STEVEN WADE THOMAS

STEVEN WADE THOMAS

STEVEN WADE THOMAS
BIO

“YOU NEED TO GET A METRONOME AND GO AWAY FOR A LONG TIME”!

THAT WAS THE BEST ADVICE I EVER RECEIVED AFTER YEARS OF PLAYING WITH NO REAL DIRECTION, PROGRESS OR SUCCESS. THAT WAS IN 2000 AND I DID EXACTLY THAT. TEN YEARS LATER THE SAME PERSON SAID “PLEASE MOVE TO AUSTIN, I WILL HIRE YOU FOR EVERY BAND I PLAY IN”. THANK YOU JAMEY SIMMS!

WHEN I WAS SIX YEARS OLD I ATTENDED A BUCK OWENS AND THE BUCKAROO’S SHOW. WHEN I WAS NINE MY FAMILY WATCHED THE LIVE BROADCAST OF “ELVIS, ALOHA FROM HAWAII”. A BIG TURNING POINT WAS WHEN I WAS ELEVEN. MY MOTHER DROPPED MY BROTHER AND I OFF AT BARTON COLISEUM IN LITTLE ROCK ,ARKANSAS TO SEE THE KISS DESTROYER TOUR. AROUND THAT TIME I WAS ATTENDING A PRIVATE SCHOOL AND THE JANITOR HAD AN OLD DRUM KIT STORED UNDER THE AUDITORIUM STAGE. WHEN HE RETIRED I ASKED HIM WHAT HE WAS GOING TO DO WITH HIS DRUMS AND HE SAID “YOU CAN HAVE THEM”

WHEN I WAS A TEENAGER MY MOTHER ENROLLED MY BROTHER AND I IN HANDBELL CHOIR AT ST. JAMES UNITED METHODIST CHURCH IN LITTLE ROCK. AT FIRST I WAS NOT INTERESTED BUT I GOT TO PLAY THE BELLS WITH MALLETS WHICH I ENJOYED. WE ALSO ATTENDED HANDBELL CONVENTIONS EVERY SUMMER AND RIGHT BEFORE WE PLAYED WE WOULD LAY OUR MUSIC BOOKS DOWN AND PLAY EVERY SONG FROM MEMORY. WE RECEIVER LONG STANDING OVATIONS WHICH I WIL NEVER FORGET AND WE ALSO RECORDED TWO ALBUMS IN A REAL RECORDING STUDIO. PLAYING THE HANDBELLS WAS CRUCIAL TO MY MUSICAL TRAINING BUT I WOULD NOT REALIZE IT’S IMPORTANCE UNTIL YEARS LATER. I RECENTLY RECONNECTED WITH THE DIRECTORS, FELIX AND MARTHA LYNN THOMPSON TO THANK THEM FOR DEDICATING SO MUCH TIME AND EFFORT INTO OUR CHOIRS. I WILL NEVER FORGET HEARING MR. THOMPSON SAY “NEVER TAKE YOU EYES OFF OF THE CONDUCTOR”!

WHEN I WAS 29 I WENT TO WORK FOR DOYLE BRAMHALL SR. AS HIS ROAD MANAGER. I REMEMBER HE TOLD ME “YOU DONT DRINK AND YOU KNOW HOW TO SET UP DRUMS, I’LL TEACH YOU THE REST”. I WORKED FOR DOYLE AND BARBARA FOR 19 YEARS UNTILL HE PASSED AWAY IN 2011. HE WAS MORE THAN AN EMPLOYER. HE WAS A DEAR FRIEND AND HUGE MUSICAL INFLUENCE. THROUGH MY CONNECTION WITH DOYLE I MET THE STAGE MANAGER FOR THE FABULOUS THUNDERBIRDS. I WORKED FOR THEM IN VARIOUS DIFFERENT POSITIONS FOR 18 YEARS. BECAUSE I HAD A FAMILY AND A MORTGAGE I DID MORE PRODUCTION WORK THAN PLAYING. I WORKED FOR ASLEEP AT THE WHEEL, THE GOGO’S, JENNIFER WARNES AND CANNED HEAT. I ALWAYS HAD SOME TYPE OF KIT AROUND AND I PLAYED AND PRACTICED WHEN I WAS AT HOME. ON A TRIP TO CANADA IN 2010, OUR DRUMMER, JASON MOELLER WAS DELAYED AT THE BORDER AND WAS NOT ABLE TO MAKE IT TO THE VENUE IN TIME FOR OUR SHOW. THIS WAS NOT JUST ANY GIG. THIS WAS THE MONTREAL INTERNATIONAL JAZZ FESTIVAL. BUDDY RICH PLAYED THIS FESTIVAL. IT IS THE LARGEST JAZZ FESTIVAL IN THE WORLD. TAS MAJAL WAS HEADLINING AND WE WERE GOING TO ASK HIM IF HIS DRUMMER COULD SUB FOR JASON BUT OUR TOUR MANAGER WALKS IN AND ANNOUNCES “JASON IS ADAMANT ABOUT STEVEN FILLING IN FOR HIM”! I FIND OUT AT 4PM THAT I AM PLAYING AT 6. THE METROPOLIS THEATRE HAS A CAPACITY OF 2300 AND WAS SOLD OUT. I THOUGHT IF I CANT PLAY ONE HOUR OF TBIRD TUNES, WHAT HAVE I WORKED SO HARD FOR? I FOUND A SMALL ROOM TO REVIEW THE SETLIST AND LISTENED TO SOME OF THE SONGS WE WERE TO PLAY. THE SET WENT VERY WELL AND I THOUGHT “ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE”! I CALLED JAMEY AND DOYLE AND THANKED THEM FOR THEIR ONGOING SUPPORT AND ENCOURAGEMENT. I WENT ON TO PLAY WITH RAMSEY BROWN IN A DALLAS BAND CALLED THE 360’S AND I ALSO SPENT A YEAR PLAYING PERCUSSION IN AN ALBUQUERQUE REGGAE BAND CALLED JAH BRANCH WITH MY GOOD FRIEND REUBEN CASTILLO ON DRUMS. “GET A METRONOME”! IT WILL REWARD YOU FOR YEARS TO COME.

My Soultone Set: 

10" Custom Brilliant Hi Hat Pair
22" Gospel Ride
21" Vintage Ride
06" Vintage Splash
12" Custom Brilliant China