Major Tom & the Moonboys

Voltz (aka Lee Sebel) - Keyboards

Voltz’ interest in music was sparked by The Beatles' second appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show. While he wanted to play guitar (as did most American kids upon seeing the Beatles), his parents could not find a teacher who would take on such a young student. As a result, his musical journey began at age 8 when he started classical piano studies in his hometown of Dallas, Texas. Rock 'n' roll beckoned in his late teens, along with the lure of the synthesizer. Thanks to a unique Senior Projects program at The Greenhill School, he received formal synthesizer instruction along with studying church organ and jazz piano improvisation.

Within a year after graduation he was hired as synthesizer expert at one of the 10 largest music stores in the country. Several years later he made the move to the manufacturing side of the business, accepting a full-time product specialist position with Roland Corporation in Los Angeles, CA. Among other accomplishments while at Roland, he programmed the factory sounds for their Juno-60, one of the best-selling synthesizers of all time.

Upon leaving Roland Voltz worked as an independent consultant, providing services to a wide variety of clientele, from hobbyists to major studios and recording artists, including Vince Clarke (founding member of Depeche Mode, Yaz and Erasure) and Jonathan Cain (Journey). After several years he returned to the manufacturing side as product specialist and regional sales manager for Kurzweil Music Systems. Prior to relocating to Utah, he provided Kurzweil programming for John Novello (Niacin) and the late Keith Emerson.

Through it all he has maintained his love of live music performance, working as keyboardist/vocalist with bands in a variety of styles: rock, blues, progressive rock and alt country, as well as university jazz ensembles. Beginning in 2010 he toured throughout Europe and the United States as sound designer and keyboardist for The Ultimate Thriller, a Michael Jackson tribute concert.

Voltz currently continues to work extensively in the field of electronic music. In addition to his role in Major Tom & The Moonboys, he teaches synthesizer classes in the Center for Media And Fine Arts at Salt Lake Community College, and he recently undertook a new position as Online Education Coordinator for the Bob Moog Foundation, a non-profit run by the daughter of one the namesake inventors of the synthesizer.

Brady Anderson - Bass, b.g. vocals

Brady Anderson was a late bloomer to music, not starting until age 22. Inspired to play bass by Bruce Thomas, Paul Simonon, Muzz Skillings & Lemmy, he dove right in and began to progress rapidly. Then, unfortunately he heard jazz. He quickly became addicted and for the most part put rock & roll on the back burner. He started studying with professional players & professors. He also started sitting in with local jazz musicians. Then he transferred to Utah State University and purchased his first upright bass with student loan money. It turned out to be his best investment to help him learn and perform music. As he became more proficient, he moved back to the SLC area and started to work a lot more regularly on both his upright and electric basses.  

Brady played in various groups and filled in when called upon. His love for Rock & Roll never left and he began playing it a lot more regularly.  Not only did he focus on rock and jazz, but he has also played blues, classical, zydeco, alternative, punk, country & bluegrass.  He learned what role the bass plays in different types of music, for him it is about creating a solid foundation that other musicians can rely upon. With that understanding, he continued to get a lot of work and has performed on many stages throughout the valley. Some notable venues include:  Bluegrass & Jazz festivals, Juilliard Goes to the Mountains Summer Jazz Camp at Snow College, The Salt Lake Symphony Jazz Quintet, The Utah Arts Festival & The Westminster Concert Bell Choir.

Some other highlights include performing in The Capitol building, KUTV Angel Tree Benefit Concert as a guest, The Depot, South by Southwest, The IAMA concert series, Sundance, United Concerts, The Delta Center (Vivint Arena now) TV performances for KSL, KUTV and Park City TV. Brady has done studio work with local musicians as well as for Warner Brothers and CBS.

"Major Tom" (Tom Larsen) - Singer, guitar

 

I stood at the precipice to gain everything musically I had worked for--well, at least to gain a good run at it:  An offer from a major UK label, pre-preliminary talks with legendary producer Ken Scott (Bowie, Beatles, Lou Reed, Supertramp), completed masters in hand from Butch Trucks' (Allman Bros.) top flight new studio, a publishing deal . . . and I had  to walk away.  You see, I also had 3 small boys--2 with special needs--and a young wife struggling with depression who all needed a husband and father present more than they needed a touring rock star phantom.  And when I started on the road to finally realize my childhood dream, I vowed early on that I would not do it at the expense of my family if there were a choice between the two.

Starting early in both philosophy and songwriting, I conceived my first song at age 7, "It's God's Fault", a reductionist ode to First Causes or "who really started this mess?!"  By  12 I was "ping-ponging" between reel-to-reel and cassette tape decks in my bedroom to achieve some semblance of multi-tracking.  Oh how I loved to record and experiement with sound!  I got my first synthesizer at 13, then another  plus a Hohner electric pianet at 14 (infatuated with the likes of Rick Wakeman and Emerson, Lake & Palmer) and joined my first band.  Living in Davis, California at the time, I  played keyboards in "Madison Avenue"--a funk-rock-fusion band of mostly older black guys who tolerated my age and worldly naivete because I was the only dude in town who  owned and could adequately play such a rig.  My musical interests were eclectic, ranging from Zappa to Stevie Wonder, Hendrix to Todd Rundgren, but especially lit on David  Bowie who became my central artistic muse.  [Several years later I also played keyboards for a time in a country rock band based out of Woodland, CA.]

