Tomi has been rockin and a rollin around town for a few years now as a Sydney musician, primarily as a drummer and a very friendly guy. A bit of time on the scene has seen this young man move from the back to the front end of town yes and that is where is now, hand on the mic howling at the moon, making party within his current musical adventure which is BONEZ. His band has had a crazy busy schedule of late, so we were lucky to corner Tomi on his way out the other night and as per usual we asked the big questions about the What? the How? and the Why? Here’s what Tomi had to say.
How did BONEZ come together?
It started out just me. I was in one of those funny periods of life people go through when I was spending most of my time in my room by myself after a few other things in my life had come to an abrupt end. I was forced to rebuild from square one and make a plan for what I wanted to do with myself. Like anything, when you start moving with goal in mind everything starts falling into place around you. I met the boys Dukes and Bernie pretty soon after, and we hit the ground running. We toured Aus pretty continuously for the better part of a year before bringing a drummer into the mix.
Did you come from a musical family?
My old man is a musician. He’s one of the few people i know who makes a living out of playing music and has been since well before i was born so there was always music around growing up. I was a regular at most Sydney venues well before i could walk.
What was your childhood like?
My folks split wheni was 3. My old man was on the road a lot with his band soi lived mainly with my mother. Andi wasn’t an easy kid. She was fairly heavily into some pretty wild avenues in life whilei was young. She was part of a group of practisingwiccans who were often over at our house doing some sort of ceremony. That’s how I’m guessing she had the strength to put up with me. I was a little shit but she had magic on her side.
Who did you look up to as a kid?
I lived in Queensland for a few years toward the end of Primary school and was always fascinated by the older girls who came to our school from the local high school as part of the “buddy system”. I was fascinated by them and would always tail along with them after school was let out. Sometimes I’d go to their houses and eventually ended up being made the subject of some of their sexual experimentation. I have a lot of admiration for a well put together woman. Possibly because I still can’t work them out.
Any cool music school memories?
I once punched a kid for dissing on Limp Bizkit and was suspended. I also got suspended for writing my high school bands name all over the school including the honors board the office. I still stand by both decisions.
First Live gig you attended?
One of my dads shows. I’m guessing while still in the womb.
The last gig you attended?
Green Day at the Captain Cook. Thanks again for the heads up Ray.
You guys have already hit the road touring many times already, there must be a cool story from the road?
We’ve already ticked off almost all the rock-boxes that fall under the “what happens on tour, stays on tour..” protection act but I will say that the ones left to tick off include:
1) Trash a hotel room (our own this time)
2) Commandeer a police car (in the front seat this time)
3) Sign some breasts (a woman’s this time)
You guys have just released your debut EP, ON THE PIGS BACK Vol 1, how does it feel to finally have it out there?
It’s nice to be able to have something physical that we can hold in our hand and say “nice.. we did that.” I think it’s a good depiction of where we are as a band at the moment. And people seem to be digging on it too. It’s getting some good lovin’ on the radios up and down the coast. We’re a pretty big deal in Shoalhaven right now…
How was the recording process?
I didn’t love the recording process. I don’t think creativity works its best when you have to keep checking the clock. Although,Phan, the man behind the desks is an absolute demon and made everything more enjoyable. He’ll be behind the wheel for all of On The Pigs Back Vol. 2 and 3.You guys have a major cross over of styles going as a band, from old Skool Red Hot Chili Peppers to Rage Against Machine with a blues funk twist and everything in between.
How would you describe your sound?
We to avoid describing the sound outside of our own company. But if we absolutely HAVE TO, we describe it as “the soundtrack to kill vampires to.”
What is the BONEZ message?
We have a fairly grand plan for where we’re going to take Bonez eventually. There is a great deal of thought and discussion that has gone into this band and what we stand for but you can’t come out charging before you’re ready or you’re likely to scare people away. You gotta sprinkle some crumbs here and there and let people find you on their own. At this stage we’re just opening ourselves up to anybody that wants to come and get involved. We make sure everyone has a real good time at our shows and there’s always room for people to join the party. But it’s not a cult. (Its sort of cult).
Would you like to make a comment on the state of the Sydney music community right now?
Good for you Sydney! There is some AMAZING shit coming outta the Sydney scene right now. Anyone with their finger on the pulse can tell that we’re on the verge of something majorly exciting.
What’s the best thing about being an independent band?
Not knowing whats gonna happen next.
The worst thing?
Not knowing whats gonna happen next.
If there was something you could change about the music industry what would that be?
That bands playing the circuit stop acting as though they’re in some sort of race against each other. There’s plenty of pie on the table. Don’t be a dick. Remember why you started doing this. Also that the people responsible for continually making stupid people famous are held accountable by way of public apology.
Who are your personal inspirations in life?
I really admire people who have found a way out of the game. To be able to spend all your time exactly how you want is a very driving goal.
Do you have any advice for bands starting out?
If what you’re doing isn’t working, try something else. If people ain’t coming to your gigs, try harder. Don’t lose momentum. Don’t accept no as a final answer.
Your thoughts on things like Spotify and social media in general?
Music is now more easily accessible than ever before. That is in no way a bad thing for humanity.
What has been your favourite moment of 2014 so far?
Our sold out EP launch at The Vanguard in March. Hearing the crowd calling us back to stage for one more song and singing along with us. It was a really amazing night. I liked watching our bass player Bernardo take off on the bands first crowd surf experience. That was balls.
Favourite bands right now?
I can’t stop listening to Queens Of The Stone Age.
Are you loving a record or a song at the moment?
Recently rediscovered Both Sides Of The Gun by Ben Harper.
Can you give us an insight into the story behind your new single REMEMBER MY NAME?
I met a girl in a club one Friday night not too long ago. We spent a very exciting next 48 something-hours together partying our way to the bottom of a goodie bag till the sun came up on monday morning and we each had to drag our shady asses back off to reality. I knew that if I saw her again it couldn’t live up to the time we spend together, so I never called her. I think about her a lot though.
So what’s next for BONEZ?
We’re firing from all canons. Right now we are out there trying to make as much fucking noise as we can armed with this new disk. We have a new tour in the works. We’re heading back into the studio to work on the volume 2 and 3 of the On the pigs back EP trilogy. Theres a follow-up video to this one which I can’t wait to see.
Are you a movie buff or a book head?
I listen to books on tape almost continuously throughout the day. I save the epic ones for the long drives on tour. I like that it pisses off Bernardo a little.Are you happy?
More so than I can remember being in a long time.
Burial or Cremation?
Eaten by Wolves.
Famous last words?
Bro, are those wolves?
Catch BONEZ out there at a show!!!
Fri 28 March /// Night at the Roller Den w- Stonefeild. Sydney, nsw
Sunday 6 April /// Boneyard Festival – Frankies Pizza. Sydney, nsw
Wednesday 30 April /// Cherry Bar. Melbourne, Vic
Thursday 1 May /// The Vineyard. Melbourne, Vic
Saturday 17 May /// Bluesfest. Windsor. Sydney, nsw