Tommy Joe Ratliff
Tommy is the lead guitar player for Adam Lambert’s band. He played the bass guitar for Adam during the entire GlamNation . He is originally a guitar player but was willing to learn parts on the bass in order to be part of this band.
Adam talks about the band and Tommy starting at 4:00
Adam says that Tommy is great because even thoug he is straight, he is open, different and not afraid to embrace his feminine side. Tommy loves makeup, getting his hair done and outfits as much as Adam does. They share the Glamrock esthetic!
Tommy Vacationing in Mexico with Adam and Friends
Tommy’s My Space page informs us that Tommy, a Libra, celebrates his birthday on October 18. He is presently 28 years old . Tommy is single, straight, a non-smoker, and an athiest. He graduated from Burbank High School in the class of 2000.
Tommy has one sister. He lives in an apartment in Burbank with two roomates; Dave Corsile of the band Evolove, and Mike, who is also a musician.
Tommy’s favorite music includes Depeche Mode, Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson, Metallica, the Cure. His favorite films include Velvet Goldmine, Tombstone, and Fight Club.
Tommy loves the TV show M*A*S*H*. His heroes include John Wayne, Jimi Hendrix, and Hank Williams.
He has played with several bands previously and these include Mouthlike, Turn of the Screw, and Eat the Crow.
Mouthlike MySpace page: http://www.myspace.com/mouthlike
On X-Factor – Finland!
Eat the Crow Documentary Tommy at 2:05, 3:51, 5:00, 6:16
In a video on Turn of the Screw (w/earlier hairstyle), he claims to be earning $ as a Culligan Man and a dolphin trainer (?!).
Turn of the Screw Documentary: Tommy Speaks at 1:38
Tommy Performing with Turn of the Screw
glitterbaby and his for Adam is
They have tweeted each other with
these names a few times and Adam
introduced Tommy at Fantasy Springs
Tommy speaks to Adamcast at Gridlock
Tommy’s fan groups include the Badgers and the Creepers.
From a Twitter party:
avarix98 asks: What do you prefer: aTOM or Lambliff?
Tommy says: I’ve heard a lot of em i think theyre all good. haha
The Kiss That Was Heard Around the World!
Love Tommy in this Vevo Commercial with Adam
Archive of Tommy Joe’s Tattoos!
Tommy Interview from In Rock Magazine (Translated from Japanese)
Thanks to @_bani for posting
Tommy Joe Ratliff
Translation thanks to: http://community.livejournal.com/tjrpics_blog/18419.html
Tommy, Adam Lambert’s band member exclusive interview
Right before Adam Lambert’s first Japan tour, in mid September we managed to get a first interview with his bassist, Tommy Joe Ratliff. He joined the band after his audition last year, and not long after, he became widely known after Adam kissed him on stage at the American Music Awards performance. Just like Adam, he has glam makeup on that suits him but when we actually talk to him, he has this cuteness in him and he seems like the character who is being loved and protected by Adam and everybody else.
Is this your first time doing a world tour?
Well, I’ve been overseas for the promo tour before, but this is the first time for me doing a tour this scale. And other band members are like my family, so I think it’s very cool.
Have you ever been to Japan?
No, I’ve never.
I think you will like Japan. Seems like there are a lot of Tommy fans in Japan.
Yea, it does seem like it. Some fans came to America from Japan to see the shows, and there are some people who prepared presents for me. It’s all thanks to Adam.
What’s the highlight of the tour so far?
Well, the shows have been so awesome these two days. When it was the last show for our former drummer (Longineu Parsons III), it’s kinda sad in a way, but the energy was awesome. And we have a new drummer Isaac (Carpenter) and from today on we’re stoked to play with him. And aside from that, on our days off sometimes we rent a boat, or playing around the ocean on a jet ski, or stuff like that. It’s very cool see a lot of different places in the country and I think it’s a crazy life. Because last year this time I was in my cubicle doing desk work, and I’ve never done any work as a professional musician like this. And also to have people like Monte and Adam with me … they’re just like brothers to me.
Were you born and grew up in California?
Yes, in Burbank, outskirts of Los Angeles.
Have you always known since you were little that you’re into music, or did you enjoy sports or other things?
