Zachery Allan Starkey will go down as one of Columbus's stranger home­grown musical exports. A black­haired, Hitler Youth haircut­sportin' dude who embraces the latter ­end of British post­punk electro­pop, he can sing off­key for hours and yet can get a dance floor filled at will. Could it be he's one of the nicest guys this city's bratty/catty music scene's ever produced? Quite possibly, quite possibly. I do know this: you can take the Zac out of Ohio, but you can't take the Ohio out of the Zac. Our loss is the Big Apple's gain, where he moved in 2010. High Street hasn't been the same without him. We talked recently. ZS: I've missed you, Johnny Go, what have you been up to? JP: Why, thank you, Zachariah's Red­Eye Saloon! I've been finishing my life's work, a book: "How To Get Bitches To Do What You Want On The First Date," by Tony Redunzo, the Make­Out Man." That's the whole title, too. The whole thing is taken from a skit I did in this communications class in the eleventh grade where I read in improvised character a story from National Lampoon called "Tony Redunzo, Make­Out Man." Whaddya think about that, huh, buddy? ZS: I think it is nothing short of pure genius on par with the best works of Hemingway. JP: So, is the sex better in NYC or here? ZS: NYC. People are hotter here. All the walking makes everyone more fit. It's easier to have more one night stands in Columbus though. And what have you been up to, John? Sad to hear that The Other Paper was shut down, though, to be honest, your writing had been the only good thing about it for the past few years. It was glorious when I was growing up though. JP: So how's your music career? You been singin' the original daft punk blues, payin yer dues, etc? Have you been executing any of those flash stage moves I taught you in Skully's restroom? Ya know, the Funky Earl, the Blue Banjo, etc? ZS: I just released a new solo album, called DIY. It was written over my first four years of living in NYC. I didn't leave NYC at all for the first four years I lived here, so the record is a result of this immersion experience. It's doing well, a UK music magazine recently reviewed it and compared it to "an updated PIL, LCD Soundystem, and Soft Cell." It's gotten a lot of blog love here in NYC as well. I have a live band I play the album out with. You can stream it here:­i­y­album The moves you taught me in the Skully's bathroom were, of course, invaluable to my development as an artist and human being. JP: What do you miss most about Cowdung, Ohio? And the least? ZS: Not much. What do I miss the most? Buckeye Donuts. Best Gyros and paprika fries. I miss you, John Petric, ya fuckin' asshole. You are better than any of the writers for the Village Voice. I miss my family and close friends, too. What do I not miss? The small minded conservative mindset of a lot of the people there, especially within the art and music scene. I don't miss the conservative state politics either. I don't miss Mike Coleman's attemptsthe gentrify The Bottoms, the neighborhood I was born in and grew up in. Aren't they calling it the Franklinton Arts District now? It's The Bottoms. I grew up at Avondale and Town Street. JP: Do you miss the Ohio State Fair? What was your favorite animal? Did you crave intimacy with it? Do they have big fat disgusting obese rednecks in New York? ZS: I don't miss the Ohio State Fair...though I did buy a really cool Public Image Limited vinyl concert bootleg there when I was 16! I've never wanted to have sexual intimacy with animals, no. I do really like cats and penguins though. We do not have fat disgusting rednecks in New York. Thank God for that. JP: Anybody pick on you in New York because you look like Zippy the Pinhead? Any motherfucker try to push you off the platform into the path of an oncoming train? ZS: No, John. It may surprise you to learn this, but no one in NYC has ever picked on me, and I currently live and have always lived in some pretty rough areas of Brooklyn since I moved here. People in NYC mind their own business. It's not like in Columbus...where, if people see someone different from themselves, they get scared and have to try to stamp them out. People in NYC have better stuff to do. JP: Who do you model yourself after, musically, spiritually and fashionably? ZS: Don King, Orson Welles, Andy Warhol, New Order, Yoko Ono, Richard Nixon, Nelson Mandela, Jimmy Hoffa, Patti Smith, David Byrne, Bobby O, My Grandfather, Bowie, Jarvis Cocker, Trent Reznor, Kate Bush, Missy Elliot, Timbaland, John Lydon. JP: Who was your favorite of the Three Stooges? Doesn't Obama suck? Who sucks more, Barack or Michelle? ZS: I never had a favorite Stooge. I never found them all that funny, isn't that weird? Obama doesn't suck. I am proud I voted for him. He has tried to do more to help the average American than any president since Franklin Roosevelt. You know who sucks? The GOP. The Tea Party, the racist, sexist, bigoted Reagan worshipers who believe in the proven myth of trickle down economics and Ayn Rand. They are sending this country back into the Stone Age. Your governor, John Kasich, he hates the blue collar working class (meaning he hates my entire family), he hates women, he is disgusting and the main reason why Ohio is going down the toilet. Why isn't Sally Kurgis in jail? JP: Are you gettin' much celebrity hump then? Have you done Gaga? Bowie? Duran Duran? ZS: Lady Gaga isn't my thing, I don't do uptown girls. I have a lot of friends who work in Porn though! I would really like to compose music for a Porn film someday. JP: So who the fuck did you have to blow in the record biz to get a cool job in new york, pray tell? ZS: Haha no one! I am just smart and good at what I do. I work hard and take my work seriously. I won several awards when I worked at Universal as well, and that was before I came to NYC. The fact that I am also a working musician in NYC helps as well, because I understand the creative side of the business, which most record company people don't. JP: Huh, well I'll be goddam. So you're not waiting tables? did you work ANY shitty jobs when you first got there? C'mon, Zac, work with me on this. ZS: I did have a few shitty jobs when I first got to NYC. I worked as a barista at a cafe in Lower East Side called Cocoa Bar. I lied and said I had barista experience. I worked there for three weeks. It really sucked, I was afraid the Espresso machine would blow my face off. I also worked as a Display Artist at an Urban Outfitters in the Upper East Side...that was the worst job I have ever had. JP: How was it the worst job you ever had? ZS: Bad hours, shit pay, idiotic managers. Scraping grease off of hood pipes in Chinese restaurants when I was 12 year old was a better job than that. JP: So, are you like all the starry­eyed Midwest dumb fucks who go to the Big Apple with dreams of stardust and glamor but end up, well, let me just ask you straight: where are you waiting tables? ZS: I am the Director of Marketing for a highly respected music marketing firm in Soho. This year alone I have worked on marketing/ promotional campaigns for clients such as Daft Punk, Depeche Mode, Pet Shop Boys, Kylie Minogue, Enrique Iglesias, Ricky Martin, Classixx, John Newman, Cut Copy, and many more. I worked for the Universal Music Group for 5 years when I lived in Columbus so I had a fairly impressive resume when I moved to NYC. I did work some shitty jobs when I first arrived here but I landed my current job as Marketing Director within my first year. I can talk about NYC and how I feel about Columbus these days, having lived in NYC for close to five years and that has, of course, really informed how I write lyrics now. I've made a new record, by the way. Came out earlier this year. It's doing really well, and has gotten several really good reviews, including one in a UK magazine. Can you download a ZIP file? I can send it to you...or you can stream it for free here:­i­y­album By the way, I am glad you trashed Lady Gaga. I cannot stand her.