The Tomatoes
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The Tomatoes


Band Rock Alternative


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"The Rise of the Tomatoes"

Intellectually stimulating, pulse pumping, catchy, hardcore at times and an all-around good time is the best way to describe the New-Orleans-based trio The Tomatoes. This Wednesday, Feb. 7, will mark the bands first performance at Spanish Moon, and I can’t wait to see exactly what will ensue when they have a full and elevated stage to explore.
While The Tomatoes have played in Baton Rouge many times, they have always done so at North Gate Tavern. Although they adore playing that venue for the intimate connection it provides with the listener, they also enjoy filling a stage with their high energy, feet-off-the-ground performances.
“We’re very energetic and almost chaotic live,” Will Burdette, lead vocals and guitar for The Tomatoes, explained. “One thing I can’t stand is going to see a band that stands in concrete the whole show. In the end [our show] matches the tempo and the aggressiveness of the music.”
Interestingly, the trio wears red marching-band jackets during their shows, which began as a joke now turned appropriate with their new album.
“George [Ortolano, bass and backing vocals] and Woody [Dantagnan, drums] got together with some friends from high school and were doing this drum line,” Burdette explained while acting as the official band historian. “Through a friend of a friend the drum line played during a Better than Ezra show. Someone gave them the jackets. After the show was over they just snatched up another one for me and we decided to wear them as a whatever.
“It’s a subconscious play on what so many bands do. They are in a uniform without really wearing one.”
Burdette also explained the bands lack of desire to stay abreast of the mainstream.
“We don’t want to be involved in a scene or anything. There are a lot of things that we do that are a subtle middle finger to a lot of things that are going on in the world. We try to be unique in our own right.”
Although not an official CD launch, this show will mark their first performance in Baton Rouge since launching their second album, “Trendy.” The new album shows a marked evolution of the band from a harder edge to a cleaner collection of tracks than their debut album, “The Rise and Fall of The Tomatoes.”
“This record is a little bit cleaner. It’s not so much foot on the floor. It breathes a little bit.” Ortolano explained. “The first record is really intense. This has some heavy moments, and some pop moments. It has more dynamics.”
“Trendy” ties together so many different elements that it’s difficult to quantify the collection into one genre other than simply rock music at its finest. From the pop elements to progressive punk undertones and even a little folk rock throwbacks, The Tomatoes have weaved together an album that is intensely unique.
The third track on the album, “Teenage Roosevelt,” has become the most popular among their fans. Burdette, who writes all the lyrics, said that – as with many of their songs – the lyrics are often taken out of context.
“By using the word ‘teenage’ there’s wrong assumptions about the meaning,” Burdette explained. "A local writer thought it was a reference to some sort of teenage angst, but it's not. A lot of songs are written almost subconsciously. Lyrics come from somewhere, but you really don’t know where. There are some underlying meanings and various themes throughout that particular song,” Burdette continued. “There’s a reference to Fats Domino, who we’re big fans of. There's a verse in 'Teenage Roosevelt' that goes 'I get my kicks from Blueberry Hill' - 'Blueberry Hill' is a Fats Domino song, and that's my solute to him.”
“On the whole, 'Teenage Roosevelt' is about having the suburban blues. The suburban references are an observation – we have a tendency to just move along with what’s going on and what’s around us, and you really lose feeling at some point.”
Directly following “Teenage Roosevelt” on the album is “Bathroom Wall,” which is perhaps the most unique track on the album and interestingly enough was written on the fly as a favor to a friend.

“A friend of ours was in school at Loyola and she had to record a song for an engineering class,” Burdette recalled. “It was created from scratch. We literally just went into the studio and did it. That song was created in three to four hours in one night. We’re really very proud of that song.”
With only a simple chord progression provided by Ortolano, Burdette filled in the gaps by writing lyrics on a scrap sheet of paper. The end result is near folk rock, with intricate layering stacks, unique instrumentation and an overall catchy sound that makes you crave more.
Although the song does not truly sum up the overall sound of The Tomatoes, it does represent their attitudes and philosophies towards music.
“In all honesty, the thing that I’m very proud of musically is that our music is well thought out, and I think that the lyrics are very subtle at times. They have a much deeper meaning than what’s on the surface,” Burdette said.
T - The Baton Rouge Advocate

"The Tomatoes Definitely Aren’t Rotten"

The Tomatoes, an alternative three-man band presently based out of New York City, played the Spanish Moon last Wednesday to a rather colorful crowd. I was there, Blue Moon in hand, watching and listening in the creepiest way possible.
Donning red and white high school band jackets, their performance and stage presence was almost an antithesis to their demeanors in conversation. The nonchalant, laid-back group gets setup on stage and becomes the show.
Will Burdette takes the lead with a manipulative voice able to emulate past vocals like The Who, and a melancholy baritone like Kurt Cobain. Not every song uses a different tone, but there’s a lot of possibility in his voice to add a variety of sounds.
Clean and solid bass lines keep the group on target throughout the show thanks to George Ortolano on the bass guitar and Woody Dantagnan on the drums.
Their latest album, Trendy, was released in New York in November 2006, but it’s available for download on iTunes if you want to check out some clips. To get an idea of how eclectic their sound can be, start by listening to “Gramercy Park.” Just when you think the song is getting tired, it changes up and draws you right back in.
Skip ahead to my personal favorite, “Bathroom Wall” to get a good sense of their dynamic range. It’s a backwoods country tune, complete with handclaps, organs, and I think I heard a washboard somewhere in there. A spoken dialogue keeps you locked-in like something out of Butthole Surfers.
“Kicking you in the Shins” finalizes the expansive repertoire with a dark sound that’s reminiscent of Nine Inch Nails. The initial bass line thunders your chest while soft vocals keep your bowels in check. And after throwing back three pints of Blue Moon, it really helps to know that there’s at least one band helping you keep your pants dry.
The Tomatoes are planning a CD release party in Baton Rouge, but no official date has been set. Keep an eye out for the announcement so you can party it up with me T-Dub style.

