Thomas MAC McIntyre


How did you get started in the music and entertainment industry?

I actually got started in the jazz vein in college, while taking a history and appreciation of Jazz class, it awoke in me a desire to play the sax that had existed since childhood, but I could not explore.  So as an adult age 24 I went to a pawn shop bought a sax, and began teaching myself how to play.  First I followed local sax players in the music department of the college I attended.  Then I began studying music theory and finally listening to CDs and tapes of the Jazz greats present and past.

What does “being creative” mean to you?

True ability to me as a musician means the ability to feel something in your very soul, and then reach out to the audience through your instrument of choice and make them feel what you feel.  Skill and theory have a part in it but true creativity for me is feeling and as such it can’t be taught.  Rules of music can be taught, but that is not really creativity to me. Because sometimes the greats break those rules.

What kind of creative patterns, routines or rituals do you have?

Every artist has a pattern or signature style.  That’s how I can tell Kenny G from Najee, and Gerald Albright from Dave Coz.  For me, the key is to develop a pattern but not to be tied to a pattern so that my sound becomes predictable.  But usually, I start with the song progression and then layer whatever I’m feeling into improving passages.

How do you overcome creative blocks?

The hardest music to play is music that is personally uninspiring, but as a sax player sometimes I back up a group or musician whose chosen music that does not speak to me.  So when that happens I simply keep it in the pocket don’t take risks or chances because it will inevitably sound contrived.

What’s your favorite thing you’ve ever created?         

My son

What are you trying to communicate with your art?

As always I am trying to reach my audience and make them FEEL what I am feeling through my instrument

Which creative medium would you love to pursue but haven’t yet?

I have been fortunate over the years to play many different styles that force me stretch as an artist, so as of now I can really say that I have gotten to play many styles of music with many

What’s the best advice you ever had about how to be more creative?

“First you master the instrument then you master the music, then you forget all of that and just play”  Charlie Parker

How do you value studio time?

It is great if you have the ability to be creative in the studio (meaning no cost studio time, or a personal studio)  But if your paying, my expectation is that WE hit the studio SHARP, lay down our tracks as rehearsed, and get out. 

In which way does the way music sounds change the way it is perceived? 

Live music, by a real instrumentalist, is a dying art.  Studios can create rich sound digitally and many younger audiences don not appreciate the real sound, so my form of music finds a home of older people which is fine with me

Any final thoughts

Never forget that as an artist in any genre, you must always be a student.  You must always be learning, growing stretching your boundaries.  When you stop you began to become stagnant and will rust out.  But finally, I feel as a musician I am best when I play what I feel and NOT try and sound like anyone else.