April 21, 2024

ZEPPARELLA a Female American hard rock tribute band, Interview with the founding member CLEMENTINE

ZEPPARELLA, is an amazing all-female American Hard Rock  Tribute Band  founded and formed in 2005 in San Francisco,California by the Band’s drummer CLEMENTINE

No doubt it is a different case of Tribute Band, where apart from their love for the legendary  LED ZEPPELIN , where they play their songs, they create their own musical works, with really  amazing solo career!

Today the current band consists,four amazing and  very beautiful female musicians   vocalist  ANNA  KRISTINA , bassist  HOLLY  WEST , guitarist  GRETCHEN  MENN and drummer  CLEMENTINE .

Athens Calling G.R Team ,was  impressed by the amazing music of  ZEPPARELLA band , had a really interesting on line conversation, with ZEPPARELLA  founding member CLEMENTINE ! 

ATHENS CALLING: Hello from Athens Greece…The truth is that, I had no idea about your amazing band,about ZEPPARELLA.But one day, surfing the internet at You Tube  listening your fantastic all Female Hard Rock tribute Band  … My dear Clementine  at that moment I was amazed!

CLEMENTINE (ZEPPARELLA):  Thank you so much for the kind words! It’s so wonderful to know that the band is known so far away. We’re based in San Francisco, California. It’s lovely to meet you.

ATHENS CALLING: ZEPPARELLA is your band name, who is the Godfather?

CLEMENTINE (ZEPPARELLA):   You can blame that on me. It was meant to be a combination of the movie BARBARELLA, with Jane Fonda, and Led Zeppelin.

ATHENS CALLING: Which is the reason for your choice, to form a tribute band, ask this because I think that ZEPPARELLA can create her own music forms?

CLEMENTINE (ZEPPARELLA): Yes, each band member has a very active solo career, and when I started the band I was in an original band called BOTTOM, from New York City and had toured extensively. Zepparella started because I wanted to become a better drummer and it seemed that learning John Bonham’s drum parts was a good place to start. Gretchen Menn wanted to learn Jimmy Page’s parts too, so 14 years ago, we started playing this music. It’s been a great education, and has been a steady project while we each explored our own solo careers.

ATHENS CALLING: O.k. Clementine and now we would like to tell us about your four amazing band members. About ZEPPARELLA band members?

CLEMENTINE (ZEPPARELLA): Sure. Anna Kristina the singer was the original singer of the first 5 years of the band. She left for 7 years, and returned in 2017. She is the singer and harmonica player you saw in the Levee video. She is a professional singer who released her second solo album, “Soul Truth” last year. You can see more about her here  www.annakristina.com

Gretchen Menn guitarist, has been with me from the beginning. Last year she released her second full-length solo album ‘’Abandon All Hope ‘’, which many consider a true masterpiece in the world of instrumental guitar-driven music. Also  she writes instructional articles for Acoustic Guitar Magazine and just recorded an instructional series with Jam Play. You can keep up with her busy career here www.gretchenmenn.com.

Bassist Holly West, is the newest member of the band, and she joined early this year. She released her first solo album, Mokita, in 2017, on which guitarist Gary Hoey and drummer Brady Blade played. She featured a cover of “When The Levee Breaks” on her album, and that sort of sealed the deal when we were looking for a new bass player!   https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/hollywest

I am a drummer of course, as well as a singer and songwriter for two projects  ‘’Stars Turn Me On’’ and ‘’Beaux Cheveux. Beaux Cheveux is a duo with Adrian Conner, the Angus Young for the great AC/DC tribute band from Seattle Hell’s Belles. We released our debut album last year and have been touring to support it. I also write a blog about the connection between a music career and meditation techniques called Bliss and Drumming. You can see about www.clemthegreat.com  www.blissanddrumming.com, and www.beaux-cheveux.net

ATHENS CALLING: Clementine what is the first about you. Drummer or Songwriter or Vocalist?

CLEMENTINE (ZEPPARELLA):  Definitely in that order, although Writer may be equally billed with Drummer. Drums are in my heart though, in a major way.

ATHENS CALLING:  Tell us please your first song that you had chosen the first time, playing on your drums set?

