His music career started with him banging on pots and pans on the kitchen floor and then escalated into him pounding out rhythms on his siblings (all in good fun, of course) before Mama called time out and laid out the ground rules for obtaining a drum set. Put simply: Mow lawns to earn the money and make it happen.
And so Wolfgang Zimmerman did. Then, once he had the drums in front of him, his childhood practice time was only limited by the patience of the neighbors in their Charlotte, North Carolina, apartment complex. Music became his life. He played drums in his school’s marching band, played at church on Sunday, and met many influential mentors along the way who taught him to hear music at a deeper level.
“I came to Charleston one day in March, to visit friends, and there were all these people sunbathing in Marion Square,” Zimmerman says. “I thought, what is this paradise?”
It didn’t take long for Zimmerman to establish himself in Charleston’s music scene. Onstage playing drums for Brave Baby and behind the boards as studio engineer and producer for top local indie acts, he’s known for the precision and professionalism of his work.
He takes his time, gives the music a chance to grow organically, and the result is a brilliant easy-on-the-ears sound that has emerging musicians driving halfway across the country to work with him.
“People always comment on how close-knit the music scene is in Charleston,” he says. “We all play in each other’s bands. We all help each other write songs. That’s our strength. I’d like to see us stay like that as we grow, as we bring our sound to other places. We can be one big traveling road show of Charleston music.”
Words by Jason A. Zwiker
Photo by Landon Neil Phillips, The Royal Wild