by the partae

What is your name and role within the band? 

My name is Zac Holtzman and I play guitar and do some singing in the band.

How did you start?

My brother and I came up with the idea to base a band on the incredible music that was made in Cambodia in the late 60′ and early 70′. We went looking for a Cambodian singer and found Chaim Nimol singing in a club called the Dragon House. This was our start, we quickly started writing original tunes.

Where are you based?

Echo Park (Los Angeles, California).

Please give an example of your music writing process?

One of us will bring in an acorn of an idea and the rest of us water and fertilize it until it grows into a thorn bush with poisonous flowers.

What are you working on right now?

We’re finishing up the art work for a score we did of an old silent film called the Lost World. We’re also working on a dozen tunes that we recorded out in the desert.

What is your gear setup?

I play a Fender Jazzmaster with Novak pick ups and Guadalupe Custom strings. My main amp is a Tone King Meteor II ( I love it). My pedalboard is always evolving. I tend to play a lot of Diamond pedals and Catalinbread pedals. My favorite pedal is my Memory Lane II with an expression pedal to navigate it into outer space.

What do you like to do outside of music and does it affect your music?

I like to go treasure hunting. On our last tour with Tinariwen we crossed all of North America. I got in a lot of hunting. My best find was an Indian head penny from 1897. I also found a few cool rings. Hunting under water at old swinging holes is my favorite.

Besides treasure hunting I’ve been playing a lot of flute. I love how portable it is. Anytime I’m waiting for five minutes I’ll start practicing.

How would you describe your music genre?

Like an atom smasher creating particles that have never previously existed.

Do you know any music theory?

Enough to break out of prison if the code was written in musical notation.

What are your plans for the future?

Trying to finish those two albums I spoke of earlier. Get back to Europe and Australia and do some hunting. A friend of mine has 1000 acres of land in Cheshire that has signs of Roman activity on it. I’d like to spend some time there.

How did you get into music?

My dad used to sing old cowboy and folk songs to us.

What are you listening to at the moment?

My dog’s gentle rhythmic breathing. 

Who are your top 5 influences and icons?

Almighty Op, Paramahansa  Yogananda, Merle Haggard, Link Ray, ELO, Andres Segovia

When are you playing next?

Not sure for the band but next time I’m waiting for five minutes I’ll be playing my flute. OK our next gig is here in October!

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