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Mike Morgano: You don’t have to divulge details, but is there something you’re currently working on equipment/gear-wise? Is there room to improve on what’s currently out there?
“There’s always room to improve. I’m always tinkering and wanting to do more. I have lots of ideas for things that would be fun to build, but I just haven’t had time to do any of it. Now that this album is done, I might get the chance to go in and try my hand at a few things. But yes, I’m always up to something.”
Brian Cahill: I read where you said that you don’t listen to music because you don’t want to be influenced. I imagine that you have heard Brian May of Queen – like you, he has a very identifiable sound (plus, he builds his own guitars). What do you think of his work?
“First of all, Brian May is one of the most amazing individuals in music, not only for what he can do making a guitar, but I believe that he’s a Ph.D in astrophysics. He’s also a staunch animal rights activist and has spearheaded efforts in England, so my hat is off to him. When I think of things I do, I think, ‘Yeah, if only I could do them as well as Brian May.’” [Laughs]
Rob Wehling: I got the new album yesterday. Lots of piano. Can Tom talk about his approach?
“I’m not sure if he means recording or playing. But when it comes to playing style, I’m probably subconsciously influenced by some very early classical training, I think from when I was about seven. I took classical piano for a couple of years, but I sort of lost interest – I couldn’t read a note today if I tried. I still enjoy that stuff, and I think I naturally gravitate towards the classical licks; in fact, I know that I do. I gravitate towards the classical licks that I heard by famous old composers.
“As far as sound, I always use an acoustic piano. I have a small five-and-a-half foot Yamaha baby grand, which I always keep miked up and ready to go. I tune it myself – that’s another important thing. A piano is a very inaccurate instrument, so depending on the key I’m playing in and what I’m playing, I will actually adjust the tuning on various keys to get the sound I want. Sometimes I’ll intentionally detune certain strings on a piano to create a more live sound."