TOM FRIETCHEN – Lead Vocals/Rhythm Guitar Tom Frietchen grew up in Strongsville, Ohio.
The Tom Frietchen Band Fresh off the starting line, with their new album “Quarter Mile”. Taking you on an emotional ride from up-tempo crowd favorites-“Sexy Jeans”, “Outlaw Party” & “Quarter Mile” to the emotional song “Love Somebody”!! The Tom Frietchen Band in 2012 graced the top 25 for a nomination of a Grammy with their debut LP “Its Been So Long” with top hit “Just You and Me” hitting number #1 for unsigned artist on IHeartRadio, also including “Your Man” & “Rock And Roll With Country Soul”. Which led TFB to sign with national label Tate Music Group!! YouTube has embraced their rockin’ country sound with over 40,000 views and climbing!!! As TFB’s legion of loyal fans across the nation can agree, their live performance is a must see!! The Bands image & stage antics provide a show that is explosive and unforgettable !!! “Rock and Roll, With Country Soul”, at its best!!
When you talk to Tom Frietchen he says something like, “I just live down the road and you can see me out there mowing the lawn.” Just an ordinary guy.
But with the newly released CD “It’s Been So Long,” Frietchen (rhymes with kitchen) may have explained why this suburban dad is no ordinary guy.
Flash back to Strongsville in the 1980s and there you’ll find a 15-year-old with a passion for rock and roll. By the time he graduated, his old-school “hair” band, Priscilla, hit the top 10 with a song on Z Rock and was featured in Billboard Magazine. He was also writing his own music.
“At 17 or 18, the only thing that mattered was the music — the riffs,” the now-40-something says. “Rock was fun and loud and we toured all over the country. Then along came Nirvana and guys with clean long hair who bathed were no longer in. It was all weird stuff about how bad everything was.”
“The beauty of rock and roll is that it makes you tap your feet and shake your body and have fun. It is an escape,” he said, but he said it was the grunge movement that caused the demise of real rock and roll. So after living the life of a rocker from 1989-92, he took a break. He reunited with his high school girlfriend, Michelle, they married in 1997 and now live in Brunswick.
“I always wanted a family, so when our girls, Alyssa and Ashton, were babies, I stayed home to take care of them,” he said. After they grew, he started a painting company and has done residential and commercial work for several years.
But the music never went away. “Once it’s in your head, it doesn’t just stop,” Frietchen said. “You can pretend it’s not in you, but it’s still there.” He continued to play guitar and write — but didn’t do anything with that talent.
That was until a painting job took him to a home in Hinckley where he talked with the homeowner who told him he had a recording studio in his basement. He invited him to come down. “When he heard my songs he encouraged me to record them,” he said. By now, Frietchen’s music had matured, as he had. His songs were about relationships and family and his experiences. They tell a story. Now his music, still heavily relying on the guitar, had evolved to a combination of old-school rock and country.
His YouTube video “Just You and Me,” was an immediate hit and then, reached No. 1 on iHeart Radio, reaching more than 350 stations, nationwide. When it was featured by Jim Mantel on WGAR radio here, and Robin Svoboda featured him on WKYC-TV during Rhythm Week, people started taking notice.
The band now has a management team and has signed a record contract with the Tate Music Group. That also means much of his time is spent on the business side of the industry.
“There’s nothing like standing on stage and playing in front of an audience,” he said, “but you have to also handle the business and that’s not always so much fun. It takes up a lot of time and energy.”
“A lot of local musicians make a living as tribute bands,” he said. “We do original music and we would never change that. But we’ve found that if we play a really large venue as part of a program like country@the amp at the Warren Amphitheater, we have to play back-up for the tribute band. That means learning 20 songs that aren’t our own, and that’s hard. But it’s something we have to do on the business side, in order to get our music out there.”
His daughters, now 10 and 12, sometimes are a little shy about his growing popularity. They may be learning an important lesson about sticking with something you love.
And music is fun again. “The nice thing about this music is that there’s no age limit. Our fans are from 14 to seniors, men and women, and I’m really touched when people come up to tell me how the story of a song has touched them.”
Want to know more? Go to tomfrietchenband.com to learn about Frietchen and his bandmates, to hear some songs and learn where to purchase them.
TOM FRIETCHEN – Lead Vocals/Rhythm Guitar Tom Frietchen grew up in Strongsville, Ohio. At age 10, he learned to play guitar and by 15 he was starting bands and writing his own songs. After high school, Tom and his rock band hit the top 10 with a song on Z-Rock, a nationally syndicated radio station, and other stations as well. The band was featured in Billboard Magazine and toured cities across the nation. Tom eventually took a break to start a family and became Mr. Mom for awhile. Having a wife and children now, his life changed. Country music’s lyrics are rooted in life and truth and became a new avenue for Tom’s musical talent. Tom’s songwriting reflects life’s realities and he receives inspiration from the people and situations close to him. Tom’s musical influences include the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Kiss, George Jones & George Strait, just to name a few. While his style has evolved over the years, Tom’s musical passion is with his guitar…. Now, Tom is back on the music trail and has put together a powerful line up of musical talent! Tom and the band released a CD back in January, 2012 called “It’s Been So Long”. This compilation blends Old-School Rock & Country music and features “Just You and Me”, a soulful tune that’s already receiving airplay along with “Rock and Roll, With Country Soul” & “What You Want”.
