Zepparella

How to honor the legacy of a band deemed sacred? To tread on holy ground is perilous, and must be done with the intent and spirit of a disciple—Pay attention to the intricacies of the magic, explore the far ends of the innovation, strive for ever-growing ability, and let the purity of the love for the music drive it all.



Drummer Clementine is the founding member of ZEPPARELLA. From the beginning of her musical career, her goal has been to be onstage every night. The pursuit of that goal has led Clementine to constantly tour the US and Europe in projects as diverse as Bottom, AC/DShe, The House Of More, The Solid, Francis Bakin, Stars Turn Me On and Beaux Cheveux. She tackles the best rock drumming ever written with her own emotionally powerful style, bringing the Motown influence of the Bonham groove to the forefront. The profound musical connection established with Gretchen Menn (guitar), Holly West (bass), and Anna Kristina (vocals) creates the bond required to do this great music justice.



It was under the tutelage of classical guitarist Phillip DeFremery, a student of Andrés Segovia, that guitarist Gretchen Menn began her path on the instrument. Playing with tireless passion and constantly seeking out new challenges, her projects are often unconventional, genre-bending expressions combining elements of classical, rock, progressive, jazz, and metal. On influences, Gretchen has never tired of her initial inspirations—Eric Johnson, Steve Morse, Frank Zappa, and Jeff Beck. But she has loved Jimmy Page’s guitar playing longer than she has played the guitar. It was through the music of Led Zeppelin that she found a gateway into music that resonated deeply with her, creating a love for guitar-oriented music, and, ultimately, the guitar.



Bassist Holly West began her musical journey full-steam ahead, and more recently than her stellar playing belies. Her unstoppable will and drive have truly propelled her to this moment and her place in the powerhouse Zepparella. A self-taught bass player, she is also a blossoming vocalist with rich rock pipes. Her time on stage has been well spent, developing an impressive attack, impeccable feel, and a technique which seems to have come completely naturally to her, not to mention her dazzling stage presence and joyful performance style. Her influences span the rock gauntlet, from Clutch and the Rival Sons to Slash, ZZ Top, and of course, the mighty Zeppelin.



Singer Anna Kristina is a soulful, fiery, and rocking vocal powerhouse who has stepped into Zepparella’s Plant spot for a second time. Anna was with the band for 5 years, became known for her performance in the band’s 10 million-view “When The Levee Breaks” video, took a 6-year hiatus, and now returns in 2018 to front the band. Her career has spanned acoustic, jazz, soul, rock, and her charisma and power delivers captivating performances every night. About her brilliant harp playing she says: “getting a chance to blow on the harmonica is an added bonus! Plant isn’t just a singer he’s a musician. He brings his blues background and natural percussive feel to his harmonica playing as well and I love getting lost in that. Playing the harp allows me to express on a whole different level and it’s so freeing.”


Now more than ever, Zepparella explores their own improvised magic within the framework of Zeppelin’s mighty songs!

Daniele Gottardo

DANIELE GOTTARDO IS AN ITALIAN GUITARIST, COMPOSER, PRODUCER, AND EDUCATOR. HE HAS RELEASED TWO SOLO ALBUMS, NON TEMPERATO (SELF-RELEASED, 2014) AND FRENZY OF ECSTASY (DIGITAL NATIONS, 2010), AND A NUMBER OF OTHER ALBUMS WITH VARIOUS OTHER PROJECTS, MOST RECENTLY WITH HIS POWER BEBOP TRIO, THE NUTS (GIANT NUTS, SELF-RELEASED, 2016). HE INCORPORATES VIRTUOSIC ELECTRIC GUITAR PLAYING INTO A WIDE RANGE OF CONTEXTS, FROM ROCK TO THE ORCHESTRAL AND COMPOSITIONAL, RESULTING IN MUSIC THAT IS CINEMATIC, INNOVATIVE, AND DISTINCTIVE.

HE RECENTLY RECEIVED THE GREAT HONOR OF THE HIGHEST PRAISE FROM ONE OF HIS MOST ENDURING INSPIRATIONS, STEVE VAI:

“I’M OFTEN ASKED WHO IS MY FAVORITE NEW YOUNG GUITAR PLAYER. WELL, HERE HE IS: DANIELE GOTTARDO. HE’S ITALIAN, AND I HAVE BEEN FOLLOWING HIM FOR QUITE SOME TIME NOW. HE HAS AN ELEGANT TOUCH, STUNNING INTONATION, INNOVATIONAL STYLE, AND HE HONORS THE MELODY. ENJOY, AND CHECK OUT HIS NEW RECORD HERE FOR A REAL TREAT.”

