Updated: Apr 27
We're excited to introduce you to the fine folks behind SMASH in our Mental Health Awareness Month series where we are sharing their go-to tracks for mental health, why they are passionate about healthcare for musicians, their favorite local artists, and more. It is also Give Big, a statewide fundraising campaign where individuals and organizations come together across Washington to invest in our communities. Give Big in support of musicians' mental health today!
Tom joined the SMASH board in January of 2022 and is a part of our Membership and Fundraising Committees, lending his passion and expertise to help engage and recruit more musicians to SMASH and help us raise crucial funds to provide healthcare to area musicians. Without further adieu, let us introduce you to SMASH Board Member Tom O'Toole.
Tom is deeply passionate about live music and strongly believes that a healthy music community is vital to a healthy society. He has long supported local live music, having started a local music publication and an annual music festival in the Midwest, where he attended college. He has spent his entire professional career working in psychology, persuasion, and decision-making and is excited to use this expertise to help grow SMASH. He feels incredibly fortunate to live in the Pacific Northwest and experience our thriving music scene, and he wants to play whatever part he can in strengthening it for the future.
What is your current favorite local band or artist?
This is a tough one. I don’t know if Clinton Fearon is considered a “local artist,” but he lives in Seattle. I enjoy Delvin LaMarr's Organ Trio, McTuff, Thunderpussy, and just about anything Kurt Block plays.
Dead or alive, if you could see any artist live, who would it be?
Probably a reunited Talking Heads.
Are there any upcoming shows or music festivals you are excited about?
I’m looking forward to seeing Phish since their foundation has chosen to partner with SMASH. I can’t wait to see Sigur Ros with their 41-piece orchestra this summer. George Straight will hit the spot too.
What is your go-to song for your mental health?
Lately, just about anything off Wet Leg’s album will get me fired up.
Why do you think it is important to offer healthcare to musicians?
I’ve seen the tragic consequences of musicians not getting the necessary healthcare resources. We’ve lost so many incredible musicians way too early, and I feel like better access to care can help prevent this in the future.
What made you want to join the SMASH board? When did you join?
I joined in January 2022. I joined because I love the story of what SMASH is doing, and I wanted to be part of a team working hard to maintain the health of our music community in Seattle. We are spoiled here in Seattle with all our incredible local music, and I want to play whatever I can to ensure it stays that way for a long time.
What do you love most about working with SMASH?
I can see the immediate and real impact SMASH can have in artists' lives, along with working with an incredible group of people I enjoy being around.
Is there anything else about you we should know about you?