The Motor Tom
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The Motor Tom

New York City, New York, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2012 | INDIE

New York City, New York, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2012
Band Rock Indie




"The Motor Tom Rock with the Spirit of New York"

The NYC-based rock band’s guitarist, Andrew Harding, explains this further, saying, “I think it’s hard to crush the spirit. Things have moved around a little bit. A lot of the innovation that you used to see here in the 70s in (the Lower East Side), there was a certain amount of economics to it. The rent was really cheap, nobody wanted to be here, it was an easy place for people to gather who didn’t want to have a full time job.”

“Obviously, that’s not the case anymore,” Harding continued, “but the creativity is still here.”

The Motor Tom, which also includes Anthony Formichelle (bass), Luca Bertaglia (drums), and JJ Lindenthal (keys), knows all about this creativity, because they’re a huge part of it.

Jokingly deeming their style “dum music for smart people” (typo on purpose), Schupak notes it was their producer, Gregory Lattimer, who suggested they focus on making good music, and not necessarily complicated music. “[He] advises us, and any artist he works with, not to over-think things,” Schupak explains.

“For a person like me, with my lyrics, and Andrew, with his musicality, and his abilities, there’s always that temptation to do as much as you possibly can, and make this gigantic, grandiose statement in as many words as possible, and with as many notes as possible. The more we constrain ourselves, [however], the better we find we’re actually able to transmute what it is we’re trying to say.”

What The Motor Tom has to say is largely influenced by the city they call home. According to Schupak, who grew up in the city, “It’s very often difficult to tell where the city ends and I begin.”

“I think what’s interesting about this place, and what I find compelling about most anything in nature, are the paradoxes inherent in it,” he continued. “Nothing provides more stress than this most unbelievably convenient city, for example. What John Lennon called the Rome of today, where everybody wants to come, is also as difficult a place as there is in which to live, and I find it fascinating that people continue to flock here, people continue to stay here. When you’re from here, it’s very very difficult to leave, for any period of time. You always want to come home.”

Harding adds, “It’s also, New York, it’s like, in some ways it’s more about an attitude ... I think there’s just this wild diversity that doesn’t exist anywhere else, too. It just makes it so the possibilities are endless because there are so many freakin people here.”

Another influence of The Motor Tom’s is the era in which they grew up. Schupak notes, “From our vantage point, a lot of popular music, and even not so popular music, but anything you might call indie, or rock, seems to deny a lot about what we grew up with. I won’t go into much detail about what they do, but one of the things they don’t do is talk about what we did when we were kids.”

One of the things the men of The Motor Tom did when they were kids was play video games. “We all grew up on video games,” Schupak explains, “and the people who are going to listen to our music, most likely, are gonna know about them, and understand some of the Final Fantasy references, and Mario references, and things like that.”

In 2014, the band released an EP titled Tracks, and they’re currently putting the finishing touches on an as yet untitled full-length effort they plan on releasing this summer.

The full-length project was recorded, in part, in a barn in upstate New York owned by Schupak’s family. While the experience was a good one for the band, Schupak notes, “As fun as a the barn was, it didn’t make for a good studio, so the acoustics weren’t great.” That said, he adds, “What we really did there is figure out what the hell we were gonna make.”

While the music recorded at the barn wasn’t fit to be released, Harding says it will still be present on the album in its own way, noting, “It’s almost like a fossilized layer under it, and then we just did a whole new thing on top of it.”

The Motor Tom’s barn sessions also provided them with one of their most memorable post-performance conversations to date, which took place in the nearby city of Kingston, at a small venue the band frequented while recording.

Schupak remembers, “After one of our shows, there this sort of grizzly, somewhat weathered, motorcycle looking guy approached us each individually. When he approached me, he said how fantastic it was just to see our set, to enjoy himself, and to hear rock 'n' roll. I noticed him throughout the set, he was really rockin' out, having a great time. I gave him the, ‘Hey, thanks, man. That’s so awesome.’ Then he dived into a story about how his wife had recently passed away. He said his wife had died, he was living a strange, sort of directionless, existence at the moment, but for us to be able to give him just 45 minutes where he’s in a capsule, where it’s him, some music, and some pleasure, that was a beautiful thing, and it just really cemented us in this role as people doing something that is not the most important thing in the world, but it certainly has its moments of importance.”

