Thomas Cummings (born April 15, 1982), better known under the stage name Tommy Vext, is an American heavy metal singer and songwriter known as the former lead vocalist of Bad Wolves, Snot, Divine Heresy, and Westfield Massacre.
|Birth name||Thomas Cummings|
|Born||April 15, 1982|
New York City, United States
Vext began his music career in Brooklyn, New York as a teenager singing in local hardcore bands and engaging in freestyle rap battles with the neighborhood's preeminent hopefuls. Being too young, Vext had to sneak into clubs even for his own shows. In 1996, he formed the band Maniacal Disciple with friends Jim Donovan, Steve Perlmutter, and Mike Kontaras, eventually changing their name to "Vext" (a word he found in Wu-Tang Clan's lyrics), which eventually became his nickname after he started to be known as "Tommy Vext" in the New York hardcore scene. Vext was a local buzz band, playing shows at CBGB, The Continental, and Lamours. They also opened for Biohazard, Candiria, and many others. In 2005, at the Roadrunner Records 25th-anniversary show, Vext was invited to sing with Corey Taylor of Slipknot.
In 2006, Vext was recruited by Dino Cazares of Fear Factory to front his new band Divine Heresy. Their debut studio album Bleed the Fifth was released in the United States on August 28, 2007, through Century Media Records. The album was produced by former Machine Head and Soulfly guitarist Logan Mader.
Bleed the Fifth enjoyed a warm welcome from both the fans and the press. Dom Lawson of Metal Hammer summarized his review by saying "All in all, the portly pioneer has hit the bull's-eye and it's going to be fascinating to see what happens next", awarding an eight out of a possible 10. Eduardo Rivadavia of AllMusic felt the album "strikes a near-perfect balance between confirmation (reminding fans of Cazares' abilities and unique vision) and innovation (he even plays a few guitar solos!)". Scott Alisoglu of Blabbermouth.net summarized his review claiming the album is "one tough son of a bitch that may still have you humming melodies long after you've ejected the disc". Chad Bowar of About.com commented "Great musicianship, good songs and excellent production make this a very respectable debut".
Vext wrote the majority of the lyrics, which are about personal strifes and how people overcome them. Much of the lyrical content was influenced by the Book of Revelation, natural disasters, war, and terrorism.
In May 2008, Vext was fired from Divine Heresy after a physical altercation with Cazares. The split left both the fans and the press confused. In an exclusive Metal Injection interview, Vext explained the real reasons behind his departure from the band:
I've been suffering the indignities of Dino's massive ego for as long as I've worked with him, and unfortunately, everything I've heard about him had eventually come to fruition, and he is exactly as he's been portrayed as by his ex-band members. And this happening now is the same reason why he's not in Fear Factory anymore. It was a stepping stone in my life and I'm moving on.— Tommy Vext
The whole band rejected his statement and responded by saying, "[i]t is unfortunate that our situation with Tommy Cummings has become so ugly. ... The decision to remove Tommy Cummings from Divine Heresy was not solely Dino Cazares'. It was a decision we made as a band".
Later bassist Joe Payne and drummer Tim Yeung both broke ties with Dino and on July 27, 2015, in an interview with MetalSucks, Cazares confirmed that he was the only remaining member of Divine Heresy.
Snot is an American metal band from Santa Barbara, California. Formed in 1995, the band released their debut studio album Get Some with founding vocalist Lynn Strait in 1997 and disbanded after his death in 1998. In 2008, the band reformed, with Vext on vocals. Snot has played a number of shows fronted by Vext, including a fall 2008 tour in the United States, supporting DevilDriver. When later original guitarist Sonny Mayo left the band, Snot went on hiatus again.
On February 11, 2014, Snot reunited the second time at the Whisky a Go Go in Hollywood. This second reunion line-up once again featured Vext, Mayo, Doling, Fahnestock and Miller. They went on to play three more shows in the Southern California area before once again going quiet.
In 2011 Tommy Vext reformed Vext with members of Mutiny Within, (Bill Fore, and Andrew Jacobs); along with guitar virtuoso Angel Vivaldi. They released the EP titled Impermanence. in 2012. By 2013 Vivaldi and Jacobs had left the project, with Billy DiNapoli taking over on guitars. They released an EP titled Broke Is the New Black.
Tommy Vext then had gone on tour with Mayhem Festival 2013 as a cook, and moved to Los Angeles after the tour.
After his stint with Snot, Vext moved on and formed a new band known as Westfield Massacre. The band released their self-titled debut album on Urban Yeti Records 2016. In 2017, Vext began working on a side project with former DevilDriver drummer John Boecklin Vext left Westfield while he was on tour with Five Finger Death Punch.
Fill-in for Five Finger Death PunchEdit
In 2016, Vext formed a new band, known as "Bad Wolves" with former DevilDriver drummer John Boecklin. Guitarists Doc Coyle (Vagus Nerve, God Forbid) and Chris Cain (Bury Your Dead), and later, bassist Kyle Konkiel formerly of In This Moment were recruited for the project. During the summer of 2016, they entered AudioHammer Studios with longtime collaborator Mark Lewis (Trivium, All That Remains) and tracked what would become the group's debut studio album. On May 2, 2017, Bad Wolves independently premiered a song titled "Learn to Live" accompanied by a music video The video was streamed over 600,000 times. In November 2017, it was announced that Bad Wolves signed with Eleven Seven Music and Zoltan Bathory, the founding guitarist of Five Finger Death Punch, took them under his wings as the band's manager.
The album reached number 23 on the US Billboard 200. In May 2017, Bad Wolves released their debut single, "Learn to Live". In November 2017, Bad Wolves released their second single, "Toast to the Ghost". On January 18, 2018, they released a third single, which was a cover of "Zombie" (originally by The Cranberries), which charted on multiple Billboard charts. The night of her death, Dolores O'Riordan left a voice message to her friend, record label executive Dan Waite, where she offered to "sing on it" on the cover that Waite had previously given O'Riordan to listen to and accredit. TMZ published this voice message on April 5, 2018. A music video was released on February 22. The song topped the US Billboard Mainstream Rock Songs chart, while the music video was viewed more than 170 million times. The single is certified platinum in Canada and the United States and gold in Germany.
Vext parted ways with Bad Wolves on January 9, 2021. Even though he originally said that he was "forced out by his former bandmates and record label", Vext came out with a public statement on January 11, 2021, stating that the choice to leave was all his. Vext came out against the violence associated with the Black Lives Matter riots during the spring and summer of 2020, expressing his concern about the United States and publicly endorsing sitting President Donald Trump. He's quoted as saying, "And for this they came for me... Cancel culture came after my band...However, this is my fight, I realize I cannot drag my band members or the people around me into this. I on my own decided to go solo..." The same day, John Boecklin and Doc Coyle responded to Vext's justifications during a live stream on Facebook, while not wishing to disclose anything about the reason for his departure, they indicated that it was not related to "cancel culture" or "his political beliefs". Boecklin said, "It was just past the point of going back".
Awards and nominationsEdit
After plunging into drugs and alcohol in early 2009, Vext then decided to lead a sober life, and in 2014 founded a non-profit organization to help people suffering from the same addictions, with the aim of helping them find treatment. Vext received the Rock to Recovery 3 Service Award for his actions, held at the Fonda Theatre in Hollywood on September 15, 2018.
- 2004: Cast the First Stone
- 2012: Impermanence (EP)
- 2013: Broke Is the New Black (EP)
- 2007: Bleed the Fifth
- 2016: Westfield Massacre
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Media related to Tommy Vext at Wikimedia Commons