ARTIST NAME: The DePatie Melt
SONG TITLE: I’ll Miss You
RELEASE DATE: May 21, 2021
GENRE: Classic Rock, Classical, Progressive Rock
Electric, dynamic, and passionate to the core, guitarist John DePatie has been laying down his own very special brand of guitar on stages and in studios for the past 40 years.
As a guitarist/sideman John DePatie has backed up Nancy Sinatra and Leif Garrett, as a songwriter been on the Billboard Top 40 chart and on HBO, and as a bandleader performed under his own name in the US, Norway, and Germany.
He was asked to co-write Acoustimania with Wrecking Crew session legend Don Randi, co-wrote the Jezebel album for Cathouse Thursday (commissioned by Sonoton) with Will Faerber and Aaron Bagley, scored the full-length cartoon film Seaper Powers, and has had other compositions used on PBS, The Voice, and in various films.
Select recordings include: Nancy Sinatra’s cover of the U2’s “Two Shots of Happy, One Shot of Sad” (alongside U2’s Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen); “Good Jazzy Vibrations,” jazz versions of Beach Boys songs by Don Randi & Quest with special guest drummer Hal Blaine (which also includes the DePatie/Randi penned tribute “Brian Makes Me Smile”); “Walking Into A Crossfire” with Cathouse Thursday used in the film Hunting Lands.
DePatie has led a number of groups. He began his first jazz/fusion trio soon after he moved to Los Angeles in 1992, has co-led Corazon de Leon (a Latin rock outfit made up of LA’s top session musicians) for the last 15 years, and recently formed The DePatie Melt.
The DePatie Melt
What is The DePatie Melt? The DePatie Melt is a band of rotating musicians formed by John DePatie to play his original music. DePatie Melt as a title first appeared as the opening track on Don Randi and John DePatie’s Acoustimania CD from 2012. In 2019 producers Will Faerber and Peter Wilson used it as a title for a couple of shows that they presented of DePatie’s music, along with special musical guests. In 2021 The DePatie Melt as a group will release their first recordings.
The band members range from A-list Los Angeles session musicians to up and comers, to longtime musical associates and collaborators of DePatie. Much of the music is instrumental and guitar-based and will appeal to fans of Jeff Beck or Joe Satriani, but there are often guest singers and many of the musicians are also vocalists who get to share the spotlight.
The party might be over
But years from now I’ll still remember
When cupid danced in wild disguise
And inspired me to change my life
I’ll miss you…
Tell us how you build up the tune for this song.
My co-writer, Terri Knudsen, had given me the lyrics and the concept for the song. When I sat down to work on it I had planned to do several versions of the music to see what we both liked and see what turned out the best. I sat down to work on this version and she loved it so much that I didn’t end up writing any others.
Tell us how fans are reacting to your music.
I’ve had some nice comments from people. The keyboard performance, the vocal, the guitar, and the lyrics have all been mentioned so I feel like it has been appreciated for different reasons, but all of them make me happy.
Tell us your point of view on the quality of production of today’s songs to old songs and point out what you think has changed.
Computers give musicians the option to change and fix things until they are completely satisfied with their work. That can be a double-edged sword, but overall I think it’s great. The sounds and the quality of the recordings keep getting better, which I love.
What I miss is the team of people in the studio that were all contributing their ideas during the rehearsal and recording process. I think a single person does a lot of the time writing, editing, and arranging today. Sometimes it’s great for them to be able to execute their vision, but sometimes I think they could benefit from a team of people contributing.
Tell us any interesting experience in your music career that is significant.
I’ve been lucky enough to perform with Nancy Sinatra, Don Randi, Leif Garrett. I’m on Nancy’s recording of Two Shots of Happy, One Shot of Sad with Nancy, Don and Larry Mullen Jr., and Adam Clayton from U2.
I co-wrote Brian Makes Me Smile with Don as a tribute to Brian Wilson and our recording of it features the legendary Hal Blaine on drums. It was his final session, in fact. Don and Hal were on many of the original Beach Boys recordings.
