BioNobody said it would be easy. But maybe it's better that way. Tommy Walter's path through the music industry has had its share of ups and downs, but what resonates more than any one success or failure is what happens when you mix tenacity with talent: longevity in a volatile industry.
A chance meeting with singer/songwriter E at a Los Angeles club led to an impromptu rehearsal/audition, and along with drummer Butch Norton, they went on to form Eels. The band quickly attracted fans and critical praise, as well as the attention of DreamWorks records. It's the rock and roll dream, but Walter found himself looking past the adulation and the fancy tour bus. It was time for him to try his own hand at singing and songwriting.
He began recording home demos that would form the foundation of the first Abandoned Pools album, Humanistic, the first album ever to be released by Extasy Records. The album got off to a strong start with the singles "Mercy Kiss" and "The Remedy", both of which were warmly received on alternative radio. While AP toured the world with Lenny Kravitz and Garbage, sales picked up steadily. There was little time to celebrate, however, because an unexpected turn of events found Extasy Records belly-up without any warning to the bands on the label or its employees.
Without the support of the label, album sales stalled in the mass markets, but its songs still managed to find use in television and film, which sustained Walter as he returned to the demo studio once more. This time he had the experience to decide whether the volatility was really something he wanted to cope with, and even considered stepping out of the spotlight for good. Luckily, what emerged from the soul-searching was a new band lineup, this time a trio, with Sean Woolstenhulme on guitar and Bryan Head on drums.
The current version of AP went out on the road with A Perfect Circle without any label suppport, and returned with a new sense of purpose and cohesion. After the tour, Walter went right back to work on writing, and the batch of demos that resulted caught the attention of Universal Records, who quickly signed the band and put them in the studio. The album, coproduced by Gareth Jones (Interpol, Depeche Mode) and mixed by Ken Andrews (Failure, Year of the Rabbit, The Icarus Line) will hit stores in September.