"Tornado Rider is a powerful bird band of swirling goat god victory that lurks in the spooky forest regions and yells out over the mountains,” proclaims Tornado Rider’s frenetic frontman, Rushad Eggleston. To be perfectly honest, there’s no better way to describe the sound of San Francisco’s Tornado Rider.
Tornado Rider’s music has awakened a new consciousness in music that defies logic and even reality with their unique fusion of punk energy, rock power, pop hooks, classical harmonies, funk rhythms, and manic bluegrass hootenannies. Tornado Rider’s music is a time to free yourself from the shackles of sensibility and remember what it was like once upon a time to howl at the moon and dance 'til your feet were bloody. What is especially extraordinary is that their singular brand of wild animal rock only utilizes an electric cello, electric bass, and drums to create a colorful world of escape into mischievous playfulness and thunderous raucousness.
Formed in May of 2008, Tornado Rider is the brainchild of enigmatic lead singer and electric cello player, Rushad Eggleston. Brought up on a steady diet of hard rock, classical, bluegrass, folk, world music, Dr. Seuss, Lewis Carroll, and the wild and mysterious woods that he frequented, Eggleston’s imagination and creativity have always been rooted in the colorful otherworldliness of abstract realities and volcanic eruptions of unrestrained fun.
A Grammy nominated artist, Eggleston had a rich musical childhood, working his way up from age three. Building his musical talent through endless orchestras, bands, competitions, and adventures, Eggleston has played almost every musical style imaginable on various instruments until finally landing at Berklee College of Music in Boston with a full cello scholarship. Subsequently, he toured around the world as a groundbreaking cellist in various ensembles but never found a group of individuals who fully resonated with his inner wildness and propensity for imaginative musical expression.
Finally, after his 4th band in a row had spontaneously combusted, Eggleston called upon longtime friend Scott Manke to play drums in a new wild rock band he was creating. Manke, a music director at a summer camp, enthusiastically agreed, inviting his buddy Graham Terry, also music director of the same camp, to play bass. Whereas bandmates of the past had tried to stunt or mute Eggleston’s vivid persona, Manke and Terry not only embraced Eggleston’s vision and imagination head on, but helped bring the music to new heightened levels of power and fun. They encouraged Eggleston to play with a strap so he could run around and be even wilder, and to play the cello through a large loud amplifier with distortion. Thus began the magic and majesty of Tornado Rider, as all of Eggleston's songs got reborn as rock anthems and he had finally found the faithful partners in costumed wildness he'd been searching for, to help him spread his gospel of bouncy electric joy.
Dubbing their music “Sneth Rock”, Tornado Rider are taking listeners into their world and letting everyone marvel at it while creating a one of a kind musical experience. So what is ‘Sneth Rock”? “The land of Sneth is a wild, colorful, mystical and where a bunch of mythical creatures live,” explains Eggleston, “It’s a happy place but more crazy, trippy and magical. There’s a bunch of creatures called ‘thnarks’ that fly around on clouds. They’re not worried about getting their arms cut off with chainsaws or mold and decay, death and suffering. They just live to have a bouncy good time. The land of Sneth is darker, more primal, mischievous, and loud, hence the term, ‘Sneth Rock.’ ”
Where Pan played a flute in Greek mythology to get people wildly excited, Eggleston is the Pan of this generation, dancing and rocking the stage with his cello affecting everyone in his path and infusing a spirit of righteous release and electric exhilaration into every soul he meets. On stage, Eggleston combines a Peter Pan like state of reckless abandon with the undeniable magnetism and mystical quality of the Pied Piper of Hamlin. His virtuoso cello solos rival even the best of guitar solos to the point where his cello seems like a natural extension of his body. Tornado Rider’s music is so aggressively fun that, according to Eggleston, "it forces you to dance a lightning-dance!"
Tornado Rider isn’t just a musical experience; they are a force of nature. With every city Tornado Rider plays, their wild animal rock breaks through the mire of mediocrity giving people an experience that is both sonically and visually unique. They have created a new style of music that will take audiences on a singular musical journey, allowing them to leave their cares at the door. “What people have said to me after shows and what’s made me happier than anything else is that they were having a bad day,” says the charismatic Eggleston, “then they came to the show and they left happy and feeling motivated.”
Tornado Rider (TR) will play live at the Craneway Friday March 5. Tickets will be $5 at the door. Doors open 8am, TR on stage at 9pm. More Craneway music info soon at Craneway.com/music.