Hailing from Fresno, California, by way of San Jose, Tom Bishel can’t remember a time in his life when he wasn’t singing. While singing along with the radio and playing with his Hot Wheels at the age of three, a family friend said, “that boy has got perfect pitch.”
Tom probably got that from listening to his parents singing in the church choir. “As a young lad, I used to think that my parents were local celebrities, at least within the confines of that church, since they often sang duets in front of the congregation. Mom always sang the harmony, so I really picked up on that early on.
Even now, when a tune comes on the radio, I get a kick out of finding and singing the right harmonies for the tune.” He further developed his rich and powerful vocal style under the tutelage of Verlene Schermer. He has his uncle to thank for his first guitar – a 60’s Epiphone. Tom took it from there, got himself a chord book and started learning the classics: Led Zep, Pink Floyd, and the Beatles.
Tom led several bands (Tomorrow’s World, Tom & Dave [Steely Kamm]) and played throughout San Jose’s busy coffeehouse scene. After a brief stint as the lead singer for powerpop band, Bigwheel, Tom fled the Silicon Valley and set his sights on Los Angeles in 2001. He has scored three short films, including the festival award winning “In Order of Appearance,” (10 film festivals and counting) for which he also served as musical director. More recently he and his Parallel Motion Music partners got a tune into the upcoming feature film, "Cold Ones", starring C.Thomas Howell. And he wrote a song to be featured on Playboy Satellite Radio's "Playmate Hour".
Tom loves listening to Neil Finn, Tears for Fears, the Beatles, James Taylor, Lyle Lovett and Led Zeppelin, so you just may hear some of those influences in his music. He recently completed a self-produced CD. Welcome Back includes collaborations with two award-winning songwriters. Tom was “fortunate” enough to get a speeding ticket, which prompted him to attend traffic school, where he met fellow lawbreaker and Golden-Globe-winning, Oscar-nominated composer, Arthur Hamilton. They hit it off and wrote one of the CD’s catchiest tunes, 1000 Hellos. The title track of the CD was written with Sue Ennis, of Heart/The Lovemongers fame.
Tom’s CD features an array of some of the great players on the LA scene: Janet Robin (Lindsay Buckingham), Darren Embry (Jonatha Brooke, Lili Haydn), Kevin Packard (Checkpoint Charley), Chris Von Sneidern (San Francisco, actually), Jason Atkinson, and Debra Tala. Tom and his bandmates, Ed Kryzaniak (Jettson) and Theone (Ten Horse Johnson), can currently be seen performing their compelling brand of guitar-driven, hook-laden pop music in and around Los Angeles. They will be performing at the International Pop Overthrow Festival in July of 2007.