Totaro
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Totaro

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Band Rock Americana

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Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


"John Totaro writes songs that span multiple genres and labels from melodic pop tunes with lyrical hooks, to pure punk songs complete with snotty in-your-face attitude coupled with a wink and a smile." - ENTERTAINMENT NORTHEAST


"John Totaro has probably become the region's romantic punk king, which heightens with every new tune." - Jam Music Magazine


"If you listened to the critics, you'd think TOTARO was on their way to the top. They've been called "Boston's most heralded unsigned band". They've been compared with bands like The Clash, Ramones, Rolling Stones, Velvet Underground, and David Bowie." - Soundcheck Magazine


"Take a splash of the Ramones, add a bit of Velvet Underground, throw in a piece a piece of the Replacements for good measure, then add a chunk of new life, you get TOTARO." - Portsmouth Herald


"There's no question that John Totaro's got what it takes to be a star. He's got the look, the attitude, and rocks like the best of 'em. Most importantly he's got the songs." - Seacoast Times


"Critically acclaimed TOTARO is the alternative pop project of songwriter John Totaro. Dipping into punk roots of The Replacements and Ramones, this band whips off hook after hook, impressing all with great songwriting and a killer stage show. John's frontman antics alone will grab you and you"ll leave humming his songs." - Next To Kin Magazine


Discography

LP: Vice Presidential Pardons (2007)

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

“All I ever wanted to do was play and write music,” says John Totaro. The son of a trumpet-playing father, the Natick, Massachusetts-born John opted to play guitar while his siblings practiced piano. He cut his teeth on the professional scene as the teenaged roadie for Boston band Duke and the Drivers. Later he worked with John Curtis of the Pousette-Dart Band, until Curtis gave him the push, saying, “Now you’ve got to go out and do it!” And, with only a brief hiatus, that’s what he’s been doing ever since—as a founding member of The Accidents, The Tats, Group E, and of course, Totaro.

In April 2007 John released his latest CD. A longtime fan of the band Cracker, he approached its co-founder David Lowery in 2006 and asked him to produce it. Impressed with the material, the famously picky Lowery agreed to record Totaro in his Virginia studio; the result is Vice Presidential Pardons—a mix of classic rock ‘n’ roll infused with country and blues. Further endorsement came from Lowery when he invited Totaro to open shows for the New England leg of Cracker’s summer tour.

The material for VPP is based on John’s recent hard earned experiences with disappointment, drugs, and a loss of direction. In the mid-nineties--twice named one of the best unsigned bands in America by Musician magazine--John was getting airplay as far away as Europe and Japan and hosting an award-winning cable TV show, Rawk Tawk with John Totaro. By the turn of the millenium, with a major label knocking on his door, John was ready for the big-time. But when the deal fell through at the eleventh hour, John’s disappointment was visceral.

“I just stopped playing,” he says. “The members of the band were pissed. By late 2002 I was pretty bummed out; drinking and drugging too much.”

But John just doesn’t have the personality for giving up. Realizing he couldn’t live without music, he embraced sobriety in 2005 and got back to work. A feature on the New England music scene again; in July, Totaro will play six dates in the Republic of Georgia, birthplace of the band’s keyboardist and classically trained pianist, Nino Tianeli.

John’s attitude to playing music is different nowadays. “Before I would play with any good musician who was willing to commit; I didn’t necessarily have to like them. But now it has to be a good fit in terms of support and camaraderie. It has to be fun.”