We had the good fortune of connecting with Thomas Csorba and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Thomas, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
It’s funny to think about my decision in pursuing an artistic career because it never felt like I really made one big decision to do so. In reality, it looks like a lot of small decisions made on a constant basis that lead to a life in making art. When I was in highschool, I would often make the decision to stay home, and try to figure out how to write a song instead of going to a party, or a football game, etc. I think I was just drawn to figure out how to crack the code of songwriting in those years, and, simply put, I would rather do that than figure out how to be a teenage socialite. Steven Pressfield’s “The War of Art” talks about this – overcoming resistance and creating things is about a lot of small decisions on a daily basis. Writing towards a new record instead of watching mindless TV, Playing a week full of shows during SXSW instead of going to Cabo with the kids at my school, etc.Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Throughout my journey in making music, I’ve faced hurdles regarding timelines, finances, ego, etc. The list goes on and on, but the one thing that these great people in my life have been able to do is ground me in the act of making art. I think If I’m able to focus primarily on the quality of my work, much of the rest falls into place. I want to create Classic American Music, but In order to do that in a sustainable and fruitful way, I have to be a little business savvy. We live in a culture where in order to be a career musician, you also have to be a social media account manager, a publicist, a booking agent, a networker, etc. I wear a lot of hats, but when I’m able to ground myself in the act of writing good songs, the rest of it seems to become easier to shoulder. I’ve been grateful to create and release a solid collection of music in the 23 years I’ve been around on this earth. I think it’s due to the folks who have reminded me to keep my head down, and keep moving.If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Growing up in Houston was a real treat because of its diversity and unending options. A couple of the small business owners I’ve been able to develop relationships with in Houston are Travis over at Manready Mercantile, and Rusty over at The Mucky Duck. These guys have both been able to create great culture around their businesses, and I’m always stopping by when I can. I’m also a sucker for a nostalgic hamburger from Southwell’s, or a milkshake from Beck’s Prime. You can find me drinking coffee at Morningstar or Catalina the morning after a show on my way out of town.Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
When I think about who has shaped me into the artist, writer and person i am today, I think of the answer in a few different categories. I’ve been lucky to have some great people that have poured into my art. These musical partners include Brian Douglas Phillips and Beau Bedford. Both of these guys have produced some of the music I’ve put out into the world, and they’ve been nothing but giving. They’ve helped bring my songs to life, have pointed me to inspiring art, and have led by example in how discipline, humility, and care for others are vital in creating a life in music. In the same breath, I’ve gotten to play music with some killer players that have inspired me. Fred Mandujano, Jacob Hildebrand, the boys from the Texas Gentlemen and so on. Further, I find myself in deep gratitude for people like my father, my friends Walker or Andrew who don’t have the ability to directly speak into my life as an artist, but have taught me character values that transcend occupation. My dad is a great example. From him I learned the value of discipline, finishing things through, and how to lead a team well – all lessons that have helped me immensely in my music making journey. The third group of people that have shaped me to who I am are what I like to call “Shadow Companions”. These folks include Walt Whitman, Billy Collins, Lucile Clifton, the 15-year-old version of my grandfather, and Townes Van Zandt. These are people who’s stories, art, and reverberating voices have shaped me ion indescribable ways. To these folks I’m forever indebted, and I hope to walk in a spirit of gratitude because of their guidance in my life.