Just as the band’s name reflects an in-between state, HALFNOISE—the celebrated solo project of Zac Farro—lives between genres, fusing elements of synth pop and surf rock in strikingly original ways. With his new record, Natural Disguise, Zac pushes himself into even more exciting territory.
Natural Disguise started with a new year’s resolution. Zac wanted to reveal more of himself to the world. He started listening to classic rock of the ‘60s and ‘70s, and was moved by those bands’ unvarnished authenticity. After a year spent writing, recording, and attempting to live in a more honest way, the album came into focus. It’s Zac as we’ve never seen him before. “Natural Disguise,” the standout title track, is a free-wheeling meditation on the masks we all wear. The rest of the tracks are about what happens when we pull those away—and the joy and freedom we can find in their place.
“It was like a lightning bolt hit me,” Zac says of making Natural Disguise. “I seriously feel this record is like nothing I’ve done before. It feels like step one, in the form of an asteroid.” The album is undoubtedly a creative high-point for him. It marks the first HALFNOISE record he produced entirely on his own—a result of the newfound confidence he found from his year of following his artistic instincts and living dangerously free. The production, which weaves together dreamy psych rock and Afrobeat energy, reveals a new side of HALFNOISE.
Zac first made a name for himself as the drummer of Paramore at 14, but in the 15 years since that band burst onto the scene, the now 29-year-old has become much more—an accomplished producer, photographer, and music video director who surrounds himself with a cohort of artist friends. He’s even now begun producing for others, including a record for Nashville-based rising star Becca Mancari.
When not making music (or running his own indie-label-meets-artist-collective, Congrats Records) Zac is behind a camera. In April, he released his debut photo book for Lomography, In Transit, which documents his travels throughout the U.S. and abroad. He’s also directed several inspired music videos for HALFNOISE (“Who Could You Be” & “French Class”) and Paramore (“Fake Happy” & “Told You So”).
According to Zac, the visual world and the musical one aren’t so different: “I try to capture everything with my music,” he says, “just like a camera would.” For Zac, everything goes back to creating a meaningful artistic practice, a community around himself. At the center of it all lives HALFNOISE. Through this creative conduit, Zac finds a way to bring together the pieces of his hyper-creative life—and make truly one-of-a-kind music in the process.