Hell and Zac | 

Rocker Zac Brown reveals how Covid helped him to put his life back on track

Covid-19 shut down the world in 2020 and forced him to lay off 90 per cent of his staff

Zac Brown and his band played the 3Arena last week© ??  `??_/O??

Eddie RowleySunday World

AMERICAN country rocker Zac Brown reveals that he was employing 250 people when Covid-19 shut down the world in 2020 and forced him to lay off 90 per cent of his staff.

However, the Chicken Fried singer, who played Dublin’s 3Arena last week, admits that the pandemic was an opportunity to simplify his life.

“I had 250 employees when Covid started and we had to act pretty fast to get the severance packages to everyone and make sure everything was done the correct way to help them to get set up,” Zac tells the Sunday World.

“We had to shut down a lot of our businesses, our manufacturing business and things that we had going. We had to let go a lot of people that I had been in the trenches with a long time and that part was hard.

“But now that everything has been simplified it has freed up a lot of head space for me to be more creative, to be able to write more, to be able to really focus more on the music. And that probably would never have happened.

“Covid threw a bit of a wrench into our ability to do a lot of things, but I would say that overall it’s been a blessing… it helped to make things a lot more simple for me.

“It’s been a silver lining because now I can go back out to play and do everything a lot smarter. You build the machine along the way as you go and now everything is pretty simple.”

Brown (44), whose marriage had broken down, says that the lockdown also gave him precious time to hang out with his children.

“I had toured every year for the past 24 years, so having two years off was awkward at first,” Zac says.

“After figuring out how to survive what was happening it turned to, ‘I’m at home and I have the best quality time with my kids.’ I get them half the time, so I’m with them a full week and when I was off the road we were just playing on the lake and having the best time.

“And when I didn’t have the kids I was wanting to play my guitar. I fell in love with going back and sitting with my guitar. Because when we were playing so much and so often for so long, you look at a guitar when you’re home and it looks like work.”

At this point on our Zoom interview, Zac starts strumming his guitar. “So I was being inspired again to sit down and play my guitar and create and craft new songs and give that the time that it deserves,” he says.

The Zac Brown Band are a group best experienced live, he stresses. “Our band is very different. You can’t really understand our band by listening to the songs on the radio, you have to come see it to understand what it is. It’s a live experience and that’s what we’re good at and it’s what we try to focus on.

“We take it very seriously, what we do. People can go and spend their money on a ticket to go see anyone and if they are going to keep seeing us then we need to show up and give them everything that we’ve got every single time that we play.

“No one is partying before or during a show. A lot of us don’t party anymore at all and it’s just to feel good.

“Whatever I can do in my life to feel better to have more energy, to be able to create and to be present for my kids and for my family, those are the things that we are seeking now.”

Zac adds: “Covid centred us very well. It reminded us how privileged we are to have the job that we have to entertain people.”

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