Tomas Doncker of the Tomas Doncker band has his label True Groove and just signed on a deal with The Orchard and has already gotten artists and bands lined-up, with his own band doing their own thing for this year alone. This guy has got it all going on and knows how to do it the right way, the proper way, and the correct way. Tomas Doncker discussed why he wanted his label and The Orchard to come together as well as plans for his own band and just so much more he has waiting on his plate it’s truly exciting!
AAM What made you want to sign a deal with The Orchard?
Tomas: We were invited. I had my eye on The Orchard and couldn’t figure out a way in -but as I said we were invited. They are most certainly at the forefront of the “Modern music biz”. We’re very excited about working with them.
AAM Why do you think your label True Groove and The Orchard will work well together what does each other have to offer and bring to the table for one another?
Tomas: We provide high quality/high intensity artists and music in a variety of styles and genres. Our focus is on songwriting, and our production aesthetic supports and enhances that. The Orchard provides reach. All of True Groove’s artists and projects will be presented and pushed properly throughout the world. Everything from retail P.R. to licensing and YouTube Monetization. Our presence will be heard and felt everywhere. We are very grateful For this opportunity
AAM Can you tell me briefly about the roster of artists of the 12 projects that will be released?
Tomas: We have releases from our core artists- Debut Albums from young Global Soul Diva Lael Summer and Legendary singer/song writer/Bassist Kevin Jenkins. We’ve also got Marla Mases follow-up to her critically acclaimed “Speak” album-“Half-Life”. We are also very blessed to have 2 New York City music scene icons -Mr. Joseph Bowie (Defunkt), and Mr. James Chance (The Contortions) joining our roster of artists. We’ll be releasing new music and greatest hits collections from both of them. We’ve been real busy working on a new collection of “Future Roots” songs for Kevin Jenkins (to be released in the Spring),as well as new projects from Heather Powell, Sam Claiborne, and the debut project from the True Groove All-Stars. We stay busy.
AAM. What are the dreams and goals you would like to see for this partnership and for your label?
Tomas: We don’t spend too much time dreaming. We’d rather be doing stuff. Moving forward, always forward. Creating, performing. Movin’ some butts and opening some minds. Our partnership with The Orchard will ensure that True Groove music be heard around the world.
AAM How about your own music and band The Tomas Doncker Band – what’s new in terms of music for them?
Tomas: We will be releasing 2 albums, both completed projects from successful E.P.’s that we unveiled last year: “The Howlin’ Wolf Project”, and “Power of the Trinity…A Slight return”-Vol.1&2.
AAM What do you guys have planned for 2014?
Tomas: Ha, a lot of hard work (as usual!). There’s no rest for the wicked.
AAM What does your schedule look like as far as tours/shows?
Tomas: We have a big True Groove All-Stars show in New York scheduled for the middle of March. We are also working with several booking agents on U.S. and European tours. The dates have just started to come in. We’ll keep you posted once things are finalized.
AAM What type of band are you?
Tomas: A good one. A really good one.
AAM Why did you want to go and call yourselves The Tomas Doncker Band? What does this name symbolize and represent for you guys?
Tomas: Well it’s my name obviously, but we also go by The True Groove All-Stars. I’d like to believe that the meaning of both names is self-explanatory. Besides, I think both names sound pretty cool!
AAM0. Tell us the brief history of your band.
Tomas: New York’s finest. No Question about it. Some of the finest musicians, and finest people I’ve ever had the honor of spending my most precious moments with.
AAM. Who are your musical influences?
Tomas: I’m very fortunate to be able to work with some of my heroes. Mr. Bill Laswell, Mr. Joseph Bowie, Mr. James Chance. One of my main musical influences is not even a musician-Pulitzer Prize winning poet Mr. Yusef Komunyakaa. Then of course there’s Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, James Brown, Lewis Taylor, Chris Whitley is a huge influence on my guitar playing, The great Mr. Albert King. It’s a shortlist but it’s far too long to mention here.
AAM. Do you write your own songs? (Discuss the songwriting process in detail.)
Tomas: We write all the time. Different styles, different vibes, different grooves. The core of the True Groove sound begins with the songwriting process – that being said, there is no one specific way to write a song. I believe that songs are in the air. They surround us. We just have to be open to receiving them.
AAM. What are your songs about? (What specific themes do they cover?)
Tomas: It’s probably easier for me to tell you what we won’t write about: fancy cars, jewelry – you know, Bullshit. We feel too much time, money, and attention has been wasted on this kind of stuff. There’s no light at the end of that tunnel…We would rather keep things Sexy, I think you know what I mean: heartfelt, sincere, real. I think that kind of thing is actually in fashion at this point in time.
AAM. How do you describe your music to people?
Tomas: We like to call it GLOBAL SOUL: “it’s the best we have to offer to each other. Not genre specific, but genre inclusive. From Brooklyn to Ethiopia…and beyond!?
AAM. What image do you think your music conveys?
Tomas: To quote the late , Great Mr. Don Cornelius: “love, peace, and soul!”