Derek Zanetti, also known as The Homeless Gospel Choir, is a protest singer, author and artist based out of Pittsburgh, PA. Ahead of the release of brand new, full-length album, The Land Is Your Landfill (set for release on 24 April 2020) we sat down to find out more about what we can expect from the record…
Explain to us, for anyone who might not be aware, what your project is all about?
The Homeless Gospel Choir is a loud ruckus punk rock band from Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. The world that we live in is loud confusing chaotic weird and often scary; we hope to provide you with a song or two that helps you navigate your way through. Punk rock is supposed to be a place where we can gather and grow, help each other, serve the community, ask the hard questions, hold power accountable, make space for those who have been neglected and marginalized and oppressed. For all of us who had fucked up families and were bullied, from those abandoned and forgotten, to those who have been victimized by poverty and misinformation. Our hope is that The Homeless Gospel Choir is a place you can come to and be yourself without fear of judgement or ridicule. Where we can together gather bravery to face this world not as strangers who bought a ticket to see a punk show, but as a community of people dedicated to doing good for one another while we are here.
What should we be expecting from your upcoming full-length album, This Land is Your Landfill?
It’s a loud one! We turned the gain knobs all the way up, smashed every distortion pedal! I feel uneasy all the time, and tense. I wake up every morning in panic, forced to check my news feed or my email, or some damn internet troll who has a political debate on Tik-Tock. Always nervous and anxious, always a buzz in your ear that you can’t shake, feeling like you could erupt at any given moment. I wanted to write a record that reflected those feelings. I also was getting stoned a-lot and listening to pet sounds era beach boys.
Since 2009, this project has mainly been a solo affair, do you think collaborating on this record has been beneficial?
It’s a night and day difference to be honest with you – and I love it a billion times more! I’ve always dreamed of touring in a loud fast fun amazing band like this. From when I first started writing (I used to be so young) I’ve always heard the potential for full band elements. But it wasn’t until Matt Miller and I sat down to make this record that I realized it was a necessary next step to show you the music that I’ve been hiding in my mind. It’s a scary thing trusting your songs with other people, but it’s far less scary than being lonely.
You have just released Young and in Love as a single, what has the reception been like?
My mind is blown. It’s amazing! For the longest time, I felt like I was the only one who had these feelings, so the fact that anyone likes them is super siiiiiiick to me. This song comes with a lyric video that I made with my friend Bonnetta Shaw, with $22.00 and all recycled materials. I found a pile of card stock and markers at the local art supply charity shop and some help from my friends at the flower city print shop. In less than 24 hours (and little editing) we made our own unique fun short film to go along with it. You don’t have to be a rich kid to make a music video. $22 a little imagination a couple of buddies. No sweat.
Which songs from the record, in particular, are you excited for people to hear?
All of em. They are all the best songs. Like seriously, it’s the best thing I’ve ever put out.
After the release of the album in April, what does the rest of 2020 look like for you?
We have some touring in the US and Canada and are making plans and arrangements for Europe and Uk in Q-4.lots of shows, lots of touring.
When all is said and done, how would you like to be remembered?
I’m going to live forever, or until the sun burns out.
Follow The Homeless Gospel Choir: