Wildys World EP Review
"The Zac Mac Band has taken Boston, and now they’re ready to take on the world."
"McIntyre has a very enjoyable voice. The songs on Under The Radar have a much laid back, nearly repressed mellow sound (think Barenaked Ladies’ Maybe You Should Drive album for comparison). McIntyre writes serious songs, but is not afraid to weave humor into the fabric of a song where appropriate."
"MySpace Heartbreak hits both serious and ironic notes in a New Wave/Pop tune about Post-relationship neurosis in a digital age. Highest Level is a treat for the ears; a modern mellow rock tune with a chorus worthy of Alan Parsons."
"15 Songs On The Radio... is an inspired bit of writing. McIntyre takes us inside his head and the struggle to keep striving for your dreams when the possibilities are so limited (“So many other bands / they’ve got the same plans / and there’s only 15 songs on the radio.”) Anyone who has ever tried to make it in the music industry, or even stood in front of a mirror, air guitar in hand and wished will appreciate the sentiments here."
"The Zac Mac Band has a future. Don’t be surprised if these guys are household names down the line."
For full review click here
Juniors Cave Interview
Zac Mac Band's music is full of raw energy that will have you tapping your feet and moving your head. The band moved to Massachusetts to enjoy the music scene in that area and through their tenacious work ethic has landed a record contract. Check out this recent interview with the band. Enjoy!
Isaac: How do you sum up 2008 for the Zac Mac Band?
All: Practice and repeat. We formed in early 2008 via craigslist and we spent most of the year honing our craft and developing our songs. By September, we were gigging regularly. We ended the year on a high note, signing a record deal with Night Train Records in Westford, MA. All the practicing paid off!
Isaac: Describe the music scene in your area (Massachusetts).
All: There are thousands of amazing musicians in this state and that's why I moved here from Maine a little over a year ago. In Maine, I wasn't finding the right musicians to collaborate with. There are just fewer people and the music scene is much smaller, though Portland does have a very excellent music scene now. I knew that it was mathematically probable that I would find the right pieces for a great band, just knowing how many musicians there are down here and how great the music scene is, especially in Boston. We played a lot of dives at first, but recently we have started getting some pretty sweet gigs. This past winter we played Cask n' Flagon, Johnny D's and Bill's Bar.
Isaac: What do you feel was your biggest accomplishment for 2008?
Zac Mac: Signing the record deal was a big step for us. We now have a great manager who is constantly working hard for us to help spread the word about ZMB. In addition to that, we also have unlimited free studio time, which really allows us to take our time and not feel the pressure of the clock when recording our songs.
Isaac: Elaborate a little about whom were your biggest influences in the music industry and why?
Zac Mac: Coldplay is probably my biggest influence. I love their songwriting. I love their sound. Chris Cornell is also a huge inspiration of mine.
Jeff: The Cure, rocking groove bass great catchy songs. Dave Mathews.
Isaac: Let's talk about what you feel you will bring to the music industry?
Zac Mac: I feel that our sound is unique and that our music is powerful. I try to write honest songs with a positive message.
Isaac: If you had an opportunity to work with one artist or group, who would it be and why?
Zac Mac: I would love to collaborate with Chris Martin of course. Who wouldn't want to collaborate with their biggest influence?
Jeff: Dave Mathews would be pretty cool.
Isaac: How would you describe your music to others?
Zac Mac: I would say that our music is incredibly heavy soft rock. We are the warlords of soft rock and we will rock you…. (Softly). Seriously though, I would say that we are a melodic alternative rock band.
Isaac: What is your definition for Rock Music?
Zac Mac: Rock Music - Socially cool and sometimes rebellious popular music with an edge.
Isaac: What type of feedback have you received from your previous releases?
Zac Mac: I've recorded several demos in the past, but nothing has been officially released until now. It is certainly an exciting time for us.
Isaac: What has been the inspiration behind your debut 5 songs EP "Under the Radar" released in March 2009?
