From Then to Now
Born in 1963 in Sydney, Australia, the son of Maltese immigrants, Tom comes from a long line of musicians and dancers from both sides of his family. Tom's early years were filled with experiences associated with being a first generation Australian in a culture that was often xenophobic. As a child, he observed that the happiest, carefree moments were set to the music of his parents' record collections. This lay the foundation for an early decision to play and create music.
Some early influences included Buddy Holly, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Johnny O'Keeffe and The Beatles. At age seven, Tom received his first guitar and immediately set out to teach himself to play. In 1973, ACDC hit the radio waves in Australia and Tom was delighted to see that man dressed as a school boy could rock out and become a successful guitarist! During the late seventies, Tom's father took him to the local music store, Barry Canham's Rhthym Workshop, which was staffed by seasoned rock and jazz musicians. At this point, Tom was introduced to the music of Jimi Hendrix and Frank Zappa, to name a few. After years of listening and studying the feel and flow of the guitar heroes of that time, Tom was ready to audition as a lead guitarist for local bands.
After some years playing consistently in the local pub and club circuit, Tom was eventually contacted by a major Sydney agency who had seen him play and encouraged him to audition for an up and coming hard rock band. The band, The Young Lions (later known as Kings of the Sun), was the opening act for many of Australia's headline bands of that time: INXS, Moving Pictures, The Angels, Jimmy Barnes.
At the same time, Tom was delving into jazz guitar under the tuition of Johnny O'Keeffe's guitarist, Lou Cash. After a number of tours up and down the east coast of Australia and a recording contract with Mushroom Records, Tom began to see that success in the music industry did not equate with the happiness that he sought through his music. He was struck by the moral comprises that he was consistently required to make or, at the very least, put up with. A number of circumstances contributed to Tom leaving Kings of the Sun and the focused pursuit of fame. This freed him up to determine what was really important for him, and to develop a new level of musicianship, without the hype.
This period proved to be pivotal as Tom researched a number of life philosophies and religions, seeking to find purpose and truth. He read a copy of new testament and had his connection with God restored, through Jesus.
Tom still largely rejects religious traditions over scriptural truths. Although Tom's lyrical focus is often Christian, he also rejects the notion that being a Christian means being cut off, monastic or exclusive. Tom believes that being a Christian does not mean that you can't listen to your original musical influences and enjoy them.
As a dad, Tom chooses to live in an area that is beneficial for his kids, but has few opportunities for professional musicians. Music continues to be a central factor in his life and he writes, records and plays according to local need and opportunities.
Living in Australia has had geographical and therefore professional limitations, but with the existence of internet communities connecting the worldwide music industry, Tom has continued to write, record and produce music for a variety of purposes. He is involved in the worship band and production in general at his local church, using his music skills to serve others and has been teaching music professionally for the past 16 years, through his business, Seedling Music. Tom still enjoys jamming with other musicians and playing gigs when the opportunity arises and is working with young artists to develop their career opportunities.