Vegas based pop maven Tommy Marolda made a major breakthrough
on his 2004 Beatles-inspired Christmas album, Classic Christmas
Songs With A Dash Of Pepper. As brilliant as it was, that instrumental
pop album was kind of a one off, even as Tommy said he was batting
around some other X-mas concepts, so its nice to see Tommy returning
to his power pop roots with the 2012 CD release of the album by his
other pop band, The Toms. Tommys new album with The Toms,
entitled Sun, is a 12 track pop feast. Broken
up, at least on the cover art, into a quintessential 60s style,
with an side A and side B, the Sun CD is a solid rocking affair
featuring Tommy taking an ultra sonic studio power pop approach, layerng
the CD with electronic keyboards, break-beat drumming and sugar coated
60s style vocals. Commenting on merging his early sound for
today's music market Tommy adds, 'I decided to modernize the same
sound a bit by utilizing a combination of vintage instruments and
amps with some samples and fun sounds that I really like.' Fans of
Todd Rundgren will find much to applaud about Tommys DIY studio
expertise. Covering a number of instruments and much of the vocals
himself, Tommy sounds like sugar pop icons The Archies on speed, with
a Robin Gibb / BeeGees effect in play here, while theres even
the occasional female vocalist to offset and enhance the Toms' contagious
techno pop grooves. www.MySonggram.com
mwe3.com presents an interview with
mwe3: Its been a while since we spoke. First the most recent
Horizontal Ladies Club album and now the new CD by your other band
The Toms. When was the new Toms CD Sun written and recorded
and how does it fit into the history of the Toms and how would you
describe the sound you were going for on the CD? Can you compare your
approach to the Horizontal Ladies Club album with The Toms?
MAROLDA: Robert, I wrote and recorded the new Toms album within
the last 10 months in between working on songs for Expendables
2 and other TV shows such as Bones and Vegas. The
original sound of The Toms was in the power pop genre which as you
know is not viable in todays market, so I decided to modernize
the same sound a bit by utilizing a combination of vintage instruments
and amps with some samples and fun sounds that I really like. This
could very well have been an Horizontal Ladies Club album, but I thought
it would be fun to do a Toms record since the song Sun
had been on some compilation CDs performed by The Toms.
mwe3: Can you say something about your history in the music and recording
worlds maybe mention a few highlights from your career and where you
live and work in 2012? Did you get a chance to work with The BeeGees
at some point? I know you also worked with Richie Sambora from Bon
Jovi too. So, do you consider yourself a recording artist first or
first a producer and can you mention some of your favorite session
TM: Ive been recording, writing and producing for some time
and love the aspects of all three. Being nominated for a Grammy for
Stayin Alive jump started my career after just recording
myself and clients in my NJ Studio. That lead me to work with many
great artists and newcomers. Cher, Richie Sambora, Frank Stallone,
Kurupt and the Dogg Pound guys, The Killers, Imagine Dragons, Rod
Stewart and continue writing for major films and TV shows.
mwe3: The instrumental Beatles Christmas tribute called St. Nicks
Christmas - Classic Songs With A Dash Of Pepper you made back
in 2004 is still a masterpiece. Can you give a little history about
how you put that CD together? I think it will turn into a cult classic!
What was it like working with Bruce Brodeens label and are there
plans for something similar to that album in the future?
TM: I would
love to do another Christmas album and possibly use a Rolling Stones
album to blueprint the project. I am such a Beatles fanatic that I
thought the idea of turning the whole album into a Christmas project
using the exact sounds and format would be challenging and interesting
for me. I know I had to be careful not to make it sound silly, so
I did stay within the bounds of making it unique. Now I get letters
from all over the world telling me that they play it every holiday
and more listeners get a kick out of it.
mwe3: What do you think of the current climate for the recording industry
in 2012 and are there new artists who are catching your attention
TM: I think that the new model for selling music and establishing
some kind of situation that allows artists to make a living may soon
evolve which would be a win win situation for all. Although many people
have access now to recording and getting product out there, its
still hard to find new and exciting acts. Too many cookie cutter sounding
artists are out there because they think that sounding like everyone
else will give them a better chance at getting noticed. Not true!
Please be original and try recording something with real instruments
and players without a midi or computer helping to shape the sound.
Learn songwriting and production along with looking at the classic
artists for reference. Some of the new artists I like today are: Imagine
Dragons, Metz, Gary Clark Jr., Grizzly Bear, Office, Foster The People,
Kanye West, Tame Impala, Black Keys to name a few.
What do you look for in a guitar and what is your favorite go-to guitar
these days? Can you remember your first guitars? How about your favorite
or most prized guitars, electric and acoustic?
TM: My first guitars are still my go to guitars because I still have
them. 6-string Danolectro Bass, Danolectro 6-string guitar, Ibenez
Les Paul copy from the 70s, 72 Strat, 12 string Ibenez Acoustic,
Epiphone 66 acoustic and an old 61 Vox that may have been
owned by Lennon and I had a friend who was working with him in New
York during the Fantasy album days.
mwe3: How about other gear you like to use including bass and drums
and special keyboards?
TM: I have an old upright refurbished piano along with all the new
gear for keyboard sounds. My main stay recording is done on both Yamaha
DAWs from a decade ago. AW 4416 and AW2400. They are work horses and
I will soon begin incorporating Ableton Live as well. I have a billion
great drum samples and I still play real drums too. No fancy make
What are some of your other plans musically as 2012 merges into 2013?
I am planning a blues album which I just completed called Pickin
The Blues by Blue Toothpick. If youre a fan of The Heavy,
Black Keys, Jack White and possibly some early Dylan, then this would
be for you. Other than that, I am still writing for TV and some upcoming
films along with looking to help new artists get a foothold in the
Thanks To Tommy Marolda @ www.TommyMarolda.com