Zac Mac: "Myspace Heartbreak" was a band creation inspired by online communities. The song is pretty self explanatory, outlining the conveniences and subsequent inconveniences about knowing everything about your lover on MySpace and Facebook. "Loaded Gun" is also very self explanatory. It's the story of a man that brought a gun into a bar and open fired. "15 Songs on the Radio" is quite autobiographical, telling the story of working a tiring day job, while wishing I could be a Rockstar full time. The song also talks about how hard it is to get into the 15 song rotation that is corporate radio. "Roll Me Over" and "Highest Level" are love songs that I actually wrote many years ago and they have been on the shelf for a while. The band resurrected them and we built them into powerful songs.
Isaac: What can fans expect from your full album, you are working on currently? What is the inspiration behind the CD?
Zac Mac: A great mix of songs. There are uplifting songs, sad songs, dark songs and even a funny song about a 'Cougar.' We tried to put a nice range of songs on this album and I'm pretty happy with how it is sounding. I can't wait for people to hear it.
The inspiration comes from my life experiences. I also sometimes write from other people's perspectives, which really allows me to open my mind up to what other people are going through.
Isaac: Where can fans locate you at online?
Zac Mac: www.zacmacband.com
Isaac: What can fans expect from The Zac Mac Band in 2009?
Zac Mac: Fans can expect a great first album, lots of great shows and we'd even like to get a second album in the works. We already have enough songs for the second album and we would like to begin recording it as soon as we finish the first one!
Isaac: Time for some shout outs to your family, friends, and fans…
Zac Mac: I'd like to thank my family for putting up with the entire racket over the years. I used to drive my parents crazy, but it was worth it! Secondly, I'd like to give a shout out to my friends and fans that have come out to see us play. We truly appreciate your continued support!
Isaac: Final words from The Zac Mac Band…
Zac Mac: Check us out online at www.zacmacband.com. You can stream many of our songs from this website and if you join our fanlist; we'll give you a free mp3! I hope you like what you hear!
"Foo doesn't have much on the audio here - these guys got themselves on an indie label (Night Train Records) and it's all pretty top shelf. Even the snare drum seems to have been tuned to the song... Love the harmonies, wish there were more of that throughout everything they do. Foo's a reverb freak so he has to tell you again how much he likes the lead guitar style, it just floats and weaves it way through everything - very nice, especially for some music that's um...pop. Good looks, great sound - keep it up guys, Foo thinks there's a nice future in the record business for ya!"
By Ed Hannan, Lowell Sun Correspondent
Updated: 01/22/2009 06:41:54 AM EST
This is the story of a Chelmsford High School math teacher who spends his free time as a singer/songwriter. When that teacher/singer/songwriter, Zac MacIntyre, moved to Massachusetts with the goal of starting a band, he went on Craigslist in search of bandmates.
Enter drummer Justin Casanave from Manchester, N.H., and bass player Jeff Bates, who grew up in Townsend and now lives in Billerica. Casanave and Bates were in a band called Soul Taxi that broke up in November 2007.
"They were looking for a singer/songwriter to join up with and they happened to see one of my posts," MacIntyre says. "We had a jam session and everything just clicked."
That was last February. The trio hooked up with lead guitarist Ben Dwyer late last summer after Dwyer saw their posting on Craigslist.
"They were looking for a guitarist with a similar style as mine, so I decided to check them out," says Dwyer, a Nashua native. "Needless to say, I'm glad I did."
The result of all these Craigslist encounters ("I highly recommend it to anyone that's looking to start a band," MacIntyre says.) was the Zac Mac Band. The band's Web site lists influences such as Snow Patrol, Coldplay, and The Killers, along with Audioslave, Chris Cornell, Eric Johnson, and Mars Volta. "If everyone had the exact same influences, I don't think we would feed off each other as much as we do," MacIntyre says.
In concert, you're likely to hear Simple Minds' "Don't You Forget About Me," Radiohead's
"Creep," or any number of originals. But MacIntyre is quick to point out that their set lists vary from show to show.
