Published on June 26th, 2013 | by Ballard Lesemann


The Punch List with Wolfgang Zimmerman

Metronome Charleston‘s weekly Punch List puts local musicians on the spot with a questionnaire that touches on music, venues, gear, records, vices, and more. This week, busy musician and studio engineer/producer Wolfgang Ryan Zimmerman (of Charleston band Brave Baby) responds.


Wolfgang Zimmerman (provided)

1. What is your favorite local hang?

“The Recovery Room is a block away from the studio and the house where most of my best friends hang, so it always feels like my break room or an extension to the living room. Happy hour and wings.”

2. You know you’ve played an excellent show when…
“It looks like I just hopped out of the shower and no one wants to hug me.”

3. What was the last show you attended that really got you fired up in a good or bad way?
“Father John Misty [the former drummer of Fleet Foxes] in Asheville, N.C. back in May blew my mind. I loved his record, but sometimes even a great recording or a video can’t quite capture the essence of what someone is trying to do until you’re in the flesh!”

4. Define your musical style in exactly 10 words.
“Percussive Harmonious Psychedelic Gospel Groovy Bombastic Syncopated Sensory World Pocket.”

5. What’s your theme song?
“Not the coolest answer in the world but its the real one. ‘Read My Mind’ by the Killers seems tells the story of my life to me, and if it comes on, I’ll sing every damn word of it.”

6. Gear-wise, what’s is your irreplaceable baby?
“There’s an old Carvin mixing board at the Space that we named ‘John Lennon.’ The way it magically warms up vocals and the reverbs are to die for.”


Brave Baby: Zimmerman at center (photo by Apartment A)

7. What’s the most overplayed album in your collection?
“In the span of my lifetime, I’ve got to be honest and say Thriller by Michael Jackson. The way Quincy [Jones, producer] blended orchestral arrangements with at-the-time modern dance music while only using a Shure SM7b on vocals. What? Recording geek came out. For what it was and when it was they were on some next level celestial musings, for sure.”

8. When was the last time you were genuinely star-struck?
“Haven’t really met a lot of celebrities yet, but I did meet Lance Bass’ ass at a hookah bar in New York. He was with his beautiful Greek god of a boyfriend. I was a couple glasses of wine deep, and I complimented his lover’s sandals.”

9. What’s your poison?
“Sugar-free Red Bull. I get them two-for-$3 at the Safeway on Reid Street. They’ve been known to litter my desk in the wee hours of the night.”

10. In 10 years, I will be…
“Setting sail on my house boat with my goddesses, my bros, some recording equipment, and a yogi master to keep it really real.”

Originally from the South Carolina Upstate, Wolfgang Zimmerman (a.k.a. Ryan Zimmerman) is an established local studio producer and timekeeper. Working mostly at his downtown facility the Space, he’s recorded and produced an array of indie acts over the last few years, including Octopus Jones, Sequoyah Prep School, Elim Bolt, Estee Gabay, Will Hastings, Brave Baby (previously known as Wylie), and others. He’s currently involved in studio projects with Jordan Igoe, Heyrocco, and Co., among others.

Brave Baby is his main band these days. Fronted by songsmith Keon Masters, the pop-rock combo recently signed on with the local Hearts & Plugs label. They released a dazzling debut album in February titled Forty Bells, and will begin working on a follow-up this fall.

Top photo by Ballard Lesemann.

Brave Baby will perform on Sat. July 20 with CUSSES and Today the Moon, Tomorrow the Sun.
Visit and for more.

Brave Baby at the Royal American, 2013 (photo by Jessica Mickey)



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About the Author

Ballard Lesemann

is a musician and writer. Born and raised in Charleston, S.C., he spent years playing in bands and working for Flagpole Magazine in the bustling music town of Athens, Ga. He returned to his hometown and served more than seven years as the Charleston City Paper's music editor. He's better at drumming than he is at playing guitar.

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