A Brief History by Tom Griesgraber

ThosSounds grew out of my fascination with great recordings and a few simplistic ideals. In short... the world already has an incredible amount of amazing records so I wanted to focus on things that were "different."  

When I was fresh out of Berklee College of Music and a year into SDSU's masters program, I discovered the Chapman Stick at a NAMM trade show played by Tony Levin in a trio with drummer Jerry Marotta and flutist Steve Gorn. I bought one a few months later thinking it would be a side instrument to my guitar and bass playing but it soon moved to the forefront. It was different. I had already met and been playing a bit with drummer Ryan Moran in school and eventually met Jimmy Patton who at the time was playing two guitars by tapping (the same technique as the Stick). I thought combining the three of us in a group would surely lead to something great and unique, but I also realized it was probably too unusual for a traditional record label to know what to do with. So in 1998 I started putting together the gear that would record the first Agent 22 record while simultaneously working on writing the music and getting the business together. 

It took a year, but that first album was released in 1999. We started playing local shows, won "Best of the Year" at the Belly Up Tavern's local music contest and things kept getting busier. You can read the full "artist story" elsewhere, but while we were getting busier in the live music world, a funny thing happened... I realized when the first edition of the Agent 22 CD came out, although we'd done everything we could at the time, the recording quality didn't sound "pro" to me (why we later remixed and remastered it!). At the same time people started asking me to help them make their own records. I wanted things to sound better. I started obsessing over the obvious things like microphones and preamps, plugins and outboard gear but also the less obvious things like cable brands, power conditioners and acoustic treatments. I've lost count of the times that I've bought some special piece of gear just to make somebody else's project sound better. I joke sometimes that the ThosSounds studio motto should be "Where we spend more money on your project than you do!" 

Over twenty years later I'm still at it... listening to whether cables sound better with four conductors or two and whether gold or silver connectors sound better (the results may surprise you!) If you were to take the time to listen to my own releases as an artist in order I think you'd notice the changes over the years from that first Agent 22 album through my first solo album a Whisper In The Thunder and more recently Unnamed Lands with guitarist Bert Lams. I'm incredibly proud of the work I've gotten to do with so many other artists like RyMo, The California Guitar Trio, Peter Pupping, Dübh and Jerry Marotta to name just a few. Check out the full list and feel free to contact us with any questions.