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DAY SHEET BLOG — Interview

Dirtbag Block of Rock [Zacky Sickness]


"The Struggles of an Unknown Musician" is the third album by 'Zacky Sickness' and is his second album to have all instrumentals and mixing and mastering done by Jacob Lizotte. "The Struggles of an Unknown Musician" is Zacky Sickness' first concept album. The album is the story of the journey of a musician who is trying to make it in the music industry, and the highs and lows that most musicians go through. It tells how the main character gets sucked into the lifestyle of drugs and alcohol, and then has to eventually move back in with his parents. He soon finds that he can't come to grips with the reality that he will just work a normal day job forever and ends up taking his own life. Many of the situations in the story are based off of situations that Zack has gone through and has thought in the past. Zack Started working on the album only 3 months after his previous album "Stonebreaker" was released in March 2020, and finished this album 9 months later.

Influences for the Album:

Killswitch Engage, Metallica, Nirvana, Cheap Trick, Coheed and Cambria, Linkin Park, Architects

Track Suggestions:
Tear Them Down
A Glimpse in an Endless Sea
Cycle of Misery
The Beast I Am
Just Another Broken Dream


Zack Settergren (A.K.A. Zacky Sickness) started his musical journey in 2010 at the age of 17 after being inspired to be a frontman after going to his first real heavy metal music festival. Zack started to practice his singing along to the video Game "Rock Band," until he decided to start his first band with his friends Tommy Hill, Casey Marino, and Collie Davidson. Together they formed a Pop Punk cover band named 'My Friend Z,' who covered songs by 'Green Day,' 'Blink-182,' 'The Ramones' and 'All Time Low.' They only played two shows and was a band for only a year, but those two shows inspired Zack to take music seriously, and to follow it as a dream.

In September 2011 Zack moved to Eugene to go to College. A few weeks before he moved there he posted an ad on the Eugene Music Craigslist looking for a band. A day or two later he got a e-mail from a man named Jered Kappenman. Five days after Zack moved down to Eugene he had his first practice with Jered and their first bassist, James John, and they formed the band 'Black Hare.' Black Hare toured all over the West Coast of America for 6 years with many different line-ups, leaving Zack and Jered the only original members of the band. Black Hare gained popularity in their hometown of Eugene, along with getting to open for international touring artists such as: Alien Ant Farm, HED P.E. and Powerman 5,000 at the world famous "Whisky a Go-Go" in Hollywood, California. They also got to be an opening act for international touring artist 'Dope' at the Hawthorne Theatre in Portland, Oregon. Black Hare released 2 albums and 2 E.P's within their six years of being a band.

Unfortunately, financial problems fell on Zack and he had to leave Black Hare and move back to his hometown. A small town of 2,000 people called Joseph, Oregon. Zack was hoping to start a band when he got back to Joseph, but soon realized there was no metal bands or metal musicians in Joseph. Zack found himself as one of the very few metal-heads in his county. Zack soon started to do recording projects on his own, creating instrumentals on "Apple Loops," and recording vocals over them. 9 of those songs were on the first 'Zacky Sickness' album: "Songs From the Black Sheep." Towards the end of recording the album he decided he wanted a really heavy hitting metal song. He went on to YouTube and looked up "Royalty Free Metal Instrumentals." Where he came along Jacob Lizotte's channel, and listened to a few songs and really enjoyed them. Zack asked Jacob if he would make him a custom instrumental track. The track Jacob gave him Zack thought was genius, and Zack wrote lyrics and recorded the vocals to what would become his song "I Give Up." Zack enjoyed the song so much he had Jacob make another real heavy song for the album that turned into "The Nightmare Called Life." After that album dropped Zack decided he'd have Jacob make all of his instrumentals, and together they released the album "Stonebreaker," released on March 27, 2020.

Zack told himself that he was going to take a good amount of time off from writing songs after the release of "Stonebreaker," but was persuaded to start writing again when he saw a interview with Ozzy Osbourne where he said "If you're on a roll with writing you got to keep going." Zack felt that he was on a roll, writing the best material he's ever written. So he quickly got back to having Jacob cook up some instrumentals. Zack felt it was time to challenge himself and to try to write a concept album. Zack came up with the idea of telling the story of a musician trying to make the "Big Time." He was hoping to show all the hard times along with the good times that come along with it, he hopes to show the world how dedicated some musicians are to making it. "Some musicians are so tunnel vision about making it, they can't come to reality with the fact they got to work a normal boring job and be a average Joe, and I wanted to put that out there" Zack said.  So 9 months later Zack and Jacob finished "The Struggles of an Unknown Musician" and released it on New Years Day.