JONNIE VINCENZO – Lead/Rhythm Guitar/Vocals
Jonnie Vincenzo is the guitarist and Grandson of “Missouri Fox Hunters” Honkytonk Guitarist John Vincenzo from the 1930’s and 1940’s. Jonnie’s grandfather got to do some big things in his day like opening for Hank Williams Sr, and Jonnie got to open for Hank Williams III. Jonnie Vincenzo forges his own path as he creates with the right hand of a rhythm & blues soul man and with the left hand, the twang of a country picker from days gone by. It has been said Jonnie could have played guitar in the time of early Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, and Buck Owens. While heavily influenced by his grandfather, Jonnie also had older step brothers and when they weren’t home, he would play along to their Led Zeppelin Records and wonder how the music was created. From there, with the help of his grandfather, he discovered the likes of Willie Dixon and Don Rich, the guitar player for” Buck Owens and the Buckaroos” on “Hee Haw”. Then, Jonnie met and was inspired by late guitar virtuoso Danny Gatton and learned everything he could from him. For years, Jonnie played in some “old- school” Rock A Billy and Honkeytonk bands. One night, Tom ran in to Jonnie playing at a club and was impressed. One of Jonnie’s former band mates told Tom “Jonnie can play guitar with a lot of old school country flare”. Tom was intrigued and asked him to come into the studio and lay down some guitar tracks for the debut album at the time: “It’s Been So Long’. The match was lit.
SHAWN PATRICK THOMAS DALEY – Bass Guitar/Vocals
Growing up with a father who spent 10 years as a touring musician in acts like CSNY & Three Dog Night, Shawn found himself at home in front of a microphone and mixing console at the age of 13. Later on, Shawn took the helm as the guitarist for an iconic 90’s punk band, whose music is featured on “The Hawaiian Style Punk Compilation series” as well as the soundtracks for some Jack Johnson-directed surf videos. After a 4 year stint in recording studios with bands in Japan, California and Hawaii, Shawn found his way back to Ohio where he became a founding member of the Alt-rock band ‘Poormercy’, who went on tour to support the Fuse Network’s legendary “Bodog Battle of the Bands”. Now, an award-winning Bassist and DJ, Shawn has been on countless tours – recently playing Times Square and The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. He is the co-host of a radio show showcasing new buzz-worthy artists on 95.3 FM WLKR on Fridays and is a regular DJ on the South Bass Island party capital- Put’n’Bay Ohio. Shawn is not only a rockstar bassist in The Tom Frietchen Band, he’s a former cancer survior and a Marine.
JEFF MASH – Drums/Percussion
Jeff Mash grew up in Cleveland Ohio. At the age of 5, Jeff started beating on chairs and shoe boxes with his mom’s kitchen mixing spoons. After destroying the seats to all of the kitchen chairs, Jeff’s father pulled the trigger and bought him his first drum set. Jeff clearly remembers the first record he jammed to was a Dean Martin album. Jeff’s dad was a piano player who played in a band back in the 50’s called “The Melody Mates”. “Growing up, music was always around the household. Listening to Buck Owens, Johnny Cash & Roy Orbison helped mold me where I needed to be… Rock and Roll, with Country Soul!! No matter what, Mom never asked me to stop playing. Of course as we all know, starting out on an instrument… its never pretty.” A pivotal moment came when Jeff’s dad came to him with a metronome and said: “You master this, and you will become the time keeper that every musician thrives for.” Jeff has worked hard to perfect his timing and technique and has found inspiration in music like Foreigner, Journey, AC/DC, Black Sabbath & Led Zeppelin. In the next step of his journey, Jeff answered an ad in Cleveland Scene Magazine where musicians go to look for other musicians and ended up meeting Tom Friechen. Jeff knew the moment they met, good things were just around the bend.
LARS ALTVATER– Piano/Keyboards/Vocals
Lars Altvater, the Tom Freichman’s band (TFB’s) latest import from Europe, was born and raised in Minden, Germany. He learned about musical hardware building and selling PA Systems and organs with his father and older brother back in the 70s and 80s. Lars grew up surrounded by musicians and learned to play multiple instruments. At an early age, he got a keyboard as a Christmas present from his mom and with some help from his brother, started playing songs by ear. Lars tried taking formal lessons but decided that for him, it was easier to just listen and play. He learned to play songs by bands like Billy Joel, Toto, ELP, Rush, Genesis and other legendary musicians, all by ear. After a busy musical career in Germany, Lars took a break from the stage for a few years while living in Dublin, Ireland. Lars moved to Brunswick, Ohio where he now lives with his wife and son. The “break” is over and after playing in a variety of local bands, he joined TFB in late 2013. Favorite quote: “Ey Lars… Say somethin’ in German” – J. Vincenzo
ARASH ‘RAJ’ GHAHREMANI – Fiddle Power
Raj started playing violin at the age of 9, and studied the Suzuki and Classical methods through high school. Raj completed 11 years of private music lessons and earned a scholarship at Kent State University where he performed in its symphony for 4 years. After college, Raj found his way into country music. While playing in a few cover bands, he was sought out by the Tom Frietchen Band and made the decision to join. Raj plays on the first album as well as the new album. “I am thankful for the opportunity and looking forward to a future with big things on the horizon…”