It can be tough finding the right band in New York City. Besides finding people with a similar vision as you, there’s also the matter of chemistry. Even if the musicians are aligned musically and socially, they just may not have that essential vibe.
Tobi D’Amore struggled with finding the right musicians for a couple of years, before striking out on his own. But going solo is actually what led to the formation of The Bone Chimes.
“In 2008, I started playing solo and searching for musicians to put together a band. A few members came and went, but nothing stuck. So, I decided to record a solo album. A couple of buddies, John Rochette and Steve Wall, helped me out with my first effort,” the singer and guitarist said. “I met Vinny Byrne in one of the Astoria bands I was playing trumpet with. I showed him the album and we decided to give it a go. That was the start.”
Once the core members of The Bone Chimes were set and had played together for a couple of years, the Astoria band recorded its first full-length album, “In The Muck,” at Bunker Studios in the spring of 2013.
“Being a part of a band is like a dance to me. Sometimes you have to lead, sometimes you need to follow and sometimes you just need to shut up and do it,” D’Amore said. “We were trying to find our place in the band as individuals and came out the other end as The Bone Chimes.”
Several band members have come and gone since The Bone Chimes got started. Now, its lineup consists of D’Amore, Alessandra Migliaccio (Keys/Backing Vocals), Ben Dobay (Woodwinds/Keys), Tom Rizacassa (Bass) and Vinny Bang (Drums).
The Bone Chimes’ sound has grown since “In The Muck” dropped, as that record was mostly the work of D’Amore’s vision. Now, the band deconstructs and rebuilds any song that he comes up with, to create the best version possible. One track that went through a bunch of rewrites is “Walk Away.” With a gentle, restrained guitar arrangement, fantastic vocal harmonies and a sinister bridge, the song keeps growing and changing over its four minutes.
“It truly is a group effort. Nothing is done without a majority. Sometimes we disagree, but each time these disagreements seem to make us better,” D’Amore said.
The band puts as much rigorous effort into its live set as into its studio work.
“When we are getting ready for a live show, we focus not only on our playing, but also on the overall vibe and development of the set. We enjoy finding transitions between our songs,” D’Amore said. “A live performance is moment to moment and is suddenly gone.”
The Bone Chimes is heading back into the studio to record its next single, “High Line,” followed by its first EP, due out next spring. They will play live at Single Cut Brewery in Astoria on Oct. 11.
To keep up with the latest from the band, visit www.thebonechimes.com.
– Joe Marvilli