I remember about 10 years ago I was told that Amanda (my wife) had an uncle that played drums. I would ask questions about who he is and when I would get to meet this drumming uncle. Eventually I did get to meet him and since then I have developed a nice little friendship with him. His name is Renato Belusic and he owns and operates The Drum Studio; a quaint little facility that has produced arguably some of London's most passionate and talented drummers in the area. In the very beginning Thomas tried to teach himself how to play the drums; he was in grade 5 or 6, as he recalls, and it wasn't working for him. As a side note, Thom plays open handed with a right hand kit set up, like Carter Beauford. This method in playing was developed during his self taught period by complete mistake, he didn't realize he was doing it wrong. Once it came time that Thom felt he wanted lessons, he went to the Drum Studio and began his journey with Renato. Thom went on to say "The Drum Studio is a cool environment. Renato, he'll suggest things and hand you a sheet a say, "You should take a look at this at home," but he is never saying that you need to have stuff signed by your parents." Thom commented that in the Drum Studio, "You are just kinda doing whatever, whenever," and that having fun was the most important element to the learning.
For quite a while, Thom was playing Gretsch drums and had a great sound with that kit. He plays a classic 1 up 1 down setup with two big ride cymbals and his hats and it totally works for the grooves that are featured in Ivory Hours music. However, as of late, Thom made the switch over to YC Drums. I remember some photos I saw of Thom and his new tubs and I think "it" moved a bit when I saw them. When asked how he would describe the sound of the drums, which is kind of like describing what a colour looks like, Thom said, "I know this is the go to word but they have a warm sound". The sizing on Thom's bass drum is that of a vintage bass drum, "It was mostly Jordan's idea for the sizing," according to Thom, "the toms are standard sizing but the bass drum is 22"x12" so they have a nice punchy sound." As you can see these are some major drums, seriously beautiful stuff so make sure you check out and follow YC Drum Company. They are made in Canada and they seem to be made well, in fact, I kinda want to try out a set of YC tubs to see myself what all the fuss is about. Besides the drums, Thom plays Sabian Cymbals, Evans Drumheads and Tama Iron Cobra pedals.
When a lot of us are just starting off there is a honeymoon phase, like most things in life. We have a dream of what we want to become as players and who we will idolize. Thom will tell you, hands down, his biggest inspiration was Bonzo. He wanted to sound just like him by emulating his chops and grooves in a variety of Led Zeppelin tunes. I totally understand why Bonzo would be his drumming idol as Ivory Hours often covered 'Good Times, Bad Times' in live concerts, which often lead to some great soloing by everyone. In this honeymoon stage, Thom was taking music class at Mother Teresa every single year; admittedly I also took music all through high school, so I understand that decision completely. His peak moment in high school was when his high school band played a show at Call the Office. Not bad if you ask me, but Thom didn't expect to study music through college or even play beyond a hobby at that point....but then he met Luke....
Luke Roes has been a family friend of the Belusic's for quite some time now and it was their friendship and the Drum Studio that brought Thom to Luke. Thom teaches at the Drum Studio. It is the age old example of where the student becomes the teacher. Renato had mentioned to Thom that he may want to look into Ivory Hours and Thom almost didn't go to the first rehearsal. I am sure that Thom looks back on that and counts his lucky stars that he followed through with the audition; Ivory Hours has had incredible forward momentum in the past couple of years. Since the release of 'Morning Light' in the summer of 2015 they had also been discovered via The Edge's "Next Big Thing" and within weeks of that they were announcing their grand prize win of Canada's Walk of Fame Emerging Artist Mentorship Program. Luke Roes originally started Ivory Hours in Victoria B.C. along side with his sister Annie Roes and two other members on bass and drums. They had created the EP Two Keys and had created a very intricate video utilizing stop motion for the title track. It took them approximately two or three days to complete the filming process and they had to black out their windows to have consistent lighting throughout the filming. It stands up as one of my favorite videos that they have done and it has the "crafty" feel to it. They would revisit this style of filming for their well received track Warpaint. For those not familiar with stop motion and how it works, you basically move an inch and then a picture is taken and rinse and repeat until the process is over. For Warpaint, Ivory Hours would spend 3 hours roughly in order to yield 10 seconds of footage. With those kind of figures, it is quite apparent that Ivory Hours has a great deal of patience and that they don't sacrifice creativity for hasty production. After Two Keys the band would record their next EP Mary and it is on Mary that Thom and Chris Levesque (bass) joined the band. Since their two EP's Ivory Hours came in swinging with Morning Light, their first full length album and with their singles Warpaint and Dreamer, they have been on a roller coaster of success lately. It is really great to see an organized band that cleverly found a way to be a pop band but without sacrificing any individuality in the process.
It is very interesting how certain things line up for certain people sometimes. Right place and right time, sometimes a bunch of little things that lead up to one major thing down the road. It was a real treat talking with a humble dude like Thomas Perquin. Super friendly and down to earth and I hope that he has much success in his future.