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Rusty String

With the Rusty String LP, Portland, Oregon based multi-instrumentalist cars & trains twenty-six year old Tom Filepp takes a cross-country step closer to the melodic electro-folk he set out to make with the 2006 debut EP, 2 AM. Woodwinds interweave with banjos, trumpets, strings and glockenspiel, fleshing out dynamically engaging song structures. Rusty String sits somewhere between stations on the analog dial, where an old country broadcast breaches into absent-meinded waves of static, synching up as if on purpose.

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As a child, Tom Filepp inherited an odd pairing of passions from his father a computer programmer gone rock bassist: he was exposed to both the technical & artistic angles of life well before knowing how to put them to good use. Whether it had been that, or the many nights spent in band practice spaces watching grown men cover New Wave anthems that made him the multi-instrumental fanatic he is today, is up for debate. But one thing is certain: Tom has established himself as a legitimate song-writing force in cars & trains.Filepp picked up guitar and drums at age seven. Although he spent more time jumping on his bed pretending to play while blasting Michael Jackson than actually practicing, it was the beginning of something. Meanwhile, his interest flourished in something much more difficult and less entertaining to pantomime. He began programming simple video games on the family PC and putting together computers from spare parts before they had any cool cachet post-War Games, pre-Hackers.As time went on Filepp picked up several other instruments. His second grade music teacher recognized the talent hidden in his paste-smeared fingers, picking him for an all-star concert for his ability to fumble through Twinkle Twinkle Little Star almost in key. Catapulted by such resounding success, he picked up trumpet the following year.His relationship with the guitar was reinvigorated a few years later when he saw one of his crazed longhaired classmates rock out a version of Malaguena. Filepp decided it was time to lean the instrument properly, soon forming the first of several ill-fated rock bands. He moved onto hardcore and metal for a while, shredding and screaming his way through high school. Filepp's music tastes widened with time, and he became keenly interested in folk in the vein of Guthrie, Seeger and Dylan. Around the same time Filepp became enamored with hip-hop and many types of electronic music.Inspired by projects like Boards of Canada and cloudDEAD, Filepp discovered a new direction for his music. He started working at what would soon become cars & trains, an attempt to marry his love of folk earnestness and electronic immediacy. After much trial and error and experimentation, cars & trains was born.Filepp is constantly learning new instruments to add to the mix, both for new sonic possibilities and the sheer fun and humbling nature of learning a new instrument.As cars & trains Filepp has done remixes for and collaborated with boy in static, Sole, Demune, Ancient Mith, Bomarr & Telephone Jim Jesus, King Rhythm, Two Ton Sloth and K-The-i???. He has shared the stage with folks including Sole & The Skyrider Band, Telephone Jesus, WHY?, and Demune.