Zach Carpenter

So...I play bass. Not a whole lot to say about that.

I'm primarily a fretless bassist that has been based out of the central AR area since my first show in 1994. In 2016, I had to have most of my lower jaw bone replaced due to a type of cancer known as ameloblastic carcinoma. Before the operation, I was informed that I'd never sing again. But on August 8th, 2017, I stepped out on stage at a local open mic and did a thirty minute solo set with just a mic and a guitar. As news of my story spread, I've played several such shows since then. Most of them being cancer benefits for other patients. Three years after my surgery, and two years since that first show back, I'm raising money for my first solo album- a benefit album for pther cancer patients entitled Luckiest Man Alive. I'll always love and have work as a bass player. But as a musician and songwriter, helping to share the encouragement and support that I received with my other cancer patients is my passion.







What is music to you? What does it give you?

That's hard to answer. I think musical inclination is sometimes a genetic predisposition. My grandfather was a tenor sax player that hung out and played with jazz greats like Louis Armstrong and Al Hert. He died a few weeks before I was born, and I never got to meet him. As a kid, we were too poor to afford a radio, so I had very little exposure to music. But I had a strong leaning toward music and wanting to understand it. With it being something that I experienced so little, it was almost a mythical creature to me. So my desire to make music was my attempt at taming the unicorn, so to speak. And every single day and every note I play is a part of that attempt.

What is your music dream?

I really kind of get to live it every day in that I get to play, teach, and repair gear for a living. But in reality, I'd like that I didn't have to worry about playing to pay bills and got to devote more of my home time to playing and promoting cancer benefits. But to take it a step further, I'd love to create a non profit that specialized in producing, promoting, and organizing musical benefits for other patients. And to play for one of the bands on their roster.

If you could change the world - what would you start with?

Removing needless drama and curing cancer.

Which is the most memorable song from your childhood?

I really don't know. Again, my exposure to music was so limited when I was young.

Who are your favorite musical artists or bands?

If Freddie Mercury and Joe Strummer were to front a ska band that played tunes by paul Simon and Colin Haye while Brian May and Dick Dale played guitar, it would only be made better by having Bakithi Kumalo on bass, Stewart Copeland on Drums, Vince Guaraldi on keys, Miles Davis on trumpet, John Coltrane on tenor sax, and Trombone Shorty on the 'bone, I'd have died and gone to Heaven.

What inspires you to make music?

Hearing a certain frequency in a car horn or emergency vehicle siren, or the odd offbeat of a dripping faucet, or a specific tone and EQ to the way a fork hits the floor when you drop it.

What is the message you want to send with your music?

Go out and play. As much as you can.

How do you feel when you perform in front of an audience?

I live for it. That's when the most creative portion of my brain unlocks, and I come up with parts that I couldn't duplicate at home or in the studio if I tried.

How do you see the musicians’ reality nowadays? What could be improved?

I see the album as a physical format becoming extinct, which saddens me. Peeling the cellophane off of a new album was always like opening a Christmas present. Seeing the artwork, the liner notes, the track order, etc, gave you a glimpse into the artist's mind at the time they were working on it. It was something personal and memorable that online downloads don't offer. With that, musicians are learning how to market individual songs via online purchase versus total albums. It works well for being able to get smaller sales in greater volume. 25 sales of a $1 song is greater than 1 sale of a $10 CD.

What do you think of Drooble?

So far, I have been very impressed. Drooble appears to be everything I would try to offer if I were offering a platform for musicians to network.

What frustrates you most as a musician?

Working for "band leaders" that don't don't understand the business.

Do you support your local scene as a fan? How?

Absolutely. I perform at and help run open mic events locally, do online promotion for other bands that I know, go to shows, etc.

What qualities should a musician nowadays have in order to get their music heard by a larger audience?

Understanding marketing and getting out there and playing.

Share some awesome artists that we’ve never heard of.

John David Salons, Some Guy Named Robb and the Irresponsibles, and tons of others that I've been fortunate enough to grace the stage with.