Romantic Tomcats

Posted by Miriam On October - 30 - 20103,861 views

Romantic Tomcats

Romantic Tomcats, started in 2008 as a rockabilly-duet with long-time friends Thomas Henderikx (double bass and vocals) and Roman Pauli (guitar and vocals). They introduced themselves in rehearsal room and studio with their self-released demo and afterwards in pubs and bars around Aachen (Germany).
Several gigs around their hometown Heinsberg followed.
In the summer of 2009 the duet turned into a real Rock ‘n’ Roll formation, with Tim Gleichmann on Saxophone and Felix Zimmermann on drums. In this cast the four musicians could not stay in rehearsal rooms for a long time, they showed their live-competences on several gigs to the audience. In cooperation with the 16-piece SSB Bigband they made a great year-end (Brian Setzer would have loved it as well).
In 2010 the band keeps on staying ambitious; they played as a support band for Surf music legend Dick Dale and their first CD “Seasick” was released in the summer.
Tomcats are mixing the roots of Rockabilly music with their very own influences from Rock ‘n’ Roll, blues and swing to a danceable style-combination, making it hard to keep your feet on the ground!
I asked the guys from Germany a few questions to get to know them: 

I heard that you’re looking for a new drummer; is Felix leaving the band?
Felix already decided to leave the band in may, just a few weeks before our album was released, which brought us into some trouble. Location and bands had been booked, promotion was printed and pre-sales already started. Fortunately Peter from the band The BoozeBrothers said “of course” when we asked him to help us out on drums for that date. Since then he played several shows with us, which would have been cancelled without a drummer. We appreciate that a lot! But because Peter is busy with his other band he won’t be able to be our fixed drummer.
Along the way we got some mails from drummers in our area being interested in working with us and finally – after some “casting” – we found Christian. He’s a great instrumentalist and perfectly fits into the band. Now we’re looking forward to play the first show with him.

Did you all write the songs yourselves on the CD “Seasick”?
Yes. Thomas and I do the song writing for Romantic Tomcats. Some songs are developed in rehearsal-room, more complex arrangements are mostly written down at home, sometimes in words, sometimes in music notation to safe some time while rehearsing. Our lyrics cover issues appearing to us in all day live, like girls, friends and drinks and stuff like that. Mostly in a more positive then pessimistic mood.

Tell us about the release party for your CD ?
It was just great! We’d booked two Rockabilly Bands, BurmaShave and The Bellhops, to make it a great rock‘n’roll party. We’d sold some tickets in the pre-sales, but were surprised by the number of guest coming spontaneously (maybe the free-tequila that was handed out when we played the song “tequila” later on had something to do with it, too…). We had a whole lot of fun on stage with the audience, backstage with the bands who were all great guys and on the aftershowparty with some fine music from a dj. It was awesome to see so many people even in our ages having fun with rock’n’roll and swing music, not downloading popsongs from the internet, but buying our cds! We can’t wait to bring out a new record to celebrate something like that again. (Check Youtube for some releaseparty-vids)

What makes you different from other German Rockabilly bands?
We’re trying not to sound like a typical rockabilly band in a classical cast, but to come close to the sounds of the early bigbands, where the focus is on melody-runs from the horn section. With unison parts from guitar and saxophone, sometimes with baritonsax to make it sound more solid, we want to make the listener think of a big bunch of musicians on stage, instead of a quartet. Thomas and I started Romantic Tomcats as a Duo with just double bass and guitar and you’ll still find those rockabilly roots in our songs, now mixed with a bit more of swing, which happened under the influence of the bigband Tim and I played in before.

Who is your greatest inspiration?
Definitely Brian Setzer. He’s not only a virtuoso on guitar, but also a great entertainer and songwriter. He is always looking for new inspirations to mix into the rockabilly style and creating something sounding common, but never been there before that way. Louis Jordan as well. I wonder if rock’n’roll as it developed would be the same without his songs.
For the double bass BoppinB’s base player Didi Beck was a great inspiration, with some helpful hints backstage, after we’d played as support for them. 

Who are your favourite artists?
Ray Collins Hot Club is one of the greatest bands, not only to listen to, but also to see them perform and having fun on stage. As already named Brian Setzer, especially with his orchestra. But it’s not only 50’s-Style inspired music. Bands like The Gaslight Anthem, Dropkick Murphys and not to forget The Clash are favourites, too. One of last year’s greatest surprises was “Katzenjammer” – Check them out!

 Is there any place you would really like to play?
Las Vegas! – “if we can make it there, we can ….” No, that was something else.

Do you like other music styles too, other than rock and roll and swing?
As already mentioned above we’re not fixed on 50’s-Style music. We like to go to festivals and concerts in different styles, but the music should be hand-made.

How did your first love for Rock ‘n’ Roll starts?
A friend had “Jump jive and wail” played in his radio on the way to the rehearsal of our first punkrockband, at the age of about 15 years. Very interesting, because it was something new. We’ve watched the “Live in Japan” DVD later on and rockabilly suddenly played an important role. Not only music, but also the clothes, shoes and hairstyles.

What do you want to achieve?
For the next year we are looking forward to play some festivals, being on tour for a while and working on some new songs for our second record.
Because we’re all students there is some work to be done for band and university. Doing a good job in both is what we want to achieve, even if bandstuff takes some more attention 😉

What’s your greatest wish for the future?
To be able to keep on being busy with Romantic Tomcats for a long time: Working in a great team and heaving fun by playing our music to people who like what we are doing.

Is there anything you would like to tell?
Je doller die Tolle, desto toller die Olle!

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