Interview: Knoxville's Zack Miles Is Pure Folk Music

Zack Miles: Square Room Showcase 9/18

Tonight, it will just be Zack Miles, his voice and his guitar.

The 24 year old singer-songwriter began as a computer networker after graduating from a technical college, but once he realized he wasn’t into the life of an office worker, he dedicated himself to his folk music.

“Just folk music based on experiences I had with my friends over the years,” Miles said as he described his sound. “That’s what the majority of the songs I’ve written are about and kinda what I stick to. I use songwriting to work through problems and to go back and sometimes laugh at things that have happened over the years.”

For Miles, folk music drew him in through the genre’s allowance for the artist to showcase the lyrics. He cites Conor Oberst, Tallest Man on Earth and the Mountain Goats as his influences—musicians he feels keep their lyrics in the forefront of their music.

“All three of those play solo with just their guitars,” Miles explained. “You’re getting the lyrics. You’re hearing every word.”

Before the showcase, Miles had played on WDVX’s Blue Plate Special and on WBIR. Next, Miles will begin working on his first full-length album in the next few weeks. With twelve songs already selected and the equipment ready, his room will soon become his own studio.

“I just want to make sure I get the version I like on the recording,” Miles said.

Despite his love for folk music, Miles has indulged himself in “heavier” music recently—a fact that his metal head friends laugh at.

“I play them a song, and I’m like ‘Yeah, I’ve been listening to this heavier music,’ and they’re like, that’s not heavy at all,” Miles laughed. “I don’t know how to classify the different genres of metal.”

You can catch Zack Miles at The Square Room Showcase (Presented by Knoxville Music Warehouse) tonight at 8pm with Pale Root, Subtle Clutch, and The Squirrel Skins.