Six years is a long time. I used to be a sappy 16 year old who would post Facebook status updates each day that ended with phrases such as “text it.” Now I’m a broken 22 year old suffering from RSI and severe allergies to: everything. It’s been a journey filled with good, bad, wacky, shitty and juicy moments. Here’s the highlight reel:
- The Amount of Zack Zarrillo Related Typos on PropertyOfZack: The limit does not exist.
- The Moment I Knew the Website Could Be a Thing: I interviewed Kevin Devine with Emily Coch on March 19th in 2010, just a little under six months following the site’s launch. I had done a dozen interviews or so up to this point, but I didn’t feel confident in “my craft.” I hadn’t met Kevin before. When we walked in, a few hours before doors, he greeted us by saying, “Can you give me a few minutes? My mom is driving here from Brooklyn and is lost.” Speaking with Kevin at a winery at age 16 while he wore New York Knicks mesh shorts and treated me like a real human being, even though I was a kid, was the ultimate boost of confidence I needed. I’ll never forget that. That’s why I’m so grateful to work with Kevin in a new role every day.
- Deepest Regret(s):
- Title Fight’s Floral Green came out on September 18th, 2012 via SideOneDummy. PropertyOfZack was responsible for its leak, several weeks early, on September 3rd. While I was not the individual that directly leaked the album onto the internet, I made the mistake of sharing my advance with a staff member. They broke my trust, just as I had broken the trust of the publicist and other individuals who gave me an advance of the album in the first place. Three years later, I still deeply hate that this happened. I never won’t.
- In November 2014, I deleted several news posts from the previous year regarding sexual allegations against Harry Corrigan, formerly of No Good News. While ignorant to it at the time, it was a grave mistake that I’ve considered nearly every day since early May of this year. It seemed very simple to just remove the posts, and that in itself was the issue. Why did I remove them? Blind trust and anxiousness. I didn’t want to deal with the potential pressure or disappointment from John James Ryan or anyone else that might work with the band in the future. What a dumb thing. So much of working in music, whether as a band member or a manager or a blogger, seems fake and lawless. Ultimately, that’s incredibly wrong. The dedicated individuals that call themselves fans of music and labels and websites are human beings, and so are the individuals that make that music, run those labels, and publish those websites. It’s something that is stupidly simple, yet overlooked. We might be paid less attention because we’re not attractive to the radio or to television, but there are millions of fans in this underground music scene. We all take steps forwards and backwards. Removing those posts was a step backwards for this scene when it came to promoting safety and awareness and just doing the right thing.
The Fall Out Boy Leak: Despite AltPress running a piece a few days prior asserting that a reunion was not happening (they knew it was), I leaked Fall Out Boy’s reunion on January 25th, 2013. I began work on sourcing the info nearly two months prior, at the start of December. It’s still so stressful that I think I blacked out doing an interview with Jason Pettigrew of AltPress for a feature a month after the leak.
I don’t have much to add that I haven’t written or spoken about before, but I’d like to note that I was home in Manhattan from Drexel due to not having class that Friday, I think. I got the go ahead from my super-secret source that I could run with the leak that morning, but I had a lunch date with a booking agent that would soon have involvement in Light Years, the first band I started managing. We got lunch at a shitty diner in Midtown Manhattan and I ordered a veggie burger with fries. I was noticably anxious. When I told him why, he advised I get the hell out of there and do my thing. I then went to my parents’ office (we were supposed to go to New Jersey later that evening) and did the deed. Before doing so, I called a peer at Crush Music to inform him that I was going to be giving a big middle finger to the company I had once interned at, and would be pulling the rug out from under their largest moment since From Under The Cork Tree. He didn’t answer and we didn’t talk for two years afterwards. Jason Tate was at a wedding when this happened; he got mad at me for making him retreat to a starewell to handle the shitstorm that had erupted. I also should have posted this on a Monday, but did so on a Friday out of FOMO. Regardless, we got a lot of traffic and I got a few death threats. What a time to be a 19-year-old.
Number of Shows I’ve Been to Since Officially Starting PropertyOfZack (11/08/09): 388
The ¯_(ツ)_/¯ Moment: New Found Glory released an abysmal statement regarding Steve Klein’s removal from the band months after his departure, as news finally leaked onto the internet over why Klein was kicked out. I took it upon myself to share my disapproval with the statement on AbsolutePunk in a comment. It was pointed, but I thought (and still think) that it was a fair and accurate assessment. Shortly after, I went on tour with Modern Baseball on The Wonder Years’ The Greatest Generation Tour in March of 2014. Chad Gilbert came to a stop of the tour at House of Blues Disneyland on March 24th and confronted me in a dressing room. He was offended, as I had made a claim publicly against the band in a time where he believed their backs were against the wall. His was, and he lashed out at me. I could have handled the situation better, but he could have as well. That was the single most “heroes turn human in front of me” moment in my six years of running the website. It still makes me sad. However, this custom shirt was bought for me the next day, and it’s sick.
How I Tricked My Mom into Letting Me Get a Tattoo: I hated college. My parents were well aware of this. What’s that have to do with getting my first tattoo? Well, I sat my parents down in the fall of 2012 to talk to them about something I had on my mind. Before I could open my mouth my mother spoke up and said, “You’re not dropping out of college.” In that moment, I knew I had the upper hand. She showed her cards, which allowed me to state firmly that I was not dropping out of college – but I was going to be getting a tattoo(!) within the next month, and that it may not be the only one I’d ever get! She caved. Now I have four tattoos and am hip.
Pageviews from August 29, 2011 to July 31st, 2015: 24,652,144
Ad Money Received from BuzzMedia/SpinMedia Between Spring of 2012 and June of 2014: $0
Punkest Moment: Doing a shot of whiskey with Chuck Ragan and my friend Laurel at The Bell House just after I turned 18, before graduating high school.
First Stage Dive: Did you know I have a Jewish Mother™? She is still, to this day, very concerned about my “punk lifestyle.” If I ever teased her about stagediving at a show, she would have taken my life away before someone else could have. I did it anyway at Man Overboard’s Lost Tape Collective holiday show in 2012. It was pretty sick. I hurt my back. Here’s a photo.
Number of Audio Interviews I’ve Done: At least 411. I am positive that at least two dozen are missing. The time added up for those interviews equals four full days spent recording. While I became incredibly efficient at speed-transcribing interviews, I would imagine that I’ve spent around eight days of my life typing up interviews. This, of course, does not account the 100 or so email interviews I’ve done. Hot tip: Band members are typically horrible at email interviews. Always go for a phoner/in-person talk.
I spelled limit wrong before proofreading this post, for what it’s worth. I also just spelled “worth” as “wroth.” ↩
Not Jason Parent. ↩
Before I started flirting with BuzzMedia, I used a tool called SiteMeter to track our traffic. We started using Google Analytics on August 29th, 2011. The total number of pageviews for that first day was under 700. Our largest day for pageviews was on October 8th, 2011 with just under 117,000. For reference, when the news broke about Tom DeLonge being fired from blink–182 earlier this year, we received just under 108,000 pageviews. While PVs are important for typical ad units, they tend to not matter to me compared to the number of unique visitors. The largest amount of unique visitors we ever had on a day was just under 72,000. ↩