Recently, I interviewed Scarpetti from 94 whjy. He handles the metal zone show which is dedicated to playing the best national and local heavy metal. He also does the Sunday night local show, Sound check. Both programs are excellent ways for local artists in the metal community to get their music heard. I found him to be down to earth and super dedicated to the local scene.
How did you get started in radio?
I was at school, New England Tech, for radio promotion. At one point you have to get an internship and my first choice was 94WHJY. I grew up in Pawtucket, listening to the station. I did the internship for about 8 months and they never told me to leave, basically.
Favorite bands to listen to growing up?
So many to choose from. I grew up in that weird sweet spot, half 80’s and half 90’s. Def Leppard was one of my favorites. Then Iron Maiden and for the 90’s, Soundgarden and Alice in Chains.
Queens of The Stone Age, Type O Negative, Iron Maiden, Rush. My favorite new band is Ghost.
Do you check out local bands as well?
Absolutely. The great thing about the local music scene is that I come across some great local metal bands. All For Blood and I Guard The Throne stand out as really being good, as do Satellites Fall, and the Jessica Proudy Band. There are some really good local bands.
How much freedom do you have to choose the songs you play on The Metal Zone?
I’m the only guy at the radio station that really gets to pick the songs. I have complete freedom, they trust me, so I get to play what I want. And there is so much under the metal umbrella that you can play.
Where do you see the future of metal going?
I think what we have right now will be the norm. There are so many different kinds of metal; everything is here now. You can see so many different kinds of bands.
Social Media? Positive or negative?
I think positive. Metal fans have always been a community. So now we all can stay in touch quicker. Back in the day you only had the magazines to reach out, like Metal Edge.
What has been your craziest experience at 94WHJY?
Craziest? Getting to go to the Penthouse Magazine house in New York City. Very strange but very cool. Probably as close as I will come to checking out someplace like the Playboy Mansion.
Favorite spot to hang out in Rhode Island?
I have a newborn baby so I don’t get out much. But it used to be Jerkys (bar in Providence). I loved going to Jerkys, they always had good live music. And Lupos is a favorite — there is always a good crowd there.
Sadly, no. That’s why I am in radio.
Any band or musical style that you listen to that people might not expect?
I like it all. As I get older. I listen to, more of my dad’s generation’s music, the 50’s and 60’s stuff he listened to. Classic rock from those times. On my iPod you might hear Megadeth and then next, hear the Birds.
Any advice for local bands on how to get on the radio?
Just keep reaching out. I do the local music show, Sound Check. Keep knocking on doors. Stay in touch. Get out there and make connections. It’s a community. The more people you know the better off you are.