BearlySinister: Well, first of all I want to thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to do this.
Tom: Sure man, thanks for talkin’ to me, I appreciate the support here!
BearlySinister: Not a problem, it’s an honor. You recently performed your hit single, “Solid Ground” on Late Night With David Letterman. What was your experience with the show like?
Tom: Awh man, it was awesome! That was actually the first late night TV show that I had ever been a part of, including Cinderella. For some reason, we never really did those. So, uh, honestly didn’t know this walking in, but since I got there, everyone just treated us great and really professional, great sound at the stage. It was just great, y’know? We got a really great run-through at sound check and everyone just felt really comfortable so it was a blast!
BearlySinister: Well, I watched the performance and it sounded and looked pretty awesome!
Tom: Well, thanks man I appreciate it!
BearlySinister: You’re very welcome. Your solo album The Way Life Goes was about 9 years in the making. Tell me, what was the writing process like?
Tom: Well, the writing process was pretty much the way I always approach writing and that is, uh, I try not to force songs, y’know? I just have to let an inspiration come to me and then I work from there. So, usually that inspiration is a lyric, kind of a melody or a lyric poppin’ around in my head, that can hit me anywhere! Y’know, I’ll be driving down the road or on a plane, ya never really know when it’s gonna hit ya. At that point, I’m usually racin’ towards an instrument to try and figure out and kinda write the rest of it, ya know on guitar or piano at that point. So, that’s pretty much how the process always is when I write, whether with Cinderella or on my own. I started to write for a solo record in the mid-nineties when Cinderella was kind of drifting apart after we parted ways with Mercury, that’s when the idea first came to me for a solo record. I started to write but actually recording and production got put on the backburner for years for one reason or another. The 9 or 10 years that you’re referring to is actually the recording and production element of making the record and that actually started in 2003 when I actually decided to start producing and recording the record so. That process was, more or less, just taking my time and just doin’ out of the love of music and just tryin’ to make the best record that I could make and I produced it without any kind of a label, so, I didn’t really have any pressure on me or release dates to adhere to. Y’know, the reason that led me to that is you can never take a whole lot of time making a record which we did.
BearlySinister: Yeah, but there’s nothing wrong with that. Some of the best records took years and years to make. Perfection takes time.
Tom: Y’know, I was really fortunate to have come up in the time that I did with Cinderella. Record companies were still strongly behind artists in terms of development, y’know, and the amount of money and energy they would put into making records. Um, they made sure to make sure that you had the best producers and engineers to work with in the studios and they really developed you. When it came time to start this solo record, the industry had changed alot. Some of the deals that were being thrown at me were not deals that had developed and I didn’t want that kind of pressure on me. Y’know: “You have X amount of time, X amount of money to finish this record in the alloted time.” I didn’t want to compromise the music so that’s why I chose not to sign any deals prior to the record being created, y’know, the music being created. The idea was always to shop labels, finish it to a label for distribution, which we did, and we found a great label with a lot of great artists.
BearlySinister: Well, the album turned out great, as I’m sure you know, my site will be reviewing it soon. I know it’s a little late, but, better late than never right?
Tom: Yeah, absolutely brother! Ya know, we’re still in circulate so every little bit helps.
BearlySinister: So having finally been able to release it, do you feel a sense of relief with the great response it’s gotten so far?
Tom: Yeah! Ya know, we’ve been out on the road takin’ it out live and performing about half the record live, alongside with some of the old Cinderella songs. That’s been a great experience, ya get to see firsthand how the fans react and that’s really been a lot of fun. It’s been cool gettin’ out and being able to play some new music because with Cinderella we’ve been playing the hits, which is great, I love doing that. The fans are awesome, ya know, they make “Nobody’s Fool” and “Shelter Me” feel like the first night every night. But it’s also fun with this new project to get out and play some new music. It’s been great, getting to have Savannah out, ya know, my wife. She was involved with the record, songwriting and she’s been out on the road with me, she sings a couple songs with me out on tour. It’s a different kinda tour than Cinderella, loud guitars, they’re Marshalls, ya know high energy rock and roll, there’s a little bit of music in the set as well, which is cool, so.
BearlySinister: Well, that’s awesome! You’ve been touring for a long time: What’s your favorite part about the tour lifestyle?
Tom: The time on stage, for sure. That’s what it’s always been about for me ever since I picked up a guitar when I was 8 years old and play music. To be able to, 30 years later now after the success of Cinderella, to be able to get on stage and have the opportunity to play live. To be able to share that experience with the fans, ya know, that are so dedicated and real. I couldn’t ask for more.
BearlySinister: On the subject of touring: Have you ever had any fans come up and tell you that your music has changed or saved their lives and, if so, any particular memorable stories?
Tom: Um, ya know, you hear things like that quite often online. That’s something that’s moving when somebody tells you that so, that’s certainly something that artists, musicians, songwriters and singers, certainly have that dynamic with fans. That’s great to be able to have that connection at some point, ya know, and for me it just feels like, ya know, well obviously it’s a good feeling. Knowing that you’ve reached somebody and helped somebody. There are things like music and movies and literature, that have helped me over the years and feeling like you’re able to return that for someone else is just a great feeling.
BearlySinister: Have you had a favorite tour you’ve been on in the years of touring you’ve done?
Tom: I’ve gotta say, I love every tour I’ve been a part of. I’ve certainly had some incredible tours with Cinderella over the years. Currently, I have to say the solo tour because it’s American roots music, where the lyrics are always about real things. My heroes as songwriters were, ya know, Mick Jagger, Rod Stewart, ya know, that just kind of real every day thing. For me, it’s always about life, something I’ve been through or seen someone go through and it gets that impact from what I loved growin’ up. You are what you eat, they say, right?
BearlySinister: Alright, well I guess that about wraps it up, Tom! Thanks again, and is there anything else you’d like to say to our readers, your fans or the general public?
Tom: Well, man, I just wanna say thanks for all the continuous support for years and years and years, ya know. It’s who the music is made for and it’s definitely the fans and everyone out there who keep the music alive. I’m just forever grateful for that.
BearlySinister: Well, thank you once again and I look forward to getting this review out to you!
Tom: Cool man! I appreciate your time and you have yourself a great day!
Be sure to catch Tom out on the road in support of his album “The Way Life Goes” released earlier this year!