Totally on time

One-man band finds his groove

Scotty Knepple, photography by Ellie Bogue

Scotty Knepple, photography by Ellie Bogue

Scotty Knepple is one of the busiest musicians in Fort Wayne. Already active in several local bands, including Djenetic Drift and Pliers, Knepple found himself with a little extra time on his hands following a layoff, which inspired him to form another band, one with a lineup he never had to consult about upcoming gigs or rehearsal time. He became one-man band Totally Orange Time Machine.

A graduate of Wayne High School, Knepple began playing trumpet in sixth grade and eventually added guitar to his repertoire, giving him a foothold in both the marching band and the jazz band. His talent for individual instruments was solid, but he hadn’t put it all together yet.

“It was just me goofing off a bit. I already played the guitar so everything else I just figured out myself. When I saw other people do it, I always thought ‘I can do that,’ and when I was laid off I was bored and just put it all together.”

Playing the guitar and drums together was challenging, and it’s taken some time to put all those pieces together.

“The singing was the hardest part. I practiced a lot, and I wasn’t really comfortable until about a year ago.”

Already participating in the annual Battle of the Bands at Columbia Street West last year with another band, Knepple decided to give it a try on his own as well, putting Totally Orange Time Machine to the test.

“I heard they didn’t have enough bands signed up yet so I figured I might as well try. There were good crowds there, and it went over pretty well.”

Since then Totally Orange Time Machine has been playing around the area with regularity, and his status as a one-man operation has provided one distinct advantage in scheduling.

“The coolest thing is that when I book a show, I know I can be there. I don’t have to check with anyone else in the band or worry about other people.”

Although Knepple performs in an orange jumpsuit, the name he gave to his latest musical effort is somewhat mysterious. In this case, he named the band before it even existed.

“I was in a band called TOTM, and we were always changing what the abbreviation was. I suggested Totally Orange Time Machine once, and no one liked it. So I decided to use it myself.”

In addition to writing his own material, Knepple is always trying out new covers, looking for something he can master with his own two hands and feet. The results are admittedly mixed.

“Last week I tried to learn ‘Billie Jean,’ and it didn’t work out too well. It can be dangerous to play some of these songs because they can sound horrible.”

Knepple is up for the challenge, however, and while he remains active in his other bands, he sees the advantages of sticking with his Totally Orange Time Machine project and hopes to fit in some recording around CD projects with Djenetic Drift and Pliers.

First appeared in the October 2014 issue of Fort Wayne Monthly.

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