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Tomas Kalnoky (born December 24, 1980) is the lead singer/guitarist and songwriter of the bands Streetlight Manifesto and Bandits of the Acoustic Revolution. He also held this position in the famed 3rd-wave ska band Catch 22, but left the band after making only one album (their debut, entitled Keasbey Nights) to attend the Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, Georgia, among other reasons. He has stated that visual art was his first love, before his love of music came about, and that he attended the Savannah College of Art and Design purely for visual art, with music not being a reason of attending the school. According to the booklet of Somewhere in the Between, Kalnoky also attended Rutgers University. He is also supposedly involved with a punk band called Man Bites Dog, which has a planned album titled "It's Go Time," although they have yet to release any material.
Kalnoky's family immigrated from the Czech Republic to the U.S. in 1985, when he was 5 years old. He has one brother, Achilles, who is a year older than him.
Kalnoky said he learned to play because of The Beatles. His first foray into the music world began with the punk band Gimp, with whom he released one cassette, Smiles for Macavity, before moving onto Catch 22. Gimp can best be looked at as quintessential 90's pop punk, vaguely reminiscent of early Blink-182.
Tomas played an Ibanez AS73 in the early days of Streetlight Manifesto, and now plays a "Satin" Gibson ES-335.
Kalnoky's influences are many, the blending of which creates Streetlight's signature sound. Kalnoky cites The Drifters as a favorite band. Other musical influences include Nirvana, The Suicide Machines, and Squirrel Nut Zippers. He has also mentioned Czech folk singer Jaromír Nohavica as one of his musical heroes. There are also non-musical influences that affect Streetlight Manifesto, more specifically the lyrics; the song "Here's to Life" refers to authors J.D. Salinger, Ernest Hemingway, Albert Camus, and artist Vincent Van Gogh, in addition to musician Kurt Cobain.
Tomas Kalnoky is also a self-proclaimed perfectionist, explaining the persistent delay of Streetlight Manifesto's second original album and the next album by the Bandits of the Acoustic Revolution, which he says "Will be released by the end of this decade."
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