I’ve been playing guitar since I was 12, and I’ve been in various bands in Los Angeles, and even though there are times when we got paid for performing, I’ve never played in professional level like this. Sports, well I played baseball when I was little, but I realized that I’m not good at it … I’m just not that into (sport) teamwork (laughs).
You said you’ve been in several bands before, what kind of music did you play then?
Depends on the band, there are times where I played heavy metal, and I think because Monte once played heavy metal also, we have good music chemistry. We’re trying to create that kind of energy and produce better sound at the shows. And I’m also a blues guitar player. I’m actually a guitar player, but when I audition for Adam Lambert, they asked whether I would try for bass and I’ve been playing bass since.
When you first audition was it for the position of a guitar player or a bass player?
In the first audition they were looking for guitar player so I auditioned for that. But after that I got a phone call that the position was filled, and they asked whether I’m interested to try out for the position of a bassist who can also play guitar. It was on my birthday, but cos they told me they wanted me to come the next day with a bass, I rushed home, missed my own birthday party, got a bass guitar and practiced for the audition (laughs). And then I got the job.
So you like bands like Depeche Mode and Nince Inch Nails, do you have any similar likings with Adam?
Yea, I like bands like Nine Inch Nails or Marilyn Manson, and since Adam introduced me to artists that he likes, I’ve been listening to Miike Snow, Lady Gaga and Goldfrapp. I think from the first time we met we have a lot in common, like we both love the movie Velvet Goldmine (1998). And we’ve introduced the music that we like to each other, I like Adam’s taste. I like electronic from the 80’s like Depeche Mode, Duran Duran, New Order, and I grow up listening to them.
Aside from your musical talent, I think Adam is also into your cute looks. That American Music Awards performance, it was not long after you were hired, right?
Yes, that was my first performance.
The part where Adam kissed you, it wasn’t rehearsed?
No, it just happened in the moment. Like I said before, we both like Velvet Goldmine, it’s almost like I want to be a rockstar because of that movie. We were talking about it and inspired by that, we thought we had to do something. We didn’t plan the kiss, but at the rehearsal when it comes to that part, Adam supposed to pull my hair and then walk away. It was our first performance as a band, and I said to Adam that he can grab me or do whatever he wants. And at the show Adam came and kissed me. I think it’s very cool, I like to shock people.
I guess the world was too shocked by it.
Yes, because it is wrong according to Christian belief. It’s okay for Britney Spears and Madonna to do it, and it’s okay for Katy Perry to sing about kissing girls, kids have seen all that and they don’t see it as a problem, but when guys do it, it become a problem. I think it’s a huge double standard. And I’m glad that we did it cos in a way we’ve raised some awareness of that problem.
Is it true that Adam calls you Glitterbaby and you call Adam babyboy?
(laughs) It’s funny because one time when we met I said jokingly “What’s up babyboy?” and Adam laughed his ass off. So after that sometimes I call him that. And a while after, when we were getting ready for a show, I had glitter on me and when Adam saw that he called me glitterbaby. And on twitter Adam tweeted “what’s up glitterbaby?” and I replied to him “hey there babyboy”, it was just a simple thing like that, and it’s funny how it became something this big.
Even now it looks like you’re flirting with each other.
Well we’re just joking around. We’re very good friends, and Adam’s like my own brother. He helped me a lot. Even on personal things like when I had an emergency situation and I had to leave the band. Especially there were a lot of things going on with my family, and Adam said that cos we’re brothers, I don’t have to worry about anything and I should go back to my family whenever I need to. We’re just very close like that. I talk to him about anything, and he talk to me about anything. We’re very good friends.
How is it for you lately? (his father passed away in August)
There are some good days, and some not really good days, but I’m happy that my dad saw me doing my best and I’m proud of it.
Do you think there’s something that we don’t know about Adam?
Hmmm, he’s has an open personality from the first. In our days off we joke around and do stupid things, there certainly are some stuff that he doesn’t say in interviews or on TV, but basically, he’s just the way he is.
He does seem like that kind of person.
Yeah, even when there’s something that he doesn’t like, he doesn’t pretend or sugar coat things. He just say it the way he sees it, he’s not fake. I’m mostly the same, that’s why I said to him that I’m the straight version of Adam and we laughed together. We have a lot of things in common.
Do you have the same sense of humor?
