By: Adam Perlmutter
Prior to the late 1970s, guitar practice gear tended to produce small and inferior sounds. But then, the MIT graduate and Polaroid engineer Tom Scholz pioneered the Rockman--a pocket-sized headphone amp producing such robust analog effects as compression, distortion, cabinet simulation, chorus, and reverb. This development of course helped pave the way for digital plug-in-and-play hardware, software, and even free apps that today make it possible for a guitarist to instantly harness any sound imaginable--technology that, ironically, Scholz isn't particularly that fond of. "Don't get me started on the many shortcomings of digital sound," he says.
Scholz is perhaps best known as the pioneering member of the arena rock band Boston. The group's roots date back to the mid-'70s, when Scholz spent a fortune assembling a recording studio in the basement of his Watertown, Massachusetts, apartment, holing up there when he wasn't working at Polaroid. With the assistance of vocalist Brad Delp, Scholz painstakingly assembled the demos that in 1975 would land him a contract with Epic. These tapes would form the basis of the band's eponymous 1976 album, featuring Delp and Scholz along with guitarist Barry Goudreau, bassist Fran Sheehan, and drummer John "Sib" Hashian. It was one of the best-selling debuts in history, selling more than 17 million copies.
By: Brad Wheeler
The Globe and Mail
It's been more than 40 years since Tom Scholz bought a new record album -- or at least listened to one all the way through. Content to be isolated, the perfectionist mastermind behind Boston, the mid-seventies FM-rock machine whose self-titled first album sold more than 20 million copies worldwide, can most days be found right where he's been for much of the past few decades -- in a basement studio in his hometown of Beantown, which is where the methodical, time-resistant rocker took a decade to record Boston's just-released sixth album (Life, Love & Hope) and where we reached him by telephone.
By: Mike Mettler
"Pretty much everything that goes into the music is as analog as I can make it," says Tom Scholz, chief sonic architect of the longtime rock powerhouse known as Boston. It's taken him 10 years to deliver the band's sixth studio album, Life, Love & Hope (Frontiers) -- "But who's counting?" he chuckles -- and discerning audiophiles know it's well worth the wait. Signature stacked harmonies, lovingly layered guitars, emotionally uplifting vocals, sheaves of killer riffs -- what's not to like? (And, yes, Virginia, there will be vinyl, sometime in early 2014.) "All I can say is the tone, the sound, and the way it's all put together is the way I like it," Scholz admits. "And I'm just lucky there are other people who like the same things I do."
Scholz, 66, and I have spoken a few times about our mutual audio-centric passions over the years, and this time, he and I discuss how he felt the need to recast certain songs for Life, recording onto tape, how emotion ties into that unique Boston sound, and why he thinks analog will always trump digital. "The whole purpose of making music to me is the emotion," Scholz emphasizes. "That's why I do it. It gives me a feeling of awe or something else that can only come from music. That's my whole point for doing it for me, for our fans, and for any listener: Creating an emotion to respond to." One might even say it's more than a feeling.
By: John Marks
Fort Mill Times
LAKE WYLIE -- With what he's been through the past five years, it's a wonder Tommy DeCarlo is only coming out with an album and not a big budget movie.
Then again, it isn't just any album.
The 48-year-old Steele Creek resident is the lead vocalist on four of the dozen songs on the newest Boston album, which goes on sale today, Dec. 3. "Life, Love & Hope" is the first Boston release since 2002. It will be the sixth album - not counting a greatest hits release in 1996 - for the band known for its classic rock sound and singles "More Than a Feeling," "Don't Look Back" and "Amanda."
It's also the first original album featuring DeCarlo, who began performing and touring with the band in 2007.
"The unmistakeable Boston sound is within this record, and that's a wonderful thing for the fans," DeCarlo said.
By: John Katic
Boston's Tom Scholz has been blazing ground with new technology since before the band's groundbreaking self-titled debut album in 1976.
Scholz has remained the foundation of the band for more than 37 years and, along the way, has composed and recorded countless rock staples and developed his line of Rockman guitar products.
One thing that hasn't changed is Scholz's approach to recording. In this age of Pro Tools and Garageband, when results often can be quick, Scholz prefers his tried-and-true methods of analog recording. The results can be heard on Boston's new album, Life, Love & Hope.
We recently got inside the head of the mastermind to talk about the process.