We love this! Tom updated his biography on a new website, tomdumont.posterous.com, and now features more rare photos from his childhood. We have so much respect for him letting us into his past and sharing photos of himself and the band. He talks about his first band (not Rising!), Northeast in seventh grade (we love the long hair, Tom!) It looks like he’s updating this site as well from the studio and giving us a look into what gear he’s using.
Tom Dumont — I was born Jan 11, 1968 in Los Angeles, California and mostly grew up in the city of Irvine, about 40 miles just south of L.A. in Orange County. I had an early fondness for music and my first musical memories were listening to my collection of Disney 45’s and hearing my Dad play classical and pop standards on the piano at home.
Around age eight I got my first hi-fi system and quickly became an avid rock aficionado, listening endlessly to my Kiss, Rush, Pink Floyd, UFO, Black Sabbath, and Barry Manilow records. When I turned twelve my Dad hooked up some private guitar lessons at the local music store, and I quickly started learning songs of the Beatles, James Taylor and Neil Young on the acoustic guitar. An electric guitar ( a black Les Paul copy) followed as a Christmas gift, and from then on I spent hours locked in my bedroom jamming along to my growing record collection. My older sister Gina was already a skilled rock guitarist, and she taught me scales and chords which helped me advance quickly.
My best friends and I started a rock band called “Northeast” in 7th grade and we ambitiously covered songs by Rush, Judas Priest, and Scorpions. When I was around 15 or so I joined my older sister’s original Heavy Metal band “Rising”, forming a rather unique brother and sister dual lead guitar team. Here’s me with a couple of the guys from that band, I must’ve been 18ish.
I was a distracted student in High School- I preferred music, fiction, boogie-boarding and D&D over homework. After High School I studied music theory and composition at both Orange Coast College and Cal State Fullerton for 4+ years.
During my college years my musical tastes began to broaden to new wave and reggae music, and in 1988 I answered a flyer to play guitar for local OC ska band called “No Doubt”.
I helped to add a rock edge to No Doubt’s sound, and after a number of fun and adventure-filled years playing club shows all around California, the band signed with Interscope Records in 1991. We released our “self-titled” debut CD in 1992, and toured clubs in the United States in vans that summer. After that founding member and primary songwriter Eric Stefani began the process of splitting from the band. This left more of the songwriting efforts to myself, bassist Tony Kanal and singer Gwen Stefani, and in the following years we all (along with Eric) co-wrote, recorded and finally released our 1995 commercial breakthrough album entitled “Tragic Kingdom”. (During the recording of TK we also put out an independent CD of home studio outtakes called “The Beacon Street Collection”.)
The album gave birth to a number of international hit singles and went on to sell over 15 million copies worldwide. We toured North America, Europe and Asia repeatedly for a whirlwind two years before taking a break in late 1997 to write and record the follow up. “Return of Saturn” was released in 2000 followed by more world touring. The next album was “Rock Steady”, released in 2001, and produced more hit songs, two Grammy awards and more world touring.
In 2003 we performed our breakthrough first single “Just a Girl” and then also the Police classic “Message in a Bottle” (alongside Sting) at that years Superbowl halftime show. That year we also released a greatest hits CD entitled “The Singles Collection” and did another brief U.S. tour that summer.
From 2004-2008 No Doubt took a break from recording and touring. During those years, I produced two albums by singer-songwriter Matt Costa and also toured the United States as his bass player, enjoying an opening slot on Jack Johnson’s 2005 Summer U.S. tour.
In 2008 I worked with my friend Ted Matson to score a feature documentary film; “The Providence Effect”.
Also I married my long-time girlfriend Mieke in 2004 and we started a family. We’re parents to three incredible boys; Ace born in 2006, Rio born in 2008, and Koa born in early 2011.
In 2009 No Doubt returned from hiatus for our biggest concert tour ever in the United States. Presently in 2011, Tony, Gwen, Adrian and I are working together to write and record songs for a forthcoming No Doubt album.