By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski
Tommy Gibbons has wanted to be a musician since his father took him, as an elementary school student, to see the G3 tour, featuring Joe Satriani, John Petrucci and Steve Vai, at the Celebrity Theatre.
“Right there I said, ‘I have to do whatever the heck he’s (Satriani) doing,’” recalls Gibbons, the father of 8-year-old Oliver. “I didn’t really start playing until I was 11 or 12. I didn’t get serious until 14 or 15.”
His first go on the guitar wasn’t successful. It was with an acoustic guitar and he hated it, he admits.
“I wanted loud distortion,” Gibbons says. “I got my first electric amp and started learning Metallica tunes.”
It paid off for the Litchfield Park resident and Agua Fria High School graduate. He’s performed with Flaw, Tantric and, most recently, the Wade Cota Band, and Farewell to Fear, which played Fozzy frontman Chris Jericho’s Rock and Wrestlin’ Rager at Sea Cruise.
Shortly after the Sea Cruise, COVID-19 closed down the world. As a result, the New Orleans band released the song “I Won’t Be Your Tragedy” in May and hit 68,000 streams within six weeks on Spotify.
“You hear about the ins and about,” says Gibbons, who endorses Schecter guitars. “It’s really humbling. This isn’t what people think it is. I wouldn’t trade this life for anything, though. I get paid to tour and go to new places. I love what I’m doing. I just want to support my son, Oliver, and make sure he’s taken care of. I want to ensure my parents don’t have to work anymore. That’s what I want.”
Gibbons is pushing his own music as well. He recently posted a stop-motion video to accompany his cover of Blue Oyster Cult’s “Godzilla,” along with a tribute to his favorite WWE Superstar, the Undertaker.
“He’s the greatest of all time,” Gibbons says. “He’s dedicated to his character. He has that Wrestlemania winning streak. I saw him for the first time when I was a little kid and most of my friends were afraid of him. I thought, ‘Oh my god, this guy is so cool.’
“As weird as it sounds, he’s one of the only consistencies in my life—probably along with my Godzilla obsession.”
His next project is a metal-rap song called “Tonight,” which is slated for release in October.
“Most people wouldn’t expect this from me,” he says. “It’s heavier metal with rap. I’ve always been a huge rap fan. Crossing over genres is not a rare thing anymore.”
The subject matter of “Tonight” is a touchy subject, he says.
“It’s about being a cheater and admitting to it and living with that guilt,” he adds. “No one wants to write from the perspective of one. It’s something different.
“I’ve done my fair share of bad things in the past. Anyone with a good conscience would feel guilty or bad about it and say, ‘I probably shouldn’t have done that.’ It’s the ones who don’t have a conscience at all who scare the crap out of me.”
Gibbons says he’s testing the water with the new projects to see if he can revive his music career, from which he recently took a break.
“A solo project is one of those things I’ve always wanted to do,” he says. “I’ve always been everybody’s go-to guy. I’ve done everything for everybody else. I have no problem with that. The people I work with are amazing. I just want to give myself a chance to see how it goes.”