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Saturday, April 20, 2013

Tom2point0 .... giving soul to the metaverse one note at a time - Lacy Muircastle reporting ...

In my wanderings around Second Life I happened upon a performance by one Tom2point0.  I really enjoyed his performance, in fact so much so that I even went to his link to listen to more of his music.  I found a song about drama which was rather apt since I had just written a piece on what SL would be without drama, and it rather appealed.  Take a listen, it is actually really amusing and boy will you hear things that ring true for your second life and probably your real life too.

What’s more, as much as I hate to admit this, in my conversation with ‘John’ (from my article why girls are attracted to bad boys) he said that girls are inclined to throw themselves at musicians; I find I have to agree with him.  Although I have not thrown myself at Tom’s feet, I did fall a little bit in love with him.  His on stage personae is most appealing.  He has a great voice, wonderful sense of humour and is rather flirty.  I am not surprised he had to write a song about not needing drama.

But I have a way of finding out more about what makes him tick don’t I….?

Of course I do.  I interview him, nudge, nudge, wink, wink.

What brought you to Second Life Tom?

“Ok, long story! I have a friend who was big in to Star Trek, Sci fi in general actually. Anyway, he had a panel during the SL Sci Fi convention last year. He had asked me to be a guest on this panel and talk about the voice work I've done for audio podcasts and my work in audio engineering. I have "mixed" online audio dramas, bringing together actor voices and sound fx and music to create what essentially amounted to a short movie with a film track, just the audio. These were podcasts based on superheroes and other film giants like Indiana Jones or James Bond. So he asked me to share my experiences. I signed up, he helped me with a basic skin and shape and a trek outfit and voila! After the panel discussion, I walked around to various other spaces outside of the convention area, changing my outfit to a basic built in SL one, and met lots of people. Some very nice SL vets helped me get a better looking shape and skin and I found myself loving the chatting aspect of SL. Getting to know people from all over just like in the old days of AOL chat rooms, but even better now!”

Like most of us Tom started off his first few months in SL just chatting and exploring, seeing all that can be done here. One day he and a friend wandered into an outdoorsy venue and heard music. This music was different from the normal music stream this was a guy talking and playing and singing. Tom exclaims “I was like... (Scooby Doo sound) WhaaaHUHHH? After realizing people sang here, that it was a "thing", I started to figure out how to get to that point myself.  Since then, that's been my main focus here: sing, sing, then sing some more.”

Tom has been involved with music his whole life, starting as little kid with organ lessons, then trumpet in 4th grade all up through college. He is a music and band teacher in real life so had to learn to play all the instruments. The stringed instruments, aside from guitar, are the ones he is least au fait with. His focus was on concert band instruments, so flutes, clarinets, saxes, trombones... that sort of thing. Aside from that, he has been in garage bands, played the bars and clubs here and there, though now his main focus is as a solo artist and he is hoping to start RL gigs someday.

If you listen to his sounds tracks on his sound cloud site you will know he writes his own material and he reckons he writes about what he knows, so that means inspiration comes from what has happened to him or around him.  Being a bit of a flirt many of his songs tend to be love songs although there are some just about people he knows.  Enthusiastically Tom says “My favourite part of the process of writing is always coming up with the "initial idea" part and then the "final demo" part where it is finally fleshed out. The middle part, the actual writing, the trying to figure out the words, the rhymes, the rhythms, the melody, that's a bit more difficult and is actual work most times. It does come quicker at some times more than others, but that first idea gets me excited, carries me through the hard work part, and then just as I'm getting frustrated with trying to figure out the final word or two, boom, I'm all excited again as the song reaches its conclusion.”

Who are your role models in the music world, both RL and SL (if any)?

“Elvis, The Beatles, Paul McCartney specifically are all faves of mine.  Boyce Avenue and David Choi are both MAJOR influences on my current style of show. The way they perform covers, their arrangements have influenced more than a few of my fan faves. Toby Keith and a group called the Clinton's are also huge influences in that they show you can write an awesome song that's funny and taken seriously and not be labeled a parody or tagged as a Weird Al clone. Not that there's anything wrong with that, just not what I'm going after usually.

In SL, I gotta say Max Kleene, Harry Frychester, and Bill Tigerpaw are my fave shows. Each has a different style completely but each present a fun show. Harry's sudden lyric improvising is always a treat, changing the song Me and Mrs Jones to Me and Tom 2 Point Oh had me literally laughing out loud as I listened the other day. And Bill, his show is just a lot of infectious energy, similar to myself, interacting with the crowd and giving the fans a fun time to remember. Max has been there done that for so long and is just the most gracious guy, really. He's always taken time to talk with me and it's something I endeavour to do as well when people message me to say hi or ask something. After all, these are people who like you, want to listen to you, pay you! Giving them that personal connection is important to him and to me as well.”

If you could open up for any artist on tour right now, who would it be?

“Oh, it would have to be The Clintons or Boyce Avenue. The Clintons are a fun band and I do a few of their tunes.  Country, fun, up tempo, a good time overall. Boyce Avenue, well, they are just amazing at covers and as I mentioned, a big influence on my style.”

How important is music to you?

“Very! Since becoming a performer here in SL, I've spent most of my free time now learning new songs to put in the show or perfecting old ones. It is a constant thing for me.  200+ tunes at the moment and always increasing.”

How do you handle critics of your music?

“For the most part, it doesn't bother me. For the most part! Once, I received some comments about my show thru a friend of a friend. It shocked me and I got a bit hurt and annoyed. But as I thought about it, I realized that my show, for better or for worse, is unique to me. The comments, if I followed them, IF I were to indeed heed their "advice", my show would quickly become another of many that already exist, no longer unique. People may not like my jokes, my innuendo, and that's fine. They don't need to be a fan. No one is forcing them to come. There are plenty of artists to choose from.  My humour and my shows are aimed at a very special kind of person. And by special I mean crazy, fun, strange, odd, flirty, goofy, silly, and just plain wrong sometimes. If those things don't apply to you, then my show may not be for you. No harm, no foul.”
What do you think the magic formula is for success in the music business?

“I don't know that there's a single formula that will work for everyone. Take my example, talking about my (gift) package and the innuendo-laden jokes works for me, my personality. Would that approach work for someone like Voodoo Shilton? Not at all. His style and presentation is different. He has HIS own formula for success that wouldn't work for me. The best thing one can do is to be true to who you are. Don't try to be someone else, or try to copy their show. Go your own way, as the Fleetwood's would say!”

For our readers who have never heard your music, explain your sound in 5 words:

"Fun, energetic, exciting, infectious, engaging. Although I suppose those words describe the entirety of the show more than the sound per se, but either way, those are things that I've heard when I've talked with the audience after the show so they work!

What are your plans for the future with regard to your music?

“For now, I just want to keep playing here and having a good time. It'd be great to do some RL gigs in addition to SL so we will have to see if that pans out.” 

If you are looking for some pure unadulterated fun, then you should take some time out to attend a Tom2point0 performance.


Tom’s music:


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