I continued writing and home-recording my songs through my teens, picking up guitar at 16 and started a new-wave/punk (mostly originals) band with a couple of my closest  friends called "Innernational Man" (1981-84).  In this band I sang and played electric guitar.  Around 80% of our 48 song repertoire were originals.

At age 21 I graduated from a sound engineering school (Audio Arts) and soon thereafter landed a job as chief composer/head engineer at a new, technically cutting edge post-production studio Polymedia located at the famous "Redman" building in Sugarhouse, Utah.  I scored for both film and video there, continued to write and record my own songs, and was responsible for composing, engineering and producing one of the first ever all digital soundtracks for film (a campy comedy-horror film originally called "High Spirits" which starred later Hollywood director Neil Lebute.)

Gaining the favor of renowned industrialist John Browning for my own music, Mr. Browning funded an initial set of demo recordings which caught the ear of a management group in Tallahassee, FL.  Moving there with my wife and 2 little boys, I was soon recording new material at a recently opened multi-million dollar recording facility run by Butch Trucks  (drummer for the Allman Brothers).  My erstwhile manager at the time set me up to meet and be produced by John Kurzwig (who later produced multi-platinum hit records for  Creed.)  While John and I didn't feel he was right for my eclectic, genre-busting original sound and artistic vision, I did like that he knew Ken Scott (David Bowie's legendary early  producer responsible for "Hunky Dory" and "Ziggy Stardust".) Before long, Ken and I were having regular phone conversations about him producing my debut as I began looking for more independent funding for the project.  At the same time I had attracted intense label interest from a UK production/studio outfit (at the time called Greenhill Records), and it  looked like it was all finally coming together.  The UK fellows wanted to bring me over to London, release me there and then return to conquer America with successful European caché.

But as I pondered the reality of what all that would entail, I had to pause . . . and turn away.  My wife had had our 3rd baby boy while in Tallahassee and it was clear already to us  that he was different.  My 2nd son was born deaf and so we were already on the alert for any unusual signs.  As it turned out, my 3rd son has Aspergers, a milder form of Autism.

As I saw my young wife already struggling with the stresses and insecurity of having a musician husband, the thought of leaving her and the boys to hit the road for 200+ days of the years I simply could not countenance, no matter how badly I personally wanted it.  Plus there was that personal vow. . . .

So, I walked from it and decided to go to school (university) as a "plan b"; told certain people (the "when are you going to get a real job crowd") I was going to be a lawyer to get them off my back, while still secretly hoping that something could happen with my music.  

I continued to write and record my songs as able and became involved in producing both  musical, and critically acclaimed political satire content for talk radio (once back in Salt Lake City) through the 90s and found myself applying to and getting accepted into law school in 1999 at the University of Utah.  I graduated with a law degree in 2002, "practiced" for a year but could not relate to that professional culture and so returned to my "day  job" which had kept me going through all--design & house painting, and at which I could continue to dream up and write songs in my head.

The day after David Bowie passed, Jan. 11th, 2016 my son Jackson called.  His band Westward The Tide were playing that night at Velour Live Music Gallery in Provo, UT.  He asked if I would come sing "Heroes" with him in homage to the "Thin White Duke."  I had already been planning on putting a "David Bowie cover band" together with my cousin Brady Anderson  and I gladly accepted the invitation to perform once again, which turned out to be a special night and convinced me I still "had it".  Within a couple of months of that night I had assembled a new band "Major Tom & The Moonboys" to play the music of Bowie, including his more obscure--though greatly adored by fans--"deep album cuts".  I have been covering Bowie's music since I first played with my school buddy  Scott at age 13, on through Innernational Man, in Tallahassee, and recording 3 of his songs during my ongoing studio forays in the 1990s.  MT&TM is born out of undaunted passion to play and perform great music--which happens to be David Bowie's at present--and to work again with other great musicians, to rock . . . mostly now for the sheer joy of it.

I am writing new material and will also be recording and playing my originals once again as well.  "Too old to rock'n'roll, too young to die"?  No, just too young to die. . . .

Jeff Walpole - Drums

Jeff has been playing drums and percussion since he was 9 years old. A BYU- Hawaii University music scholarship allowed Jeff to play in a variety of musical settings, including symphony orchestras, marching bands and jazz ensembles.  Jeff's experience also secured him multiple drum students and a performance seat in the music industry. This part-time position has evolved into 35 years of recording, touring and performing in multiple bands, including The Keith Gilley Band, The Dudes, Gypsy Train, Tabu (a Santana Tribute band), Artie Hemphill &The Iron Horse Band, Speed of Sound, Mojave Rose, The KREW and players from the Steve Miller Band among many other acts. He has born and raised in California, lived in Hawaii, London, Georgia, Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Texas, Florida,and now resides in Utah.