(by Jeremy Byers, Tiger Weekly)
- Tiger Weekly

"The Tomatoes - Local Rock"

After multiple personnel changes and a grueling national tour last summer, the members of The Tomatoes settled down to record "The Rise And Fall Of The Tomatoes." Guitarist, vocalist and primary songwriter William Burdette, bassist George Ortolano, and drummer Woody Dantagnan bang out a dozen originals on their independent CD, mostly up-tempo, straight ahead rockers that illustrate Burdette's fondness for punk and early 90's modern rock. "Back To Baghdad" disintegrates in a squall of feedback and shouts. "Withdrawal Symptoms" packs the sort of epic riffs that inform the Smashing Pumpkins "Bullet With Butterfly Wings." "Hypnosis" kicks off like Green Day, then downshifts into crunchy metal-lite. Then the punk rock distortion returns for the snarling "Skinny Ties And All," the Tomatoes' statement of purpose.

-- Keith Spera, Music Editor, The Times-Picayune - The Times-Picayune

"The Rise And Fall Of The Tomatoes - Album Review"

This is the great grunge album that just never was, released a good ten years too late. But better late than never, especially for a debut this relentless and stunning. The guitars are low-end and drenched in fuzzbox tones, rendering them fat, ugly, and loud. Singer William Burdette's voice is rough and worn, but powerful, a little like Eddie Vedder after several hours of primal scream therapy. The band's style is an intoxicating mix of the best elements of grunge, punk, and straight-ahead rock. The album's best cut, "Hypnosis," rocks fast and hard during the chorus, only to slow to a heavy churn in the verses. It's that dynamic that gave bands like Nirvana and the Pixies that special something that helped them change the face of rock music. And here, the effect comes off as refreshing instead of a rehash. And The Tomatoes' unmistakable sense of humor also sets them apart from other similar bands that usually wallow in their own pity. The song "Green Beans" starts off as a my-girl-left-me ballad (the only moment where the album seems to let up) before building into a speedy punk chorus of, "Hey boy, you better eat your green beans!" And with songs like "She Wore A Yellow Gas Mask," "Johnny Fly," and "Back to Baghdad," you can imagine what it would have sounded like if Joey Ramone had written for Crazy Horse instead of Neil Young.

-- Jeremy J. Deibel, offBEAT Magazine - offBEAT Magazine

"The Tomatoes"

"...Lyrics possessed by backhanded vitriol...anthemic rock songs that don't prescribe to any particular scene...Somebody said The Tomatoes tour alot - well, they better stop so we can figure out what we've been missing." -

"The Return of Rock And Roll"

"There are a lot of bands claiming to be the 'return of rock and roll.' With songs like 'Teenage Roosevelt' and 'I Gotta Dance' The Tomatoes take a stand and show them how it's done." - Jeremy J. Deibel, offBEAT Magazine

"The Tomatoes"

"The first time I saw them they were playing a show in a local record store...they were singing from mics that they had hung from the ceiling because there were no mic stands...they had danger and confidence and they virtually obliterated the record store. I left thinking 'Who the hell is this band!" --- Jason Songe, Antigravity Magazine. - Antigravity Magazine

"The Tomatoes: REAL ROCK"

"...The Tomatoes know how to put on a good show - but more importantly, when you go to one of their shows you are guaranteed to get your socks rocked off (and possibly your face) because they play REAL ROCK..." - Iris Davis, Tiger Weekly - Baton Rouge, LA


Official release date: March 22, 2005

Single - "Standing (Right Next To You)"
Official release date: September 24, 2005

Official release date: November 14, 2006

Official release date: Fall 2007



With catchy, adrenaline-charged songs and an unapologetic style to their gritty sound, The Tomatoes leap from the edge of this decade’s underground/alternative rock movement. Their second album Trendy is a 10-song narrative of their feelings about the state of the world around them and a testament to their ambition as a band. With distortion-driven anthems (“Teenage Roosevelt” and “Shangri-La”), boozy alt-country (“Bathroom Wall”), and saxophone-bolstered jabs about Juliana Hatfield (“Death To R.I.P.”), The Tomatoes aren’t out to save rock and roll, nor be defined by it. They’re a real, living, breathing band, three friends who have toured back and forth across the country in a 1982 Ford van with no AC or heat, been pulled over by rural police for looking “too suspicious”, made two records and a single in two years, and still sleep on friends’ couches most days of the week. The music is well crafted and the lyrics at times cerebral, yet the feeling is intuition, reaction. The message is “be who you want to be”, or maybe in their case, “play what you want to play” (“Turn Up The Treble” and “Kicking You In The Shins”). They carry that message with a rose and a switchblade, and rock and roll is all the better for it.

Presently: The Tomatoes are working on their third LP in just two years at their studio headquarters known as the Fallout Shelter. Find their music on iTunes and their videos at