HE CURRENTLY SPLITS HIS TIME BETWEEN ITALY AND NORTHERN CALIFORNIA, AND HAS BEEN COMPOSING NEW WORK WHILE PERFORMING SHOWS, BOTH AS A SOLO ARTIST AND WITH HIS TRIO, THE NUTS. HE IS WORKING AS AN ARTISTIC PRODUCER FOR A COLLABORATION BETWEEN GUITARIST/COMPOSER, GRETCHEN MENN, AND EDITOR-IN-CHIEF OF GUITAR PLAYER MAGAZINE, MICHAEL MOLENDA, SET FOR RELEASE IN 2016.

HISTORY

DANIELE BEGAN PLAYING THE GUITAR AT THE AGE OF 14 AFTER BEING INTRIGUED BY HIS FATHER’S RED FENDER STRATOCASTER, WHICH IS TO THIS DAY HIS PRIMARY GUITAR. WHAT STARTED AS AN INNOCENT AND CASUAL MUSICAL CURIOSITY ULTIMATELY BECAME A PASSION THAT USURPED HIS PREVIOUS ONE—DRAWING AND ILLUSTRATION. YET DANIELE MAINTAINS THAT SOME OF WHAT HE LEARNED IN VISUAL ARTS IN TERMS OF AESTHETICS, COMPOSITIONAL BALANCE, AND THE USE OF VARIOUS COLORS HAVE AN APPLICATION IN MUSIC AS WELL.

BUT DANIELE’S FIRST IMPETUS TO PLAY GUITAR WAS LESS ABOUT EXPLORING THE HARMONIC AND TONAL SPECTRUM, AND MORE ABOUT THE MUSIC OF KISS. DANIELE WAS OBSESSED WITH KISS, AND FOR THE FIRST YEAR, HE TRANSCRIBED ACE FREHLEY'S SOLOS BY EAR. HE STILL REMEMBERS THE FIRST WAS "LET ME GO ROCK AND ROLL." HE SOON STARTED LEARNING THE SONGS OF LED ZEPPELIN, IRON MAIDEN, AND OTHER CLASSIC ROCK AND METAL BANDS.

HIS INTEREST IN COMPOSITION WAS BORN ALMOST IMMEDIATELY, AND HE BEGAN WRITING MUSIC AS SOON AS HE STARTED PLAYING. AT 14, HE ABANDONED ATTEMPTS AT WRITING LYRICS AFTER TERRIFYING HIS MORE INNOCENT BANDMATE, A COUPLE OF YEARS HIS JUNIOR, WITH SOME EXTREMELY EXPLICIT, KISS-INSPIRED LYRICS. SINCE THEN, HE HAS FOCUSED HIS COMPOSITIONAL EFFORTS EXCLUSIVELY ON INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC.
AFTER ABOUT A YEAR OF PLAYING GUITAR, DANIELE DISCOVERED INSTRUCTIONAL VIDEOS AND NEW STYLES OF PLAYING—YNGWIE MALMSTEEN, JOHN PETRUCCI, STEVE VAI, AND THE SHRED STYLE. WITH THESE DISCOVERIES, DANIELE DISCOVERED MASSIVE NEW CHALLENGES. AT FIRST HE NAIVELY ASSUMED THAT HIS INABILITY TO PLAY LIKE YNGWIE OR OTHER TECHNICAL MASTERS WAS DUE TO A DEFICIENCY WITH HIS GUITAR, SO HE GOT HIS FRETBOARD SCALLOPED IN HOPES THAT WOULD FIX THE PROBLEM. WHILE IT DIDN'T PRODUCE THE IMMEDIATE RESULTS HE HAD ANTICIPATED, HE HAS REMAINED PARTIAL TO THE SCALLOPED FRETBOARD. AROUND THIS TIME, HE WAS INTRODUCED TO THE TWO-HANDED TAPPING OF DAVE CELENTANO. HE WAS AMAZED, BECAME OBSESSED WITH THE SOUND, AND HE SOUGHT TO MASTER THE TECHNIQUE AND INTEGRATE IT INTO HIS OWN STYLE.

