Since 2011, the Heidi Zettl Band has been going places and making a name for itself in DFW.
Comprised of Lovejoy High School sophomore Heidi Zettl on lead vocals, Plano Senior High School graduate Zach Whitchurch on drums, and Allen High School graduates Cameron Griffin and Angel Trujillo on guitar and bass respectively, the group can be found anywhere around town, playing at places like Spoons Café in McKinney, Sundance Square, Six Flags and the Prophet Bar in Dallas.
In 2012, band recorded and released its all-original debut EP titled “Soul Colours.” That same year, Zettl won first place in the Texas Independent Music Expo Performing Songwriter Competition. The single, “Crazy,” also was a semi-finalist in the 2012 International Songwriting Competition.
The band recorded two more original hits in last year: “River” and “Tell Me Everything,” and collaborated over the summer to write and record the theme song for WFAA Channel 8’s weekly TV show, “Live, Love, Laugh Today,” which began airing last September.
Catch Heidi at open mic night at House of Blues, 2200 N. Lamar St., in Dallas, or at the Deep Ellum Arts Festival April 4-6, where she and the band will join about 100 performers that represent the newest sounds in the North Texas music scene.
KC: How did this all begin for you?
HZ: “I started singing when I was a little kid. My mom was in choir in high school, so she taught me how to sing when I was younger. I went to a vocal showcase after I had only been singing [formally] for less than a year, and I caught the attention of some Nashville producers. It got me a recording in Nashville.”
KC: “How has the formal training helped you fine-tune your talent?”
HZ: “When someone is trying to teach themselves, they only have one point of view. They may not know they might actually be doing something wrong but they don’t notice it. It’s nice to have someone outside of your body telling you if you’re making a mistake. I’ve found it to be very beneficial.”
KC: One of the first things I noticed about your music is your vocal range. It’s all over the place! Do you hear that a lot?
HZ: “When I first started taking lessons, my vocal teacher wanted to test my range … and noticed I had a wide range, but I thought everybody did. I found out I almost have four octaves. With many girls and teens, that range is still not fully developed, but now I already have four. I don’t know; it just happened naturally I guess.”
KC: You met your band mates through the recording opportunity in Nashville. What is the relationship like now that you guys have been working together for a couple of years now?
HZ: “All of us are really enthusiastic; I really care about music but I know they do too. All we do is our best to make the best product we possibly can.”
KC: How did you end up getting the WFAA talk show gig?
HZ: “Blue Fish Sushi House [in Allen] hired us to play there one Saturday over the summer, and [show host] Linda Cooper just happened to be there. She told us how they’d created a new show and that they needed a theme song. It was a wonderful opportunity.”
KC: Who or what inspires you the most?
HZ: “My mom is Number 1 on that list, she’s always very encouraging. I also started taking piano lessons at 4 [years old]. My piano has always been very helpful and encouraging. Her husband is actually the one who introduced me to the guys. They both kind of mentored us. I also like bands like Florence and the Machine, and I’m a huge Coldplay fan. I grew up on Coldplay.”
KC: What do you like about being a songwriter?
HZ: “We’re all songwriters. Everything we’ve recorded we’ve written. Songwriting is great, I do it a lot. In fact, I took an independent studies course this year so I could spend that time writing music. I lot of people don’t believe in inspiration. For me, it usually happens after something emotional happens or if something is stressing me out. I try to portray through my music what it is I’m feeling.”
KC: What does the future hold for the Heidi Zettl Band?
HZ: “I’m working on writing more music; we hope to get CD recorded. We have an EP right now. I’m also trying to improve my piano skills and classical training.”
KC: What’s your experience in the local music industry been like so far?
HZ: “I feel like I’m making a lot of musician friends. So often I see the same people over and over again. There are quite a few artists in Dallas, but the ones who are really active I see a lot."
For information about the band, visit them on Facebook, Reverbnation or at heidizettlband.com.
For more arts and entertainment news, follow @KelleyChambers7 on Twitter.