Band Line-Up:
Zack "Sickness" Settergren- Lead Vocals
Jacob Lizotte- All instrumentals and Production




The Liquid Conversations w/ NICK HUFFMAN [The Looney Bin]

The Liquid Conversations w/ NICK HUFFMAN [The Looney Bin]

Nationally Syndicated rock radio host Shawn Sixx dropped by and interviewed Nick Huffman for The Liquid Conversations podcast -- the official podcast of Dirtbag Clothing.

They talked about what Nick/The Looney Bin do for the industry, supporting live music, the ornament thing, the mayor and the current vibe in Bradley, IL and also discussed who Nick's dream act to book would be.


LISTEN HERE: Dirtbag John visits the DUMB AND DUMBEST Podcast

LISTEN HERE: Dirtbag John visits the DUMB AND DUMBEST Podcast

Dumb and Dumbest Episode #254: Authenticity with Dirtbag John

Being authentic in all of your dealings helps you make real connections with fans and partners that last a lifetime. Dumb and Dumbest #254 is streaming now and it’s all about Authenticity with Dirtbag John of Dirtbag Clothing.

Dumb and Dumbest is hosted by Matt Bacon (Dropout Media, Ripple Music, Prophecy Productions) and Publicist Curtis Dewar (Dewar PR), in addition to the podcast, Matt and Curtis host The Music Marketing Challenge, a low-cost, super high-value private training to bands and artists. Get hands-on practical experience to market your band like a pro today! Message them at the links below:

Dropout Media

Dropout Merch

Dewar PR

Matt Bacon on Instagram

Matt Bacon on Twitter

Dewar PR on Instagram

Dewar PR on Twitter

The Liquid Conversations w/ David Silveria and BIAS

The Liquid Conversations w/ David Silveria and BIAS

The Liquid Conversations' host and Dirtbag Shawn SixX caught up with David Silveria and Rich Nguyen of the band BI·AS to talk about all things music. Take a listen to their chat about what luck has to do with making a great band, David removing the creative bridle, Rich finding bands on Craig's List, when new music is coming, and how BI·AS is a band that needs to get out on the road.

Dirtbag Endorsed Artists VEER win BEST ROCK ARTIST at the Maryland Music Awards

Dirtbag Endorsed Artists VEER win BEST ROCK ARTIST at the Maryland Music Awards

On Saturday December 15, 2018, The Maryland Music Awards hosted their 3rd Annual ceremony at Rams Head Live! in Baltimore, where Annapolis band VEER received the award for “Best Rock Artist,” then closed the show with a performance of their hit single “Come Clean.” The band was also nominated for “Best Breakout Artist,” making them one of the few acts to be nominated for multiple awards in a single year. This prestigious award show has featured some of Maryland’s largest acts including national recording artists KIX, Kelly Bell Band, Silvertung, and many more. We got to talk with VEER about their big win:

Have you ever received this award or any other award before and if so, when and how?
We have not received this award before, last year it was won by the band KIX. The only other award we have received was voted best indie band in Australia in 2018 voted by fans.
What did it feel like and did anybody in the band do anything random or weird during the ceremony?
We were very excited when we found out that we had won. There were a lot of big bands nominated for this awards so we were shocked when they called our name. Nothing really crazy happened because we were getting ready to perform and close the show out. Usually something crazy would happen if we had been drinking or something, especially from me or Ron. We were being good! lol, especially since it will air on FOX 45 sometime soon.
Where will the plaque be showcased?
The record will showcased at VEER HQ along with a bunch of other memorabilia that the band has acquired over our career.
What can we expect to see in 2019?
2019 will be a great year for the band- we have a lot of stuff planned and we are really excited to shoot our first "real" music video for our single "Power Drive." We are also direct support for TRAPT in March which will be our first show of 2019. We also have some other great shows coming up that we can't announce yet. As always, we will be writing new material and coming up with some new ideas to release to the masses!
VEER, who formed in 2016, have quickly risen to the top of the mid-Atlantic music scene while also enjoying international success. Prior to the release of their debut album, Apocalyptic, Baby, the band had songs chart both domestically and abroad, with hits “Come Clean,” “Make You,” and “Power Drive” reaching #1 on the Australian indie rock charts, and where fans subsequently voted VEER as the #1 best indie rock band internationally. Apocalyptic, Baby was released December 1, and immediately broke the Amazon Top 100 rock albums (#55). That evening, VEER played a sold-out performance in support of the album’s release at the Metropolitan , in their hometown of Annapolis, Maryland. Veer have also become the go-to opening band for national recording acts coming through Maryland, having shared the stage at sold-out shows with Puddle of Mudd, Fuel, Sponge, Eve to Adam, and many more. The Maryland Music Awards was sponsored by the Sheeld Institute for the Recording Arts to benefit the Nicole Van Horn Foundation. VEER is: Ronald Mal - Lead Vocals / Guitar Ryan Fowler - Lead Guitar Christian Mathis - Bass Guitar Jon Mal - Drums


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