Arts & Entertainment

Press Pass: Tommy Castro

TOMMY CASTRO. (Photo: Courtesy of Mitchell Glotzer.
TOMMY CASTRO. (Photo: Courtesy of Mitchell Glotzer.

Tommy Castro, leader of Tommy Castro and the Painkillers, produced the group’s 2015 album, Method to My Madness, which was a first for the Bay Area-based blues, rock and R&B man. The album saw Castro and his band return to form after adding rock to their repertoire in earnest on The Devil You Know, with the songs on that album sounding more from that cannon than any of their previous albums.

“It was great. It was like any other time because I’m always pretty hands on, but with another producer,” Castro said. “Another producer can bring experience and ideas. I think that after making as many albums as I have that I’ve learned a lot from working with great producers…that are really good at making records….It was really cool.

“I feel like our fans really connected with this album and felt like it was what they experience with us at a live show.”

Tommy Castro and the Painkillers are bringing their live show, which will be a mix of Castro’s songs from throughout his career, to the Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, Oct. 11 when they play The Hamilton. He said that he was going for a live feel on the album.

As always, Castro attempted to do something differently on his latest offering, but made sure to return to the sound his fans are used to hearing. “I think they felt that in my effort to keep it fresh and keep myself doing something slightly different every time, they don’t always like everything I do,” Castro said. “The last album before that I thought it was a good album and a lot of people liked it, but there were some people who thought I went to far. They thought I got a little too edgy and a little too rocked out….Some people say it’s the best album I ever made….But the old fans love Method to My Madness. To them it’s like I got back to my roots.”

The first single from Method to My Madness, “Common Ground,” is Castro’s answer to the current political climate. He said that the song’s lyrics, which he wrote in February or March 2015, came to him naturally.

“The political climate is pretty much what inspired that. We’re so divided and it’s really scary,” Castro said. “And I get the feeling that it didn’t happen naturally, somebody’s orchestrating it. There’s people at the top, in government and business, that are pulling the strings and they’ve got us all riled up and fighting each other.

“But we really are more alike than we are different. That’s the message.”