Q&A with Jimmy De Martini of Zac Brown Band

CSRA Entertainment
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Grammy Award winning Zac Brown Band will perform at The Major Rager Presents Bushwood and Boots in Evans on Thursday April 11. With their performance just days away, we had the pleasure of speaking with Zac Brown Band fiddle player Jimmy De Martini for a quick Q&A to ask about the band’s upcoming performance and upcoming “Owl Tour”. You can visit thier website for more information https://zacbrownband.com/ 

How does it feel to be back in Georgia where it all began?  

It’s always good to be home. I love being home this time of year with everything blooming, all the dogwoods are beautiful. Baseball is starting up soon and we have the new stadium here in Atlanta, so its a good time to be back in Georgia. 

The band has played here in Augusta before, what are some of your favorite things to do while you are in town?  

I haven’t been able to spend much time in Augusta, but every once in a while we will get to go watch a couple of holes at the Masters tournament. Every year, we play in or around the tournament at a private show, but this year we will play a public show which is pretty exciting!  

What can your fans expect from the show, and what is in store for “The Owl tour”? 

There is going to be a lot of brand new music that we haven’t released from our album that comes out this summer. We are going to play a lot of old songs, a lot of songs all the way across our whole catalogue. We have a brand new production set up, we worked really hard to get all new lights and sound. We actually spent a lot of time rehearsing for the first time. We spend so much time playing together, we feel like we don’t need to rehearse as much, but this time we actually sat down and said let’s make this tour really special. Let’s give fans something special…something they really deserve. 

This is your second consecutive tour run in 9 months. “The Owl Tour” this summer will mark the band’s third tour run in just a year. What is it like being on the road?  

Well, you just kind of get into a routine. Everyone in the band tries to stay relatively healthy. In the past when we were younger and single, there was partying and drinking and stuff like that. These days, everybody is a little older, a little wiser. We actually get sleep night after night, we eat healthy and we have a workout trailer. Everyone gets up and tries to get some exercise. The day stays pretty packed. You try to fill it with practicing your instrument and we all try to get together to write some songs. It’s pretty busy, but it’s nice to come home and spend time with our families.  However, it’s also nice to get out and be creative.  

What is your favorite part of the day?  

I get up early in the morning and make green tea. I sit down and just try to wake up and relax a little bit before I work out. After I work out, we have a little bit of free time in the middle of the day. If it was a rough drive through the mountains during the night and you didn’t get much sleep, you can take a nap. But probably right before I really get the day started is my favorite time…besides the show. Once you hit the stage, that’s the most fun part. All of the traveling is really the work that goes along with it. Performing on stage isn’t work. That’s the fun part.  

It must be such an adrenaline rush.  

It is. Last night when we got off the stage in Las Vegas, everybody was like “alright we need to get to bed so we can get home” but you still have adrenaline pumping through your body. It takes a couple of hours to wind down and get to bed. But it’s fun, it’s always exhilarating.  

Do you guys have any after performance rituals?   

We relax and eat a meal together. We sit and talk about what went really well with the show, and what we can improve on.  

How did you guys get your start in music and what led you to ZBB?  

I started playing violin in 6th grade public school and joined the orchestra. After that, I joined a band in Athens and traveled around the Southeast. Then, I came back to ATL. There were a bunch of local musicians that would trade off gigs and that’s how I met Zac. A mutual friend, Wyatt Durett was bartending at a bar I was playing at. He gave me Zac’s number since he was looking for musicians to play with. I called Zac and he was having a gig that night, he asked me to come play. I played with him at that show and I’ve been playing with him ever since.  

Who are your inspirations? Who did you grow up listening to?  

I grew up listening to mostly rock music. I was learning how to play guitar while I was learning how to play violin. I listened to a lot of Guns N’ Roses, Soundgarden, Black Crowes, Jimi Hendrix, and Allman Brothers.  

What is your favorite ZBB song to perform? 

Usually the newest song is the most fun for us. Playing the same songs night after night, you find yourself daydreaming a little. Playing the new songs your body is so much more aware when performing it. Those are the most exciting for me. Also, songs that are technically difficult. We do a cover of Charlie Daniels The Devil Went Down To Georgia, that’s a lot of fun for me on the violin.  

What are you currently listening to?  

I’ve been listening to Post Malone’s album a lot lately. I am kind of getting into that kind of stuff.  

What is your most memorable experience being part of ZBB?  

The moment we won our first Grammy was a pretty amazing thing. The band was just sitting down reminiscing the other day. We were talking about sitting around all our heroes. High-Fiving Jay-Z and sitting next to Dave Matthews Band. They called our name and went up on stage completely surprised because we were supposed to be underdogs. We were completely overwhelmed and felt that a lot of hard work had paid off. It was a little bit like slow motion. We walked offstage and kind of didn’t even remember what happened.  

Zac Brown Band will perform live at Evans Towne Center Park Thursday, April 11th. Gates will open at 4:30 PM. ZBB is heading the show with supporting acts, Midland & Moon Taxi.

You can buy tickets here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/zac-brown-band-tickets-52366285971   

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