Freedom is the new album from the Tom Fuller Band. Recorded in Nashville, Tennessee, and Chicago, Illinois, before being mixed at the historic FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, and mastered at London’s legendary Abbey Road Studios, Freedom features eleven songs about a life lived, built on a foundation of hard-earned wisdom, heartbreak, addiction, love, loss and hope.
Born and bred in Chicago, Fuller’s new album embodies the soul and creative energy of his hometown’s rich musical heritage. Combining the melodic pop-rock sensibilities of Cheap Trick and a will to evolve worthy of Wilco, Freedom also doffs its cap to Fuller’s love of classic English bands such as The Hollies and the Rubber Soul and Revolver-era Beatles. When Tom was a boy he wanted to be two things: a businessman and a rocker. He grew up to be both. However, life’s obstacles would get in the way of a career in music until fifteen years ago, when Fuller discovered he could write songs that people wanted to hear. Fuller says, “That’s when I was able to take my music seriously.”
Ever since then Fuller has worked with hit producer Rick Chudacoff, who over the years has helped create the Tom Fuller Band’s unique sound. Fuller released his debut album Chasing An Illusion in 2005, and followed-up with 2008’s Abstract Man and 2011’s Ask, of which the latter Tom recorded with two of Paul McCartney’s bandmates, Abe Laboriel, Jr. and Brian Ray. However, Fuller freely admits that, lyrically, it’s taken until now to put his cards on the table. “I’d been hiding behind metaphors, but with Freedom…now I’m taking you into my real life. I needed to wear my heart on my sleeve, but it isn’t always an easy thing to do.”
For Fuller, the Freedom he refers to is from emotional pain: “I’ve had my fair share of encounters with alcohol and the ‘ism’ that follows that. It was my escape, but I went downhill and it soon became a choice between living or dying – and I didn’t have a chance until I heard the songs.” The album’s title track, however, was the most difficult for the Windy City troubadour to write. Fuller reveals, “The real scary part was writing about my only child. There’s nothing worse than having a child you don’t have a relationship with. No matter what people tell you, you feel all alone, like you’re the only one dealing with this. The song is one heart crying out, saying ‘Hey, I need help. I don’t have all the answers.’”
To accompany the album’s release, the acclaimed Chicago indie film maker Matt Silver is creating a suite of films, as Tom explains, “The idea was to just make a video for the song ‘1+1’ but, like the music, it turned out so well that the video project has since taken on a life of its own. There will now be a video for each of the album’s eleven songs, which will all connect to tell a story.