There are some bands that are made to be local indie bands. Then there are some are globally reaching. The Commuters are in the latter category. Their sound is approachable and yet wonderfully personal and emotional. And thankfully, we had the opportunity to chat with frontman Zeeshan Zaidi. We had the opportunity to talk about the new EP and the birth of his first child. So without further adieu, here is Zeeshan Zaidi of The Commuters.
Zeeshan Zaidi: Freaking amazing! Very psyched to be on your blog.
LM: Awesome! Thanks for joining us. The title track, “Before I Was Born”, is deeply emotional. Tell us a little a bit about the production of the track and inspiration.
ZZ: I wrote this song a few years ago after the birth of my first child. When she was born I was struck by the intensity of the relationship she had with my wife – and the familiarity. So it was about that, but more generally it is about how sometimes people in this world have such a strong, intense connection that you have to believe that their relationship transcends this life – will either continue after or existed before.
So for the track production I wanted to create a song that was accessible — so everyone could relate — but could capture that longing and intensity. Brought in a bunch of ethereal pads, kept the guitars simple, but had an unorthodox, driving drum groove that Paul [Amorese] laid down.
LM: The music video for the single is a visual whirlwind. Where did the concept come from and how does it relate to the song itself?
ZZ: Last summer, weeks before the scheduled release of our EP, Before I Was Born, my grandmother passed away. She and I were very close – I was her first grandchild – and it really hit me hard. At the same time, my wife was pregnant with our second child. The juxtaposition of emotions was really intense. It got me to thinking about the cycle of life, birth and death, the places they intersect in this world and other places – and the overlap (and sometimes none) between generations. I wanted to make a video that explored this. I got put in touch with director Matt Newman through a friend and we got to talking. We agreed that since I was the living connection between my late grandmother and my unborn child that we would explore that place through images of me. Matt is amazing so I left it to his creativity, he came up with a treatment and we did it!
LM: We saw that you attended the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony in April. What was that experience like?
ZZ: Absolutely insane. To see all these legends and icons honored that way – Pearl Jam, Journey, Yes, Nile Rodgers – was mind blowing, humbling, inspiring all at once.
LM: I couldn’t even imagine all that history in one room. So now that the EP, Before I Was Born, has been established for a bit. What are you plans for additional touring and shows?
ZZ: Just did a show in NYC – and we’re starting to pull together plans for an East Coast tour later this year – stay tuned!
LM: Thanks for taking the time to chat with us! We so appreciate it!
ZZ: Anytime! Thanks for having us and connecting us with your fans.
You can pick up Before I Was Born EP by The Commuters on their Bandcamp page now.