When I woke up and checked my phone this morning, I got horrible news from my friend who sent me a tweet reporting that The Zach Sang Show had been cancelled by Westwood 1. In disbelief, I had to google it myself and didn't believe it until I found a radio trade publication reporting on it. The Zach Sang Show website is now defunct, though the YouTube channel is still live. Zach has yet to comment on the show, what happened, or what's next. His last tweet was about working on the show a week before, so this decision has truly come out of the blue.
Honestly, I didn't think much of the show as existing on radio since I've consumed it exclusively on YouTube and as a podcast, as most people I know did, but the finicky nature of radio was definitely at play here. And in a lot of ways, I'm pretty devastated by its ending. Zach was one of the few interviewers across media that I truly looked up to. In a world devoted to quick clips, out of context audio files, and whatever line will make a good headline, Zach took the time to be thoughtful, to cultivate relationships with the artists he talked to, and to delve into the music that was being discussed. The amount of care and dedication to his job was extraordinarily obvious, and he was just as lovely in person as he comes across in his interviews as I've run into him at a couple concerts.
For all of these reasons, Zach has become an icon of sorts in many fandoms as fans always look forward to their favorite artists coming to his couch for a long, in-depth, and personal-without-being-invasive conversations that shed more light on these artists than any other format. My entire Twitter feed is made up of fans mourning the show and confused at its ending. There really is no replacement. I hope that Zach finds a new format to continue delving into music with artists that he admires and sharing those conversations with all of us.
Zach's interview style and his thoughtfulness has heavily informed the way that I approach every conversation with artists for this blog. I'll definitely miss the chance to listen to new episodes every week. Every artist that came on the show, even ones I either didn't know or didn't like, I learned something from through Zach's guiding questions. There is so much amazing material from the nearly 10 years of the show, so I just wanted to recap my favorite episodes and moments from over the years. Of course, this is extremely biased by my personal list of favorite artists, but if you're looking for something to fill space today or to go down memory lane on one of your favorite shows, here are some of my highlights.
While I had been aware of The Zach Sang Show before these two interviews, these made me realize that I wanted to listen to every new one that came out. I think these two episodes also revealed the sharpest contrast between Zach's style and nearly everyone else's for me as I watched these interviews in a long succession of others that Conan had done in the same time period. You could see a level of ease that Zach allowed Conan to have and it created a forum for honesty.
Also, these two interviews are ridiculously hilarious, the banter is unmatched, and I can probably quote you large swaths of both of them. I am extremely disappointed that there won't be the Part 3 that Zach told me he'd work on when I met him at the Greek this fall.
JP is a person with a lot of thoughts which isn't hard to tell if you've ever listened to his music, and this show was the perfect format for them. The conversation is quick and funny but also really gets into the songs of his debut album in a way that is thoughtful and accessible and a great introduction to JP as an artist if you haven't heard his music.