Yes, it’s true. Although I have a rather weird sense of humor and sometimes and he gives me a ‘what the hell’ face.
We have some questions from your fans. Since you joined the band, is there anything that you notice different from yourself?
No, I don’t think I’ve changed that much as a person. The opposite, I’m staying true to myself and always be grateful for the chance that is given to me. I’m not forgetting where I came from and I don’t want to spoil myself. But maybe after staying at a very good hotel I found myself disappointed when I came home (laughs). But basically I don’t want to forget where I came from and I’m trying to be careful not to become conceited (full of myself).
When we asked Monte the same question, he said the part that changed in him was that now he wears more make up (laughs).
Hahahaha, Well in my case I also wear more make up than I used to be. Before I just put on eyeliner, but now before show I can put on eyeshadow and lipstick myself. I think it’s very fun and again I’m thankful to Adam for this.
What kind of makeup products do you use?
MAC. My lipstick is Dark Side from MAC, and I mix it with a black smolder to create this very gothic look like Marilyn Manson, or Robert Smith from The Cure.
Aside from music, what are you into lately?
I’m a movie junkie. Sometimes I rent a box set of tv series and do a marathon. I don’t really like to party, so I don’t go out a lot and I spend a lot of time at home alone. I always watch Western movies at home and all my friends are calling me old. I love horror movies too. I don’t really play videogames, but a nice fan gave me a nintendo DS, so I play that sometimes.
What’s your favorite Western and horror movie?
My favorite Western movie is probably Tombstone (1993), and my favorite Horror movies are Exorcist and Halloween.
You’ve been touring for some months now, what’s the most shocking or surprising thing so far?
Shocking? I think it takes a lot to surprise us. Hmm, there are several times that we performed at a surprising venue. Like a very small stage, or somewhere in a remote area, and once in Texas we played at a slaughterhouse. That was quite shocking. And there’s this stage that was in the center of the venue, and it was a rotating stage. I think that was the most interesting one to me. It feels like a Metallica concert.
What’s the latest CD that you listened to?
The National’s new album. And the latest album from Marilyn Manson called The High End Of Low. His music helps a lot when I feel sad or have problems in my relationship. When we feel miserable, to me it’s Manson or Nine Inch Nails that reminds me that I’m not alone.
How do you see yourself in 10 years?
I want to be doing what I’m doing now (laughs). It’s really fun. I really want to keep playing for Adam. And I really want to start a blues band. In whatever form, I’ll be happy if I can continue doing music. I don’t want to go back to where I was a year ago (bitter laugh).
Do you want a family?
Of course. I’m almost 29, and I thought about it, but honestly it’s scary (laughs). It’s just kinda scary to even hear the word “girlfriend”. There are a lot of things I want to do, but I guess we have to find a person who would understand. I know if we find the right person it wouldn’t be scary, but it’s hard to find someone who would fully support your career. Especially lately with all the things that is going on, a lot of people wants to get close to me, and most of the times I can’t tell whether they are interested in me or because of my job.
Oh, so you don’t have a girlfriend right now, really? (laughs) Well, but you’re really busy and right now you can do whatever you like, so in a way it’s good?
Yea, of course (laughs). I sometimes talk to my friends on the phone, and they always complain about their boyfriends or girlfriends and sometimes they’re with a different person when they just broke up the day before, they’re just very dependent. Luckily I’m not that type of person at all.
This interview took place on September 18 in Florida.
Interview and photos by Ai Anazawa, photos were taken at The Bottom Line Nagoya on October 3
InRock November edition vol.323 out on Friday, October 15.
InRock official website (Japanese)
You can order the magazine from amazon.co.jp or books.rakuten.co.jp
- magazine scan from mmyy9 (Two page scan here, or separate pages : page 1, page 2)
- translation and interpretation mistakes by taxcha (with help of mmyy9)
- English beta by thrace_adams
Transcript from interview with Isaac Carpenter och TommyJoe Ratliff at Debaser Medis, Stockholm, Sweden at the 9th of november 2010 Glam Nation Tour
How are you enjoying the tour so far?
Tommy Joe: It’s been amazing, it’s been surreal I’ve always wanted to do something like this. I’ve never actually been on a real tour like, you know what I mean, just like kinda slumming it in a van and this is actually like my first big deal so it’s been a lot of fun.