"One thing that separates us, especially from local live music, is that we aren't a death metal band and we aren't a jam band. There's nothing wrong with either of those, I love them both, but I think our style is more approachable by a larger audience," Bates says.
At this point, the Zac Mac Band has logged about a dozen shows, but hopes to have an EP finished sometime in March with a full length album to follow by the summer. "We are trying to find a balance between gigging and recording so that we can get ourselves the exposure that we need and also constantly release new material," MacIntyre says, noting that the band has signed with Night Train Records.
Your next chance to see the Zac Mac Band is tomorrow night at Johnny D's in Somerville. In the meantime, you can check out their Web site (www.zacmacband.com) or their Facebook page.
"The blogs, Facebook, and MySpace are all great venues to introduce ourselves. Hopefully, the listeners like the sound and want to come see us perform live," Bates says.
WCAP Radio ZMB Interview
Johnny Ds Review
January 23rd, 2009 by Andrew Marx
In the intervening months between their official debut and now, the Zac Mac Band have added some new tricks to their set. The best among the newer songs was Warlord, with its atmospheric groove and searing extended jam. The band also debuted the song Cougar (about predatory older ladies, not predatory wild cats) with frontman Zac McIntyre commenting “’bout time you cougars had an anthem.” They also added (for this show anyway) the harmonies of Becky Vinci, a member of the vocal group Rift, to the best effect on 15 Songs.
They opened their set with the radio-ready tunes Red Light and Roll Me Over. Though these are now familiar tracks to their fans, it still took a couple of songs for the band to get the right mix and start to connect with the crowd. After taking a detour through a deliciously creepy version of Creep (in their hands, it always makes me think of something you would hear at a Buffy Summer’s prom), the band hit their stride with The Best Thing and Warlord. Stepping Stone is always a great live jam, and tonight it was a superb example of how this band has come together.
They capped off the night with the amazing track Loaded Gun, Stepping Stone, and their forthcoming single release Highest Level. Proceeds through the month of February for the sale of the Highest Level single (both digital and physical formats) are being donated to Sherry’s House out of Worcester, MA. Additional details are available on their website.
Zac Mac Band setlist
Roll Me Over w/ Becky Vinci
15 Songs w/ Becky Vinci
The Best Thing
Highest Level w/ Becky Vinci
Chelmsford - Zac McIntyre has developed his own take on a very old joke.
For McIntyre, 25, the answer to “How do you get to Carnegie Hall?” isn’t “Practice,” but rather, “Do your math homework.”
“Studies show how math helps you learn music,” said McIntyre. “Music is numbers; it’s patterns.”
McIntyre should know.
By day he teaches advanced algebra and pre-calculus at Chelmsford High School but he spends his nights as keyboardist and lead singer of the Zac Mac Band.
The group, which includes Justin Casanave on drums, Jeff Bates on bass and Ben Dwyer on lead guitar, formed in February and played its first gig Aug. 1 at All Asia in Cambridge.
“We found each other through Craig’s List, which is a good way to weed people out,” said McIntyre. “We jammed one time and there was a lot of chemistry.”
But then, science has always been a part of McIntyre’s life. He originally planned to major in electrical engineering in college, but a part-time job as a substitute teacher made him change direction.
“I subbed when I was 19 and I fell in love with it,” said McIntyre. “I really have a passion for it.”
He also has a passion for writing songs, which he has been doing for the past 15 years.
At first the tunes were instrumentals with randomly chosen names like “Zeke” and “Hot Coals in My Stocking.”
McIntyre didn’t tackle his first song with lyrics until he was out of high school.
“As a teenager it’s tough to be philosophical about how life works,” said McIntyre. “My view of the world has heightened since I’ve been working and moved to a new state.”
He grew up in Hope, Maine, but jumped at the chance to move to the Boston area where there are plenty of opportunities for up-and-coming bands.
“The goal is to become successful regionally,” said McIntyre. “Marketing is everything. At each show we collect e-mail addresses to build up audiences for our shows.”
