In The Studio With The Gear Geek Who Wrote 'More Than A Feeling' The mastermind behind the band Boston isn't just a songwriter — he's also an engineer. Scholz opens his studio to demonstrate how his self-made gear helped create the group's unique sound.
YouTube

Music

Tom Scholz: Sound Machine

Tom Scholz is one of those musicians whose role in rock history is easy to underestimate, but the accomplishments stack up. Scholz is the lead songwriter behind Boston, whose debut album stands at No. 12 on the RIAA's list of the best-selling albums of all time. Since it was released in 1976, Boston has gone 17 times platinum. The band, which placed four songs (including "More Than a Feeling," of course) in the Top 10 of Billboard's Hot 100, has become a classic-rock radio staple.

Scholz wasn't just responsible for Boston's tunes; he also invented the band's sound. Because he'd been trained as an engineer — he was employed at Polaroid before making Boston — he was able to create devices that brought to life the sounds in his head without having to translate them through a middle man. This ability has allowed Scholz to forge a second career away from the spotlight, making Rockman amps, pedals and other equipment.

In collaboration with Nova's The Secret Life of Scientists & Engineers and Seftel Productions, here's a rare look inside Scholz's studio and his world of sound.

Scholz, who says in the video that he's content to treat the rock star life like a fantasy he can dip into and out of, is dipping back in this summer, taking Boston out on a 66-date tour starting in June.

[+] read more[-] less

More From Rock

Theodore performs a Tiny Desk Concert on March 27, 2019 (Amr Alfiky/NPR). Amr Alfiky/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Amr Alfiky/NPR

Theodore

The music of Theodore is dark and transformative, with the kind of spare elegance you can hear in Sigur Rós or Pink Floyd.

Gary Clark Jr. performs a Tiny Desk Concert on April 1, 2019 (Amr Alfiky/NPR). Amr Alfiky/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Amr Alfiky/NPR

Gary Clark Jr.

These three songs, from Clark's incendiary new album This Land, roar with the assurance and force of a showman at the top of his game.

Weezer performs a Tiny Desk Concert on Feb. 27, 2019 (Amr Alfiky/NPR). Amr Alfiky/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Amr Alfiky/NPR

Weezer

Performing unplugged, the band forgoes its usual meticulousness in favor of a shaggy, entirely acoustic mix of new songs and '90s-era deep cuts.

Alejandro Escovedo performs a Tiny Desk Concert on Jan. 16, 2019 (Claire Harbage/NPR). Claire Harbage/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Claire Harbage/NPR

Alejandro Escovedo

The veteran rocker and a backup band from Italy play songs from their album The Crossing, chronicling an American Dream of rock and roll and Beat poetry.

Meg Myers performs a Tiny Desk Concert on Dec. 5, 2018 (Cameron Pollack/NPR). Cameron Pollack/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Cameron Pollack/NPR

Meg Myers

Myers replaces her album's roaring electric guitars and electronics with a pulsing string quartet, piano and brushed drums — and uncorks a cover of Kate Bush's "Running Up That Hill."

Aaron Lee Tasjan performs a Tiny Desk Concert on Dec. 12, 2018 (Cameron Pollack/NPR). Cameron Pollack/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Cameron Pollack/NPR

Aaron Lee Tasjan

Aaron Lee Tasjan arrived in an ascot and mustard-colored shirt, sporting red, round sunglasses and mutton chops. It was a fashionable nod to the psych-pop and rock sound he brought to the Tiny Desk.

Pedro the Lion performs a Tiny Desk Concert on Sept. 13, 2018 (Claire harbage/NPR). Claire Harbage/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Claire Harbage/NPR

Pedro The Lion

No matter how dark or disastrous, there's always been an undercurrent of grace to the music of David Bazan. He returns to his Pedro the Lion moniker for this memorable Tiny Desk performance.

Back To Top