Isaac: Amazing, it’s amazing it’s a really fun group of people and really fun, fun challenging show to play every night and to play drums behind Adam, I’ve never really, it’s pretty amazing to play behind a voice like that.
TJ: Yeah you get kind of spoiled you don’t ever wanna be in a different band with a different singer
I: Yeah, every band I’ve played with has it’s strengths but playing behind Adam’s voice is just super. Extraordinary.
Is that the biggest difference?
I: No, many things kind of differs from what I’ve ever done. It’s really, before I played with them and I went and saw this show I just really liked kinda how dramatic and almost like theatrical it is. It’s kind of like a play or something it’s kinda like a set story that gets told every night and that’s kind of different it’s kind of like there’s a lot of emotion in it but it’s kinda rigid schedule in show you know
When did you decide to go for music, to start focusing on music? At what age and why?
TJ: I was twelve. Well, I’ve always been really into music ever in like my first and second grade I was like Depeche Mode is my favorite group and then I was into like Midnight Oil, remember that band? I loved them, I loved all these tons of bands Metallica. I grew up listening to that, The Doors, Jimi Hendrix and everything. And then when I was twelve I used to see my uncle playing guitar and it made me wanna play. And then I just kinda picked up like a cheap 20 dollars guitar was all I could afford one so I had to like wait and you know and yeah it was pretty bad. And then I ended up just like learning Nirvana songs and Jimi Hendrix songs and everything and I started going from there.
So you’re self taught?
TJ: Mhm, I’ve never taken a lesson I’d actually like to now
I: And this is his first band he plays bass in you guys know all about that.
TJ: Yeah, so I’m actually becoming a bass player now it’s cool.
How about you Isaac?
I: Similar story. I really loved music from a young age. I was buying vinyl at like age five or age four and like when I was like eleven. I actually wanted to play music when I was seven but it was just too hard. I tried to learn some Guns and Roses songs and it was too hard but it really took on when I was eleven and actually I started out as a guitar player too and then I moved to drums later. I never had any lessons either I was just lucky enough, my dad is a musician and my brother is a drummer so I was just lucky enough to start out learning by playing with other people.
What instruments do you play?
I: I’m an okay guitar player which makes me an okay bass player and I mainly play drums and percussion.
TJ: I just play guitar and bass.
I: You can play drums too!
TJ: A little bit kinda, I can keep the beat. If I had a drum-set I could get kinda good but I really. I’d love to play the drums, I’m always beating on things.
But no singing?
TJ: Not at all
I: I sang background vocals in a bunch of bands that I’ve played for and I don’t do it very well. I can do a background vocal like in albums and stuff if it’s in just the right range I’m an okay background vocalist.
Do you have any more say in the creative process with Adam than with previous bands?
TJ: We kinda, we like you know, we got hired after the album was done and everything so we never got to put our own twist on the album. And usually if he doesn’t like something he’s like let’s do it this way and it just happens but you know we put our own edge to it and I mean the album obviously sounds a lot different from the live shows and just kinda like, the albums great but we kinda add our own things to it.
I: Yeah, he doesn’t micromanage what so ever. But it seems like we all really trust his instincts. So he kinda leads just by, just by being confident, but he definitely doesn’t micromanage.
TJ:And he definitely has a vision what he wants and gets his point across when your in a soundcheck and stuff like that if he wants something in a certain way he knows.
I: And things slowly. I’ve only been playing in the band for two months or what ever but things slowly take on a life of their own without anybody telling anybody what to do you know.
TJ: Oh yeah! I couldn’t even imagine playing with other people now like that would just be weird.
Could you imagine before this tour started all the fans, fame and support that came with it?
TJ: Yeah I had no idea all the fans would come with this I was just blown away. It was nuts after the first day he put the names up on the internet, like mine, I wasn’t even in any other big bands really so every one was like you know like yeah Monte from Madonna and Lisa from the Pumpkins and LongineuYellowcard, it’s kinda like. And then I signed up on twitter, I never wanted to get a twitter account, I was kinda like I don’t ever wanna you know twitter, come on why, and everyone was like you should so I was kinda like oh, okay.
I: And he became the biggest star of them all… [Laughs]
TJ: Yeah and then next day, I had the email attached to my phone and it was like, I had like 1200 emails the next morning. I was like whoa!
