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What I Learned at Bandcamp: Young Mothers

Zachary Toporek, Young Mothers

I recently stumbled upon the tunes of local musician Zachary Toporek, better known as Young Mothers, on Bandcamp. Immediately, I was transported back to a period of time independent of the responsibilities that classify me as an adult. It reminds me of summer, drinking metallic-flavored water from the hose and growing up listening to oldies.

Toporek is a transport fresh from Tucson, who after five years of recording with others has returned to his roots as a solo artist. He is currently working on his second LP and has upcoming shows at The Rogue Bar in Scottsdale on Aug. 23, The Open Source Project in Tempe on Aug. 26 and another at Rogue Bar on Sept. 25.

We reached out to Toporek in an email interview, find out what he had to say below…

How did you come up with your name?
In the rich parts of town, there are plenty of pretty young things who choose to stop worrying about how to pay their bills by putting a ring on their finger and making one or more babies. They walk around looking beautiful because they are and carefree because they are, and when you’ve snuck into those parts of town and walked around, hiding your cigarette in your folded palm and feeling embarrassed for your shoes, and see the pretty young things walking with their children from across the way, you sometimes must think, “look at those young mothers” and regret not getting a proper education so you could afford one of them for yourself.

Upcoming projects, where do you want to go from here?
I plan to continue writing songs until another album appears that I’m happy with. Mostly, that’s happened already.

I’d like to go forward or up. I have very little interest in back or down, because backwards is only backwards and down is only down because there were things there that were distasteful or hurtful or uncomfortable that pushed me forward or upward. Forward and upward to me is generally defined as writing more music with increasing quality over time, getting that music to pay for more of my practical and necessary expenses as a human, being able to show my craft and creations to more people, and moving towards a lifestyle that allows me to form a more meaningful and lasting relationship with myself and more meaningful and lasting relationships with others without being distracted by where my next dollar will come from.

What inspires your music?
Intense emotional experiences followed by intense periods of thought followed by long stretches of nothingness followed by instantaneous, simultaneous disengagement of the higher brain and engagement of the subconscious followed by allowing for words to fall out of my mouth followed by long periods of guessing and editing.

Sometimes women.

What musicians or bands do you look up to?
I look up to Otis Redding and Harry Nilsson for the knowing they expressed with their voices, Michael Jackson for his rhythm and harmonic sophistication, Prince for his unbridled sexuality, Townes Van Zandt for his thoughtfulness, and Elvis Costello for his bile.

Why do you make music?
If I could name a reason, that would defeat the purpose.


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