A Farewell to The Zach Sang Show: My Favorite Interviews

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. 

Conan Gray Talks Maniac, Creative Process & Dating and Conan Gray Breaks Down His Album Kid Krow

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. 

Why Don't We - Tell All Interview

Here's an instance of a band that I don't follow, listen to their music, or know much about who left a major impact through their conversation with Zach Sang. This one sticks out in my mind as the band told gut wrenching stories about what they'd gone through under their prior management and the mistreatment they faced, which is an all too common theme with boybands that is rarely discussed as openly as it is here. In the interview, they specifically mention wanting to first tell their story on Zach's show because of the relationship he'd formed with the band and the sense of safe space they had in that room. 


FINNEAS Talks Optimist, Billie’s Evolution, Song Writing and Production & More

Speaking of heartbreaks of shows I love ending, Finneas's podcast with his girlfriend Claudia Sulewski was short lived, but I was so excited to hear more of Finneas's musings when his interview with Zach Sang popped up. This conversation is a fascinating one and a rare one for Finneas's press interviews. So seldom is the conversation primarily about Finneas himself and his musical process instead of framing him as "Billie Eilish's brother" and mining for hints about Billie. If you're a musician or producer, this one is a great listen. 

Olivia O'Brien Talks 'Episodes: Season 1', Logan Paul, Dixie D’Amelio & The Olivia O’Brien Show

It's nearly impossible to pick one Olivia O'Brien episode because she stopped in for a life update on a fairly regular basis whether she had new music to promote or not. Olivia has a very clear brand on her social media that she sticks with, and while it is not inauthentic in the least, her hours spent on the show offered far more facets to Olivia's personality and her story that I enjoyed getting to see, and her candidness both about her life and the music industry was always appreciated. 

Alexander 23 Breaks Down His EP “Oh No, Not Again!” + Jeremy Zucker, Writing Sad Songs & More!

Zach's interviews are always the first place I check when I'm trying to learn more about an artist because he covers an immense amount of both background and present that allows you to understand where an artist is coming from, and they always heavily informed the lens that I approached their music with. With a newer artist like Alexander, this is probably the most comprehensive biography you'll find out there, and I always appreciate the time and attention to detail in the questions that allow you to form more of an understanding of artists who haven't been in the spotlight for years already. 

Alec Benjamin Talks "Mind Is A Prison", Upcoming Album & John Mayer Advice

Alec is another artist that had many turns on The Zach Sang Show that caused me to listen to all his albums after his interview randomly popped up next in my recommended. I had no expectations going into it, but I loved the conversation, and I was intrigued by so many of the lyrics that Zach brought up that I knew I needed to go listen to his work. This conversation is meandering and intense and at times dense but very insightful. 

JP Saxe Talks “Dangerous Levels of Introspection” + Julia Michaels & working w/ John Mayer

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. 

Halsey Talks "Nightmare", New Album, BTS & Black Mirror

Halsey always gets me thinking from her random tweets to her long-form interviews. What I love about this interview is that he gives Halsey the space to fully articulate her point and meets whatever subject she starts to bring to the table. The strength of the Halsey interviews on Zach Sang is that there's a space to talk about other subjects besides her music and pop culture moments. The opening conversation here starts on the subject of unequal opportunities and the overwhelm of trying to live in a thoroughly imperfect society as a single individual. Right after that conversation, Halsey said that she enjoys doing interviews on the show and that they're her fans' favorite for the thoughtful questions. She also mentioned appreciating the time to think and reflect so her words don't get twisted, an issue that ultimately lead to them generally avoiding interviews with press. 

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