Longtime Circle Jerks bassist Zander Schloss is starting a new chapter in his musical career with the release of his first solo recording, Song About Songs, from Blind Owl Records. Along with the announcement, Schloss has shared the lead single and title track along with an accompanying music video.
As Veteran Los Angeles music journalist and critic Chris Morris writes in the album’s liner notes, “Played tenderly, with a striking intimacy, the subtle and affecting material on Song About Songs may well come as a surprise to listeners who know Zander Schloss only from three decades of bash-it-out work with the Circle Jerks and other punk units….Here, we get a long overdue look at a hitherto unheard side of his musical personality. It bears the thrill of discovery.”
Schloss has an impressive résumé that includes his featured acting performance alongside Harry Dean Stanton and Emilio Estevez in Alex Cox’s 1984 cult classic feature Repo Man; work on the soundtracks for Cox’s later films Sid & Nancy, Straight to Hell, Walker; and Highway Patrolman. He is well known as touring musical director and guitarist for Joe Strummer of the Clash, with performances on Strummer’s first solo single “Trash City” and album Earthquake Weather. He also has appearances on record with Low & Sweet Orchestra, Magnificent Bastards, Thelonious Monster and in concert with the Weirdos. In 2021-22, he will be seen on stage during the Circle Jerks’ pandemic-delayed 40th anniversary tour.
But Song About Songs, which features the Los Angeles-based performer as singer, guitarist, and writer of nine striking original compositions, displays a revelatory new aspect of his work. It will surprise listeners accustomed to hearing Schloss in an aggressive hardcore format, but the St. Louis-born musician notes that his early musical inspirations came from a distinctly different realm. “Everybody always used to make fun of me because I was a muso. I’d studied Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen and Neil Young and all of those guys back when I was a kid. Then I moved out to California and sunk my teeth into Jimi Hendrix and Jimmy Page and became a rocker. Then in my last year of high school I started listening to Charlie Parker and John Coltrane, moved in with my jazz teacher for a year and became a jazz guy.”
The album was recorded at Los Angeles’ Sargent Recorders, owned by producer and fellow Missouri native Gus Seyffert, who also plays bass on the collection; Seyffert has worked with Roger Waters, Norah Jones, Beck, and the Black Keys, among others. The emerging singer-songwriter Bedouine guests as vocalist on the track “I Have Loved the Story of My Life.”
Schloss will also be touring with the Circle Jerks for their 40th anniversary tour which kicks off in October and continues into 2022. See full list of dates here: https://www.circlejerks.net/tour
Photo Courtesy: Geoff Moore