“I do not really feel like I belong in these arenas in any respect,” the 35-year-old mentioned one current afternoon at his Snohomish County residence, recharging after touring with common rockers Tenacious D and Instrument. “I really feel like I am about to get kicked out someplace.”
For 15 years, each with the band and on his personal, Depardi moved round Everett and Western Washington underneath the moniker Metal Beans in relative obscurity. Then, in September 2022, a viral clip modified his musical destiny endlessly. It confirmed him enjoying guitar, pounding Ludwig’s drums, and singing vocals at full pace whereas carrying tinted glasses, quick shorts, and an open gown revealing his naked chest. The mix of his spectacular musical prowess and his informal “Molotov Cocktail Lounge” apparel set social media on fireplace. Depardi remembers Bruno Mars and Anderson. Buck beloved the posts that contained a video of him jamming; Others simply made memes. Seemingly in a single day, Metal Beans went from 1,200 followers on Instagram to 100,000. In the present day, the account has almost 300,000.
Depardi’s sudden web fame helped land him his largest gig ever at first of 2023: opening for Tenacious D, the comedy rock duo of Jack Black and Kyle Gass, on a global tour that took them to Berlin, Milan and London, amongst different locations. . A later tour with Instrument included a cease on the Tacoma Dome, the place DeBardi had seen Instrument chief Maynard James Keenan carry out with A Excellent Circle about 20 years earlier. The Tacoma Dome present and efficiency throughout Bert Krischer’s Totally Loaded Comedy Pageant at Gorge Ampitheater “had been just like the craziest factor that ever occurred to me,” Depardi mentioned.
On his travels, he met Buck and Dweezil Zappa (the son of his musical inspiration – and facial hair resemblance – Frank Zappa), who continued to supply their help. Now, with an album within the works and a label deal on the horizon, DeBardi is able to really capitalize on one of many quickest and very unlikely paths to musical stardom in current Washington historical past.
“It is only a rags-to-riches story with Jeremy,” mentioned Tony Biancanello, a longtime Metal Beans supporter who usually drives to his reveals from Seattle.
Riches had been but to come back, Depardi confused, itemizing the devices — all the pieces from vibraphones to drums to guitars — that he purchased on a budget when he had “$300 to my identify.” He has at all times prioritized music. His grandparents performed in a band and set him up with a drum set when he was a little bit child. However there isn’t any doubt that touring with some huge names represents a brand new musical frontier and a life-changing expertise.
He mentioned the turnaround story for 2023 truly started in August 2022. That is when a pal invited him to see “South Park: twenty fifth Anniversary Live performance” at Crimson Rocks Amphitheater in Colorado. Depardi’s ticket got here with one situation: he needed to drive.
He mentioned the rock singer had simply bought his first legit “camper”, a $4,000 minivan, a 12 months in the past. So, after consuming caffeine — the drug within the rearview, he says — DeBardi and his bandmates drove 22 hours straight to observe the Comedy Central creators take the stage with the bands Primus and Ween. Depardi remembers that the performances had been inspiring, however on the way in which residence, he was targeted on the truck and his personal musical journey.
“I keep in mind considering: ‘Rattling, this factor has come this far; I’ve obtained to go on tour,'” Depardi recollects.
Each time he needed to enterprise outdoors of Washington with considered one of his many lineups of bands, one thing at all times got here up with considered one of his fellow musicians. As well as, he didn’t have the funds for to afford dependable transportation. Even together with his garden mowing job, he did not actually have a lot.
However he had the truck, and he did not essentially have to journey with a band to play the Metal Beans. Since two of his classmates had been late to observe a decade in the past, when Depardi first realized he may play the guitar and hit the drum with the identical movement, he has often carried out solo. Music multitasking grew to become simpler for him than juggling schedules.
“It is bizarre, however for me, it is not the toughest factor to do,” he mentioned. “It is simpler than managing an eight-piece band.”
He emailed venues up and down the West Coast and put collectively a collection of dates. Will probably be the fifteenth anniversary tour for Metal Beans, a reputation that stems from a childhood incident when he and a pal stole some beans from a Safeway in Everett.
Then got here his viral second.
DeBardi had simply woken up when a pal instructed him that Metal Beans was trending on Twitter. His “Molotov Cocktail Lounge” video, considered one of many he posted to his Instagram account over time, gained unprecedented traction, inspiring memes and a viral following on a number of social media platforms as celebrities favored and shared it. Depardi watched his follower rely climb like a inventory index. I flipped out when Instagram tried to determine if its newfound followers had been made up of bots.
The platform may have known as up some expertise brokers. Tickets for Depardi’s tour dates, which had been extensively accessible, had been all of the sudden snatched up. At his first present in Portland, he was greeted by a line within the nook of the venue. As he made his option to the coast, venues that had beforehand rejected him needed him to come back play.
Throughout his travels, he acquired an electronic mail from somebody claiming to be Jack Black, saying good issues about his music. Depardi was completely happy however skeptical, and messaged Black on Instagram asking if it was him. That wasn’t the case, nevertheless it seems Depardi planted a seed, Black mentioned. Shortly thereafter, Black’s actual administration staff approached him about opening Tenacious D.
It might have taken 15 years and a little bit of algorithmic luck, however Depardi feels his huge break has lastly come as a result of he determined to take a danger and go on tour. Realistically, he didn’t have the funds for to cowl the prices of the journey. “I actually suppose I needed all of it to occur by placing all the pieces into it,” he mentioned.
Tenacious D finally connected with Instrument. The generosity of each teams has helped Depardi overcome any imposter syndrome related to being round well-known acts on the prime of the trade.
“It is a small group there,” Depardi mentioned. “Thus far, from what I collect, everyone seems to be very nice.”
At the same time as DeBardi receives tools from .Paak and hops on calls with Stone Temple Pilots’ Robert DeLeo, Biancaniello does not suppose his pal’s sudden rise will go over his head. “I don’t suppose he’s a kind of squishy celebrities,” he mentioned. “I believe this may solely profit him.”
Aaron Hill, a guitarist who has performed with Depardi previously, mentioned Depardi’s rise is a realization of what many music observers have lengthy identified in Everett, however maybe not in Seattle.
“It was fascinating to see lots of people who had been by no means supportive of him, now leaping in and actually praising him, when in actuality that hasn’t been the case for years,” Hill mentioned.
Originally of 2024, Depardi was placing the ending touches on extra reveals round Seattle and past. However he would not abandon Everett or the handfuls of musicians there. Though his solo musical prowess could have earned him influential followers from New York to Los Angeles and past, Depardi nonetheless needs to proceed collaborating together with his roster of bandmates in Washington. “I by no means fired anybody,” he mentioned.
This loyalty and rootedness have been famous by Hill and others.
“His response to all of the notoriety now has been very candy and enjoyable to observe, as a result of he takes critically his function as an envoy for what this music group can do,” Hill mentioned.