Another song I co-wrote with Don, DePatie Melt, was selected for inclusion on the soundtrack CD for the film The Wrecking Crew.
I’ve had songs in movies, and TV shows and recently wrote most of the score for an animated film called Seaper Powers. I co-wrote a song that made it on the Billboard dance charts.
In the late 90s, my group was one of only two to enjoy a weekly gig at the newly opened Rocco jazz club. I’ve co-led an all-star Latin rock group for years called Corazon de Leon. I enjoy playing monthly at LA’s oldest jazz club, The Baked Potato with Don Randi & Quest.
Since 2017 I’ve been focusing more on my band. In 2017 I did the gigs For The Vikings tour with some shows in the US and Norway. I’ve done shows in Los Angeles, San Diego, NYC, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Berlin, Oslo, and Bergen. The plan is to keep putting out music and playing it live.
Tell us how you come across the lyrics of this song.
Terri Knudsen, who also conceived of the song, wrote the lyrics. The initial idea for the song came from a pile of rejection (e-mail responses) that we got after requesting gigs for my instrumental guitar show. Most of the responses said something like “sounds nice, but we don’t have instrumental acts anymore.” Terri suggested it would be interesting to try a song where there was a vocal, but just as a small part of the song. She pointed out that Queen had recorded a song called Bijou where it was mostly guitar but with a short vocal.
Discuss how you plan to create a piece of timeless music that your fans can cherish forever.
This is a good song to speak on that point. It’s probably less commercial than most of my other songs. It doesn’t have drums and doesn’t have a chorus. It’s been very hard to categorize because it’s odd. In the short term, I doubt it will be anyone’s favorite of my songs, but I think it fits nicely as part of my catalog. It will stand out from other songs because it’s so different. And if someone feels like listening to a song that’s mostly guitar but with a really short vocal, I can think of very few others to suggest.
Tell us what triggers your creativity.
I’ve always felt like trying my hand at a bunch of different styles and approaches. Sometimes I’ll hear a song by someone else that makes me feel like I can create a concept for a song from it. If I hear a style or a type of rhythm that I’ve never used in a song before I’ll jump on that and be really inspired.
But then sometimes I’ll just get an idea because I picked up a guitar and something came to me, as I was tuning up or not thinking.
Tell us how you generate musical ideas for your composition.
I’ve got a background in classic jazz and classic rock and I was always into improvisation in music. A lot of times I’ll improvise things and go back and refine them to turn them into a song. Sometimes I’ll set up a chord progression to improvise over. Other times I’ll imagine a melody while I’m away from my guitar and then try to find it and capture it. I also write melodies right into the piano roll in my sequencer on the computer. I can go back and learn them on a guitar later, but it keeps me from doing stuff that’s familiar to my fingers.
Tell us your greatest song and state the reason.
It’s hard to say greatest or favorite. For me, it changes all the time, and while I’m writing whatever I’m working on at the moment is what I hope will be my best. But I have a song called The Viking Princess and the Troll King that’s been out only as a YouTube video that I’ll be releasing later in 2021 that has elicited more positive reactions and prompted more people to share than possibly any of my others.
Discuss how you compose this song.
I came up with the title when I was visiting Norway in 2017. My Norwegian girlfriend had jokingly referred to herself as a Viking princess, and we had watched a film about hunting trolls, and the title just came to me. I imagined it as something like Shrek, or Beauty & The Beast. The music came to me on a day that I had dropped my girlfriend at the airport and wouldn’t see her for a little while.
I was trying to come up with something emotional that would lend itself to expressive guitar playing. I sat down at the computer and tried to imagine a song that I’d enjoy playing for the rest of my life. It probably took me about two hours.
Elaborate on the song.
