Zachary Cole Smith

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Zachary Cole Smith
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Smith performing with DIIV at The Gothic in October 2015
Background information
Born (1984-11-07) November 7, 1984 (age 34)
New York City, New York, U.S.
OriginNew York City, New York, U.S.
GenresShoegaze, indie rock, post-punk, dream pop
Occupation(s)Musician, singer-songwriter, model, music video director
InstrumentsVocals, guitar, bass, drums
Years active2009–present
LabelsCaptured Tracks
Associated actsDIIV, Beach Fossils, Soft Black, Darwin Deez, LAUNDER

Zachary Cole Smith (born November 7, 1984) is an American musician, model and music video director, best known for being the frontman of DIIV. He first began playing in bands like Soft Black and Beach Fossils after moving to New York City in the late 2000s. Smith released his debut studio album with DIIV, Oshin, in 2012, which combined elements of krautrock, post-punk and shoegaze. He has directed music videos for DIIV and Sky Ferreira. Outside of his work in the music industry, Smith has modeled for Saint Laurent on multiple occasions. DIIV's second studio album, Is the Is Are, was released on February 5, 2016.[1]

Early life[edit]

Smith was born in New York City on November 7, 1984.[2][3] His father was also a musician and his mother, Deborah E. MacIntyre, was fashion editor for Vogue magazine. Three years after his birth, the family moved to Connecticut. His father left shortly after, and his mother began working retail to support the family. Smith had disciplinary problems as a teenager and was often suspended during middle school. He began playing the guitar during that time. At the beginning of his freshman year of high school, Smith was expelled and took a year off. After that, he attended six different schools in five years, including St. Luke's School (New Canaan, Connecticut) and The Beekman School (Manhattan, New York), and finally graduated from Wooster School in Danbury, Connecticut.[3][4]

In 2004, Smith began attending Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts to study studio art, but was expelled after his first year. He worked construction and landscaping jobs in Northampton. In 2007, Smith moved to the Brownsville neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York and began working at Angelica's Kitchen, an organic vegan restaurant in the East Village, a neighborhood of Manhattan.[3][5]


After moving to New York City, Smith was introduced to a community of musicians and began playing guitar in Soft Black around 2009. During that time, he met Dustin Payseur and played drums in Beach Fossils for a short time. In 2010, he rejoined them as a guitar player and began recording solo material.[3] Prior to 2011, Smith had also toured and played guitar with the indie band Darwin Deez.[6]

Smith began writing songs himself in 2010.[5] In the summer of 2011, he booked a show for his project Dive and asked Andrew Bailey, Devin Ruben Perez and Colby Hewitt to join him. They eventually renamed themselves DIIV, were signed by Captured Tracks and released several singles. Their debut album, Oshin, was released in 2012.[3] Smith co-directed the music video for "Doused", which was released in September of that year.[7]

Smith was signed by Re:Quest Model Management in the summer of 2013, and along with Cara Delevingne, was photographed by Hedi Slimane for Saint Laurent's Fall 2013 campaign in May of that year.[8] In June, he walked in Saint Laurent's spring 2014 menswear fashion show during Paris Fashion Week.[9][10] Smith directed the music video for Sky Ferreira's song "Omanko", which was released in December 2014.[11]

In May 2015, Smith was featured in an episode of Noisey's "Under the Influence" series detailing the influence of krautrock on contemporary music.[12] Smith walked in Saint Laurent's Spring 2016 menswear runway show in June 2015.[13]

DIIV released their second studio album, Is the Is Are, on February 5, 2016.

Musical style and influences[edit]

Smith performing with DIIV in San Francisco in 2013

Smith's work with DIIV has been described as krautrock, post-punk and shoegaze.[3][14]

Smith's favorite albums include Arthur Russell's Love Is Overtaking Me (2008), Red Krayola's The Parable of Arable Land (1967) and Faust's The Faust Tapes (1973). The songs on Oshin were influenced by German psychedelic bands such as Kluster, La Düsseldorf, Neu! and Can.[15] Additionally, Smith cited Nirvana and world music as sources of inspiration.[16] According to Smith, Is the Is Are was influenced by Elliott Smith and Royal Trux.[15]


