Module 2: Artist Interviews
East Coast Turnaround

The East Coast Turnaround band is based in the Pittsburg, PA area.  Chad Fetty was the youngest of two brothers from the hard knock city of Jeannette, Pennsylvania, an area that stood in the shadow of what it once was. He started his singing career as a small child, singing at home or in many local churches throughout the area. Chad Fetty always had music in his heart and received his first guitar at the age of twelve. He then realized what type of music he wanted to play, one pieced together from influences in his life such as The Rolling Stones, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Bruce Springsteen, and Chris Knight.

In his early twenties Chad was a part of the apparent local drug scene of the region where he seen all the things that began to bleed out in the lyrics of his gritty yet truthful songs. At the age of twenty five Chad embarked on his acoustic solo career playing at local bars and clubs of the area. He was quick to convert anyone who would lend an ear with his soulful vocals and acoustic sound of music, not only for the people but by the people.

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Chad then approached his brother, Jason Fetty about starting a band. Jason also had a love affair with music but was apprehensive at learning something new. He was not quick to join his brother but began running sound at all his live performances. It was at one of these shows Chad’s friend Mike Butler Jr. brought his dad, Mike Butler Sr. to check out one of Chad’s acoustic performances.

Mike Butler Sr. approached Chad shortly there after about starting up a band. Mike had played guitar for many years in the Marine Corp, but had just recently started to take it more seriously. So their first practice was at Chad’s house in Jeannette, Chad Fetty on rhythm guitar and lead vocals, Mike Butler on lead guitar, and Jason Fetty on bass guitar and background vocals, Bryan Whipkey on drums.

With the wheels now spinning East Coast Turnaround decided to add Ray Kuchinka on harmonica in the fall of 2010. Rays life was behind the lens as the bands photographer and graphic artist from the beginning. Then one acoustic session we heard him play his harp and discovered his hidden talent. He was a perfect fit from the range of his passion, to the mood he can set from his subtle yet potent background notes, to his bluesy foot stomping leads which just seem to elevate all levels of the music being made.

They honed their musical prowess at many local open mic nights and jam nights in the city. The band had many name changes when first feeling their way through the scene such as, The Chad Fetty Band, The 10-4 Band, The Ponuts, and The All-star Trucker Band. It wasn’t until Mike was listening to a Jim Croce song titled Speedball Trucker. There was a reference to a seventies truck driving term called a west coast turnaround, that’s when a truck driver would take speed long enough to stay awake, then drive to the west coast, turnaround and drive back. They figured since they weren’t from the west coast the band would be called East Coast Turnaround, and the name just stuck.

East Coast Turnaround then decided it was time to record their original EP titled Season In Hell. The EP was cut at Soundscape Studios in McKeesport with Doug Kaspar and Chris Batton at the helm. After many along night in the studio the band had finally captured their raw yet powerful sound and the push was on. They spent most of 2010 on a local touring spree and in March won the Pittsburgh Hard Rock battle of the bands which helped them receive some local recognition. Thus giving them opportunities to open for national recording artists such as Charlie Daniels, Leon Russell, Blackberry Smoke and many more.

In The Spring Of 2011 the band made a line up change adding new drummer and percussionist Tim Penska, whose hard rock roots added a strong backline to their already gritty sound. In April of 2011 East Coast Turnaround signed on to be part of Cash Box Records. Now with the players in place and the rough times getting rougher this band of unlikely brother’s story is just beginning.Chad Fetty – “A band is like a family. There’s ups and downs but in the end it’s how you stay together. My band is my family and we like it at the top. Together we’ll be there.”