In a lot of ways, I think it’s like a 50s ballad. It’s very simple actually, just a rhythm guitar, bass, drums, and the lead guitar. One thing that’s kind of interesting is that the take that you see in the video was the actual performance on the recording. The guitar and the video were both just one take, just as it came out.
It’s gone over pretty well live too. It’s a fun one for me to solo on, and it’s pretty easy so the band members like it LOL.
Elaborate on your artist’s name and the title of the album.
DePatie Melt was a song on Acoustimania, a CD of duets that I did with Don Randi in 2013. When we were putting together our first show for the new group in 2019, Will Faerber suggested using it as the title of the show. We performed two shows under that name in 2019. Now in 2021, it’s the name for the whole project and I plan to use it for all the new releases.
Share your press release and review with us.
Of DePatie’s guitar playing Jazz Review said “John DePatie’s guitar work is exquisite. His perfect solos and background work show his ability to perfectly capture an emotion and run with it”
Peter Macbeath of the Troubadour Music News:
“A really good band is the sum of all its parts, and frontman Will Faeber knows this. Lead guitarist, John DePatie, is a perfect fit. I have the feeling that John can play lead on almost anything with style, grace, and high energy.”
The DePatie Melt releases new song: I’ll Miss You
On the 21st of May, Los Angeles-based guitarist John DePatie is set to release his new song, I’ll Miss You, under the name The DePatie Melt.
John DePatie has shared stages with artists like Nancy Sinatra, Leif Garrett, Jarvis Cocker, Richard Hawley, Little Steven, Greg Walker (Santana), Richard Street (Temptations), and legendary Wrecking Crew keyboardist Don Randi. DePatie tapped Randi’s talent for the first single from his new group, The DePatie Melt. This song inspired The DePatie Melt – a group of musicians coming together to create something extraordinary across genres.
Inspired in part by Queen, who is a favorite of the song’s lyricist Terri Knudsen, I’ll Miss You starts and ends with a guitar melody. The vocal by San Diego vocalist Jody Bagley is just a small section in the middle, effectively turning the song inside out: putting the guitar where the vocals usually are and the vocal where the guitar solo usually is. The Queen song Bijou was put together in a similar way; mainly guitar but a beautiful, short vocal…
“It’s got much more of a classical influence than anything thing else I’ve ever written,” says DePatie. “I was trying to get a little bit of a Queen sound mixed with Jeff Beck’s interpretation of Nessun Dorma.”
The song was conceived by lyricist/producer Terri Knudsen, written by DePatie/Knudsen, and mixed by Aaron Bagley.
About The DePatie Melt:
The DePatie Melt is a group formed by guitarist John DePatie to showcase a wide variety of his original material. The title is not only a reference to the diversity of the music but also to the rotating pool of personnel in the group’s lineup.
About Don Randi:
Don Randi is one of the most recorded keyboardists in history. He’s been a top call session musician in Los Angeles since the early 60s, and in addition to his 21 albums as a leader he can be heard on records by The Beach Boys, Elvis Presley, The Jackson 5, The Righteous Brothers, Nancy Sinatra, Neil Young, Linda Ronstadt, Simon & Garfunkel, James Brown, Frank Zappa, Neil Diamond, and many others.
About Jody Bagley:
Singer/keyboardist Jody Bagley leads his own group, JB & The Movers, and released his debut album Burn in 2019. He’s also a busy sideman on the San Diego scene, playing with Mrs. Henry, Mojo Morganfield, and Whitney Shay.
About Aaron Bagley:
Mixer Aaron Bagley has written and mixed scores for the films Downeast and Alice Is Still Dead and has performed on and mixed music by recording artists Jayyvon, Jody Bagley, MK Ultra, Sir Jet, Aaron Lee & the Love Vigilantes, Cathouse Thursday, and Armies.
About Terri Knudsen:
Lyricist Terri Knudsen is a former freelance journalist with a life-long passion for music. She was bottle-fed on Elvis, Queen, and opera, and later developed an interest in a wide variety of artists and genres across two centuries.