Tommy And The Whale
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Tommy And The Whale

Nashville, Tennessee, United States

Nashville, Tennessee, United States
Band Pop Rock


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Featured Artist Spotlight"

Featured in Southeastern Performer Magazine
--- Feb 2008 Edition ---

For Tommy Hans, moving from Pensacola to Nashville with pop band Arkitekt meant moving from a small local scene into the heart of what Hans calls the "pop-machine." Eyes in Los Angeles and New York might roll at anyone calling Nashville a pop band destination, but in the tight niche of mainstream music, Nashville is a mecca of labels, top name producers and the ilk of big music industry. Arkitekt jumped into the city's fire headfirst and got burned. The band, with Hans' songwriting at its core, took hits for getting too clever and struggled to make adjustments to match local success formulas or find any kind of a fan base.

When Arkitekt grew tired of being tossed around with no real direction the group split up, with two members abandoning Nashville. For Hans, new musicians weren't hard to find. Most of Tommy and the Whale's five members met parking cars at the same restaurant.

"It's almost an assumption in Nashville that if you meet somebody they play an instrument," he explains. "But you don't know they're going to be really good."

"The Whale" is not so much Hans' backing band as a group of collaborators. Multi-instrumentalist Kai Welch leads a side project (under his own name) with the same lineup as does bassist Thomas Samuel (under the name Tallest Trees). It just happens that as Tommy and the Whale they make music that most excites each other and their audiences. That's likely due to Hans' knack for pop. He says his song writing has moved forward since coming to Nashville ("We're three years from where we were," he says) but he's also stayed close to his pop roots. "Would fans of Arkitekt like Tommy and the Whale?" he muses, thinking of the two bands pop similarities. "Yeah I think they would."

Being turned off by the musical expectation imposed by the mainstream industry is something all the band members share.
"I know we all want to be able to pay our bills and be a successful band," says Hans. "I don't think pop is a negative thing, and we have pop in us, but it's got to be a natural thing because it can be contrived. I think that's what people will notice right away."

The group has been sporting a blog and video shorts as they record their new album, something that lets them keep their pop honesty and still reach an audience.

"People have access to a lot more music and it's not all shoved down your throat anymore," explains Hans. "I think something is gonna happen soon, and my goal is just to be a part of that."

By Matthew Beale
Photo by Jonathon Kingsbury - Southeastern Performer Magazine

"Interview / Featured Article"

Full write up and interview.


Tommy Hans may have moved to Nashville for musical pursuits, but he's not much for schmoozing. Heck, half his bandmates were just guys he worked with at a valet company. But without much effort, Tommy and the Whale struck upon a winning combination -- a ramshackle blend of music-hall pop and bluesy, piano-based bar rock. All The Rage recently talked with Tommy about how "the Whale" was born.

ATR: How did the band get together?
Tommy: Me and Thomas (bassist), have been playing together for like six or seven years. We moved up from Florida with a band called Arkitekt. After that band broke up, we started this one.

ATR: What made you settle on Nashville?
Tommy: It was really random, man. We never really thought we would end up here. We'd come up and played once or twice before, but never really got too involved with the city, you know? Charlie Peacock called us and asked us to move up, and we just decided, "sure." We just came and we lived in a two bedroom apartment with the four of us for a year, and that was crazy.

ATR: How did you find the rest of the guys?
Tommy: (Thomas and I) both started writing like crazy. We weren't worried about getting band members. It just kind of happened. I was parking cars with Jamie (drummer) and Kai (multi-instrumentalist). That's the crazy thing about this whole deal. It just ended up that everyone that I was hanging out with was amazing.

ATR: Are you specifically "Tommy" and the rest of the band is "the Whale"?
Tommy: It started as my solo project, but I knew I wanted a band at some point, so I picked a name that could be a band or a solo project.

ATR: Why specifically "the Whale"?
Tommy: There was a point where we were trying to find a new name for Arkitekt, and I made a long list of names that I didn't think were taken. "The Whales" was one of them. We didn't use it, but I always liked it. After the breakup and the start of T&TW, it was me by myself, and I felt like, I don't know, in a cheesy metaphorical sense.. it was me against the odds of making it, and the music scene -- the whole challenge is kind of "the Whale".

ATR: Were you surprised with the musicians in Nashville?
Tommy: Nashville's kind of notorious for being a city full of people who don't help each other (musically), and everyone that we've met is sick of that. Everybody gets together and plays on each other's music and supports each other. Everybody's like, "Man, let's demo at my house, let's write today." It's really not what you hear people say about the musicians in this town.


TAKE NOTE : Tommy & The Whale perform at 9 PM. Friday, Aug. 17th @ the Basement (Nashville, TN). Admission is $7.


By: David Paulson
- All The Rage Magazine

"Writer's Choice"

"Band To Watch" writer's choice from the Tennessean. July 2007 - Tennessean

"Artist Spotlight"

Local Artist Spotlight for the week of Nov 5th-11th . Continuous play and promotion of the band. Featured song "Watertowers" played twice a day, everyday on award winning station; Lightning 100. - Lightning 100.1

"2009 Toyota Commercial"

Song "Next Twenty Years Or So" used for 2009 Toyota Corolla commercial. And promoted on Toyota's web site through a free download.

-------------------------------------- - Toyota Corolla

"Critic's Pick"

Guys, hide your girlfriends: East Nashville’s finest new pop group Tommy and the Whale will undoubtedly leave you impressed, downright envious and quite possibly single. These piano based rock ’n’ rollers sound anything but contrived with main man Tommy Hans sporting his soulful croon and the rest of the Whale dabbling in trumpet, lap steel and the occasional accordion. They’re currently finishing up their first full-length, Shot for the Moon, an affair chock full of vintage sing-alongs. So grab a hold of your barstool, take a swig of your favorite flavor and prepare to witness a rickety, Americana-tinged music hall romp. 9 p.m. the Exit/In —MURRAY SHARP (Nashville Scene) - Nashville Scene


The Arthouse Sessions EP - 2006 - 3 songs recorded live at the Arthouse studios in Nashville, TN. Produced by Grammy award winning producer Charlie Peacock and engineered by Richie Biggs . "Watertowers" is currently played on Lightning 100.1 and college radio.

Home Demos And Such - A collection of home demos and song tapes. Includes the version of "Next Twenty Years" that was picked up and used by Toyota for a 2009 Toyota Corolla commercial.

Shot For The Moon - In Progress - Full length record currently in recording stages. To be released early 2008. Already receiving media attention from award winning independent radio station, Lightning 100.1.

Live At the 5 Spot - 2006 - Digital release of a live show at the 5 spot in Nashville, TN. Tracks have been played on local college radio, and used by many of the popular local "bloggers".



Tommy and the Whale is an independent band. They are quite simply, a collective of great musicians playing great songs and taking those songs to as many people as possible.
In only a year and a half, Tommy and the Whale has managed to make their mark on the American music scene by sticking out like a sore thumb in their home-town of Nashville, TN. In a city of regurgitated pop-county-CCM-boy bands, Tommy and the Whale have fought back by simply being there and letting the music speak for itself. They have already established an impressive resume that includes shows with some of the "coolest" bands around these days. They can even claim the song, "Next Twenty Years" being used by Toyota in a new 2009 Toyota Corolla commercial. (
The music feels something like Paul McCartney meets Spoon at a Jackson Browne concert and they have a conversation about what makes great pop music. I guess you just have to be there.