Music Q&A: Zach Linley of The Rebel Daredevils

Music Q&A: Zach Linley of The Rebel Daredevils

The News-Gazette's Paul Wood chats with Mansfield's Zach Linley, 35, of The Rebel Daredevils.

Q: Who are the members of your band?

A: Tim Kramp (drums), Chad Sherman (bass), Chris Corkery (electric guitar and backing vocals), Jason Beck (electric guitar) and myself (acoustic guitar and main vocals).

Q: Any new members?

A: I suppose you could say that we are all new because this band has only been playing shows for around six months together — although everyone involved has been playing in various bands for more than a decade. It's been fun working with all these guys because everyone is down to earth and very easygoing.

Q: What is your latest project?

A: I'm currently trying to finish up a couple of new songs for the upcoming full-length debut album that The Rebel Daredevils will start recording sometime in August. We hope to have the album finished by late November.

Q: Tell me about your next performance.

A: We'll be playing Aug. 16 at The Summer Lights and Tailgate Nights at the Danville Stadium with 90's Daughter and The Matt Poss Band. This is an all-ages event, so parents feel free to bring the kids along to the show!

Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children and can be purchased at the David S. Palmer Arena box office, online at or by calling 877-77CLICK.

Doors open at 5:30 p.m., and the music starts at 6:30. It should be a great night of music and we hope everyone makes it out.

For more info on other upcoming shows, you can always check or like us on Facebook.

Q: How did you first grow interested in music?

A: I grew up in a very musical family. My mom's family al- ways sang, played instruments, etc. I received a keyboard on my eighth birthday and I think it was about two weeks after that I wrote my first song. My dad showed me a few chords on guitar a few years later, and from that point I was hooked. I eventually picked up bass guitar and learned to play the drums as well.

Q: Which bands did you like when you were a teenager?

A: I gravitated to grunge and punk as a teen. Bands like Nirvana, Minor Threat, Pearl Jam, Firehose, The Misfits, All, The Descendents, Primus and Ministry were in heavy rotation on my stereo. Anything that wasn't country — haha.

Q: Which bands now?

A: I listen to bands like The Steeldrivers, Jamie Johnson, Brandon Jenkins, Blackberry Smoke, as well as classic artists like Hank Williams, Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Goerge Jones and Willie Nelson.

Q: Who has influenced you the most?

A: I would say Bob Childers. He was "The Godfather" of red-dirt country. I lived in Stillwater, Okla., for a few years while my wife attended school at Oklahoma State University. It was while we lived there that I really got sucked in to red-dirt country, and it's what got me interested in writing country music.

Q: Do you have a favorite instrument?

A: Acoustic guitar is my "go to" instrument. That's usually what I play when I sit down to write new songs and work them out.

Q: What kind of amplifiers do you prefer?

A: I currently don't play any amplifiers in this band, but I like Fender and Mesa Boogie guitar amps, and for bass amps I prefer Ampeg.

Q: How did your band get started?

A: Chad Sherman and I started discussing getting this project together in January, and within a week or so he had managed to get Tim and Chris on board. Jason and I had been in various projects in the past and he was my obvious choice for the other guitarist. Two weeks and two practices later, we played our first gig opening for Casey James.

Q: Where does the name come from?

A: Ah yes, the name. I let the other guys decide on that, but it is pulled from the lyrics of a song I wrote about Robbie Knievel, son of Evel Knievel.

Q: How often do you play?

A: June was my busiest month with shows this year so far. I played 14 gigs. Typically I try not to book more than six to eight shows a month, or it gets really hectic with work and family thrown in the mix.

Q: How do you balance this with work and family?

A: The only way I manage to balance everything is with the help and support of my wife, Beth. She is the glue that holds everything together. She has been my biggest supporter and has been very understanding.

Q: Do you write your own songs? Tell us about that experience.

A: Every song I write is approached as a fan of music first and as a songwriter second. I try to write songs that I would like to hear on the radio. Sometimes the writing process is easy, and I manage to get a whole song done in 20 or so minutes. Other times, it takes weeks to finish a song. I try not to force anything, and if it doesn't flow, I'll let it sit and come back to it later to finish it up.

Q: Is touring still fun or has it become a chore?

A: I do still love playing out. It's a lot of work sometimes, but at the end of the day, it's all worth it.

Q: What's your favorite song?

A: I can't say I have a particular song that I claim to be my all-time favorite. It depends greatly on the kind of mood I'm in.

Q: What's your favorite song by your own band?

A: "Tequila Crazy" is probably my favorite at the moment. Earlier this year, I was reading an article about George Jones going out on his farewell tour, and I realized that on modern Top 40 radio, you don't hear many of those old sad songs like George is famous for. The songs that get you right down in your socks. So I wrote "Tequila Crazy" as a sort of tribute to those old classic drinking songs.

Q: Do you feel a special connection with the audience?

A: Of course. When I look out and see everyone having a good time and singing along, it really hits me. I have people come up to me after shows as tell me how much they enjoy what we're doing, and it's mind-blowing to me. I never thought these songs would ever get the positive response they have received. It's a great feeling when people tell me how much they connect to the songs that I write.

Q: What's your favorite clothing item for performance?

A: I would say comfortable shoes and a shirt that breathes — it gets hot under those stage lights.

Topics (2):Music, People