Damon Van Nordheim and Chip Thomas are longtime friends and collaborators who first met in Hoboken, NJ. Thomas, a local and Van Nordheim, a transplant from Los Angeles instantly hit it off and soon became roommates. Squeezed into a tiny apartment on 10th and Garden, with a drum set at the foot of Damon’s bed, the two friends began their musical journey. It’s was there that they discovered and cultivated there “East Coast meets West Coast” sound.
Living on top ramen and coffee, both Damon and Chip we’re bartenders at local Hoboken spots. “We were a couple of struggling artists” Chip recalls. “But no matter what, we were always writing and jamming. The place was like a music store with guitars and CDs all over the floor.”
Since the Hoboken years, a lot of life has happened. Chip now lives in Brooklyn and is a touring musician and songwriter, first as part of pop-rock band PaperDoll and now as a performer and music director for the international YouTube sensation Postmodern Jukebox. Damon is back in his hometown of L.A. and working in music production, currently as the tour and production manager for the Grammy-award-winning band, Ozomatli.
Though their lives have taken different paths, the two never stopped making music together. Taking advantage of modern technology like the cloud and voice memos, Damon and Chip send ideas to each other from across the country – and sometimes from across the world. “It’s actually pretty easy to have a ‘long distance’ musical relationship these days,” says Damon.
The duo meet up in person for studio sessions whenever their tour schedules allow, finishing and producing songs together. “We’re just writing music that we like,” says Damon. “Both of us live musical lives and we are surrounded by it constantly.” Adds Chip: “We make what sounds good to us.”
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