Drumer Tommy Clufetos Discusses Touring With Ozzy Osbourne
Band Photo: Ozzy Osbourne (?)
Drummer Tommy Clufetos, who has previously performed alongside Rob Zombie and Alice Cooper, is currently on the road handling drumming duties for Ozzy Osbourne. While taking a break from bringing the new album "Scream" to the masses, Clufetos spoke with me about how he managed to land a gig with Ozzy and what the band will be doing in the coming months. Tommy also hinted at the possibility of another upcoming studio album and explained his own personal history with drumming.
xFiruath: You joined Ozzy Osbourne in 2009, so tell me about how you got hooked up with the band.
Tommy: I got hooked up with Ozzy because Ozzy’s former drummer Mike Bordin, who is an awesome drummer, was unavailable to play at the audition because he was playing with Faith No More. Rob Blasko recommended me because we had played together in Rob Zombie’s band. He and I came in and made it comfortable for Gus to just concentrate on playing the guitar and having a great time auditioning for Ozzy. After that they asked me to play at a show called Blizzcon in Anaheim, California. Unfortunately Mike Bordin also couldn’t make it to that one so I was asked to do that. It kind of just grew out of me doing those couple of things.
xFiruath: Were you actually involved in any of the studio recordings or has it just been live shows?
Tommy: The record was recorded before I joined the band. Kevin Churko, the producer, handled all the drum duties on the record and did a fabulous job.
xFiruath: How’s the tour with Ozzy Osbourne going?
Tommy: We just played in L.A. and had a great show. The band, all the guys in the band, you couldn’t ask for a greater bunch of guys. They are all so super talented and we are focused on making it the best Ozzy Osbourne band. We’re all there for Ozzy to do his thing and put on the greatest shows he can. We all have the same focus so it’s worked out unbelievably well so far.
xFiruath: Outside of playing with Ozzy are you involved with any other projects?
Tommy: Not right now, no, this is a full time gig. Playing with Ozzy takes 110% of your energy.
xFiruath: What’s on the horizon after the tour ends?
Tommy: We go another couple months until the end of August. We’ve been demoing new ideas and there’s talks of going into the studio, but we have so much longer on tour. You just kind of roll with it and we’ll see what happens. There will be more.
xFiruath: I was going to ask if you would be performing on the next album, but it sounds like that’s a distinct possibility.
Tommy: It’s already in the works.
xFiruath: You had mentioned before playing with Rob Zombie. Is that something that you think will happen again in the future after this tour?
Tommy: I have no idea to be honest with you. That’s a question for him.
xFiruath: What first got you started on drumming?
Tommy: My father was a musician and I was always banging on the desk or on my legs when driving on family trips so eventually I got a drum set for my seventh birthday. From that moment I’ve known what I was going to do for the rest of my life. I’ve had tunnel vision towards this moment playing for Ozzy. It’s all been a culmination of working hard and playing hard over the years.
xFiruath: What bands do you listen to personally and what musicians have been inspiring you lately?
Tommy: I like the roots of rock and roll like Jerry Lee Lewis, Chuck Berry, Fats Domino, Little Richard. I was weaned on the early blues rock influences and that’s kind of my favorite stuff to this day. I just like great songs, so I’m not really a heavy metal nut, even though I play for Ozzy and other heavy acts. It’s all about good music, so whatever falls under that category of good music, I’m interested in.
xFiruath: Have you seen anything interesting recently at a concert you were performing or just watching?
Tommy: I play so many concerts that I rarely get an opportunity to see a concert. Unfortunately the last thing I want to do is go cart my ass off to hear really loud music.
xFiruath: Would you like to say anything else about the tour?
Tommy: I’m the luckiest drummer out there and I want to thank everybody who has had me in their bands. I’ve had the greatest time in my life and I can’t say enough about Ozzy and the rest of the guys in the band. I’m looking forward to coming to everybody’s town and rocking their faces off.
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