By Emily Glory Peters
Business and music seem an unromantic pairing, but for local band Zach & Bridget, they’re two sides of the same coin. Like the performers themselves, one can’t succeed without the other.
“When we’re at our best is where I’m the content instigator and she’s the editor,” says Zach Galanis of his wife and band partner, Bridget Schack. Both are formally trained, and both have pulled double-duty with side jobs to augment their music. It’s a tenuous but necessary balance when working in an unpredictable industry.
“In the past, we did home concert tours, sold a bunch of CDs and came home with a decent living,” explains Bridget. “Now everyone expects it to be online and I think there’s good and bad in that; difficult financially, but the outreach it provides is amazing.” Whittling through the glut of music also has its upsides, adds Zach.
“With the ubiquity of music there’s a lot of emphasis of radio and good curators of music. Spotify has a long way to go, but we’re carving out a way to do it pleasurably.”
What is romantic amid all this shop talk is the pair themselves. Both Los Angeles transplants, they met by chance—or divine appointment—while studying at Azusa Pacific University, and “fell in love almost immediately.” Together, they’ve managed to escape breakups that have marked the demise for so many other bands, choosing instead to glean from each other’s strengths.
“We come from different worlds. I was trained classically, never really been a writer; Zach is more reserved as a performer. I’ve helped him become freer on stage, and he’s helped me relax into expressing myself in songwriting,” says Bridget. Their newest full-band project, under the moniker The Graylings, reveals elements of that journey.
“The Graylings is more flippant and fun, taking on modern issues and things we may disagree with others about. Sometimes it’s easier to have those conversations in a song,” Zach says.
Still, love for one another is evident in how the couple talks about their music: one will often pause before answering, allowing the other to express an opinion first. It’s tough to silo that work into a specific genre, although many songs bear the folk-inflected imagery of “home”—in this case, Sierra Madre.
“The last two albums were made here. We even named the last one ‘10 Love Songs From Montecito,” notes Bridget—an homage to their favorite recording studio and adopted hometown.
Fortunately, you’ll be able to catch Zach and Bridget’s latest act at upcoming shows around LA— including their residency at RT Rogers Brewing in Sierra Madre—or you could even host a home show. The support won’t go unrewarded.
“Good art is to see the world from someone else’s perspective. We’re always trying to be more refined musicians, diligent about creating something heartfelt,” says Zach. “I hope we as musicians have a very long arc, playing together until we’re old and grey.”