Tuning In with Thomas St. Clair Dean

Posted on June 5, 2014 by

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Thomas St. Clair Dean, poster artist and guitarist, has a new band. They call themselves New Boss, and they’re currently working on recordings and demos for new songs.

Dean and his four bandmates—Carolyn Zelikow (vocals), Parker Smith (drums), Scott Richie (bass) and Nick Rubin (keyboards)—play a mix of power pop and 90s influenced rock. “We’re trying to play as much this summer as we can,” Dean said. New Boss just finished a long weekend of shows in North Carolina and will soon hit the road to play in New York and Philadelphia.

Thomas St. Clair Dean

New Boss will return to Cville to play The Southern on July 10, opening for Richmond band Avers.

Dean has played in a number of bands here in town (most recently, he was the bassist for the Invisible Hand), and he also creates beautiful, limited-edition show posters and shirts for many local bands and national bands who come to town.

The artist behind Lost Woods Print silkscreen studio, Dean has been silkscreening for a while.

“I started silkscreening and designing t-shirts for my band in the late nineties,” Dean explained. “I was also making Xerox flyers and posters for [other] bands. We were a little broke, and it was cheaper to make our own rather than [pay] someone else to do it. Soon after that, I worked in a commercial print shop and learned more about the process.” Dean then started printing his own designs at home again, creating shirts and posters for shows. Recently, he created posters for Deerhunter with the Invisible Hand, Charles Bradley and His Extraordinaires, and Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, to name a few.

I asked Dean, ‘If you could make a poster for any band, who would it be and why?’ “I don’t know! That’s a tough question!,” he replied. “I already make posters for friends’ bands and bands I love. I’m pretty lucky as it is.” He finally settled on “a band like Sparks. That’d be high on the list.”

“The best part is working for bands,” Dean said. “That’s what got me into [skilscreening] and that’s still a large part of what I get paid to print.” He’s been doing some album designs, too. He recently finished a 7” sleeve for Ned Oldham and will soon start work on a layout for a new Invisible Hand cassette of songs recorded last year.

Dean has put together a set of songs that he considers “reference points” for New Boss. “[These are] my go-to sounds and ideas for the first phase of songs for the project and songs that I’m thinking about writing, or [songs] that I’m really into right now.”

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Posted in: music, Tuning in