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Tommy who? Check your album credits and you'll find Tommy has worked with Bobby Kimball (TOTO), Jeff Scott Soto, Eddie Van Halen & many more. This along with his solo albums and Radioactive project. A very talented and busy man...

1. What are you currently up to?

- I'm just finished with producing the new Jim Jidhed (Alien) album, i'm finishing my new Radioactive album, I have done a special instrumental song called "Jason" for the second Jason Becker tribute and I got Reb Beach(Winger), Steve Morse (Deep Purple), Jeff Watson (Night Ranger), Cristopher Cross, Carl Verheyen (Supertramp), Bill Leverty (Firehouse), Lars Chriss(Lions Share), Sayit, Erkka Korhonen (Urban Tale) etc..the album also features Steve Vai.

I've just produced 3 songs for a French artist called Frederic Slama and his AOR project featuring a lot of big stars like Jeff Porcaro, Mike Porcaro, Steve Porcaro, David Paich, Steve Lukather, Mike Landau, Michael Thompson, Michael Ruff and many more.

I'm working on about 15 other projects as well so i guess it's best to check out my site for all the details or i will bore people here:-)))....I do like to stay busy...can you tell?

2. What has been the highlight(s) and lowpoints(s) of your career to date?

- The highlights are the simple gift of having my hobby for a living since I was 14 and during that time getting to work with most of my biggest heroes and last to have done my Radioactive album. The lowpoints is a long time battle with bad health which of course sucks cause I can't tour anymmore but other than that I value all the lowpoints as good learning's easier to get through life with a positive attitude.

3. Which song(s) are you most proud of and why?

- Always a hard one to answer cause I've written more than 4000 songs!!! But I will always love "Grace" from Radioactive so if hard pressed I'd pick that one...the fact that it features my big idol David Foster on piano doesn't suck either:-))) .

4. You have guested on many albums through the years. Which have been a highlight for you?

- The Fee Waybill (The Tubes) solo album that Richard Marx and Bruce Gaitsch produced was cool and special in the sense that it was my first big album of this kind. There's so many other albums now that I'm so honored to have played on butFee's is truly special.

5. Radioactive - this project took many years to come together. Where did you get the original ideas from? How did you manage to get such a stroing line-up of musicians?

- It all started in the summer of 1991 when Toto played in Sweden, I knew them from before and just asked them if they would play on my album if I got a deal?. They said yes right away which of course shocked me! I got a deal and went to LA soon after to record it. That deal with Sony was bad and I got out so during the next years I worked on it from time to time and every time I got to know some cool singer or musician I got them to appear on it.

I never planned for it to take 10 years but after Jeff Porcaro died in 1992 I promised myself that I wouldn't release it before I was completely happy with it...and it happened to take 10 whole years.

6. Who has been the biggest influence on your career? And have you seen your musical influences crop up on other band's albums/musical style?

- For me the most important things are a good groove and a cool arrangement/production so Jeff Porcaro and David Foster are without a doubt the two people who have changed my views of music most. Imagine how amazing it was to have them both on Radioactive! Of course my main instrument is guitar and the list of great guitarists who have influenced me is endless but Lukather, Eddie Van Halen, Mike Landau, Steve Stevens, Dann Huff and Larry Carlton are the biggest.

7. If you could create a fantasy band, who would be in ti and why?

Jeff Porcaro - drums, cause it just can't be better...RIP Jeff! Nathan East - Bass, cause he can play anything with such a perfect groove. David Foster & Vince DiCola - Keyboards, between them there's nothing they can't play. Mike Landau - guitars, cause he IS the God of all players. Steve Perry & Richard Page - I really have to explain why they rule?...think not:-)))

8. Is there anything else you want to achieve in the music business? Who would you have liked to and/or would like to work with?

- I have fullfilled so many dreams and even many i didn't dare to dream about but there's still many things i wanna do...i won't say what cause then they might not happen. There's many people i wanna work with, pretty much any talented people and it doesn't matter if they're known or not.

I always tell people to contact me, if you're unknown but think you have something good that you want to do something with mail me, don't be scared cause who knows if you have the next big thing?

9. The last thing that you read?

- My own autobiography that i just have written:-)...but before that Gene Simmons autobiography which was really cool.

10. Message for your fans...

I will NEVER EVER get tired of you, I'm truly blessed and honored that there are so many out there who like what I do, my only promise to all of you is to ALWAYS strive to make better and better music for you. Mail me about anything and I will always take time to answer.


Interview © 2002 Jason Ritchie/
Format and edit: The Music Index.

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