By Anne Erickson
Lansing State Journal
Imagine getting the offer to join your favorite band in the world, go on tour and play songs for thousands of adoring fans. Tommy DeCarlo found himself in that situation when he joined Boston, the classic rock band known for their towering prog-rock and catchy pop hooks.
Boston will perform to a sold out show Saturday at FireKeepers Casino in Battle Creek, and we caught up with DeCarlo ahead of the show to talk about his journey joining Boston.
Q: What drew you to the music of Boston?
A: What originally drew me was that my best friend from New York let me borrow their self-titled debut when I was a kid. I listened to it, and from that point forward, I became a huge fan of the music. Of course, I loved the music, but I especially liked the vocals of Brad Delp. He was my favorite rock 'n' roll singer of all time. As I got older, the lyrics made more sense to me. It's just that kind of music that it makes you feel good.
Q: Were you involved in music before joining Boston?
A: I’ve done music most of my life, but I always considered myself a closet musician. I played keyboards and sang, mostly singing along to the music of Boston and some of the other '80s bands, and that was one of the things I did as a hobby. I loved to sing along. Boston is the first band I have performed with and it's crazy to think I went from my bedroom to singing with Boston.
Q: How did you get the call to join Boston?
A: After the death of Brad Delp, I had recorded a couple of tracks of me signing Boston to a karaoke CD and posted them on MySpace. I thought it would be a nice way to pay tribute to Brad Delp. Crazy enough, somebody form MySpace contacted me and had an email address for the band and said, "You should send your cover songs to the band and see if they would be interested in inviting you to the tribute concert coming up." I wrote a quick email and got an email from Boston's management saying, "Thanks for being a great fan, but we aren't adding any new singers to the lineup." A week later, there was a post on the band's website saying some of the singers for the show canceled. I sent another email, and that email got to Tom Scholz. He heard my cover songs and invited me to sing.
Q: What’s it like to suddenly being part of your favorite rock band?
A: After you get over the initial shock, it comes down to you having to put in the effort to perform live. That first tour was an eye-opener for me. I was just a regular guy, and I wasn’t in bad shape, but I wasn’t in touring shape. After that first tour, I realized I needed to bare down on my singing. I started working with a great vocal coach, got in shape, and now, I'm much better prepared for the road.