Thommes : rhymes with Thomas
Billy first picked up the sticks at age 12. He got his first drum set at 15, and started teaching drums lessons in his community by age 17. After briefly attending St.Cloud State University on a jazz scholarship, Billy has since made a name for himself as a versatile touring and session drummer for nearly 30 years and counting. Best known for performing throughout the world with Jonny Lang in the late 90s/early 2000s, Billy has since performed and/or recorded with a diverse number of artists, including rockers Soul Asylum and Urge Overkill, music legends Bobby Vee and Al Kooper, as well as, singer songwriters Kevin Bowe and Peter Himmelman. More recently, he has been the drummer for "North Country" artists Rocket Club, and the prog-grass band Galactic Cowboy Orchestra.
Billy is currently drumming full time year round with the arena-rock act HAIRBALL, as well as cutting drum tracks for clients when home.
Billy uses Vic Firth Drumsticks, Evans Drumheads, DW Drum Hardware and Pedals, Sabian Cymbals, and Porter & Davies Tactile Monitoring Drum Thrones exclusively.
BORN IN: St.Cloud, Minnesota
LIVES IN: Minneapolis, Minnesota
DRUMMING SINCE: 1984, Professionally 1989
BIGGEST INFLUENCE(S): Bonham, Watts, Starr, Levon, Richie Heyward, Zigaboo Modeliste, Vinnie Coliauta, Tony Williams, Alex VH, Bill Bruford, Phil Collins, Jim Keltner, Tom Ardolino, Matt Chamberlain, Tommy Aldridge, Terry Bozzio, Neil Peart, Vinny Appice..
FAVORITE ALBUMS PLAYED ON: “OUI” - Urge Overkill, “Earthlift” - Galactic Cowboy Orchestra, "The Mystery and The Hum" - Peter Himmelman, "North Country"- Rocket Club
FAVORITE ALBUMS DIDN'T PLAY ON: Led Zeppelin - "Physical Graffiti”, Yes - "Close To The Edge", King Crimson - “Discipline”, Michael Hedges - “Aerial Boundaries”, Sylvain & Fripp - “The First Day”
CAREER EXPERIENCE & HIGHLIGHT(S):
~Countless domestic and Int'l Tours, playing some of most prestigious venues around the world
~Numerous National TV show appearances
~Performing for over an audience of over 100,000 in Europe
~Performing for the Clintons at the White House
~Backing up such legends as BB King, Buddy Guy, Bobby Vee, Al Kooper, and Rob Halford
~Playing Charlie Watts' drum kit.. and watching him play mine
~ Playing in the ESPY Awards house band with Grandmaster Flash