Satellite Ranch Artist Spotlight: An Interview With Satellite Ranch Founder Ted WampoleZachary Franck
Zachary Franck interviewing Ted Wampole
ZF: Ted, for people that don’t know who you are and what you do, who are you and what do you do?
TW: Well, my name is Ted Wampole. I’m 24 years old with a background in the printing and sales industries. When not at the day job, I focus a lot of my time and energy into planning events in the electronic and jam scenes in this little pocket of Northeastern Pennsylvania with my company, Funkstronaut Productions, and I also DJ by the name of Newpy Hundo.
ZF: How long have you been DJing as Newpy Hundo and where have you performed?
TW: I’ve been DJing under the name Newpy Hundo since I was 18 years old, performing at various night clubs and events in NEPA for the beginning of my DJing career. After networking at various after-parties in hotel rooms and parking lots and cabins of festivals where I would spin when the main show was over, I was fortunate enough to get booked in areas like Philadelphia, NYC, Harrisburg, and a few other spots. I’ve opened for the likes of Designer Drugs, Space Bacon, Conspirator, and many others, and also was blessed with the opportunity to perform at my favorite festival which got me into this scene, Camp Bisco, during its second year at Montage Mountain.
ZF: What kind of music do you spin and what can the crowd expect to hear and feel when you’re behind the decks?
TW: When I first started mixing, I would throw down whatever would get me booked. Frat parties loved bass music. After a couple of those gigs, I really focused on the genres of deep house and tech house, which I really enjoyed (and still do!) listening to as well as mixing. Since then, I have expanded my sets to showcasing the sounds of many genres I enjoy (house, techno, drum and bass, garage, breaks, dub, etc). I’ll really throw down anything these days, but I try to always keep it DEEP and vibey. I like to spin music that moves the body, and also makes people think and focus on things other than just the banging beats. I like to keep it interesting, but not too heady where it takes a lot of attention to understand it and catch the vibe. It’s got to always be accessible and groovy.
ZF: When did you come up with the idea for Satellite Ranch, how and why did you create Satellite Ranch Music and Arts Festival?
TW: My fellow Funkstronauts and I were getting a bit bored with just throwing events at local venues, and wanted to do something different. Around the Fall of 2016, a few brainstorm sessions birthed the idea for Satellite Ranch. We wanted to do something different for the area and showcase the artistic stylings of all varieties of up-and-coming, as well as established, DJs, producers, and bands that they may not know of, haven’t had the chance to see before, or could only catch at bigger events. We wanted to put on a grass-roots festival that the local scene can be proud of, without having to wait for the next big commercial event. There is so much potential for a smaller event like this in Northeastern Pennsylvania, due to larger events like Camp Bisco and Peach Fest finding their home at Montage and exposing a lot of locals to otherwise unfamiliar scenes and music, as well as the area being a popular tour stop for established and up and coming acts going to and from cities like Philadelphia and NYC, with the help of local venues like River Street Jazz Cafe in Wilkes-Barre, Backyard Ale House in Scranton, and a few others.
ZF: When it came time to create the style of Satellite Ranch, what artists and events inspired you and your crew?
TW: I went to my first festival, Camp Bisco, when I was 17 years old. I absolutely loved the eclectic assortment of music that was there. There was something for everyone. I went to the Catskill Chill for a few years in a row also, and really, really enjoyed the way they showcased a lot of up and coming talent, while still bringing in some heavy hitters, all while throwing a rather intimate event (in comparison to larger scale festivals like Camp). After the Chill ended and Camp switched locations, I felt that the area needed an event that kind of brought the best of both worlds.
ZF: In its second year, this is a huge moment for you, how are you feeling as we get closer and closer to Night 1?
TW: I’m not only ecstatic that it’s approaching, but my heart is warmed by the fact that we have the opportunity to put it together for a second time. Year 1 was an absolute blast, but more importantly, a huge learning experience. I think we really found our identity with Year 2, and I’m beyond excited to present this version to everyone.
ZF: You curated an awesome lineup this year, can you tell us who you were most excited to book and why?
TW: Haha, thanks! Like I previously mentioned, this year seems to make a bit more sense. We’re still keeping it eclectic, but I feel we really dialed it in. There’s so much incredible music this year. I’m super hype about the fact that we’ve had the opportunity to book the new project of Ben Silver and Allen Aucoin (Silver Fameus), established artists like North America’s first Dubstep DJ, Joe Nice, the incredible and versatile Eliot Lipp, tons of underground producers and DJs from the tri-state area such as Agent Zero, Basha, Mr. Falcon, and Radioactive Sandwich, up-and-coming bands like Space Bacon and Tweed, and still be able to shine a light on a lot of our hometown heroes who helped shape the underground electronic scene, like Conscious Pilot and Royce.
ZF: What three sets should patrons make sure they’re in attendance and why?
TW: Hahaha! That’s a real tough one. Almost everyone on the lineup is a close friend and they should all be checked out! If I absolutely HAVE to pick, I’d say at least one Space Bacon set (they’ve got two!), Radioactive Sandwich, and Joe Nice. Space Bacon, because they’re going to be the next big thing in the jamtronica scene. Trust me on that. They’re live sets are out of control. Radioactive Sandwich, because, man, those guys are just insanely sick at what they do. They recreate their songs live and the vibe is other-worldly. I feel they don’t get enough recognition for how good they are. Joe Nice, because so many people love dubstep, but they don’t know its roots. This guy is an OG who helped bring it to the forefront of the USA music scene. He still keeps it deep and to its roots, all while showcasing a lot of undiscovered and developing artists in his sets. Even if he just threw down the classics, he’s a master selector, a true connoisseur of dubstep.
ZF: Satellite Ranch is a grassroots festival that is built upon a collective of friends that you’ve connected with over the years. Can you explain how special it is to have a face to face relationship with the majority of the artists that are playing this year?
TW: Yeah, that’s what made that last question so hard! So many friends are all able to present their unique styles and sounds, which was ultimately the goal. A lot of these acts haven’t had the opportunity before, or weren’t given the appropriate time slots at other events. I’m so happy to create this world for them. It feels like home, and it really adds to its intimate vibe. I’m not only friends with most of the acts, but most of the acts are friends with each other, and a ton of the attendees.
ZF: If you had to convince somebody that’s on the fence about coming to Satellite Ranch, what would you say to them?
TW: If you’re looking for an intimate gathering under the stars at an incredibly beautiful venue, with a focus on quality art and music, this is for you. If you’re looking to support up-and-coming visual and musical artists, this is for you. If you’re looking for a laid-back atmosphere that presents the opportunity to see established acts live at some place other than a massive event or festival, this is for you. If you’re looking for the perfect end of summer party, this is for you!