I: Yeah similar thing, it’s funny because I didn’t really have a twitter account either but my brother’s wife is an Adam Lambert fanatic before any of this happened that’s actually how I heard his album. She told me you gotta get a twitter his band is active on twitter you should go on twitter. The next morning I woke up I had like 3000 followers. So the main thing is just like how positive and Adam seems to breathe this positive energy and this vibe and his fans so it’s the coolest group of people because I replaced LP that is an incredible drummer and so I was kinda oh man, like these people might kinda like revolt against me, people don’t like change, but people were nice to me and sweet and encouraging and you know, he doesn’t know it but showing up on the tour when they’ve already been on tour for months it was intimidating to like join this new group of people that seemed to be really be connected but the band and the fans and everyone made it pretty painless for me and I thank them.
TJ: I remember you was worried that first night.
I: I was worried for like a week, I didn’t eat.
TJ: We went to dinner me and him. And I was like dude trust me Adam is a real good judge of character so if you know. You can kinda like I’ve made so many friends over this passed year like you know like people that I’m gonna be really good friends with for a really long time and it’s really awesome.
Do you feel like you’ve made friends for life in the group?
TJ: Totally, yeah I can never imagine not having them in my life it’s weird. They are all like brothers and sisters it’s nuts. Like they know every little thing about me I can like open up and like be my goofy self around everybody and you know say weird dirty jokes to each other and you know what I mean we can say what ever we want. Nobody judges you that’s why it’s a good group to be around
I: Yeah I think Adam surrounds himself with really sweet people and it’s a really interesting great group of people.
TJ: Even people that aren’t on the tour with us, like his friends back home that I just met through him and I’m good friends with them too they are like great people you just wanna talk to all the time it’s really cool.
What are you looking forward to with your future in the band?
I: I just started playing with them and a friend of mine, actually I gotten her to play drums, since I was in a band called Loudermilk and basically since then, for a few years I was like just being a musician for hire, and I played this only for a handful of people like that, but one of the first guys I played with who ended up becoming a really good friend of mine his name is Jeremy Fischer he’s a Canadian artist, but he told me. This is long… He told me Isaac you need to do what’s best for you cause I’m always gonna do what’s best for me. When I play drums so I just started playing with Adam and I’m just happy to be here now and I don’t know what his next album is gonna be like what type of drummer he’ll need but. I would love to play with Adam.
TJ: I wouldn’t go anywhere unless he just slap me across the face and tell me to get out of his life, but otherwise no.
I: Until he hits me, when he hits me I leave.
For all Tommy pictures, you must go here: http://tjrpics.livejournal.com/
Fanmail address: Tommy Joe Ratliff , P.O.Box 6261 Burbank, CA 91510
Link to TommyJoeRatliff Fan Videos: http://t.co/npPkzRK
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/TommyJoe18 (Tommy’s personal page is private)
My Space: http://www.myspace.com/tommyjo3 (Tommy’s fansite page)
http://tinyurl.com/TJRsGlitterbabies Tommy’s Fan Group
http://tommyjoeratliffsglitzerbabes.spruz.com/ Another Fan Group for Tommy
Adam and Tommy interact provocatively onstage and there are many incredible pictures of the two of them together. Here are a collection of some favorites!
Kradison NYC Concert Hair pulling Gif
http://img17.imageshack.us/img17/834/feverl.gif (if anyone has something clearer, send it!)
Glaad Awards Fever Performance!
From X-Factor Performance!
From Kiss108 Performance
And a funny, fabulous fan video with lots of Adam/Tommy interactions by Kcinkcity!
Just in case you haven’t noticed, Tommy is stunningly beautiful!
Special thanks to Littleblackdress, @susanjennelle @merrienyli and many Glamily members for helping me with this bio!
Monte Pittman biography: http://wp.me/pQxc1-1Q
Longineu Parsons biography: http://wp.me/PQxc1-qf
A Few More Pictures for your TJR Pleasure!
|Thanks to @adamsmadams|
Pictures from Moscow
Incredible photographs here: http://divadelys.gallery.ru/watch?a=WaH-gMA4
Lots more here: http://twitpic.com/photos/TJRFansUkrAndRu
Next three pictures thanks to @FeduninaAlena
Where was this party and who are these lucky fans?