The plan seems to be working as the quartet have lined up more shows in October including a benefit performance Oct. 18 at Deb’s Lakeview Lounge in Dracut.
McIntyre has written an album’s worth of songs that chronicle his life so far.
“I don’t have a diary; I write songs,” said McIntyre.
“It’s stuff people can sing along to,” said Bates. “It’s strong melodically and definitely has a modern tinge.”
During a recent Monday night rehearsal, the band starts with the number “Fifteen Songs on the Radio.”
The title is a not-so-gentle stab at commercial radio’s limited play lists and how it’s tough for an unsigned band to get its music out to the world.
Like most musicians today, the Zac Mac Band uses the Internet and sites like My Space and Facebook to connect with its audience. It also has its own Web site at zacmacband.com.
New technology even plays into some of McIntyre’s writing.
“The First of November” describes his experience of discovering an ex-girlfriend has deleted any sign of him from her online social networking pages.
In it, he rhymes “My Space” with “I’ve been replaced,” and “Facebook” with “Can’t see my face no matter how hard I look.”
“It’s basically how everybody has no privacy these days,” said McIntyre.
That carries over to his day job where students are well aware of their teacher’s outside interests.
“The kids really know how to get me sidetracked,” said McIntyre. “They’ll be like, ‘How’s the band Mr. Mac?’”
So far, the answer seems to be, “Good.”
“It’s all about connecting to people,” said Bates. “If the music is good, they’ll pay attention.”
And if McIntyre can get people to pay attention in a nightclub or a classroom, he’s pretty happy with the results.
“In a way, I’m onstage in both cases,” he said. “And I love being on stage.”
The Zac Mac Band performs at All Asia in Cambridge, Friday, Oct. 3. For more information, check out the band’s Web site at www.zacmacband.com.
Kevin Zimmerman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Smart ReMarx Interview
by Andrew Marx
The Zac Mac Band set up on a triangular stage about 10 feet across in the back half of Kennedy’s Midtown bar on Saturday night. Most of the stage is dwarfed by Justin Casanave’s drum kit, so that when frontman Zac McIntyre’s keyboard stand is set up, it sits to the front the stage itself. The sound guy has pushed the speakers forward to make space between them and the band.
It’s that kind of life for a band that is newly formed and still finding its fanbase and identity as a band. The members of the Zac Mac Band have individually been around the local music scene, from Maine to Boston, for years but have only played together since earlier this spring. Out of their collaboration has come an album full of songs that they are currently recording with producer Zac Cataldo in Night Train Studios in Westford, MA. In the meantime, the band’s focus is getting out there and playing some gigs.
The first thing that’s hard not to notice about the band is that McIntyre towers over everyone else in the room. At 6′10, McIntyre plays keyboards and also provides the vocals. Earlier this year, he placed a craigslist ad for a bassist and drummer, around the same time that Casanave and bassist Jeff Bates were looking for another band. The two had played together in a band called Soul Taxi, which had split in 2007. The pair jammed one night with McIntyre and it was instant chemistry.
When you sit down and talk to the band, which also includes guitarist Ben Dwyer who joined them last week, chemistry is a running theme. And it’s evident from watching them that there is already a strong rapport, whether they’re talking about Fenway Park, woman, politics, or their music. They joke easily with one another, are to a man down to earth and supremely congenial. So despite the fact that they have only played two live dates, zero before tonight with Dwyer, you get the impression that chemistry is more than just talk.
“My previous projects weren’t of the same caliber,” McIntyre says of the band, “the chemistry wasn’t there.”
“We’re in sync,” Bates agrees.
Like most musicians, their musical backgrounds are diverse. For Dwyer, he played the alto saxophone in high school before he learned guitar. After mastering guitar, he played with an instrumental jam rock band and also an avant garde jazz band. Ten days ago, responding to an audition for a guitarist, he jammed with the guys and they immediately gelled. The guys had auditioned 5 other guitarists; Dwyer was the last. But according to Casanave, “it was a perfect fit. He had 10 days to learn the setlist.”
