Today, Zander Schloss released a new single “Dead Friend Letter” from his forthcoming debut solo record Song About Songs, which will be out on March 4 via Blind Owl Records. Pre-save the album HERE
Marking the beginning of a new chapter for the longtime Circle Jerks bassist, Schloss says of the album, “This is my polar opposite version of punk rock. Punk rock is volume and anger and speed. I wanted to do space and vulnerability and excruciating, almost subconscious emotions, things that I feel so deeply that I would never say them out loud.”
Stream/purchase “Dead Friend Letter” HERE
“‘Dead Friend Letter’ was a bit of a departure for me,” states Schloss. “It’s musically, one of the most upbeat songs on the album. In juxtaposition, it tackles the most serious subject. Suicide, and some of the circumstances and thought patterns that may lead to it. It is written in the third party about a fictional character that, as it turns out, is someone that many people who have approached me about the song have known at some point. If you relate to the song or know someone like this who is struggling with drug addiction, alcoholism, loneliness or hopelessness and is looking for a very severe, permanent solution, please seek help instead.”
“Dead Friend Letter” follows previous singles “I Have Loved The Story Of My Life,” which singer-songwriter Bedouine makes an appearance on, and the title track “Song About Songs”, which was excitedly picked up by BrooklynVegan, Northern Transmissions (Song of the Day), Punktuation!, antiMusic, Ghettoblaster, Blabbermouth, and more.
Schloss has an impressive résumé that includes his featured acting performance alongside Harry Dean Stanton and Emilio Estevez in Alex Cox’s 1984 cult classic feature Repo Man; work on the soundtracks for Cox’s later films Sid & Nancy, Straight to Hell, Walker; and Highway Patrolman. He is well known as touring musical director and guitarist for Joe Strummer of the Clash, with performances on Strummer’s first solo single “Trash City” and album Earthquake Weather. He also has appearances on record with Low & Sweet Orchestra, Magnificent Bastards, Thelonious Monster and in concert with the Weirdos. In 2022, he will be seen on stage during the Circle Jerks’ pandemic-delayed 40th anniversary tour. See full list of dates here: https://www.circlejerks.net/tour
But Song About Songs, which features the Los Angeles-based performer as singer, guitarist, and writer of nine striking original compositions, displays a revelatory new aspect of his work. It will surprise listeners accustomed to hearing Schloss in an aggressive hardcore format, but the St. Louis-born musician notes that his early musical inspirations came from a distinctly different realm.
“Everybody always used to make fun of me because I was a muso,” he says. “I’d studied Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen and Neil Young and all of those guys back when I was a kid. Then I moved out to California and sunk my teeth into Jimi Hendrix and Jimmy Page and became a rocker. Then in my last year of high school I started listening to Charlie Parker and John Coltrane, moved in with my jazz teacher for a year and became a jazz guy.
As Veteran Los Angeles music journalist and critic Chris Morris writes in the album’s liner notes, “Played tenderly, with a striking intimacy, the subtle and affecting material on Song About Songs may well come as a surprise to listeners who know Zander Schloss only from three decades of bash-it-out work with the Circle Jerks and other punk units….Here, we get a long overdue look at a hitherto unheard side of his musical personality. It bears the thrill of discovery.”
The album was recorded at Los Angeles’ Sargent Recorders, owned by producer and fellow Missouri native Gus Seyffert, who also plays bass on the collection; Seyffert has worked with Roger Waters, Norah Jones, Beck, and the Black Keys, among others.
Song About Songs tracklist
1. My Dear Blue
2. Not So Long Ago
3. Sin Of Wasting Time
4. Old Cliches & Diamond Rings
6. I Have Loved The Story Of My Life (featuring Bedouine)
7. The Road
8. Married To Sadness
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