On July 9, 2014, DIIV performed as Ferreira's opening act at a concert benefiting the David Lynch Foundation. The proceeds went to support "Transcendental Meditation (TM) programs for at-risk students; veterans with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) [sic]; women who are survivors of domestic violence; American Indians suffering from diabetes; the homeless and incarcerate."[17][18] As part of a fundraiser for the "immersive theater performance" Houseworld, DIIV offered to re-enact a donor’s dream in exchange for a donation of $10,000 in October 2015.[19]

Personal life[edit]

Smith was in a relationship with singer and model Sky Ferreira.[20] On September 14, 2013, both were arrested on drug charges in Saugerties, New York. Smith was charged with "two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance, one count of possession of stolen property and one count of aggravated unlicensed driving, all misdemeanors". Additionally, he was charged with "violations of unregistered motor vehicle, driving without insurance, unlicensed driver, and having an inadequate exhaust system". Smith was in possession of "42 decks" of heroin and his bail was set at $2,500. He was ordered to go to rehab for 11 days in January 2014.[5][21] Smith is vegan.[14] He lived in Catskill, New York until moving back to New York City in 2015.[5]

On February 3, 2017, Smith announced he was checking in for "long-haul" inpatient treatment.[22]


with DIIV


  1. ^
  2. ^ Ferreira, Sky (November 7, 2014). "It's @lovealienzzz birthday". Instagram. Retrieved March 25, 2015.
  3. ^ a b c d e f DeVille, Chris (July 28, 2014). "How Does It Feel: DIIV's Zachary Cole Smith Rolls On". Stereogum. Retrieved March 15, 2015.
  4. ^ Norris, John (June 2012). "Deep DIIV". Interview. Retrieved March 18, 2015.
  5. ^ a b c d McDermott, Patrick D. (August 11, 2015). "What Happened To DIIV?". The Fader. Retrieved August 14, 2015.
  6. ^ "sxsw part 1: lowered expectations (andrew)". Darwin Deez. Retrieved March 19, 2015.
  7. ^ "Premiere: DIIV Thunders Through 'Doused'". Rolling Stone. September 6, 2012. Retrieved March 27, 2015.
  8. ^ Cowles, Charlotte (May 30, 2013). "Cara Delevingne Lands Saint Laurent Campaign". New York. Retrieved March 15, 2015.
  9. ^ Frank, Alex (July 1, 2013). "Zachary Cole Smith of DIIV Walked the Runway at Saint Laurent Paris". The Fader. Retrieved March 21, 2015.
  10. ^ Blanks, Tim (June 30, 2013). "Saint Laurent Spring 2014 Menswear Fashion Show: Runway Review". Retrieved March 21, 2015.
  11. ^ Geslani, Michelle (December 19, 2014). "Sky Ferreira shares "Omanko" music video, directed by DIIV's Zachary Cole Smith — watch". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved March 27, 2015.
  12. ^ "Under The Influence - Krautrock". YouTube. May 22, 2015. Retrieved May 24, 2015.
  13. ^ Lambea, Julien (June 30, 2015). "Let's Go Surfing en Saint Laurent". GQ France (in French). Retrieved July 3, 2015.
  14. ^ a b Charles, Thomas (July 18, 2012). "DIIV's Zachary Cole Smith on Loving Nirvana, 'My So-Called Life'". Spin. Retrieved March 15, 2015.
  15. ^ a b Cohen, Ian (June 26, 2013). "Update: DIIV". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved March 15, 2015.
  16. ^ "Interview: DIIV". berlinbeat. January 23, 2013. Retrieved March 19, 2015.
  17. ^ Tuite, John (July 16, 2014). "Sky Ferreira Performed for David Lynch the Other Night". The Fader. Retrieved June 3, 2015.
  18. ^ "Sky Ferreira to perform at David Lynch fundraiser". Retrieved June 3, 2015.
  19. ^ "Houseworld by Andrew Hoepfner". Kickstarter. Retrieved June 3, 2015.
  20. ^
  21. ^ "Tonight's Law & Disorder: Sept. 15, 2013". September 16, 2013. Retrieved March 25, 2015.
  22. ^ Smith, Zachary Cole (February 3, 2017). "So I guess..." Instagram. Retrieved February 4, 2017.

External links[edit]