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Meet the 'Dream Attic' Band

Michael Jerome Moore ... aka:

Michael Jerome

 

 

     
What is your role within the 'Dream Attic' Band Tour?   Drums and percussion.
     

How long have you and RT known each other and how did you meet? Describe the same for any other band members with whom you have a history.

 

Well, it's been just over 11 years now. I met RT in June of '99 at the start of my first tour along with the band: RT, Danny Thompson (no relation), Teddy Thompson (relation), Pete Zorn and myself.

I had just returned to the US from Germany after visiting friends, and 2 weeks of listening to a cassette tape of 28 RT tunes to learn for the tour. I landed in JFK and was promptly met by Simon Tassano, RT's illustrious tour manager, who then led me to the van out front to meet the band for the first time. Then off we went to Amagansette for rehearsals.

It was a whirlwind to say the least and my head was spinning the entire time. Just didn't have time to think about what was happening really, and I wouldn't until a year or so later.

I met Danny first who welcomed me like a son, as did Pete just after. Teddy was to follow with a handshake and a hug (in keeping with the spirit of the occasion I pressumed). I was so caught up in such an unexpected but heartfelt welcome that I almost forgot the main reason I was there… standing patiently behind me, after all the hugs and reunion like greetings, was RT with a grin and his arms wide open for yet another hug, and our first introduction.

     

Please list the equipment / instruments you brought on the road.

 

BACK IN THE DAY:

I used a fairly simple set up in my early days which has altered only slightly for "Dream Attic". A 4 piece gretsch drum set; a mix and match set up of yamaha and tama hardware… and for the tech heads:

12" x 12" rack tom
14" x 12" snare
16" x 16" floor tom
24" x 16" kick drum
One set of matador bongos
2 tama cymbal stands w/boom ext arms
2 yamaha (or tama) snare stands (one for snare, one for rack tom)
1 yamaha hi-hat stand
1 bongo stand
1 yamaha or tama kick drum pedal

TO DATE:

During the making of "Old Kit Bag" I introduced a tambourine doumbek to the mix for a song called "One Door Opens". And on our most recent tour of "Dream Attic" I've added a secondary snare (and stand) for additional noise on tunes such as "Here Comes Geordie", "Demons In Her Dancing Shoes" and "Sidney Wells".

     
Please describe the 'Dream Attic' show visually and musically.  

Well, from my vantage point, it's array of stage, band equipment, the band, and a sea of curious faces. I have a side-view of Taras Produniak to my left, another side-view of my buddy Bobby Eichorn off stage on my right, and yet another side-view of Mr. Russell Cole, stage right or left depending on the night. The backsides of Joel Zifkin, Mr. Richard Thompson, and Pete Zorn, are always prominent from left to right. Then it's the sea of faces staring back at us all. Some are 'eyes wide' filled with enthusiasm, others are 'eyes closed' mouths wide open. Either way, they're all there, bless 'em…. Quite content.

During the show I'll see everything from smiles, the funny looks that we give each other in the band, to toes tapping and heads bopping in the audience. We tend to have quite a bit of fun on stage and interplay between the band and the lighting design from our very own 'Edmond Dereadt' is not uncommon. It all provides a healthy dose of spontaneity and energy as we move from song to song. What can I say…? 'Dream Attic' is emotionally charged. Each night is an exciting new experience and I'm never bored.

     

What is your favorite track on the new album and why?

 

Impossible for me to answer so I'll list 3 and explain:

If Love Whispers Your Name
Stumble On
Demons In Her Dancing Shoes

I love the lyrics and instrumentation on these. 

     
What song performance did you find the most challenging?  

Again, impossible for me to answer so I'll list 3 and explain:

Burning Man
Crime Scene
Sidney Wells

I found these tunes difficult right from the start. Creating a good build and establishing a unique groove congruent with RT's ideas made for a great challenge indeed. I always want to allow space enough to bring you into the story, so to speak.  "Crime Scene" for example was meant to sort of roll and tumble without a backbeat altogether. I found it slightly impossible to do but the end result created a fitting effect.

     

How did you keep in shape during the tour? Did you follow any special diet or exercise regimen?

 

The show itself keeps me in shape. The show typically runs about 2.5 hours including intermission so I tend to burn quite a bit of energy keeping up with RT when he decides to rock. I try to stretch, eat well, sleep as much as I can and party all the time!!! Just kidding….

     

What do you find to be the toughest part of touring?

 

Meeting so many wonderful people and seeing so many beautiful places without having my lovely wife along to share it all with me.

     
Can you share a favorite memory of the U.S. tour?
 

