First/Last-The Homeless Gospel Choir

January 11, 2013

“There are very few people you meet like Derek Zanetti. A modern day troubadour, Derek has been achieving his dreams of living on the road, writing songs for the everyman struggling with one of life’s most important questions. Every day, people slave away at their jobs, just trying to make ends meet or to keep up with the Joneses, trading their dreams for a 401K, or that expensive car, banking on getting that promotion. But there always seems to be something missing. Many people wonder if there is life after death, when in fact what most people really want to know is “Is there life BEFORE death?” Derek knows the answer, and will sing it to you if you listen. He knows your story, and wants you to know you’re not alone.- Chris Meurlott, The Scurvies”

Hailing from Pittsburgh, The Homeless Gospel Choir is the moniker of Derek Zanetti, who brings his truth to the world simply through his storytelling and ‘folk-punk ‘guitar sounds. You can find him at his official Website, Bandcamp, Facebook, and MySpace. My thanks to Derek for taking a few minutes to participate in this edition of First/Last.

  • The first album you ever bought?
  • When I was 11 I got a gift certificate to NRM (National Record Mart ) and I got two tapes, R.E.M’s “Monster” and Nirvana’s “Bleach”.
  • Your last album bought?
  • I buy A lot of vinyl so it’s hard to remember, but I want to say Crucial Unit, “These Colors Get the Runs” for like three bucks at Mindcure Records in Polish Hill.
  • Favorite album of all time?
  • I could give you like my top three. Neutral Milk Hotel’s “In the Airplane Over the Sea”, Weezer’s “Pinkerton”, Bob Dylan’s “The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan”.
  • Least favorite/most disappointing album?
  • It’s hard to say, cause I’ve been liking less and less music as of late but I guess everything after “Pinkerton” by Weezer.
  • First concert attended?
  • I can remember my dad taking me to see a barbershop quartet that he really liked at a church in Braddock in like 1989. I guess that was my first rodeo.
  • Last concert?
  • Pray For Teeth, Adventures, Run Forever at Roboto like five days ago, Then later on that night I saw Endless Mike and The Beagle Club at Howlers in Bloomfield.
  • Favorite concert ever?
  • Refused and OFF! in Brooklyn. NY in small club with some really good friends.
  • Least favorite concert?
  • Oh boy, it’s hard to say. I try to not seek out going to bad shows, but I guess it would be safe to say some snotty local indie band showcase where the band name drops larger acts in Pittsburgh that they are acquainted with in hope to gain notoriety from it but just wind up taking up all their time and never get to play their predictable shitty pop tunes about a girl that broke their heart when they were in college. Ha!
  • Favorite thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
  • Ummm…yeah, of coarse. Pittsburgh’s local music scene is unbelievable!!! At any given night of the week you can go to almost any part of town to see live music, in almost any genre. I’ve been to/played so many awesome unforgettable house shows/bar shows on a random Thursday night where I get to play a show with some of my favorite local/touring acts. For the last three years I’ve spent a great deal of time on the road, and I always brag about my hometown, and how much it means to me and have come to realize most bands from Pittsburgh do the same thing.
  • My favorite memory however was probably my record release show at 222 ormsby this past summer. The place was packed out and three of my favorite bands to play with, played that night. Listener, Endless Mike and the Beagle Club and Dead Batteries. People were screaming the words and dancing around and clapping extra loud. It made me feel really good. I’ll never forget that show.
  • Thanks, Derek. There’s nothing I appreciate more than a musician that ‘does it for themselves’, if you know what I mean? Keep spreading that love, my man.