What is your name and role within The Walcotts?
Tom Cusimano – I sing, play guitar and write songs…drive the van, herd the cats, pay the bills, you name it..
How did you start?
I was a music obsessed kid, my dad was a DJ until I was 3 or 4, and even after that there was always music around. Great classic rock’n’roll, doo wop, R&B, etc. We had a piano in the house, guitars too. My older brother plays and when he wasn’t around I used to pretend to play it (mostly just holding it). I didn’t get into the guitar heavily until I was about 16, but then I was obsessed…still am.
Where are you based?
Los Angeles, CA.
Please give an example of your music writing process?
It varies – can start with a lyric, melody or guitar or piano riff idea…and then it is just full steam ahead. Sometimes I co-write, sometimes I don’t. It’s all about finding the moment and not forcing it to me.
What are you working on right now?
Keeping my sanity! But mostly our residency and a few summer runs we have planned, then looking to do some more writing. Potentially traveling to Nashville to try some co-writes there
What is your gear setup?
I am a pretty basic setup kind of guy, I’ve found I can get my sound from just about any setup. But I tour with my 77 tele and my late 90’s Strat (first “real” guitar I ever had). Sometimes I take a VOX AC15 amp or a Fender Blues Jr amp with me. That is mostly due to lack of space on stage/in the van though. a 9 Piece can be tough to fit into one van!
Pedal wise, I am simple. I use a Korg pitchblack tuner and a Fulltone Fulldrive 2. That’s it, maybe a wah pedal once in a while.
What do you like to do outside of music and does it affect your music?
I try and live my life like most anyone wood, spend time with my wife and our 2 year old. We like to take little adventures and that can be anything from traveling or just going to the beach.
How would you describe your music genre?
Our music genre is Rock’n’Roll, pure and simple, we come the line of Springsteen, The Band, Little Feat and have influences from Blues, Country, Rock, Classical, Jazz, etc…these days there is too much emphasis on Country this, or Americana that, Pop this or Rock that…there are two types of music really. Good music and bad music, and that is in the ear of the listener.
Do you know any music theory?
Yes, I took some classes when I was younger…I’ve hung onto the basics at this point, but it’s a foundation for my ear and what I hear in my head. I wish I could read charts better though.
What are your plans for the future?
Write more songs that make sense, record them, hope that people like them and tour…
How did you get into music?
Basically my dad, my brother and my uncle are the initial reasons…my dad was a DJ and really into rock’n’roll, doo wop, R&B and more. My uncle (my dad’s brother) was a guitarist and was the reason we had guitars as kids. And my brother (3 years older) started playing guitar first…so of course as the younger brother I wanted to do that too…then it just stuck and basically took over my life.
What are you listening to at the moment?
Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit -The Nashville Sound (it’s actually on as I type this)
Who are your top 5 influences and icons?
Mark Knopfler, Bruce Springsteen, Prince, The Band, Little Feat.
When are you playing next?
Monday night (6/19) in LA (part of our residency), week 3 of 4.