AFTER THREE YEARS OF SELF-STUDY, HE ATTENDED A MODERN MUSIC SCHOOL TO STUDY TECHNIQUE AND APPLIED HARMONY, BUT CONCURRENTLY CONTINUED TO FORGE HIS OWN PATH. HE DISCOVERED SCHOENBERG'S TEXTBOOK ON HARMONY, AND DOVE INTO STUDY OF MODERN AND CLASSICAL HARMONY AND COUNTERPOINT WHILE CONTINUING TO STUDY VARIOUS STYLES ON ELECTRIC GUITAR.
FROM THE AGE OF 20 ONWARD, DANIELE BECAME VERY BUSY PROFESSIONALLY:
HE RECORDED HIS FIRST INSTRUCTIONAL VIDEO, TAPPING, RELEASED IN 2005 THROUGH PLAYGAME MUSIC. IT WAS BASED ON HIS 8-FINGER TAPPING TECHNIQUE.
HE BECAME THE LEAD GUITARIST FOR THE INTERNATIONAL POP SINGER ALEXIA, AND BETWEEN 2004 AND 2008, HE TOOK PART IN NUMEROUS LIVE CONCERTS, CONFERENCES, TV SHOWS, AND TOURED ACROSS THE WORLD.
HE STARTED TEACHING ELECTRIC GUITAR AT A VARIETY OF PRESTIGIOUS ITALIAN MUSIC SCHOOLS, AND CURRENTLY TEACHES AT THE MODERN MUSIC INSTITUTE (MMI) AND AT THE MUSIC COLLEGE IN TREVISO.
HE BEGAN CONDUCTING SEMINARS AND MASTER CLASSES, OFTEN TEACHING LESS TREATED TOPICS, SUCH AS APPLIED COUNTERPOINT.
HE PARTICIPATED IN MANY OF THE MOST IMPORTANT ITALIAN GUITAR FESTIVALS.
HIS YOUTUBE VIDEO OF “COME SEI VERAMENTE,” INSPIRED BY THE COMPETITION OF “REINTERPRETATION OF GIOVANNI ALLEVI,” LED TO AN AWARD FROM GIOVANNI ALLEVI, HIMSELF.
HE WORKED CONSISTENTLY WITH AXE MAGAZINE ON TOPICS OF INSTRUMENTAL TECHNIQUE AND ADVANCED CHROMATIC HARMONY CONCEPTS.

ALONG WITH THE MOST TECHNICAL GUITAR PLAYERS HE BEGAN COLLABORATING WITH THE ENGLISH WEBSITE “JAMTRACKCENTRAL” WHICH DEMONSTRATES HIS GUITAR STYLE, PLUS A NUMBER OF SERIES OF INSTRUCTIONAL VIDEOS.

HE FINISHED THIRD IN GUITAR IDOL 2008, AN INTERNATIONAL GUITAR COMPETITION IN LONDON, ENGLAND. AT GUITAR IDOL 2009 HE WON THE PRIZE FOR THE BEST TECHNIQUE AND THE “STEVE VAI AWARD.”
ELEVEN ELECTRIX PRODUCED HIS DISTORTION “GOTTYBOY SIGNATURE MODEL – SPECIAL GERMANIUM DISTORTION PEDAL FOR EXTREME TAPPING TECHNIQUES.” DANIELE ALSO HELPED DEVELOP “HUMBUCKER BRIDGE – DANIELE GOTTARDO SIGNATURE MODEL” PICKUP BY MAMA PICKUPS.
THROUGHOUT THIS TIME, BOTH DANIELE’S GUITAR PLAYING AND MUSICAL IDEAS DEVELOPED SUBSTANTIALLY. HE SOUGHT TO FIND HIS OWN ARTISTIC VOICE. HE RECORDED HIS IDEAS DAILY, A PROCESS WHICH HE SAYS WAS VERY HELPFUL FOR DEVELOPING HIS CREATIVITY AND HIS CONSISTENCY. HIS FIRST IDEAS FOR HIS DEBUT ALBUM, FRENZY OF ECSTASY, WERE BORN THIS WAY. HIS STUDY OF CLASSICAL AND MODERN HARMONY, AS WELL AS HIS KNOWLEDGE OF ROCK AND FUSION GUITAR, ARE EVIDENT THROUGHOUT THE ALBUM.

