Thomas Tree

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Thomas Tree
Thomas Tree.jpg
Thomas Tree, 2011
Background information
Birth nameThomas McDonnell Sebastian Tree Murray
Also known asThomas Tree
Born (1962-02-22) 22 February 1962 (age 57)
Origin Denver, Colorado, U.S.
Genres Rock, alternative rock, electronic
Occupation(s) Singer, songwriter, record producer
Years active1981–present
LabelsDr. Dream Records, Enlighten Records, Imago Records, Interscope Records
Associated actsFancy Pants, Christy McCool, Subsonic Sonar, Bodhitrees

Thomas Tree (born February 22, 1962) is an American music producer, singer, songwriter, musician, entrepreneur and is best known as a founding member of the alternative rock band Christy McCool and co-founder of Serendipity Pie, [1] a songwriting, production and sound design team made up of Tree and Cory Joseph Coppage which has produced 108 original songs to date. Tree and his wife, Jade Vaccarelli, have resided in Malibu, California, since 1994.


Life and career

Early life

Thomas Tree was born Thomas McDonnell Sebastian Tree Murray to Colleen McDonnell and Paul V Murray in Denver, Colorado. While studying Mass Media at the University of Colorado, Boulder in 1981, Tree began a songwriting collaboration with guitarist CJC (Cory Joseph Coppage). The partnership continues to this day and has produced over 100 original songs, including "How Does She Do It So Quickly” from the soundtrack of the Academy-Award nominated film “Short Cuts”, directed by Robert Altman. [2] Robert Reed Altman, the son of “Short Cuts” director Robert Altman directed the video for the song, which also starred Altman’s son Bobby and Tree’s wife, Jade. [3]

Denver State capital and consolidated city-county in Colorado

Denver, officially the City and County of Denver, is the capital and most populous municipality of the U.S. state of Colorado. Denver is located in the South Platte River Valley on the western edge of the High Plains just east of the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains. The Denver downtown district is immediately east of the confluence of Cherry Creek with the South Platte River, approximately 12 mi (19 km) east of the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. Denver is named after James W. Denver, a governor of the Kansas Territory. It is nicknamed the Mile High City because its official elevation is exactly one mile above sea level. The 105th meridian west of Greenwich, the longitudinal reference for the Mountain Time Zone, passes directly through Denver Union Station.

<i>Short Cuts</i> 1993 film by Robert Altman

Short Cuts is a 1993 American comedy-drama film, directed by Robert Altman. Filmed from a screenplay by Altman and Frank Barhydt, it is inspired by nine short stories and a poem by Raymond Carver. The film has a Los Angeles setting, which substitutes the Pacific Northwest backdrop of Carver's stories. Short Cuts traces the actions of 22 principal characters, both in parallel and at occasional loose points of connection. The role of chance and luck is central to the film, and many of the stories concern death and infidelity.

Robert Altman American film director and screenwriter

Robert Bernard Altman was an American film director, screenwriter, and producer. A five-time nominee of the Academy Award for Best Director and an enduring figure from the New Hollywood era, Altman was considered a "maverick" in making films with a highly naturalistic but stylized and satirical aesthetic, unlike most Hollywood films. He is consistently ranked as one of the greatest and most influential filmmakers in American cinema.

Tree and CJC were founding members of several projects during Tree’s college days, including The Mile Highs and The Trees. The Trees were regulars at the Blue Note, a Boulder nightclub where they performed with the likes of Hüsker Dü, Mau Mau 55, Firehose, Aviators, Buddy Rich. [4]

Hüsker Dü American rock and punk band, active 1979–88

Hüsker Dü was an American rock band formed in Saint Paul, Minnesota, in 1979. The band's continual members were guitarist/vocalist Bob Mould, bassist/vocalist Greg Norton, and drummer/vocalist Grant Hart. Hüsker Dü first gained notability as a hardcore punk band, later crossing over into alternative rock. Mould and Hart were the principal songwriters for Hüsker Dü, with Hart's higher-pitched vocals and Mould's baritone taking the lead in alternating songs.

Firehose (band) band

Firehose was an American alternative rock band consisting of Mike Watt, Ed Crawford, and George Hurley (drums). They were initially active from 1986 to 1994, and reunited in 2012.

When Tree and CJC moved their partnership to Hollywood in 1986, they renamed the project Bodhitrees. In addition to Tree and CJC, Bodhitrees included Ronnie Nelson (Bass) James "Fabe" Fabery- (Guitar) Michael King (Bass) Alexander Christopher (Guitar) and drummer Ron Rosing (from Billy Corgan's first band "The Marked").

