10 Questions with Patrick Zampetti

10 Questions with…Patrick Zampetti
By Spencer Joyce

Patrick Zampetti is a Richmond, VA based Alternative/Jam singer/songwriter/guitarist who is currently a student at VCU. I got to see him perform an acoustic set at the Canal Club in Richmond on Friday, September 12th, and I caught up with him afterwards to see whats up:

Patrick Zampetti 2

Photo by Emily Zampetti

-How long have you been playing music?

I’ve been playing music for as long as I can remember. I started drumming when I was probably 9 or 10 years old. My parents met while they were marching with the Cadets in DCI so I have incredible access to a ton of information about how to drum. I started playing guitar when I was about 13….so that would be 8 years. In the 7th grade I started teaching myself bass guitar and ended up playing bass in Jazz band for the next couple of years. I’ve always loved playing bass. Its continues to be an impossible choice to pick a favorite instrument.

-Who/what inspires your music in terms of sound and ideas?

Dave Matthews Band, Radiohead, John Mayer, Beatles, Modest Mouse, Sigur Ros, Bon Iver, Muse, James Blake, STS9, Papadosio, Perpetual Groove, John Butler Trio, James Taylor, Jimi Hendrix, The Police, Bruce Springsteen, Coldplay, Old school Maroon 5, Matchbox 20, Pink Floyd, Talking Heads

…I’m sure I missed something. I would say that Carter Beauford is probably my favorite musician alive today. The way his brain works frustrates me. Any original song that I start envisioning in my head can always be accompanied perfectly by the style of drumming that Carter plays. I’m really about alternative rock/jam band music that is typically backed by the sound of an acoustic guitar.

-How would you describe the RVA/VCU music community?

The Richmond music scene is unreal. We’ve got John D’earth teaching at VCU and Reggie Pace from Bon Iver is frequently playing around with No BS! Brass. Not to mention DJ Williams from Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe plays around town quite a bit with his group. I constantly am out at gigs where there will be a bunch of new local groups I’ve never heard of sounding amazing. Every single night of the week there is a show worth going to somewhere. VCU is incredible as well. I frequently enjoy listening to the extremely talented Jazz School students playing. The amount of talent that I see on a daily basis around Richmond blows my mind.

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Photo by Josh Carter

 -Describe the recording process of your EP “Warmer Side Of Nothing”

The “Warmer Side of Nothing” is basically as raw as it gets. I hate the use of the word raw when describing music but it is a damn good overall description of my EP. The music on the EP was written over the past two years ago apart from that one cover I threw on there. There are quite a few more songs that were writing in that time period that didn’t make it onto this EP. As far as the songs on this one go, “Love You More” and “Sarah” took a while to fully develop. “#2 Evaporate” and “Bongo” were both one day projects as far as writing the song goes. I wanted to put something out that I thought sounded pretty decent but I definitely feel like the next EP release will be a lot better. Every second of the “Warmer Side of Nothing” was recorded with my Taylor 214ce playing straight into the built in microphone on my MacBook Pro apart from that one drum track I threw onto “Love You More”. I ended the EP with a cover of DMB’s “Grey Street”, a song that never gets old to me.

-What kind of equipment do you use live and in the studio?

-Taylor 214ce

– Martin D12X1AE 12 String

– Fender Mexi-strat with Seymour Duncan pickups

– Fender 65 R

– Sure SM 58

– Boss Loop Station

– Line 6 Pod X3 Live

– Electro Harmonix Micro QTron

– Electro Harmonix Voice Box

– 1980’s Maple Pearl Jazz Kit

 -Tell us something about yourself that most people wouldn’t know about you

I hate the way my voice sounds when I sing. I feel like my voice is constantly betraying me. I have people come up to me telling me that they love the way that I sing and that I’m really good at it and I just don’t get it.

-Since you’re a solo artist, who would be in your dream backing band? (Dead or alive, famous or not famous, Guitar, Bass, Keys, Drums, etc)

Drumset- Carter Beauford

Bass- Victor Wooten

Keys- Butch Taylor

Lead Guitar- John Mayer

Saxophone- Leroi Moore

Trumpet- John D’earth

I’ve actually begun to work with a new group (Name TBD). We’ve been working on writing some original music and starting to get ready to put some sets together hopefully before the year is out. I do get some kind of thrill from playing solo shows. It’s a lot different when I’m sitting up there having to get loops correct something like every 4 measures or everything will sound off. It’s a lot more complicated than when I have a group playing with me so I’m just playing the guitar and singing.

-How would you say your most recent show at the Canal Club went on Friday, September 12th?

Haha…well I thought the first song was kind of rough. Definitely felt like it got better after that. That show was the first time I had played my acoustic through my setup in a while but I thought it went pretty well overall. Playing solo live shows is always an interesting time because of how different each version of each song I perform will be from the previous time. The structures stay the same and everything like that but I love just messing around with different effects live. I debuted a new song called “Daze” in that set. You can check out a recording of that on my SoundCloud, which is linked below.

-What’s next for Patrick Zampetti and his music?

I try to spend every waking minute that I am not busy playing my guitar. Nothing brings me more happiness in the world. I plan on spending the next few months getting this new group sounding really tight together. Hopefully around the spring of 2015 we will be playing shows pretty regularly around Richmond.

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Photo by Emily Zampetti

-Where is the best place to connect with you online?




flannel_headphones_electricAbout the Author:
Spencer Joyce is an Indie Rock Singer/Songwriter/Guitarist who records & performs both solo and with his backing group, The Record Machine, under the Alchemical Records banner. You can check him out at