There’s nothing “dum” about that. - Arena

"The Motor Tom"

by Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi
If you want to talent scout the New York music scene, be sure not to miss The Motor Tom, who just recently – December 9th – performed at Mercury Lounge, inflaming the audience. The band members are frontman, Nicky Schupak (voice), Andrew Harding (guitar), Anthony Formichella (bass), Luca Bertaglia (drums) and JJ Lindenthal (keyboard).
In the photo from left to right: Anthony, Luca, JJ, Nicky, Andrew
In the photo from left to right: Anthony, Luca, JJ, Nicky, Andrew
Nicky began in music when he was eighteen, managing bands and booking shows, way before he started making his own music. “I always liked performing,” says Nick, “and after a while of working with bands I started writing some songs and with our mutual friend Jon Merkin of The Shake we played a gig.” His friendship with Andrew goes back in time, when Nicky was managing the band Andrew was previously in, called The Walnuts.
The Face of The Motor Tom further explains how he found the other players of the band: “Anthony was in another band I managed called New Madrid, a latin alternative experimental group, whereas JJ came from the band Haakon’s Fault.”
Last but definitely not least, at the drums is the newest member from Italy, Luca Bertaglia. The Venetian drummer boy, a student at the Collective School, is enthralled by the what New York has to offer to musicians, “you may find all genres and you may perform in different venues very easily,” he says.

The style of The Motor Tom is a witty rock that teases, what Andrew calls “dumb music for smart people.” This transpires through their mocking lyrics, driven by uproarious rhythm and sound, not to mention the theatricality of the performance. Nicky is a virtuoso of the stage, as he switches pitches in his voice and interpretation; one minute he is Freddie Mercury, the next Mick Jagger, then David Bowie, and the transformation keeps going on and on. This is surely thanks to the chemistry with all the talented musicians of The Motor Tom, who pound out Rock ‘n’ Roll just like in the seventies.

Where can we see them next? Friday 12th December at CHIME II Crown Heights Independent Music Extravaganza (1332 Atlantic Avenue between Nostrand & New York Avenue). Keep tuned! - King's Road

"A Tuesday Night in NYC's Indie Music Scene"

Because of my early train in, I not only caught all of the acts on the late bill, I also ended up seeing the headlining act from the early show, a band named The Motor Tom. It would turn out to be a happy accident, and a great way to kick off the evening.

~ Describing their sound as “loud, melody-driven rock music played by five dudes who love being in a band together,” the first thing that stood out about The Motor Tom was how much fun they were having. Their lead singer, Nicky Schupak, is a force of nature on stage, playing with the band, and the crowd, as he occasionally blurred the line of sexual preference like many great rock lead singers have been known to do.

The second thing that struck me about The Motor Tom was how damned good they sounded. They’re a fun traditional rock band that soaks in the energy the crowd gives them, and throws it right back at that crowd in a continuing circle of amping things up.

I was a little dumbstruck as to why The Motor Tom were performing at 8 PM on a Tuesday. I hope to hear a lot more of them in the near future. For now, check out their latest video, which is for their song “Late.” I’m glad I wasn’t late on this night, because if I had been I’d have missed this band! - Arena


Super Sexy Space Station (Spring 2016)

   produced by Gregory Lattimer

   all songs written and performed by The Motor Tom

Tracks EP (February 2014)

   produced by Gregory Lattimer

   all songs written and performed by The Motor Tom



We call it dumb music for smart people.

We've headlined Mercury Lounge, Pianos, Bowery Electric, Cameo, Arlene's, Black Bear Bar in the past year and a half.

Interview w/ Adam Bernard:

Interview w/ King's Road:

Band Members