Tom Brislin

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Tom Brislin
Born (1973-10-06) 6 October 1973 (age 47)
New Jersey, United States
Occupation(s)Keyboardist, songwriter, singer, producer, writer
InstrumentsPiano, Keyboard, synthesizers, percussion
Associated actsYes, Meat Loaf, Debbie Harry, Renaissance, Spiraling, The Sea Within, Kansas

Tom Brislin is an American keyboardist, songwriter, singer, producer, and writer.


Brislin was born in New Jersey into a musical family. The youngest of his siblings, he first played the piano at home and practiced by reciting theme tunes to television shows. He then received formal lessons.[1] Before he could play, Brislin drew album covers and devised song titles.[1] An early influence came from his sisters who played 1970s progressive rock albums which introduced him to keyboardists Keith Emerson and Rick Wakeman. He gained further inspiration in the 1980s from music by Duran Duran, The Police, and jazz musician Herbie Hancock.[1]

Brislin graduated from Immaculata High School in Somerville, New Jersey in 1991; the school inducted him into its hall of fame in 2016.[2]

Brislin was part of several bands as a teenager and attended William Paterson University, where he created You Were Spiraling.[3]

Brislin's first concert tour took place as the pianist with Meat Loaf, from 1998-2001.[1] In the 1990s, Brislin was a member of You Were Spiraling which was initially formed of a "rotating cast of local musicians" that eventually turned into a full-time band.[1] In 2002, Brislin reformed the group and renamed them Spiraling which was followed by their debut album, Transmitter.[1] Brislin was the sole songwriter for the group.[1] The band toured in support of They Might Be Giants, Violent Femmes, and OK Go.

Brislin gained wider recognition when he was hired as a touring keyboardist for the progressive rock band Yes for their 2001 YesSymphonic Tour. He also became known for his work with Meat Loaf, Debbie Harry, and Renaissance.[4] Brislin is the author of 30-Day Keyboard Workout,[5] and was a writer for Keyboard Magazine from 2001-2014.[6]

Brislin released his debut solo album, Hurry Up and Smell the Roses in 2012. The album, which Brislin describes as "Cinematic Pop",[7] was written, produced, performed, and recorded by Brislin. In 2013, the album was released in Japan on Powerpop Academy/Thistime Records. A vinyl edition of the album was released at the end of 2013 on the Plane Groovy label.

Brislin was chosen as the piano faculty for the spring 2014 semester at Swarnabhoomi Academy of Music, a contemporary music college outside Chennai, India.[8]

In 2017, Brislin co-formed the international supergroup The Sea Within.

In December 2018, Kansas announced that Brislin had joined the band, replacing David Manion. Brislin's tenure began in February 2019.


As solo artist[edit]

  • 2010 When You Told Me Not To Go (single)
  • 2011 Steppin' Out (single)
  • 2012 Hurry Up and Smell the Roses (album)

With You Were Spiraling[edit]

With Spiraling[edit]

With Meat Loaf[edit]

With Patti Rothberg[edit]

  • 2001 Candelabra Cadabra
  • 2002 Snow Is My Downfall (EP)

With Yes[edit]

With Kansas[edit]

With other artists[edit]

  • 2000 Dan Thomas - Dan Thomas (EP)
  • 2005 Camel - Footage II (DVD)
  • 2005 Tony Senatore - Holyland
  • 2008 Joshua Van Ness - DNA
  • 2009 The Syn - Big Sky
  • 2009 Francis Dunnery and The New Progressives - There's a Whole New World Out There
  • 2010 Renaissance - The Mystic and The Muse (EP)
  • 2010 The Tea Club - Rabbit
  • 2010 Camel - The Opening Farewell (DVD)
  • 2011 Josh Kelley - Georgia Clay
  • 2015 The Syn - Live Rosfest
  • 2016 Anderson/Stolt – Invention of Knowledge
  • 2018 The Sea Within - The Sea Within


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Lush, Brian. "ROCKWIRED INTERVIEWS SPIRALING". Rockwired. Retrieved 9 December 2017.
  2. ^ Kuboski, Terry. "Immaculata High School inducts Hall of Fame Class of 2016", Courier News, December 31, 2016. Accessed February 22, 2018. "Rounding out the Class of 2016 was the first inductee to represent the arts: Tom Brislin, Class of 1991, an internationally recognized musician, song writer and producer. Brislin has played with multi-platinum artists, including Meat Loaf, Debbie Harry, and Yes."
  3. ^ Conversation with Tom Brislin, Notes from the Edge. Accessed February 22, 2018. "As a teenager I found myself playing in rock bands, jazz bands, playing classical recitals, and getting into electronic music. That trend continued when I was studying music at William Paterson University. While in college, I formed the band You Were Spiraling as a venue to explore these varied interests within a song-oriented context."
  4. ^ La Gorce, Tammy (16 November 2003). "Success Stories In New Jersey Rock: The Un-Springsteen". The New York Times. Retrieved 9 October 2012.
  5. ^ "30 Day Keyboard Workout". Alfred Music. Retrieved 27 May 2016.
  6. ^ "Articles by Tom Brislin". Keyboard Magazine.
  7. ^ "Tom Brislin Bio". Jordan Rudess Keyfest. Retrieved 27 May 2016.
  8. ^ "SAM Faculty". Swarnabhoomi Academy of Music. Retrieved 27 May 2016.

External links[edit]