This past weekend I got the pleasure of sitting down with Dylan Lloyd and Stephen Jerzak to talk about growing up, being musicians, plans for the future and their upcoming album entitled “Then & Now”. Check out the conversation below!
Anchor Music News: Dylan, you’re an accomplished songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and one of the hardest working dudes I know. For as long as I’ve know you, I have always wondered what got you into music and what made you want to pursue it as a career?
Lloyd: I grew up with my grandparents and we lived in the hood. They didn’t really want me out on the streets getting involved in bad things so I spent most of my time inside. From an early age, I was playing on their piano. I would spend hours at a time practicing and just playing. I have always had a passion for music as well, and that upbringing of being around it just further fueled my passion.
AMN: I noticed you write a lot about your real life struggles and things you go through. Have you always been a writer and used that as a tool to deal with the things life throws at you?
L: Absolutely man. Being around the piano all the time, learning how to play quickly turned into writing my own music. It was an easy way for me to express myself, definitely.
AMN: Stephen, I remember you were making waves on the internet, you started to gain some notoriety on MySpace and then just blew up. You signed a major label deal, toured with some huge artist and even played Warped Tour and SXSW. Then to me it seemed like things slowed down a bit. Have you set music aside for now, or do you have things planned for the future?
Jerzak: I definitely haven’t set music aside, I write and play daily and have really been working on perfecting my craft. I’ve just been dealing with some music industry issues with that label but I have some things in the works, for sure.
AMN: As a musician myself, I know that everybody has different ways of writing music. You have written some of my favorite songs ever. I have always admired your song writing. What is your typical writing process? Do you get melodies in your head and go from there, or do you get a cool little verse or one liner going and build from there?
J: It really just depends on the song. Each one has been a little different. Sometimes I get a verse in my head, sometimes a melody. I don’t have a specific formula but I usually start with the music and the words come after.
AMN: Now y’all have been friends and making music together for years. How did you two get together?
J: It was actually in a studio session. I was working on an album and going through beats and the one I ended up picking was one that Dylan made.
L: Yeah, it was really cool. We hit it off and the rest is history. That was what… 7 years ago? Wow that seems like such a long time. We’ve had lots of fun together, made lots of awesome music together too.
AMN: What was the motivation for this album?
J: We really just wanted to put together a collection of songs we have done together over the years. We picked the best ones, some of which we no longer available online and put them together to sort of showcase our friendship.
L: Exactly like Steve said. We wanted to celebrate our friendship and the awesome music we created together. We have songs from the past and a new song on it. That’s where the “Then & Now” comes from.
AMN: That’s awesome! I am super excited to hear the new song. Can you tell me more about that?
L: Yeah, it’s called “Leaving Paradise” and it’s a really cool sort of pop ballad. We wrote and had it all down in about a day. We worked with a good friend of ours Joel Tock who has worked on and produced quite a few of our songs. It all came together so naturally and was an awesome experience.
AMN: Do either of you have a favorite song of this album?
J: All of them haha We hand picked each one of these songs and every one of them means something to us and our friendship. If I had to pick one, I would say maybe “With You” because that was the first song we did together. We recorded it out in LA and even made a music video for it. This album is really just a momento to our friendship and each song is special.
AMN: Thanks guys! It was great catching up with you two.