Zach Bryan Shares His Philosophy on Music and Life

by Blake Ells

Zach Bryan’s ascent in music has been a fast one. He’s also quickly become one of the most prolific artists in any genre of music. His first album, DeAnn, was released a little less than three years ago. Just a few weeks ago, he offered up his third. American Heartbreak is a sprawling, two-hour masterpiece filled with 34 tracks. Physically, it’s a triple-album, and it’s his major-label debut. Warner Brothers was quick to jump on his early, organic following.

This week, the 26-year-old Oklahoma native took to Twitter to share words wise beyond his years. His years serving in the Navy likely taught him a little about life, and he’s applied that to his blossoming music career.

“life is beautiful and hopeful and sad with moments of happiness every person has to work really hard for in it. music should be the same way. that’s how i feel, personally at least. respectfully, of course” he said.

Those are emotions that come through on this new collection of songs. There’s a track buried in the middle of the album–19th, specifically–titled “Billy Stay.” It rides every single one of the feels that Bryan talked about in the tweet. Later, Zach Bryan reflected on that track, and how it came to be.

The song is about an elderly couple that has shared most of their lives together. “Billy,” here, is the old man that has remained loyal and committed to his wife for years. His life is coming to an end, and his wife is reckoning with the beauty of their happiest times and the sadness of losing her love.

“We Get to Love People”

In the thread, Bryan continues, “after we recorded it, i laid in my bed and cried tears of joy thinking about how amazing it is that in this life we get to love people, and it we’re lucky enough, and if the person is truly good to you; a person to make stories with forever.”

The full line he alludes to in the first tweet is:

“If love was enough then you’d stay forever. But I guess sometimes that the end is better. ‘Cause love turns to loss as the time goes by. You don’t know your own name, but you know mine.”

It’s a perfect song. If you’ve not heard the album, there are a lot of perfect songs. It’s one of the best records of the year.

Zach Bryan on the Road in 2022

Bryan is busy through November. He’ll hop on some huge festival bills, including Bonnaroo in Manchester, Tenn. and Lollapalooza in Chicago. He’s also part of the incredible lineup at Palomino Festival in Padadena, Calif. on July 9. There, he’ll join Kacey Musgraves, Willie Nelson & Family, Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit, Turnpike Troubadours, Orville Peck and more.

He’ll be on a massive bill at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta on July 30. That’s the next Luke Combs stadium show. Cody Johnson and Morgan Wade will also be there. Bryan’s year ends at Red Rocks on November 3. See the entire list of dates and how to purchase tickets here.