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Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Tom Scholz: Sound Machine

Difficulty: 0

[sound of piano playing]

TOM SCHOLZ: My father was in a band when he was younger.

TOM SCHOLZ: He played trumpet.

TOM SCHOLZ: He told me--repeatedly--no future in music. Stay away from it.

TOM SCHOLZ: After Boston became a huge hit, I started a company

building devices for musicians...

TOM SCHOLZ: Novel, new devices.

TOM SCHOLZ: And I remember him on the phone with me, saying,

TOM SCHOLZ: "What are you doing, wasting your time on this engineering stuff?"

TOM SCHOLZ: "You should be making a new record."

TOM SCHOLZ: Eventually I've had some success with my, new, electronic equipment company--

TOM SCHOLZ: then he didn't know what to tell me.

TOM SCHOLZ: I knew he'd get mixed up sooner or later.

TOM SCHOLZ: Alright.

[guitar playing]

[guitar playing]

TOM SCHOLZ: When I put my own studio together I wanted to have a place that I might be able to go

TOM SCHOLZ: and get my ideas down on tape.

TOM SCHOLZ: Once I started I discovered that, I had to build devices to create

TOM SCHOLZ: certain sounds that I was looking for.

[guitar playing]

TOM SCHOLZ: My favorite device is the hyperspace pedal, as I call it.

TOM SCHOLZ: There's only two in existence. I built them a long, long time ago.

[guitar playing]

TOM SCHOLZ: And as I became more adept at using them, I was able to create all the...

TOM SCHOLZ: out of this world sounds that people are used to hearing on Boston albums,

TOM SCHOLZ: but haven't heard before, most likely.

[guitar playing]


TOM SCHOLZ: lets you sustain a chord indefinitely. And do that.

TOM SCHOLZ: And stop it whenever you want to--it's a pretty handy little gadget.

[guitar playing]

TOM SCHOLZ: The benefit of being an engineer and a musician is that you

TOM SCHOLZ: eliminate all the communication between the two--

TOM SCHOLZ: of course, how do you tell an engineer that you wanna be able to do this?

[guitar playing]

TOM SCHOLZ: I mean, it's not something that--it's not something that you could really put into words.

TOM SCHOLZ: The devices that I built were just designed to produce sounds that I liked.

TOM SCHOLZ: You know, I wasn't sure how other people would view it or how sold they would be on it.

TOM SCHOLZ: So, I've been amazed, when very well-known guitar players call me and send me messages

TOM SCHOLZ: and make comments in interviews about things that I built.

TOM SCHOLZ: Definitely the biggest thrill was when I got two warranty cards

TOM SCHOLZ: from Jeff Beck for a Rockman headphone amp.

TOM SCHOLZ: That was definitely the highlight of my engineering career.

TOM SCHOLZ: Recording in the studio can be stressful, it can just be sheer drudgery sometimes.

[guitar playing]

TOM SCHOLZ: I have the idea running through my head, and I think I know how a song is gonna go,

TOM SCHOLZ: but I can't listen to it. I can't listen to it until I actually play a dozen different parts,

TOM SCHOLZ: each with their own sounds, each with their own character and emotion,

TOM SCHOLZ: and I have to actually, physically make it happen, I have to engineer that,

TOM SCHOLZ: I have to get the equipment prepared and produce it.

[guitar playing]

TOM SCHOLZ: When I have all of that done, then I get to listen to it. And that's the reward.

[guitar playing]

TOM SCHOLZ: When I'm designing something I have an idea in my mind of what it might look like,

TOM SCHOLZ: how it might work, how you might feel using it.

TOM SCHOLZ: When I was recording the first Boston album, they thought I was out of my mind for

TOM SCHOLZ: wanting to use my home-engineered contraptions on a professional recording.

TOM SCHOLZ: When I put my foot down and said "This is the way it has to be done,"

TOM SCHOLZ: that wasn't because I was confident--I was just gonna do what I thought sounded good.

TOM SCHOLZ: And this was the only way I would wanna record the music.

TOM SCHOLZ: I always felt insecure about my playing, my music.

TOM SCHOLZ: I was always thinking, you know, I don't think my music is good enough,

TOM SCHOLZ: I don't think it's as good as everything else on the radio.


TOM SCHOLZ: I'm definitely, definitely un-rockstar-ish. I treat a music world and the whole rockstar thing as sort of a,

TOM SCHOLZ: fantasy world I get to step into from time to time and then step back out.

TOM SCHOLZ: I like people that relate to me as just another person that they know,

TOM SCHOLZ: not the guy who, "Did 'More Than A Feeling.'"

TOM SCHOLZ: It's nice to be appreciated...not so nice to be appreciated for something other than who you are.

TOM SCHOLZ: 'More Than A Feeling,' ah, I do remember that song.

music, song 'More Than A Feeling'

TOM SCHOLZ: That's it.


TOM SCHOLZ: Let's have dinner.

INTERVIEWER: Let's have dinner.

The Description of Tom Scholz: Sound Machine