HE CAUGHT THE ATTENTION OF STEVE VAI AFTER BEING A RUNNER-UP IN GUITAR IDOL 2009, AND FRENZY OF ECSTASY WAS RELEASED IN 2010 ON STEVE VAI’S LABEL, DIGITAL NATIONS (A SUBSIDIARY OF FAVORED NATIONS). A PROMO COPY WAS INCLUDED IN AXE MAGAZINE, JANUARY 2011. FRENZY OF ECSTASY WAS MET WITH CRITICAL ACCLAIM, AND PUT DANIELE ON THE INTERNATIONAL MAP AS ONE OF THE MOST EXCITING NEW TALENTS.
IN 2011 DANIELE RELEASED HIS SECOND INSTRUCTIONAL VIDEO, SUPERFINGERING, IN WHICH HE DEMONSTRATES A CUTTING-EDGE METHODOLOGY FOR TECHNIQUES AND FRETBOARD VISUALIZATION.
HE THEN PROMOTED HIS OWN COMPETITION ON YOUTUBE, WHERE PLAYERS PERFORMED OVER THE BACKING TRACK OF HIS COMPOSITION, "GUITAR SBREGO," A SONG FROM FRENZY OF ECSTASY. THE JURY INCLUDED EXPERTS FROM THE INTERNATIONAL MUSIC SCENE, INCLUDING JASON BECKER AND PRODUCER/SHRAPNEL RECORDS FOUNDER, MARK VARNEY. IT INVOLVED MORE THAN 640 COMPETITORS FROM 42 COUNTRIES AROUND THE WORLD.
IN NOVEMBER 2011 HE WAS INVITED TO PLAY IN AMSTERDAM AT THE EUROPEAN BENEFIT, “JASON BECKER’S NOT DEAD YET FESTIVAL,” WHERE HE PERFORMED WITH BIG NAMES SUCH AS GUTHRIE GOVAN, STU HAMM, KIKO LOUREIRO, MATTIAS IA EKLUNDH, MARCO SFOGLI, STÉPHAN FORTÉ, ATMA ANUR, MICHAEL LEE FIRKINS, AND OTHERS.

IN 2013, ONE OF HIS PROJECTS, PLASTIK BOOBIES, RELEASED A POP/PUNK/METAL CD CALLED UNBREASTABLE, WHICH COMBINES POP MELODIES, HEAVY GUITAR RIFFS, AND VIRTUOSIC SOLOS.

EVER SEARCHING TO INCREASE HIS DEPTH OF MUSICAL UNDERSTANDING AND CREATIVITY, DANIELE HAS NEVER ALLOWED HIS VIRTUOSITY TO OVERSHADOW HIS LOVE OF COMPOSITION. HE CONTINUTED TO STUDY CLASSICAL, ROMANTIC, AND 20TH CENTURY COMPOSERS, ANALYZING THE SOCRES OF SOME OF HIS FAVORITE COMPOSERS—SCHOENBERG, STRAVINSKY, RIMSKY KORSAKOV.

DANIELE’S SECOND SOLO ALBUM, NON TEMPERATO, WAS RELEASED IN 2014, AND IS A BOLD AND UNIQUE ARTISTIC OFFEREING. IT WAS MET WITH HIGH PRAISES AND CRITICAL ACCLAIM, INCLUDING THESE WORDS FROM STEVE VAI:

"EVERY NOW AND THEN, PERHAPS I WOULD EVEN SAY ONCE IN A BLUE MOON, (AND A BLUE MOON IS VERY RARE) I COME ACROSS A GUITAR TALENT THAT IS TRULY STIMULATING TO ME. THIS YOUNG ITALIAN GUY DANIELE GOTTARDO IS ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE. HIS TECHNIQUE IS STUNNING BUT HIS CHOICE OF NOTES AND THE HARMONIC/MELODIC ATMOSPHERES HE CREATES HAVE UNIQUE QUALITIES TO THEM. FOR ME HIS MUSIC HAS A WAY TO SCRATCH AN ITCH THAT’S VERY HARD TO REACH"

THOUGH CERTAIN GUITAR PARTS IN NON TEMPERATO ARE A CLEAR EVOLUTION OF THE STYLE OF FRENZY OF ECSTASY, THE ALBUM AS A WHOLE DEMONSTRATES A LARGE AMOUT OF CREATIVE DEVELOPMENT OVER A VERY SHORT PERIOD OF TIME. NON TEMPERATO IS HIGHLY COMPOSITIONAL, WITH ORCHESTRAL ARRANGEMENTS AND POST-TONAL HARMONIES IN A UNIQUE LATE-ROMANTIC STYLE. THE ALBUM IS THE RESULT OF MORE THAN A YEAR OF WORK IN THE STUDIO AND 15 CLASSICAL INSTRUMENTS TO CREATE A SMALL ORCHESTRAL SETTING.

DANIELE IS CURRENTLY AN ENDORSER/DEMONSTRATOR FOR DUNLOP-MXR, MAMA PICKUPS, EMINENCE SPEAKERS, VIGIER GUITARS, ELEVEN ELECTRIX, AND REFERENCE CABLES. HE HAS PLAYED WITH MUSICIANS SUCH AS GREG HOWE, RITCHIE KOTZEN, GUTHRIE GOVAN, RUDY SARZO, ATMA ANUR, LEE PEARSON, AND MANY MORE.

DANIELE WAS INCLUDED IN "THE TOP 10 HOT MALE GUITARISTS" IN GUITAR WORLD MAGAZINE, JULY OF 2013, AND HAS BEEN FEATURED IN A VARIETY OF PRINT AND DIGITAL MAGAZINES.

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