As for the others, Bates actually learned accordion first (clearly his parent’s decision) but picked up the bass and found it a natural fit. McIntyre played percussion, jokes about his marching band experience, played the piano and later picked up guitar.
Guitar, for him, gave him a chance to experiment in the writing process. “I wanted to write on the guitar. It’s a different instrument,” he says. “You develop habits on instruments and you need that different vehicle to drive the musical soul.” He immediately cringes to realize how corny that sounds, and elicits laughter from the rest of the band.
And Casanave? “I’ve only played drums. All my friends played guitar and bass and I wanted to be in a band.”
The band, now united, has put together a dozen or so tracks that they are eager to play live. The tunes have memorable pop hooks and evoke some of their musical influences, a little Radiohead here, a little Coldplay there, some U2, some jazz influence. But even for only being all together for 10 days, what is apparent is just how much their songs sound like them as a band. They are aiming to have an EP release ready for this December and likely a full album release in the spring.
In the meantime, the band’s goal is increased gigging, getting themselves out to the local venues and playing in front of fans and strangers alike. Or as Casanave says simply, “Get exposed.” To that end, they enthusiastically hop on stage at Kennedy’s around 11:30 and begin an impromptu soundcheck to the tune of their popular song Red Light. The soundcheck version is a little different though. The lyrics go like this:
“This is a sound check song.”
It brings a cheer from the crowd. Launching into a stellar hour-long set, they effortlessly show off what they have been talking about all night. Newly formed or not, this band has a chemistry that’s hard not to notice.
The Zac Mac Band’s next live date is October 3 at All Asia in Cambridge, MA. Music samples are streaming on their MySpace page.
Kennedys Midtown Review
September 13th, 2008 by Andrew Marx•
The Zac Mac Band put on a energetic set to cap the night at Kennedy’s Midtown bar in downtown Boston. Tonight was the debut live performance of guitarist Ben Dwyer who had about 10 days to learn the songs. The other band members, including frontman Zac McIntyre, bassist Jeff Bates and drummer Justin Casanave, themselves have only been together since last spring but you would never know it from the way the band played seamlessly through the hour-long set.
The band’s chemistry was evident right from the playful sound check song called…The Sound Check Song, sung to the tune of the band’s other track, Red Light. The song’s one line is “This is a sound check song” to which McIntyre later joked, “I have to write better lyrics to that.” Launching into the set proper with Red Light, the band played through some mix problems (the vocals were swallowed up through the first two songs). But by the time they got to their first single Roll Me Over, they found their stride. The dynamic from that point on was at true rock band level.
On a small stage, and without much room to maneuver, the band managed to channel their energy into a wave of great songs, a few of them played before an audience for the first time. One in a Long Line emphasized McIntyre’s keyboard work. The song, about a loved one with a drinking problem, hit on an ethereal vibe reminiscent of The Police. The set picked up the pace with The 1st of November, which McIntyre introduced by remarking the song was about “finding out about your ex lovers on MySpace or Facebook.” The band then launched into a fantastic version of Radiohead’s Creep.
For all the tendency to describe a new band by their musical influences, the songs tonight singularly marked The Zac Mac Band’s own sound. Even Creep was molded perfectly to fit in with the rest of the set. If anything, any Radiohead influence was more apparent on the next song The Best Thing, which included a masterful bridge. The band closed out their set with a lengthy jam during the track Stepping Stone. Cries of “one more song” from the crowd were thankfully heeded (and blessed by Kennedy’s) which gave the audience the encore Highest Level. Besides being treated to an excellent finish, Highest Level also highlighted the comfortable interplay between the musicians as effectively as any other song of the night.
Sure, maybe they’ve only been playing together for half a year (or in Dwyer’s case, a little over a week) but the night showcased, if nothing else, a band that we can expect many great things from.
The Zac Mac Band Setlist
The Sound Check Song
Roll Me Over
One in a Long Line
The 1st of November
The Best Thing