Artist - The War and Treaty & Zach Bryan
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Exclusive: The War and Treaty Share Story Behind New Zach Bryan Collaboration, ‘Hey Driver’

August 31, 2023 11:20 am GMT
Last Edited December 19, 2023 9:27 pm GMT

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Speaking to Holler during The Long Road Festival 2023, our favourite husband-and-wife duo, The War and Treaty, discussed how their new Zach Bryan collaboration came about.

The recently released duet, ‘Hey Driver’, appears on Zach's hugely popular self-titled album, which was made available on Friday, August 25, just a couple of days before we spoke to The War and Treaty's Michael and Tanya in Leicestershire.

As well as delving into their appreciation for UK fans’ fervent support, the unique path they're carving out in the genre and how ‘country’ continues to suffer from a mislabelling, Michael and Tanya expressed their excitement at the fact that ‘Hey Driver’ is now out in the world.

Tanya shed some light on how the collaboration came about, “It's blowing us away. How we met him, how it all came about...it was a God thing. You know, we met him at the ACM Awards after we performed, and we were all leaving, about to head back to our respective places...and he came up to us and was like, ‘What did I just experience? I don't know what this is, but we have to do something together’”.

Tanya confessed they weren't really expecting the ‘Something in the Orange’ songsmith to follow-up, but after exchanging numbers, Zach Bryan was quick to send Michael the demo for ‘Hey Driver’.

Tanya shared, “We put our voices to a voice memo, and the next thing we know, a couple of days later it was up on Instagram, he was testing it out - but that's the Zach Bryan way”. After Zach posted the snippet in May, fans immediately began clamouring for the song to be given an official release - and he thankfully obliged, including ‘Hey Driver’ on the tracklist for his self-titled project.

Tanya went on to explain, “So a couple of months later...he flew us to Philadelphia, and we recorded the song...and it's funny because Michael had gone to the restroom, and Zach and I were in the studio talking, and he's like, ‘Does Michael play? You think he'll hop on this song?’ and I said ‘He's definitely gonna hop on the song!’ So you hear [Michael] playing the piano in there, Zach pushing him on...in the middle of the song he says, ‘Come on, Michael, this is your time!’”

It's evident from the way Tanya and Michael speak about their ‘Hey Driver’ collaborator that they share a great admiration for his creative process, as well as a sense of appreciation for the new listeners Zach has placed The War and Treaty in front of.

Tanya stressed, “It's a testament to the kind of artist he is. He understands his platform, he knows his fanbase, and he wanted to introduce us to his fanbase”, with Michael swiftly echoing this sentiment, “And boy did he ever! Thank you, Zach”.

Tanya concluded by praising Zach's distinctive approach to songwriting, “He's very raw, which is very much like how we create...Doing a record with him really inspired us...we started out like that and it's pointing us back to a place that feels like home”.

Any sign of new music from either The War and Treaty or Zach Bryan is always a cause to celebrate - so it's safe to say it felt like Christmas Day when we found out we were being treated to a joint track featuring both artists. After this stellar collaboration, we're hoping it's not the last time Michael, Tanya and Zach hit the studio together.

For more on The War and Treaty, see below:

Written by Maxim Mower
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