Well, every night with the RT Band is a favorite of course!  But, this tour my wife was able to join us for a week of shows and I was able to show her Washington DC and Philadelphia for the first time. It was nice to share the experience together for a change.

     
How many fines did you accumulate and what were your DA road infractions?  

Well, I usually just pay in advance at the start of every tour. It's just easier to get it over with at the start when we're all trying to get back into the swing of things. With Bobby 'The Fine-Meister' ever present and looming there's no escape. Infractions can be anything from tardiness to the odd faux pas on stage. But we all get one hell of a meal, bought and paid for at the end of every tour courtesy of our dear 'fine cup'. 

     

To what other RT projects or tours have you contributed?

 

I toured in support of 'Mock Tudor', and a live recording of, 'Semi-Detached' was made during. After that, I joined RT and Judith Owen for a week shows in NYC at Joe's Pub to perform and record, '1000 Years of Popular Music.'  In the years to follow I was able to record 'Old Kit Bag' and record and tour 'Sweet Warrior' and now 'Dream Attic.'

     
 

More About Michael Jerome

     
Where do you call 'home'?   Home is Hollywood, California at the moment.
     
How did you become interested in music?  

I guess it would be when I was 3 or 4 years old when I became conscious of it. I really don't remember becoming interested in music. I never thought about it really, it was just always there. It was something I went to sleep with and woke up with. It was something I did with my Mother from age 5 to 17. Playing with her in churches, night clubs, weddings, private parties, country clubs and so on….

     
Who got you started? Was it with a different instrument?  

I think I may have just been born drumming. I inflicted considerable damage to several rows of ivory keys belonging to my Mother's baby grand piano when I was 3. My Mother promptly encouraged the unwitting attack by purchasing me a baby drum set that read, 'country & western' on the front of the kick drum for Christmas. God bless her. She tried to teach me piano, which was her instrument, for several years but it just never took. She bribed me with two years of mandatory piano lessons from teachers at the university where she attended before she'd let me take drum lessons. I would have my drum lessons, as well as brief studies with the cello in the 4th grade, and the trumpet in the 5th grade. But by 6th grade and 2 or 3 drum sets later, I had finally made a clear decision that drums would be my instrument forever more.

     
Please list all the instruments you play.  

I could probably fake my way through playing any instrument fairly well if left alone with it long enough. Never got the woodwinds down though. Might have to finagle a few lessons from Pete!

     
Are you self-taught or formally trained?  

A little of both.

     
What genre of music do you consider your work to be?  

Exploration / feel good.

     
Who would you say are your greatest musical influences?  

Buddy Rich and Stewart Copeland.

     
Do you compose your own music?   Yes.
     
Are you a songwriter? A vocalist?  

No, but I'm trying.

     
Have you recorded solo projects? Are you a member of another band?  

Been working with my buddies back in Ft. Worth and Dallas for the past 10 years in a project called 'Halls of the Machine'. Still busy with that in between tours and when we can all get together.

     

With whom have you recorded/ toured?

 

Better Than Ezra, John Cale, Blind Boys of Alabama, Charlie Musselwhite….

     
What is the strangest venue or gig you've ever played?  

Gosh, there's so many!!!  Perhaps a toss up between a pop rock show in Abilene, Texas; a country rock show in Allgre, France; and an October Fest in Moorpark, CA.

     

What is your most memorable musical experience?

 

Playing a piece from the musical 'The Wiz' with my Mother called 'The Tornado Scene' at a church talent show in Wichita, Kanasas when I was a kid. I dropped the sticks twice during the performance. My Mother, the Pastor and the congregation encouraged me to carry on and I finished the tune. They graciously gave me a standing ovation and I never had stage fright again.

     
What's the most 'rock star' thing that you've ever done?  

Define 'rock star'?

     

On what dream tour would you love to play with any past or present artist/band?

 

Well, I find the tour I'm on at present quite dreamy actually! But, I had thought at one time that Sade, Bjork, and Radiohead might all be pretty dreamy too.

     

If you had to give up music - what would you do to be creative?

 

Study languages, paint and take photographs.

     

What advice do you have for people who want to pursue a musical career?

 

Please don't! Just kidding. Please do!

     

Tell us anything else that you would like people to know about you.

 

I like cookies.

     
What is next for you?  

Staying creative and inspired.

     
How can fans learn more about you and your music?  

http://myspace.com/mmjerome

http://myspace.com/hallsofthemachine

http://allmusic.com/artist/michael-jerome-p90594/credits

     
     
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"Dream Attic"
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