You leave a band alone for a few years, and next thing you know, they’ve released not one, not two, but three full-length albums.
That’s what happened with Thomas’ Apartment, the rock band that won the 2007 Vietnamese talent search show on SBTN in 2007 and the $10,000 prize that came with it.
So after completing two albums, they’ve just released a third one, named Tuesday Night Lights, according to a press release here.
The album has twelve tracks, 5 of which can be downloaded free and legally on their web site here. Apparently the intent is entice the customer with 5 tracks and then hoping they would buy the whole album.
(The Bolsavik has also heard another song on this album - Michiko’s Song, named from band member Billy Vu Lam‘s wife – at their wedding. So the Bolsavik has heard exactly 50% of the songs on this album.)
Three of the group, A. Thomas Tran, Lam and Nam Tran (first, second, and fifth from left in photo), were friends from college at UCLA. The band’s name came from the fact that they were jamming at, yep, Thomas’ apartment.
Two current members of the band are new: Drummer Krystal Sae Eua (fourth) and lead vocal Pete Nguyen (third). Pete is the composer for the film “Owl and the Sparrow” (in Vietnamese: Cú và Chim Se Sẻ) the low budget independent film by director Stephane Gauger that made a killing in Vietnam and had a moderately successful release in Vietnamese communities in the U.S.
The band is still trying to make it big, and working hard at it. Most of the time, they perform for free. They would play festivals, and colleges, and high schools. (Except for this Saturday when they’ll be at the 4NOLA.org Benefit Concert in the Viper Room in West Hollywood. Tickets are $12 presale/ $15 door.) One of these days when Thomas’ Apartment makes it big, it won’t be said that they were lucky; a lot of sweat was put into it, and they sure have paid their dues.
Something about this band is that all members have jobs – and not starving musicians’ jobs. They got good jobs. And then they devoted their time to rock and roll.
A. Thomas Tran, the Thomas who had that apartment, is CEO of his own game development company, and he’s got a cushy contract with EA to port their products to various devices. The Tetris game on mobile phones? His company ported it there. His company also did Sims, Madden, NBA Live, and Simpsons, to name some others.
Billy Vu Lam is the only one with an art degree. He’s working as a 3D animation artist and brags on his Facebook that he did the zombies in the Will Smith vehicle “I am Legend.”
Below is a video of the band the OC Fair, playing the title track of their latest album, “Tuesday Night Lights.”