Unleashing a musical Storm 

Chad Storm finds creative fulfilment in Whistler's music scene

click to enlarge PHOTO SUBMITTED - Chad Storm (a.k.a. Tom Chadwick) has been busy this year.
  • Photo submitted
  • Chad Storm (a.k.a. Tom Chadwick) has been busy this year.

Shortly before he was set to compete in the Whistler Music Search, Chad Storm was watching The Jungle Book.

When the song "I Wan'na Be Like You" came on, he turned to his girlfriend at the time. "I said, 'I'm going to play that,'" he recalls. "She said, 'No you're not.'"

He ended up performing the Disney track during the competition and while he might not have won, several years later, "that has literally been the biggest song of my career," he says.

That trend of playing whatever he feels like has persisted throughout Storm's (whose real name is Tom Chadwick) music career. "I've never compromised with what I want to play," he says. "But you get to know what people like."

Originally from the North of England, Storm spent his 20s in Glasgow, Scotland, before moving to Whistler in 2013.

When he first picked up a guitar as a 15-year-old, he was drawn to playing Oasis, Foo Fighters and Incubus. Later, he'd tackle the classics like Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones and The Beatles. Nowadays, he oscillates between his long-time favourites and new pop acts—from Adele to Katy Perry.

"I sing a lot of female songs," he says. "I don't know what it is that draws me to that. It's a challenge—and female voices affect me more ... It's also something other dudes aren't singing."

He might have started playing music at a young age, but it wasn't until his sister asked him to play her wedding in 2004 that he first performed for an audience. From there, he started to play at parties, then pubs and write some of his own songs. But that momentum slowed to a halt in Glasgow. "I embarked on a career in civil engineering, studying part-time (while) working, so I had no time for music," he says in an email. "I started to lose my confidence playing live, but fortunately I had a few opportunities to play with others that kept me strumming every now and then."

While he was part of a popular Red Hot Chili Peppers tribute band for a time after that, Storm didn't start performing regularly until he moved to Whistler six years ago.

The music search in 2014 offered a bump in profile, followed by gigs at The Crystal Lounge, then later Black's Pub, Arts Whistler, Whistler Brewing Company and Brickworks.

"It's a little bit breaking through—once you get one gig, people give you a shot," he says.

Now, he's playing four nights a week, usually at The Crystal Lounge or Brickworks, as well as three nights a week with Canadian Wilderness Adventures' mountaintop fondue tour.

"For me, I'm lucky I've got a good job doing land surveying in Function, doing work I love," he says. "I don't have to worry about doing music for money."

Instead, performing has remained a passion—one he hopes to grow. He's been playing alongside local drummer Drew Crome, who returned to the Sea to Sky corridor after moving away for a time. "We're around the same age with the same vibe," he says. "It's more a friendship with music attached ... It is fun with someone else because it's still new for me. I play with a drum peddle when I'm on my own—just to have the company, it can be a little lonely (on stage)."

Next up, though, you can catch Chad Storm at The Crystal Lounge on Thursday, Feb. 21 at 9 p.m.

"I'm happy with what I'm doing," he says. "It's how I express myself creatively and I'm getting better. I know the bigger things will come."

For more visit facebook.com/ChadStormMusic.

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