“Writing is cathartic and helps me relax. I’ve always been moved by music. I value being happy and creative over money so I pursue what I enjoy. Simple really.” – Zack Buchanan
Zack Buchanan is The Outdoor Type. Beyond the rugged demeanor and his upbringing in the desert environment of Australia, Buchanan is also a gifted singer, songwriter and musician.
Buchanan was questioning his musical path when he stumbled on a fresh direction that led to a new indie-rock project, The Outdoor Type. Within two years, Buchanan has released a debut self-titled EP and signed a worldwide label deal with Nettwerk Records.
In 2014, Zack serendipitously clicked on a blog about 90s cult bands and had a flash of inspiration. “One of the artists was a Sydney-based band called Smudge and their song ‘The Outdoor Type’,” he recalls. “It was the first time I heard that song. I listened to it and I thought, this is so good – it got me excited and inspired me to try something new.”
Zack felt disillusioned with the music he’d been cutting – “it was getting a bit weird and electronic.” But, on rediscovering classic Australian acts – Paul Kelly, The Go-Betweens, The Church – he began writing anew. “I started to enjoy making music again, as opposed to writing what I thought would maybe get on the radio or something like that,” Zack quips.
In 2015, Zack composed The Outdoor Type EP in a backyard studio, laying down almost all the parts himself. It spawned popular singles “When The Sun Goes Down” and “Are You Happy.” Both attracted Triple J airplay and topped the AMRAP community radio charts. Yet it was the follow-up single, the stomping urban rock track “On My Mind,” which went viral. Assisted by producer Steven Schramm (San Cisco, Tigertown, Tiny Little Houses), “On My Mind” best defines his current sound – vintage-inspired while simultaneously original. “I tend to think you get a little closer to whatever it is you’re trying to project to the world with each new song,” says Zack.
In 2016, Zack was surprised to receive a message through his personal Facebook from an enthusiastic A&R for North America’s indie label Nettwerk Records. “The song got added to a few blogs in the States and they happened to find it. The head of the label flew over to Australia and I had a meeting with him and then got signed – it was really weird… it kind of came out of the blue.” The Outdoor Type joins the Nettwerk roster alongside other Australian names such as Boy & Bear, Hermitude, The Paper Kites and Xavier Rudd.