JamBase Questionnaire: Tom Hamilton

Welcome back to JamBase's baker's dozen to the bright lights of the music world. Last time we heard from The Old Ceremony.

It takes an uncommonly open-minded musician to really grok the internal logic of utterly modern, untz-savvy rock and classic singer-songwriter fare, but Tom Hamilton is an uncommonly gifted cat. As the guiding light behind Brothers Past and American Babies, Hamilton shows a range of gifts – warmly charming singer, sharp songwriter, memorable guitarist, keen eared producer – seeming utterly at home in the post-Radiohead atmosphere of Brothers Past as he is plying pop-rock veins akin to Paul Simon and Wilco in the Babies. Hamilton always seems game to explore, be it in his own projects or collaborating with the likes of Younger Brother or The Disco Biscuits, all of which seems to fuel more colors and textures in each new chapter of his evolution.

A new American Babies album arrives later this year, and Brothers Past is currently experiencing a resurgence with active gigging and the monthly Everything Must Go live download series (check it out here), which just issued its fourth volume, a swinging, switched-on post-Phish gig from 2004 (available for the catering economy price of just $5 bucks!) that includes a boss cover of The Cure’s “Fascination Street” and other softly mesmerizing moments. Listen to it here.

What stands out about Hamilton’s work, wherever it crops up, is a totally engaged, often joyful engagement with the world and his craft. His music sends out tendrils into the void and what connections it makes can’t be predicted, only that new ties will be formed. (Dennis Cook)

Brothers Past plays live throughout February and March. Find full tour dates here. A special hometown show is planned for March 26 at the TLA in Philadelphia, PA.

Here's what Tom Hamilton had to say to our inquiries.

Brothers Past by Dave Vann
1. Great music rarely happens without…

2. The first album I bought was…
The first cassette I bought was Ozzy Osbourne’s Blizzard of Oz and the first CD I purchased was Led Zeppelin III.

3. The last song or album to really flip my wig was…
Arcade Fire’s The Suburbs

4. When I was a kid I wanted to grow up to be…
Funny you should ask! When I was in sixth grade I had to write an autobiography and I recently found it. Each page was about different assigned subjects with the last one asking to talk about what I wanted to do with my life. I said I wanted to be a musician. Not bad....

5. My favorite sort of gig is…
The small market gig where the stage is shitty, the sound system is questionable at best, and there doesn’t seem to be a chance in hell anyone will be there. T hen by 11 pm the club is packed and you’re covered in sweat with people 10-inches away from you going nuts.

6. One thing I wish people knew about me is…
I enjoy privacy.

7. I love the sound of…
Jerry Garcia’s guitar in 1973

8. One day I hope to make an album as fantastic as…
The Beatles’ Revolver

9. The best meal I ever had on tour was at…
Some sushi place by The Independent in San Francisco.

10. I always find the coolest audiences in…

11. The worst habit I've picked up being on the road all the time is…
I have a particular brand of humor, some might say “inappropriate.” Any internal filter I may have been born with has been completely wiped out from being on the road.

12. The Beatles or the Stones? Por qué?
How this is even still a question boggles my mind. The Beatles. It’s not even fair to ask. They’re mark on music is unparalleled, pushing the boundaries of every aspect of song craft, production and album art. They were responsible for new technologies in recording so George Martin and his engineers could keep up with their artistic needs. The Beatles inspired Bob Dylan to go electric, and they didn’t just change music but pop culture as a whole.

13. The craziest thing I ever saw was…
A drug dog piss itself at the Canadian border as it searched my van.

Brothers Past Dates :: Brothers Past Tour News :: Brothers Past Tour Concert Reviews

American Babies Tour Dates :: American Babies News :: American Babies Concert Reviews

JamBase | Wide-Open
Go See Live Music!


[Published on: 1/25/11]

Take full advantage of all JamBase has to offer by signing up for an account!

You'll receive

show alerts

when your favorite artists announce shows, be eligible to enter contests for

free tickets

, gain the ability to

share your personalized live music calendar

and much more. Join JamBase!



To read comments and participate in this story, please visit the Articles forum »