relatively new to me (I first discovered them in college), but they are the perfect soundtrack band.  Most of their stuff is on a "sleeping" playlist that I have for nights I feel like letting some light music put me to sleep!  Their music is really therapeutic for me, and they've pretty much got a song to fit every mood.  If the name is new to you, I definitely recommend checking them out; even their instrumental songs seem to tell a story.

If you could change/improve one thing about Bucknell’s music scene, what would it be?

I think it's very easy for people here to get wrapped up in this relatively new alternative/indie-folk-ish wave that's lately been making its way into a lot of the mainstream (I hate having to use that word) festivals and concerts.  At least personally, I found that during my first-year on campus, I gradually stopped listening to the kind of music I listened to when I was growing up and throughout High School.  And I know this is probably more a fault of my own, but I think that happened largely because I felt that my musical interests were completely different from every one else - and I had this irrational belief that I would be judged for listening to hardcore/pop-punk/screamo bands like Four Year Strong and Dance Gavin Dance.  Fortunately, this lead to me actually expanding my musical interests, and-- I know this is going to sound immature, but - -learning to be comfortable loving and listening to the music I grew up on.  That's why I love talking to people about the music they listened to back in the day; sometimes it can be very easy to lose sight of that for everything that goes on here.

What genre, artist, or group do you listen to when you need a good stress relief?

Awesome question, and it really varies.  It could be anything from pop-punk to progressive-house, but, in general, it has to be something I can sing along to.  I also tend to find that I'll have a specific song or two that will be my go-to for a week or so.  I can get hooked on a song pretty easily, and then it's just on repeat until something new is out or the song loses its emotional impact on me.  Currently, I've been alternating between Mayday Parade's new cover of Bush's "Comedown" and a new single by Seven Lions, Myon, & Shane 54 called "Strangers," featuring vocals by the amazing Tove Lo.

What’s the best concert you’ve ever been to?

If I can claim Warped Tour in general as a "concert," then that hands down.  Specifically, seeing Four Year Strong play at Warped Tour was incredible.  The guys came out on stage with so much energy, and sounded great live.  I eventually made my way up about 2 rows from the front, and can't even remember how many people went flying over my head into the sea of people behind me - it was nuts.  By the end I felt like I couldn't stand from jumping the whole time, and I definitely lost my voice for the rest of the day.

What was the first CD you ever bought?

It's tough to think back that far.  Since just about all the money I earned when I was younger went towards buying CDs, it's tough for me to remember which one was the first.  If I had to take an educated guess, I'd probably say Good Charlotte.  The released their first album in 2000, which would put me at like 7 or 8 years old - at which point I was probably stacking wood for my dad for money.  I also want to say that that was my first CD because it's one of my all-time favorites (definitely a guilty pleasure now).  Their music was full of so much teenage angst, and was so easy to relate to as a kid entering Middle School.  This was also about the time when I really wanted to be in a rock band when I grew up, and these guys were a group of punk kids like me who actually made it despite the adversity in their early years.  Definitely an inspiration to my life today that's pretty much consumed by music.