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“Tornado Rider is a powerful bird band of swirling goat god victory, that lurks in the spooky forest regions and yells out over the mountains, glicking the gunt of Nairobi into the fortress of Norwegian butt-death, and taking the slippers and the coffee and the potato farm earnestness into the NOW.”
That is how San Francisco band, Tornado Rider, has chosen to describe their sound since day 1, and there still is no better way to describe them. Tornado Rider’s music has awakened a new consciousness in music with their fusion of rock, punk, bluegrass, metal, and classical, in a celebration of the things that really matter to people: having fun. Tornado Rider’s uniqueness also stems from the fact that their brand of music, dubbed “Sneth Rock”, only utilizes an electric cello, bass guitar and drums to create their colorful world of escape into playful happiness and release.
Formed in May of 2008, Tornado Rider is the brainchild of enigmatic lead singer and cello player, Rushad Eggleston. Brought up on a steady diet of classical, bluegrass, folk, and rock music, Dr. Seuss, Lewis Carroll, philosophy, and the wild and mysterious woods that he frequented, Eggelston’s imagination and creativity have always been rooted in art and the natural state of the world.
A Grammy nominated artist, Eggleston worked his way around various instruments including rock and bluegrass guitar, violin, and eventually found a soul mate in the form of the cello. After graduating from Berklee School of Music in Boston with a cello scholarship, Eggleston had his hand in a number of bands, namely Fiddler’s Four with Darol Anger, and Crooked Still. In November of 2008, he decided it was time he found his own band; one that would be a vehicle to unleash what was in his head and soul.
After hooking up with friends in the Bay Area, bassist Graham Terry and drummer Scott Manke, Eggleston felt that Tornado Rider was at last complete with the right partners who could not only help him spread his gospel of feeling good and mischievousness but also open their minds enough to embody the very messages of their unique songs. Since Tornado Rider's inception, the band has played over 15 festivals in the US, Eggleston is regularly invited to sit in with various bands such as Yonder Mountain String Band, Donna the Buffalo, Elephant Revival, and many more, and they have ritually toured all corners of the US.
Their first album, “Do You Have Time…?” features songs like “Paranoidness and Pain” and “Golden Apple Dance” which reflect Tornado Rider’s desire to shed all the thin veils of fear and frustration and to embrace the wondrousness of being alive. Other songs like “Restaurant” and “Before the Show Was Over” showcase how one’s imagination can go wild upon a brief moment of eye-to-eye contact between a guy and a girl. Both songs were inspired by actual events. Their follow up album was uniquely fan funded. The band raised over $9000 dollars on Kickstarter and was able to record the album that became “Jark Matter” at the Old Schools Studios up on the Northern Californian Coast, which was subsequently released on independent punk label, Silver Sprocket Bicycle Club. “Jark Matter” highlights the spookier parts of the forest and the ocean, featuring deep-rooted grooves in “The Giant Tree Man”, soaring melodies in “I’m a Falcon”, and under water cello driven vibrations in “Medusapus”.
Tornado Rider’s songs have no political or religious agenda, no call to arms or revolutionary dogma; they’re about humanity stripped down, showing us the very core of what we used to be like when the world wasn’t so real. “What people have said to me after shows and what’s made me happier than anything else is that they were having a bad day, then they came to the show and they left happy and feeling motivated,” says the charismatic Eggleston.
So what is ‘Sneth Rock”? “The land of Sneth is the land that used to be inside the land of Snee which is another wild, colorful, mystical happy land where a bunch of mythical creatures live,” explains Eggleston, “It’s a happy place; I guess it probably looks like the hills of Carmel, CA but more crazy, trippy and magical. There’s a bunch of creatures called “thnarks” that fly around on clouds. They’re not worried about getting their arms cut off with chainsaws or mold and decay, death and suffering. They just live to have a bouncy good time. The land of Sneth was a very important land in the land of Snee. However, the land of Sneth is a little darker than the land of Snee. The land of Sneth is more primal and mischievous, more primal and loud, hence the term, ‘Sneth Rock.’ ”
Where Pan played a flute in Greek mythology to get people excited, Eggleston is the Pan of this generation, dancing and leaping around the stage with his cello, never missing a note, affecting everyone in his path and infusing a spirit of freedom into every soul he meets. His virtuoso cello solos rival even the best guitar solos in most rock bands to the point where his cello seems like a natural extension of his body. Eggleston combines a Peter Pan like state of being forever a child with the undeniable magnetism and mystical quality of the Pied Piper of Hamlin. Tornado Rider’s music is so aggressively fun that you will feel compelled to rock!