Tommy Jay Gardner (born on December 30, 1974, in Winchester, Virginia, U.S.) is an American guitarist and drummer. His debut album, livefire in 1993, opened the way to a world of instrumental rock music in what was then a pop-dominated world. Influenced heavily by Joe Satriani, Def Leppard and Pink Floyd, TJ Gardner often incorporates a warm sound of guitar with a dominant melodic rock tone. Since 1993, he has used Ibanez guitars, until 2004 when he switched to Jackson guitars. TJ Gardner also has used Tama series drums since the 1980's, until 2005 when he switched to Peavey.
In 1987, Gardner was recruited by several local bands in his hometown of Keyser, West Virginia. Later, in 1993, Gardner Started writing and composing his own material which would get him to were he is today.
Biography and playing history
TJ Gardner was inspired to play guitar at age 14 after learning of the death of Def Leppard guitarist Steve Clark. He heard the news after waking up and hearing the news over the radio, where he immediately decided to become a guitarist.
In 1993, TJ Gardner released the album livefire. The album did not sell well, particularly due to equipment issues. "Moving up" was featured on the album. "The path" was also featured on this album.
In 1996, TJ Gardner joined up with the band Dreamscape, they compiled a wide list of music however the band went different ways before releasing an album.
In late 1997, TJ Gardner joined Stomp Faction as a short-term drummer during the band's final years only releasing one album before hanging it up.
In 2003, he started working on new music, a concept of making a comeback after the huge disappointment of livefire. This would be the point in his music career that he decided to make an album featuring not just new music, but songs he felt should be heard from his livefire project.
Over the next several years, TJ Gardner regularly recorded and released new music, including updated tracks including "moving up", "the path", "tears of the angels", "Never 2 things the same", and "in the dark".
In 2006 Gardner joined up with independent musicians RedeyeC, Valkir, Paul Oakley with the international group M3. M3 recorded and released back to back #1 hits on the Internet to become one of the fastest growing unsigned bands on the net.
On July 5, 2006 TJ Gardner released his long awaited album crush, as well as celebrating 20th anniversary of his music career, and his accomplishments over the past few years.
In 2007 Gardner complied several tracks unreleased for the crush album, the album was called out of this world, also Gardner has joined up with former band mates Lou Stone from Dreamscape, along beside his brother John Gardner to form the band Thorezeen.
Thorezeen's line up consist of Gardner going back to playing drums. Thorezeen has recently switched bassist, John Gardner was replaced by Alex Steele. Thorezeen has been working on their debut album entitled highly medicated.
TJ Gardner is also credited on many other albums, including guitar duties on RedeyeC's album collaborations, Drums on Stomp faction's 1997 self debut album.
Technique and influence
TJ Gardner is widely recognized as a highly melodic guitarist and has been described as a virtuoso. He has mastered many performance techniques on the instrument.
His success is notable in a genre typically unfriendly to instrumental musicians, and is highly recognized by the underground of independent artist.
TJ Gardner has endorsed Ibanez and Jackson guitars, and Tama and Peavey drums.
TJ Gardner has used Crate guitar amps over the years.
His effects pedals include Digitech, and boss.
Out of this world 2007
With other artists
Year Artist Album
1997 Stomp faction Stomp faction
2006 RedeyeC Collaborations
Visit the Guitarist Portal Official Website: http://tjgardner.net/
I have played for well over 26 years now. With bands such as Silver Panther, Dementia, Machines of agony, Dreamscape, Cryogenic Warfare,Stomp Faction, M3, and recently Thorezeen, plus my solo stuff. I've played everything from drums to guitar, and still trying to master everything.
But I'm having fun all the way.
I do play live, mostly around my hometown, and I love every minute of it. There had to be at least 500 people at this party the first time I played for a crowd, no exaggeration either.
The first time I played in front of that many people, and it seemed to go by so fast. And they all loved it, I fell in love with the notion of playing live from that moment forward.
Acts such as Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Def Leppard, Dokken, and the list could go on and on.
I use Ibanez, Crate, Yamaha, Digitech, Fostex, Ernieball, Peavey, Jackson.
Yeah the only thing that I could express to new musicians is that you should never give up on your dreams. Your life is what you make of it, and when you get knocked down, stand right back up, come right back swinging. Life is full of people just looking out for themselves, so look past those fools and keep your head up.