XS ROCK: Tell me about the latest band news? any new projects coming out, live shows or announcements?
TOMMY: We just dropped our debut album “Cake and Chaos” through Pavement Entertainment and we are
excited to see what come next, meanwhile we’ve been staying busy writing new shit and playing shows here
locally in Las Vegas.
XS ROCK: So how long has the band been together?
TOMMY: Baker’s Dozen was formed on a dark and stormy October 31st, 2016. So three years give or take.
XS ROCK: What was your main motivation for originally starting or being in a band?
TOMMY: We’d all played in different bands with each other. One afternoon Dave and I were on the phone and I mentioned to him that Zach and I were looking to start something original, on our own (we were in tribute bands at the time) and would that be something he would wanna do, and he said “Fuck Yeah!” We moved forward some more making minor adjustments along the way. we were fortunate enough to find the very talented Jake Pilcher to fill our sound out on drums. It all just clicked and fell into place. It felt natural like we’d been playing with each other for years. But as far as the original motivation, It was purely just to rock!
XS ROCK: What is your music background?
TOMMY: I’ve played in different bands since I was 16, none famous enough to mention, been Bon Scott in an AC/DC tribute here in Fabulous Las Vegas for a few years, Man we had the costumes and the whole nine yards, that’s where I met Zach, he was Angus. I play some guitar and harmonica and I enjoy throwing some words at a song. Not much of musical background. I’ve learned from watching, listening, and experimentation. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Does church choir as a kid count? (laughs)
XS ROCK: What image do you think your music conveys?
TOMMY: I don’t think much thought has gone into conveying an image through our music. We play what we like, and if it sticks it sticks. I guess we’re conveying a simple image and message of Rock and Roll Funtime.
XS ROCK: What are your current music career goals?
TOMMY: We’re excited to see what’s gonna happen next with our current situation, being signed to Pavement entertainment, our music being everywhere. It’s a strange feeling, we’re excited about any and all touring possibilities. We really want to get out there and play these tunes live for everybody. we’re ready to grow!
XS ROCK: Which do you prefer? Writing new songs and recording or playing for a live audience?
TOMMY: Baker’s Dozen is a live band without a doubt, crafting new material or being in the studio is a different kind of focus and feels like work sometimes(laughs) But playing live is were it’s at, there is a freedom and an energy transference thing going on that’s hard to describe and it sure doesn’t feel like work! (laughs) We live for the loud and making connections with people on a musical level is pretty damn cool.
XS ROCK: What are the lyrics of your songs about? (what specific themes do they cover?)
TOMMY: I write the majority of our lyrics, the themes vary but I feel they are relatable with what’s going on these days. I got tales of love and hate, desperate times, horror and despair a little madness a little laughter. Tongue and cheek and serious as well, but never too serious to laugh at yourself.
XS ROCK: What is the single most important thing to you as a musician?
TOMMY: The single most important thing to me as a musician and again I think the whole band would agree is the connection of making people get happy through music. To be able to evoke an emotion or reaction through something you created and have people dig it. It’s validation(which is what we all want) on a crazy level.
XS ROCK: Do you have any outrageous tour stories from the road?
TOMMY: I’m gonna have to plead the fifth in order not to incriminate those who ain’t here to defend themselves. (laughs)
XS ROCK: What’s the strangest request that you’ve ever received from one of your fans?
TOMMY: The strangest request we’ve ever received is being asked to sign a doughnut. Having to do with the whole Baker’s Dozen thing. I seem to remember it being a maple bar.
XS ROCK: Are your friends and family supportive of your choice to play in a rock band?
TOMMY: More so now than in the beginning(laughs) People see success very differently and I don’t think music was the ideal career choice my family originally had planned for me. but with persistence grows support! They’re big fans of the Bakery now.
XS ROCK: What advice do you have for new bands trying to get started?
TOMMY: My advice would be to stay focused! just do what you do and be you! don’t ever give up, be persistent, believe in yourself don’t listen to the naysayers(cause haters gonna hate.) play from the heart and have fun!
XS ROCK: What are your favorite tracks to play live?
TOMMY: I really love playing “I Know” live right now. It’s completely spontaneous and unpredictable, a close second would be “No Shame” the audiences have begun singing the chorus back to us at every show. it seems we’ve made a connection.
XS ROCK: Which band or artist inspired you to perform?
TOMMY: I’m a child of the ’70s. The first stuff I was weaned on was Bowie and Led Zeppelin, It’s a toss between the two. Bowie was glam flamboyancy at it’s finest with brilliant songwriting and Rockstar Mick Ronson on the low slung Les Paul. Very impressionable to a youngster. Then there’s the mighty Led Zeppelin with ode’s to Valhalla and a “whole lotta love”.
Sex and mysticism! also very impressionable on a young lad.
XS ROCK: If you could design a dream tour for your band, who would be on the bill?
TOMMY: Well, If this is a dream that would mean any band in their original lineup. So, I’m gonna go big and say Motorhead, Black Sabbath and The Damned(original lineup) But currently man, I would say just about anybody because it’s a dream to be doing this in the first place.
XS ROCK: What do you consider your greatest accomplishment so far?
TOMMY: I think our greatest accomplishment so far has been being picked up by Pavement Entertainment, through them, we are able to get our music to the masses and network through mediums we never thought of before. Having a label behind you absolutely makes everyone take you a little more serious.
XS ROCK: If you weren’t performing in a band what kind of career do you think you would have?
TOMMY: I love to travel man and one place I totally fell in love with is Costa Rica! So, If I wasn’t rocking, I’d be a surf instructor on a sunny beach down past Limon. Pura Vida Baby!
XS ROCK: What type of equipment do you use for live shows?
TOMMY: I play Gibson guitars and use Orange amps, Zach plays Reverend guitars and uses Hughs&Kettner amps. Dave our bass player uses Schecter bass guitars and abuses Ampeg bass amps. We all swear by Pig Hog cables and our drummer Jake beats the living daylights out of his Ludwig drums and Zildjian cymbals.
XS ROCK: What do you think of the current music scene?
TOMMY: There is an amazingly diverse music scene going on right now and there seems to be a need for more to coin a phrase “good time music” in serious times. The camaraderie between bands no matter the style of the artist seems to be a little more prevalent. It’s a mutual goal that I think folks are starting to realize we can achieve by working with instead of against each other.
XS ROCK: For anyone that doesn’t know you, what would they be surprised to know about you?
TOMMY: I’m a total foodie! I love to cook, I love to eat. It’s like music, It brings people together, it makes people happy. A barbecue a couple of cold ones’s an acoustic guitar or two. That’s a good time calling you.
XS ROCK: Is there anything that you’d like to promote or say to your fans out there?
TOMMY: We are excited about the future and we want to take you with us. We are looking forward to sharing our infectious blend of American punk and roll with you real soon. Make sure to get yourself a slice of “Cake and Chaos.
XS ROCK: Thank you again for taking the time to talk with us at XS ROCK!
TOMMY: Thank you guys for letting me chew the fat with ya. We appreciate all the support.
Baker’s Dozen Are:
Tommy Elliott- Lead Vocals
Zach Ruble- Lead Guitar, Backing Vocals
Dave Karr-Bass Guitar, Backing Vocals