Jeff Tortora is the founder and singer of Tinnitus! Born in Syracuse, New York, he has been playing drums since he was five years old, from trash cans and lunch boxes in his parents’ basement, to be one of the three drummers/percussionist in the show of the Blue Man Group World Tour and he has been doing Las Vegas production of BMG for almost seventeen years. Exploring music from school years in the jazz band and the symphony orchestra he made it to metal and rock of all kinds, including among other adventures is a year and a half with Joey Belladona of Anthrax. Then he founded Tinnitus! and took the front side of the stage where he enjoys the freedom to move and explore whatever whenever he wants. Tinnitus! has been opening his path through China’s rock venues, and it’s about to hit Shanghai after a successful chain of actions. This is a report by Jeff Tortora about his music and his trip in China until now.
Tinnitus! started about eight years ago in Las Vegas Nevada n the USA with me and mostly members of the Blue Man Group from the Vegas production, we’ve also had members from other bands along our history including some that have been also members of Slash’s band and Vinnie Paul of Pantera and Hellyeah fame.
About our music, we cover songs from other bands, however I wanted the repertoire to be of the heavier darker nature wether well-known songs or not and also incorporating some eclectic variety of tunes as well and to eventually incorporate other elements such as strings, horns, actors, actresses, theatrical David Lynch type of performance, art freaks etc. to make it more interesting than just watching your average cover band.
Thanks to the amazing show of Blue Man Group that I am happily a part of as one of the drummers, and to Nick Grace Management and the rest of the BMG World Tour band we are able to do Tinnitus! in China and the rest of the world! BMG started this tour back in March in Singapore along with Tinnitus! starting its run playing at least one show in everywhere the tour goes.
We got our first show in China through my research of venues that entertain rock music in Guangzhou which was our first stop. I contacted Hooley’s Irish pub, a venue which seemed like a cool place then one of the owners, Sean Maj, immediately and excitedly replied and it was an amazing fun show and turn out! Next stop was Beijing at Temple Bar great people and venue, and then School Bar also was very cool.
The Guangzhou show and my new friendship with the partners of Hooley’s led to them connecting me with people in Beijing and with folks in Shanghai like Mache, Collin Mosher of Limousine and BO. All within a couple months and some of it within weeks time of things coming together.
Until now the craziest/weirdest or most interesting episode of our gigs in China was at Hooleys when I went out into the crowd via bar tables and a young local gentlemen started to take my clothes off by undoing my belt and lifting up my shirt. He was quite happy and excited to be there. I eventually just moved my way through the crowd.
We are hoping the YuyinTang and Inferno Shanghai gigs will get a great turnout of course. We want great sound and every one that is attending to really enjoy their night being entertained by us and the other bands, and to have a connection with that. With us and them. Most important is to hopefully have them witness something they don’t see that often, hear songs they always wanted to see live but maybe they won’t get to because the bands might not make it out this way, and because it’s just not the typical songs you hear at venues normally. Also I hope our performance to just have an overall impact, wether you like the style of tunes we play or if it’s not your thing I’m pretty confident that you will be entertained by our presentation!
by Jeff Tortora
Tinnitus! are Antonio Aguirre on guitar, Luke Titus Sangerman on drums, Olaf Grote on guitar, Gerhard Schmitt on bass, Randall Wooten on drums, piano and backing vocals, and Jeff Tortora on vocals and chaos.
Tinnitus! next shows:
November 23 at YuyinTang at 9PM. With Chaos Mind and Dirty Fingers. 50 rmb.
December 1st at Inferno at 9:30PM. With Round Eye, Limousine, and DJ BO. 100 rmb, students price: 80 rmb.
Mache is a hippie witch that was born under Beltane's full moon. She enjoys talking to ghosts and interdimensional beings, and cooking for her friends and beasts. She has Chilean wine in her veins instead of blood,and at the moment she belongs to China.