We had the good fortune of connecting with Tom McGeoch and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tom, other than deciding to work for yourself, what was the single most important decision you made that contributed to your success?
Just going for it was huge for me. I’ve been such a perfectionist in the past. I had spent so much time thinking I wasn’t “ready” or good enough. I’ve learned that stepping outside of my comfort zone and getting comfortable being uncomfortable is what life is all about. I grew up writing and recording songs and demos but didn’t commit to starting my own artist project until last year. Just being in action contributed massively to my success.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’m an artist & musician. My artist project is called “From, Tom” where I sing, co-write, and co-produce the music. I also play drums for various artists and bands. I have a B.A. from Berklee College of Music and spent a few months studying global music business in Valencia, Spain.
I’m most proud of where I am in life today. Everything I’ve been through and done has led up to this moment and I couldn’t be more excited to live my life and do the things I want to do. I’m in the middle of writing new songs with my friends and it’s a ton of fun for me. I’m also really proud of taking risks earlier on in life and going on tour playing drums as soon as I got the opportunity. I look back on some of those concerts I got to play and smile. It was surreal at the time to play in front of thousands of people in cities that I had never been before.
I got to where I am today with a lot of hard work. I knew from a young age that I had a passion and love for music. I tried a few different instruments before I landed on the drums and really took that to another level. I took private drum lessons from Jeff Robert at Columbus Percussion in Columbus, Ohio growing up. My parents were extremely supportive and I practiced all the time. I went on to graduate from Berklee College of Music in 2014. I didn’t get into Berklee the first time I auditioned. I played an alternative rock song for my first audition in front of a bunch of Jazz guys and it didn’t go so well. I then moved to Cleveland, Ohio to study jazz, auditioned again but played a jazz drum solo transcription from Max Roach, and got in. It was not an easy road. There were a lot of tears along the way. My Dad, Peter, went above and beyond to support me during that time and I can’t thank him enough. He would spend his weekends visiting me in Cleveland, watching Jersey Shore with me on MTV, and sleeping on my futon in my tiny apartment.
After I graduated from Berklee, I saved up a few thousand dollars, packed all of my stuff into a Honda Civic, and just drove across the country from Columbus, Ohio to Los Angeles, California. I got a part-time job working at a candy store, and started teaching music as well to stay afloat. During the time that I wasn’t working, I was playing drums as much as I could and making new friends. I was eventually able to move on from the candy store to focus on teaching and playing music.
Today, I still continue to teach, play, and make music. I also have a few side gigs as well (podcast editing, social media management).
This would probably be over 100 pages long if I went into detail about every lesson I’ve learned along the way but if I narrowed it down to just one, it would be that everything always works out.
I’d like the world to know that I make music not only because I love it and I have a lot of fun doing it, but because I can see how it brings people together in a really powerful way. I want to spread love and inspire. That’s why I do it.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
As far as eating goes, I’d take them to this restaurant called Hippo in highland park. It’s amazing. I’d also take them to my favorite Italian spot in Silverlake called Speranza, and this amazing Spanish restaurant in Beverly Hills called La Paella. I’ve had a really great experience at Soho Warehouse downtown as well and the food is delicious.
When it comes to drinking, Sassafras Saloon in Hollywood is always a fun time. Arts District Brewing Company and Angel City Brewery are both really fun places to hang out and drink as well. If it’s coffee, Go Get Em Tiger is by far my favorite place to go. I usually go to the one in Larchmont Village.
My favorite live music venue in LA is The Troubadour. The sound there is top notch.
I’d definitely have a beach day in Malibu too. Zuma Beach is really peaceful and so is El Matador.
The hiking here is great too. Fryman Canyon isn’t too intense and has some great views of the valley.
I can’t forget about The Comedy Store either. That place always has A list comedians performing and it’s always a great time.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I’m dedicating my shoutout to my “quad”. We are a group of four friends and I met everyone last year in the middle of the pandemic. Leslie Levito, Erik Hammarberg, and Shoghak Kazandjian. I’d also like to give a shoutout to my friend and business coach Scott Forgey. I’d like to recognize and give a shoutout to my family as well. My Mom and Dad (Caroline & Peter) and my two brothers (John & Andy). There are SO many more friends I am thinking of as well. I’ve been really fortunate to have such an amazing support system.
Tyler Miles, Shoghak Kazandjian