Travellin’ Light

Tom Rainey
Answers 20 Questions About Life on the Road

Tom Rainey
Tom Rainey                                                           ©Michael Wilderman©2007

Drummer Tom Rainey is close to ubiquitous. He is regularly acclaimed for his work in envelope-pushing ensembles like Tim Berne’s Hard Cell and Mark Helias Open Loose, and for noise-drenched recordings like Downpour (Victo) with Nels Cline and Andrea Parkins. Yet, Rainey also has extensive mainstream credentials stemming from stints with, among others, Tom Harrell, Fred Hersch and Kenny Werner. Regardless of venue, Rainey has a readily identifiable sound based in playing material instead of marking time. Though Rainey does not have a web site, there is a large amount of commentary about his work online.

What is the most difficult airline to deal with in terms of instruments and equipment?

all the same.

Which airline has the worst economy seating and food?

all pretty similar, american may have a little more leg room but they get you in other ways (food for instance).

Which airport is craziest for making connecting flights?

Heathrow – you need several hours to traverse customs and change terminals.

What is the most important thing you ever forgot to pack?

never forgot anything important at home but did leave my passport at check-in and almost was denied entry into spain.

What is your worst lost baggage story?

played two concerts at the lisbon jazz fest. and my cymbals never arrived. turns out they were at lisbon airport the entire time. i found them as i was leaving.

What country hassles musicians the most at customs and passport checks?

tied between england and canada.

Which city has the worst cab drivers?


What is the best hotel that a presenter has provided for you?

the maritim in cologne. two weeks of luxury.

Do you travel with a laptop or a PDA? If so, how many times a day do you check your e-mail?


Do you listen to music on the road? If so, what device do you use?

if i do it's on someone else's device

Do you do your own laundry on the road?


What is your most nightmarish sound check to date?

getting into it with the soundman in dresden about the lighting. and he didn't bother to show up for the gig.

What is the scariest food that has been laid out for you backstage?

not so much scary as why did they even bother.

What are your three favorite venues?

bim huis in amsterdam, vortex in london, barbes in brooklyn.

Which cities have the best restaurants for late after-gig meals?

new york, new york, new york.

Which cities have the best after-hours sessions?

don't really know.

What is the best city that closes down too early?


What is the best locale to have a day off?


What is your cure for jet lag?

don't fly.

What is your best tip for the novice?

you better really love the music.

Jazz Visions Photo/Graphics

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