Billy Corgan American musician, songwriter, producer, and author

William Patrick Corgan Jr. is an American musician and songwriter, who is the lead singer, primary songwriter, guitarist, and sole permanent member of The Smashing Pumpkins. Formed by Corgan and guitarist James Iha in Chicago, Illinois, in 1988, the band quickly gained steam with the addition of bassist D'arcy Wretzky and drummer Jimmy Chamberlin. Strong album sales and large-scale tours propelled the band's increasing fame in the 1990s until their break-up in 2000. Corgan started a new band called Zwan, and after their quick demise, he released a solo album, TheFutureEmbrace, in 2005 and a collection of poetry, Blinking with Fists, before setting his sights on reforming Smashing Pumpkins.

Tree was also hired by Rolling Stones producer Don Was to film the first 360-video with 'birds-eye' technology of a Rolling Stones concert at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on March 4, 2006. Tree (Tectonic Phlegm Publishing) has been a member of ASCAP since 1988.

Don Was American musician

Don Edward Fagenson, known as Don Was, is an American musician, record producer and record executive. Primarily a bass player, Was co-founded the funk-rock band Was. In later years he produced songs and albums for a large number of popular recording artists. In 2012, he became president of jazz music label Blue Note Records.

MGM Grand Garden Arena Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, United States

The MGM Grand Garden Arena is a 17,157-seat multi-purpose arena located within the MGM Grand Las Vegas on the Las Vegas Strip.

Las Vegas City in Nevada, United States

Las Vegas, officially the City of Las Vegas and often known simply as Vegas, is the 28th-most populated city in the United States, the most populated city in the state of Nevada, and the county seat of Clark County. The city anchors the Las Vegas Valley metropolitan area and is the largest city within the greater Mojave Desert. Las Vegas is an internationally renowned major resort city, known primarily for its gambling, Pubs and bars, shopping, fine dining, entertainment, and nightlife. The Las Vegas Valley as a whole serves as the leading financial, commercial, and cultural center for Nevada.

Christy McCool

In September 1988, Tree formed a band with Neil McAnally, Kat Robinson and Terrence Lee Henry, who were all tenants of the same apartment building in Hollywood, CA. At this time, another tenant in the building took a dangerous amount of prescription medication and lit her bed, and room, on fire. Tree, who was also manager of the building, was forced to evict the tenant, but the group decided to name their newly formed band after her. [5]

Christy McCool’s first L.A. performance was at Gazzarri's Music Hall (now The Key Club) on the Sunset Strip. In late 1989, the band released their debut album "Lovelier than the Queen of England" and toured the Western and Southern U.S., as well as parts of Europe. [6] During this time, they also performed with, or were on compilation recordings with bands like X, L-Seven, GWAR, Pygmy Love Circus, Faith No More, 45 Grave, Stan Red Fox, Swamp Zombies, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Fishbone among others. [7]

In 1991, Intercord Records released a compilation CD entitled “Funky Metal” which included the song “Mo Fo” by Christy McCool. [8] Christy McCool’s final line-up was made up of Tree on vocals, Neil McAnally on bass, Jason D on guitar and Tom Wenzel on drums.

Subsonic Sonar

In 2001, Tree partnered with Mazen Daouk and Sound Engineer / Co-Producer and Professor of Sound Design at the University of South Carolina, Walter Clissen to form the experimental electronic-music project, Subsonic Sonar. After a decade of development, they released “Emerald Green Vortex” in 2011. [9] The album is a mix of Trip hop and electronic ambience and opera that they refer to as “Triphopera”.

The operatic vocals by Van Oosterwijk were recorded at Studio Excelsior in the Netherlands, while Tree, Daouk and Clissen recorded the music at Studio Zen in Venice, California. Poetry and lyrics were written and performed by Jade Vaccarelli and Thomas Tree. [10]


The Trees
Christy McCool
Thomas Tree & Cory Joseph Coppage
Subsonic Sonar

Fancy Pants


The Trees
Christy McCool
Thomas Tree & Cory Joseph Coppage

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  5. "Feedback" - Westworld Magazine - Volume 14, No. 28 - March 13–19, 1991
  6. "Ein ungewohnlicher Abend mit einem bizarren Auftritt und Westcoast-Flair" - Rheinische Post - Monday, Sept. 16 1991
  7. "Christy McCool: An Adrenaline Rush" - Music Connection, Vol. XVI, No.7 - Mar. 30-Apr. 12, 1992
  10. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-07-31. Retrieved 2012-04-26.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)