Heartland Rocker Zachary Scott Kline Discusses His Latest Single ‘White Flags And Wars’, Songwriting & Recording Process, & More

From punk rock to country western, Zachary Scott Kline’s influences span far and wide.

The Nashville songwriter recently dropped his new single, “White Flags and Wars,” which leans heavy on the Americana heartland-rock side, and hits with ferocity and conviction within Kline’s vocals.

“I wanted to make a song about the duality within a relationship of love and war. Often in relationships we are shifting between argument and embrace, to which this leads to compromise or cutting ties. It seems that that stress love can put on us is something we have to figure out how to nurture and deal with alone,” says Kline about the new track.

Cut at Welcome to 1979 studios in Nashville by engineer Jeremy Bernstein, the single precedes what will be the debut album of Kline’s come 2022. Assisting him with the track (and perhaps the album) are Jake Blumberg (organ), Aaron Lawson (drums), Phil Anthony Rosenstock (bass), Benjo Markus (guitar and pedal steel), and John Hollier (background vocals).

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Kline is also known to get involved in co-writes around town (naturally), having recently shared credits on fellow Music City Americana artist Henry Conlon’s summer single, “Die Like A Poor Man.”

We got the chance to talk to Kline to learn more about him, the single, and more.

How would you describe your sound and style for those wondering what you’re all about? 

I’m a songwriter first. If you don’t have something worth saying the song can only go so far. I’m heavily influenced by Jason Isbell, John Moreland, and David Ramirez. However, I’ve spent most of my musical life playing in punk bands. I find there’s a definite correlation between the rawness of punk and writers like Townes Van Zandt and Blaze Foley. 

So you recently dropped your new single, “White Flags And Wars.” What’s the inspiration and influence behind it? 

The song is about the reality of trying in a relationship and losing faith. At times, it seems there’s this constant struggle between war and peace when loving someone. There’s a special kind of vulnerability that’s attached to love. 

I see it was recorded at Welcome to 1979 studios in Nashville. How did you get hooked up with the producers there, and what made you feel like it was the right place for your music?

One of my best friends, Jeremy Bernstein is the Engineer there. When it came to making an EP and a record, 79 was the best place for it. 79 is made to track live bands and that’s what we do. Put a live band in a room and press play. 

How do you know when a song is finished? Do you find yourself wanting to keep tinkering and re-recording tracks etc.?

There’s a mutual feeling not only between myself and the band, but between me and Jeremy as well. I trust his instincts and experience as well a lot. Usually, I don’t re-write songs. Once I spend a day with it it’s done. I really take my time with the message I want to convey and the storyline first. 

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Do you get involved in co-writes, or do you prefer to write alone? Perhaps both?

I write a lot with Henry Conlon and John Hollier. They’re some of my closest truest friends, as I love writing and creating with them. I love co-writes; however, I find myself writing alone for the majority of my catalogue. 

How long have you been in Nashville, and other than the music scene, what else makes it so special?

I’ve been in town for 2.5 years. Honestly, the people and friends me and wife have made are long lasting relationships. Very thankful for our community. 

What are your top three Nashville establishments you can be found at on any given day or night?

Eastside Music Supply, Mickeys Tavern and Cheap Charlie’s.

What does a dream gig look like for you?

Opening for any of my heroes I guess. I see my friends and peers starting to get amazing opportunities due to their hard work, and I can’t wait for that day to come. Playing The Ryman or The Fillmore in San Francisco would be pretty unreal. 

What might fans expect from Zachary Scott Kline as we close out the year? 2022?

I got a few shows out of state and in state coming up to close out the year. 

Oxford, Ms (10/30)

Denver, Co (11/12 & 11/13)

Houston and Dallas (11/17 & 11/18)

Nashville (December)

I also have an EP coming out in November called TruthTeller. And come February of 2022, I have my first full-length album called Drugs, Jesus and Fireworks coming out.

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