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Tom Sawyer

From The Artists That Shaped My Style Facebook 01/11/2016:


This week sees the turn of Mark Of Decays very own tub thumper, who's timing and rhythm is at the very essence of their sound, we sat down with Tom to ask him about the artists that have had the most affect on the way he approaches song writing with the band.

"There are so many bands I could mention here - being a bassist and a drummer has given me a wide variety of different influences since I started playing. Melody is pretty key for me - I love my music heavy, but melodic enough that I can still sing along to, whether that's a lead line or a chorus.


Red Hot Chili Peppers - One of my first forays into rock, I got into the Chilies about the time By The Way was released. The bass riff from the verse of the title track is still one of my favourite sections to listen to as well as play. Flea's ability to blend funk and groove into solid rock bass playing for me is second to none.


Foo Fighters - Pretty much everyone knows the Foo Fighters. Another example of iconic songs and catchy choruses - Wasting Light and Colour and the Shape both rank in my Top 10 albums. Nate Mendel may be one of the most overlooked and underrated bassists around, simply by merit of being in this band. Learning his parts taught me that you can play complex parts, but keep them subtle enough that they compliment without being overbearing.


Linkin Park - This will probably be a controversial choice, but Meteora and Hybrid Theory were huge albums when I was I was a teenager. Instantly recognizable riffs, catchy hooks and huge choruses, for me these guys were NuMetal at its best.


Iron Maiden - Metal bass and Iron Maiden pretty much go hand in hand. There's not a whole lot to say that hasn't been said before - Steve Harris has the tone and the technique, as well as great song writing ability in droves and the energy of a man half his age on stage.


Thin Lizzy - Being able to sing and play is something that I've still not quite managed, and for a bassist you can't really get a much better example of that than Phil Lynott.


Killswitch Engage - There's something about the pairing of Jesse Leach and Adam D that just works for me. The albums with Howard Jones are good, but for me the quality of the song writing has always been much higher with Jesse at the helm. The heavy sections are perfectly offset by the big melodic choruses, and Jesse's range covers both sung and screamed with consummate ease.


Lamb of God - Not even ashamed to admit this one - I discovered Lamb of God through Guitar Hero. Laid To Rest was featured on one of the games and I've been a fan of theirs since. They've got the formula for transition nailed, seamlessly rolling from quick, complex riffs into crushingly heavy breakdowns. Chris Adler is definitely one of the drummers I look at most in terms of sound and style.


Inner Fire - Being part of Inner Fire has had a major influence on my style, both in terms of my playing and what I've listened to as a result. Being in a band with musicians of such a high calibre naturally pushes you to progress, and Nik and Alex definitely kept me on my toes. I've probably discovered more music through being a part of this band than from anywhere else. Paradise Lost, Death Angel, Nevermore, Electric Mary, Hell, Volbeat, Times of Grace...I could go on. There's scarcely been a car journey I've shared with Alex, Nik or Cliff where I've not come out with a list of bands or albums to check out."

Tom continues to be a driving force behind Mark Of Decay, whether behind the kit or in front of it, his energy and passion for song writing are unrivalled by most if not all, and we continue to look forward to new and interesting material from the bin beater extraordinaire.

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