CLEMENTINE  ( ZEPPARELLA ) : I  played two songs when I started learning  drums . I wanted to keep good time, so I would play along to an Enigma album, which had long simple drumbeats I could play to. Then, I wanted to learn to swing, so I played “Sweet Virginia” by the Rolling Stones. The first Zeppelin song was “The Ocean.”

ATHENS CALLING: And who was your first teacher in Music?

CLEMENTINE (ZEPPARELLA): I had several as a child, but my first drum teacher was Fred Klatz in New York City, who I think is the best ever.

ATHENS CALLING: Talking about the drums, I want ask you about three names, three names of the greatest drummers in the world! Now put please any number you like, from 1 to 10 for … Ginger Baker, Keith Moon and also for John Henry Bonham!

CLEMENTINE (ZEPPARELLA):  Well, Bonham has to be number one. Neal Peart, number two. There are about 10 in line for number 3…. How do I choose? Feel, precision, innovation? I just don’t know. I love Charlie Watts, Levon Helm, Dale Crover, Mitch Mitchell, Steve Gadd, Elvin Jones, Dave Lombardo, Terry Bozzio… so many I just can’t say.

ATHENS CALLING: And now I would like,to talk about one really amazing song. About the music and the lyrics of your song ‘’Cold Snap’’ it is a great song.

CLEMENTINE (ZEPPARELLA): Thank you so much! It always means so much to me when my lyrics make an impression. That song won a songwriting award for lyrics, so you have a good ear! I wrote that on a cold morning in a very bleak hotel near Lake Tahoe. I had just learned the term “shoulder season,” which in the mountains means the time between tourist seasons. I was reflecting on all of the desolate hotels I had stayed in while on tour, in which pretty sad people were engaged in pretty depressing activities. It was an ode to them.

ATHENS CALLING: About your memories .I mean do you have any fondest musical memories? Maybe in your house? Maybe  in your neighborhood? Maybe in your  town?

CLEMENTINE (ZEPPARELLA): Music has been a big part of my life. My grandmother sang with Benny Goodman briefly, and there was always music in her house. My father was the ultimate rock and roll fan, and never missed seeing The Stones when they came to town. There was just always music on in the house. 8am Saturday morning, the stereo would go on and my dad would be blasting Stones, Beatles, Skynyrd, Elton John, The Band, Dylan, all the good stuff all weekend.

ATHENS CALLING: I want ask you now, who are your favorite Musicians or Groups?

CLEMENTINE (ZEPPARELLA): There is very little music I don’t like. I adore samba music from Brazil, gamelan from Bali, tango music from Argentina. I guess I tend toward the older music from other countries now that I think of it, I should probably investigate more of newer stuff. I’ve been on a Nick Cave kick lately, I came late to him for some reason.

ATHENS CALLING:  And about Madonna and Lady Gaga, have you something to say? 

CLEMENTINE (ZEPPARELLA): There is a time for all of it! I have a friend who insists on singing Madonna as loudly as possible when we drink together, and I love it when that happens. Lady Gaga is so talented, and while it may not be the music I gravitate to when I’m listening at home, I appreciate the craft of the songs and her message. I feel that way about most pop music, that some of the best songwriters in the world are writing these songs, and I like to listen and learn even if I would rather rock out to something else.

ATHENS CALLING: Have you visited Greece and also do you know something about the Greek music?

CLEMENTINE (ZEPPARELLA):  I was in Corfu once for three weeks. I drank retsina on the beach and ate walnuts. I spent my last money on a boat trip back to Italy and if I hadn’t run fast enough down the dock I might still be there! There is a band from Greece I love called Xylouris White. They are wonderful.

ATHENS CALLING: And your future plans?

CLEMENTINE (ZEPPARELLA): Zepparella has a couple of videos to be released early in the new year, stay tuned! We are working on getting to Europe as well. I am writing new material with both of my original projects. I have a children’s book that is being shopped to publishers and a book of essays I’m finishing. There’s always something going on over here!

ATHENS CALLING: Many thanks for the Interview Clementine ,all the best to you and to ZEPPARELLA band members .

CLEMENTINE (ZEPPARELLA): Thank you so much! All the best wishes !

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