Jed Zarb has had a long, successful career in music – but he’s only just started to release his original work. His latest single is the infectious ‘Hillbilly Cider’, and recently asked Zarb about the song, its video and that long career.
A note: this interview mentions Glen Hannah and was conducted before Glen died recently. Glen was an essential part of the fabric of Australian country music and it is undeniable that without him the shape of that music and the industry will change.
So you’re in the Blue Mountains.
Yes, I’m in Bilpin.
That’s hard to take!
[Laughs] I was just talking about that with a mate this morning. It was just such a beautiful, crisp morning with a beautiful breeze and a few birds singing – could you be anywhere else?
Particularly from the look of your video for ‘Hillbilly Cider’, it just looks beautiful. You had a great location next to home, but also you didn’t have to go very far so it must’ve been quite a convenient video to make.
Yes, and everybody was a local, apart from Pixie Jenkins coming down from Tamworth at that time and Dani Young coming in – so apart from the guys in the band coming from everywhere. But all the extras and the director and the cameraman were all locals.
And it looked like they were having a good time
It was just organically a good time. We turned up, we had an idea of what we wanted it to look like and then we made a few phone calls and got a few people and then, about lunchtime, we didn’t really have enough people to make it look like a party. So one of the camera fellows put out a thing on the Bilpin group – ‘free apple cider’, I think’s what got them there. Next thing we ended up with 50 or 60 people and actually it was just an organic party. People turned up, the bar was set up, the bar was flowing, the music was going and people were just dancing and drinking and jumping off a Tarzan swing into the dam and having a grand old time. I think they forgot there were cameras there.
It does show in the video, that people were relaxed, and it matches the tone of the song, which is of course a lovely upbeat, celebratory song in many ways.
Thank you. Well, that’s what it’s meant to be. It’s meant to be a snapshot of the local farms here and the local people, that’s really what the song is about. I moved into the area and just made observations and, and wrote about them in a romantic sort of way, as you do.
Of course, the song has gone further than your local area. It got the number one spot on debut on the iTunes country chart, it’s popped up all over the place. Have you been pleased with the reception?
Blown away – I can’t believe it, really. I put out ‘Mountain Man’ in October last year and that didn’t have a video clip, and that went really well and I thought, That was far beyond expectations. Then ‘Hillybilly Cider’ has come out and absolutely eclipsed it. So I’m just going with it and very excited that people like it. I’ll just go with that and be happy about it.
Continue reading “Interview: Jed Zarb”