Daniel Zott and Joshua Epstein knew each other for years and years before ever writing a thing together. More along the lines of acquaintances than friends, the two musicians were familiar through the Detroit music scene and maintained respect for the other’s output, but nothing ever clicked.
Then 2009 came along, and their dynamic was totally revamped.
One day, Epstein called Zott with the goal of collaborating with him — a move Zott thinks was sparked by Epstein being impressed by Zott recording, producing, mixing and mastering his own solo record. They made plans to work on something in tandem. During their first meeting in a creative capacity, the pair collaborated on a song called “Simple Girl.” While they never explicitly discussed what they wanted it to sound like, the chemistry must have been there, as the track appears on the just released It's a Corporate World, the debut full-length from Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. (a.k.a. Epstein and Zott's Folky Indie Pop project). Going from being total unknowns to a nationally touring band getting piles of press and headlining shows is always impressive; it's even more so when you pull off that process within a couple of years.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. play The Mad Hatter Saturday with Phantasmagoria and The Seedy Seeds. Go here to read Reyan Ali's full interview.