Who is Tom Tincha?
One of two lead guitarists with ApologetiX, Tom Tincha (rhymes with "pinch ya") played his first concert with the band in Medina OH on November 15, 2008.
Tom lives in Butler PA and has two teenage daughters. He's played in a number of Christian rock bands over the past 25 years and has also made mission trips to China. He has a great love for the Chinese people and is currently studying Mandarin Chinese to help him on future trips. He also studies sports, particularly the Pittsburgh Steelers, Penguins, and Panthers.
When we were interviewing new guitarists in the fall of 2008, Greg Sparks of the nationally known Christian group the Sparks had this to say about him:
"I know Tom Tincha fairly well. Rebecca and I have been leading worship at First United Methodist Church in Butler for about a year and a half now. Tom is the primary guitarist there. He is a wonderful guitar player and knows an immense amount of music, guitar rock, 80's stuff. Tom is also a very deep-thinking believer.
"His heart is very pure and loves to use his talents to bring honor to Jesus Christ. When we are at BUMC, Tom's musical input is always right on target. He has a wonderful musical intuition. He is a great blessing to that fellowship, along with his two brothers, Jim and Mark, who are both drummers. But make no mistake, the greatest thing about all of the Tinchas is their love for Jesus, and their servant hearts. I know that Tom would be a great help to any ministry that he decides to be a part of."
Although he's a pretty low-key guy, Tom shines when it's time to crank it up. He is well known for his virtuoso guitar solos, and he adds solid background vocals to the mix. Like ApologetiX bassist Keith Haynie, Tom's quiet demeanor camouflages a keen wit. He is quickly developing a reputation as the Henny Youngman of ApologetiX. Here's an interview we conducted with him in late March 2009:
Where were you born and raised?
Butler, PA I have lived in Butler County all of my life.
Tell us about your kids
I have two daughters, Shannon (Nitro), who is 13; and Hannah (Glycerin), who is 12.
How old were you when first started playing?
I was about eight.
Was the guitar your first instrument?
Yes. I had an old Gretch that was originally Dad's.
Do you play any other instruments?
I have played a little bass.
Who were the first groups and/or musical performers you ever liked?
CCR, Alice Cooper (the original group), Ted Nugent, Van Halen, UFO.
What was the first album you ever owned?
I think it was Alice Coopers third album, Love it to Death.
What was the first 45 rpm single you ever bought for yourself?
I am not sure which was the first one I bought, but I do remember when my Dad brought home a CCR 45 called "Travelin' Band," and after hearing that song for the first time, I was hooked!
What was the first album you ever bought for yourself?
Van Halen II.
Who are your favorite secular groups and performers?
Van Halen, UFO, Scorpions, Kansas, Dream Theater.
Who are your favorite Christian groups and performers?
Rez Band, Stryper, Steven Curtis Chapman, Jeremy Camp, Guardian.
What are your favorite secular albums?
Van Halen I and II; Strangers in the Night and Walk on Water by UFO; Killer and Love it to Death by Alice Cooper.
What are your favorite Christian albums?
Soldiers Under Command and Against the Law by Stryper; Beat the System by Petra; and Fire and Love by Guardian.
Who are your biggest influences as a guitarist?
Glenn Buxton and Michael Bruce from the original Alice Cooper Group; Ted Nugent; Edward Van Halen; Michael Shenker; Scott Gorham and Brian Robertson from Thin Lizzy; Randy Rhoads; and Oz Fox and Michael Sweet from Stryper.
Who are your favorite guitarists?
Edward Van Halen, Michael Shenker, and John Petrucci.
How and when did you become a Christian?
I was raised in a Catholic family, my dad being a Byzantine Catholic and my mom a Roman Catholic. Like a lot of people, I drifted from my religious upbringing and experienced many of the things teens were faced with in the 1970's. I had always tried to be a good person throughout my teens, and I thought that God would accept me because of my attempt at living a righteous life.
In February of 1984, my Uncle Dave, who was a Christian told me that I was a good person, but not good enough. He gave me a Bible tract and there were three scriptures that really stood out. They were Romans 3:23, "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God"; Romans 6:23, "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." And Eph. 2:8-9, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast."
For the first time, I realized that I was lost and that I needed a savior, and if I were to die, I would be eternally separated from God. On February 29, 1984, I prayed with my Aunt Kathy (Dave's wife) to receive Christ as my Savior and Lord and I dedicated the gifts and abilities that God gave me to His service. Since that day, I have seen God's faithfulness in my life as well as the lives of many other Christians that I know. It was and is to this day, the single most important day of my life.
What are the names of secular bands you've been in and what years were you in them?
Sunrize (1976), TSR (1977-79), Night Rider (1982-83), Legal Tender (1984), Hocus Pokus (1993), and City Limits (2002-06).
What are the names of other Christian bands you've been in and what years were you in them?
Project Exodus (1984-88), Face to Face (1989), The Royal Ugly Dudes (1990), Power Up (1991-93), and Re:Generation (2001-02 and 2007).
How did it come about that you tried out for ApologetiX?
B.J. Collins, a keyboardist who had done some work with the band in the past, sent me an email about the band auditioning guitarists.
Editor's Note: B.J. also recommended former ApologetiX drummer (2001-05) Bill Rieger to the band.
Did you know any ApologetiX members before you joined?
I met Bill and Jimmy briefly when they were in Ten point Ten.
You joined ApologetiX shortly after their other lead guitarist, Tom Milnes, but you two knew each other already. When and how did you meet?
Yes, I met the "Itchze" back around 1985. He was in a band called Rama and I was in a group called Project Exodus. We did some gigs together in the late 80's.
How has your experience been playing for ApologetiX thus far:
What have been your favorite things about playing with ApologetiX?
I like hangin' with the guys in the band and meeting all the awesome people that come out to see us! Getting to travel to other parts of the country is also really cool!
How have the ApologetiX fans been treating you?
The fans are really awesome! They have made me feel very welcomed and I am blown away by their enthusiasm and loyalty to the band.
What's your home church?
Crossfire (Part of the United Methodist Church) in Butler PA.
What other hobbies and outside interests do you have?
Genealogy, China (the country not the dishes), History Channel, and hanging out with my daughters whenever they will let me.
How do you like playing in a nationally touring band?
I love to travel and meet people and it has always been my goal to play the guitar anywhere I can. All I can say is that I am blessed to be part of such an incredible ministry!
What are your favorite foods?
Chinese food, anything my mom makes, and my Grandma Mamie's halupkies.
What are your favorite books?
The Bible, The Resurrection Factor, and The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin.
What are your favorite movies?
The Passion of the Christ, Saving Private Ryan, Weekend at Bernie's, Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure, and Wayne's World.
Who is the biblical person you'd most like to meet (besides Jesus)?
Who is the historical person you'd most like to meet?
Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, and Hudson Taylor.
Who is the famous living person you'd most like to meet?