- - Monday, November 7, 2016

Zac Farro is Halfnoise. Or is it the other way around? Either way, the twentysomething drummer/musician is OK being the creative epicenter of a new musical adventure.

As drummer for his last band, a little unit called Paramore, a then-teenager went through all the highs and lows that a band going from obscurity to worldwide fame can experience — a ride that left him confused as to whether our not to continue in music.

This time out, with Halfnoise he’s up front, refreshed and enjoying every minute of it. The result is new album “Sudden Feeling,” a catchy and shimmery collection of danceable indie pop tunes. In advance of his Wednesday show at DC9, Mr. Farro discussed how Halfnoise came to be, his relationship with former Paramore bandmates today and the move from drummer to lead singer.

Question: Can we call Halfnoise a one-man band?

Answer: Essentially yeah. It’s always a culmination of different friends I like to record with. But the band and all the songs are all formulated by me.

Q: Is there more freedom in doing it yourself?

A: Since I was 13 I was part of a band. I didn’t always dream of having my own project and being the frontman of a band, it just kind of naturally happened when I stepped away from touring for a bit.

I realized that I really loved writing songs and creating a sound on my own. But it wasn’t this intentional thing. It just seemed to work better to have the most control. Although, when recording the album “Sudden Feeling,” it felt like the people I brought in were a band, even though I brought in all the parts and all the songs.

It feels like a band. But it doesn’t operate the same.

Q: Did moving from drummer to frontman come easy to you?

A: It was cool. I had never sung in front of anybody and didn’t know if I could. I eased into it by opening for best friends back in Nashville. Playing small clubs. Baby steps ever since. It’s a natural progression.

Q: Where did the name Halfnoise come from?

A: It came from one of my favorite band’s song titles — half of their song title. Just to be safe, they will remain nameless. I thought it sounded cool. I didn’t want to go by Zac Farro because that was a little too on the nose.

Q: What artists influenced the sound?

A: Anywhere from Radiohead to Sigur Ros. A little more ambient is how this band kind of started. On this last album I had a very unified vision and felt like I was really connecting with the songs I was writing. A lot of that was due to the fact that for the first time ever, I dove into fully becoming a fan of The Beatles. Plus bands like Talking Heads and New Order. Those bands were the main influences on this album.

Q: Because you’re a drummer, do you build the songs from the beats up?

A: Sometimes. The songs really start from a melodic keyboard part. Or a guitar part. Honestly, drums aren’t an afterthought, but they are maybe second or third in line in the start of the song.

Even in my previous band Paramore, that’s how it was anyway. There was always a guitar riff or keyboard part. Then I would add the drums. That’s ingrained in me, and that’s my process as well.

Q: Will you have a full band when you tour?

A: Yeah. The touring band is different from the recording band. I recorded the album out in California. All the guys that are touring with me are based out of Nashville. That’s home base for me, where I grew up and am living currently. It just made more sense to get guys from here when it came to rehearsing.

Q: You were a founding member of Paramore. What was it like to be in that band and why did you leave after “Brand New Eyes”?

A: Because I was 13 when we came out and played our first show at the Viper Room in L.A. — that band was something I grew up in. I’m super thankful for the experience and history we all have. It just kind of caught up to me.

I felt like my life was only music and I didn’t have anything else. The seven years that I was in that band, it was that way. I quit because I kind of just needed a break. There were no hard feelings toward them at all. I just wanted to work on something else, take a break. I wanted to see if music was still something I wanted to do.

I moved overseas. Got to discover myself. The spot that I’m in now is perfect. The best of both worlds. I’m able to play on albums as a drummer and create albums as a frontman. It’s the dream situation.

Q: Have you maintained a friendship with former Paramore bandmates?

A: It obviously took a few years. We were like family. We grew up together. It was a big decision when I left and they had some hard feelings, but it couldn’t be a more restored and better relationship these days.

Q: What can people expect when they come to see you live?

A: It’s very rhythmic. Lots of percussion. I set up another drum kit on stage. You’ll get some dual drumming.

With this new album there are a lot of upbeats and groovy moments where people can get into it, even if they don’t know every word.

Q: How will you be spending your downtime in D.C.?

A: A couple friends from Nashville are originally from Williamsburg, Virginia, so they take me around. Hopefully I’ll get a nice day to chill and have a coffee of something.

Halfnoise plays DC9 Nightclub Wednesday. Tickets are $13 to $15 by going to Ticketfly.com


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