Worship leader and songwriter Paul Zach has released his debut solo EP, God Is The Friend Of Silence through The Fuel Music. The five-song EP was recorded live Dec. 2017 at Mason Jar Studio in Brooklyn, NY, and features Liz Vice on backing vocals. Produced Isaac Wardell, founder of The Porter's Gate and Bifrost Arts, the recording is available now at iTunes, Amazon Music, Spotify, Google Play and more digital outlets internationally through http://smarturl.it/GCMpzfos.
Zach reconnected with Wardell to record God Is The Friend Of Silence following last fall's acclaimed The Porter's Gate debut, Work Songs: The Porter's Gate Worship Project, which was also produced by Wardell. Zach cowrote five songs and was a featured vocalist on threeWork Songs tracks, including "In the Fields of the Lord" with Audrey Assad.
Q: Paul, thank you for doing this interview with us. Tell us more about yourself and how you started singing for the Lord.
I've been singing most of my life. My parents made me take piano lessons as a kid which I HATED. Probably because they paid my older brother to teach me. haha. I started playing the drums in junior high and then picked up the guitar in high school.
I started touring in a rock band full time when I was 19 years old. We played about 200 shows a year for about 7 years. When I stopped touring full time, I decided to work at a church. It's been a really fun new challenge for me to write congregational songs. If the church isn't singing with you then you're not writing good songs.
Q: Last year, you made an incredible record with the Porter's Gate. What are some of your reflections on recording with them?
My friend Isaac Wardell has been really kind to include me in a lot of the projects that he works on. It was pretty crazy being able to do that album with all these great artists that I really respect and look up to. I really love co-writing songs with other artists so that project was a highlight for me! It's fun listening back to some of the songs from that album because it reminds me and my wife of a really enjoyable couple of days up in NYC.
Q: You have just released your own solo EP. Why did you decide to record these songs live?
I've recorded a lot of music over the years and doing something completely live seemed really exciting to me. We did everything live on The Porters Gate album and I really enjoyed that process. It's pretty scary to push record and then you get what you get. But really if you have Liz Vice singing with you then everything's gonna be just fine.
Q: Can you explain a little for us the title "God is the Friend of Silence?" How did this title and concept come about?
The title comes from a quote by Mother Teresa. I've struggled with prayer for most of my life. It's never been something that I've really enjoyed or wanted to do. I've usually felt the absence of God more than his presence when I pray so writing this song has helped me to continue in the discipline even though I find it to be difficult. It's also been really helpful to think of prayer more than just a laundry list of all the things that I need God to do for me. I usually follow the ACTS model of prayer which has really helped me.
Adoration - Praise God for who He is.
Confession - Ask God to forgive me.
Thanksgiving - Show gratitude for what God has given me.
Supplication - Ask God for help.
Q: Liz Vice, who has an incredible voice, gets to sing with you on some of the songs. Who is she? And how did you get to sing with her?
I've been a big fan of Liz ever since I heard her first album, "There's A Light" 2 years ago. I then met Liz about a year ago when a few artists from The Porters Gate went on a writing retreat up in the mountains of Virginia for a few days to finish writing some songs for The Porters Gate album. Liz has one of those voices that makes a bad song sound amazing. Haha. It's hard to know if you've come up with a great melody or if she's just singing a bad melody really well.
Anyway, we sang a few songs together on The Porters Gate recording, so she was the first person I asked once I decided that I wanted to do a solo EP. She has her own album coming out in soon too. I've heard it already and it's awesome!
Q: One of the songs you sang with Audrey Assad. What was it like singing with her?
I loved singing with Audrey. I don't get to sing harmonies very often, so I really enjoyed finding those higher harmony parts on the songs we sang together. She's such a great songwriter too.
Q: Why is silence important in our walk with the Lord? How do we cultivate silence in our lives?
I'm still learning how to cultivate silence in my life. I think it takes a lot of practice just like anything else. I think finding a beautiful place is really important. I go to a beautiful old church every morning on my way to work. I'll just sit there in silence for 20 minutes and pray. Sometimes praying while taking a walk is much better for me though.