Las 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 it’s 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. Tommy’s 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 Tommy’s 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 there’s even the occasional female vocalist to offset and enhance the Toms' contagious techno pop grooves. presents an interview with

mwe3: It’s 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?

TOMMY 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 today’s 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 work?

TM: I’ve 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. Nick’s 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 Brodeen’s 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 these days?

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, it’s 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.

mwe3: 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 and model.

mwe3: 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 you’re 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 business.

Thanks To Tommy Marolda @


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