Drum Corps International
The DCI.org interview: Thomas "Tractor" Bureau, Boston Crusaders' conductor

The DCI.org interview: Thomas "Tractor" Bureau, Boston Crusaders' conductor

by Drum Corps International

Name, hometown, corps: Thomas "Tractor" Bureau, Biddeford, Maine, Boston Crusaders What is your role in the corps this summer? I am one of the two conductors. My role is to keep everyone informed at all times and to be a great friend to all of my friends at the Boston Crusaders. What do you do in the off-season? I am the percussion caption head at a high school in Maine, and I work full-time as a sales consultant for a major Ford dealership in Maine.

Thomas "Tractor" Bureau
Give us your full drum corps/marching music background, and how each position prepared you for the leadership role you're in this summer. I started playing marching music at the age of 12 and have been involved in some type of marching band/corps ever since. I started out as a bass drummer for my local high school marching band at the ripe age of 13 (when I was in 7th grade). I played bass for one year, tenors for three and finishing up on snare for my last two, for a total of six years in high school marching band. I Joined the Boston Crusaders in 2000 as a junior in high school. My involvement in the groups I have been a part of has really paved the way for me in both my career and in my personal endeavors. The last good book I read: "The Automatic Millionare" -- WOW!! The last great film I saw: There are sooo many great movies out there. I tend to enjoy the action/millitary/comedy genre. "Dumb and Dumber" and "Super Troopers" are among the top 12! Three CDs I'd want on a deserted island: I guess if I had a CD player on an island with an endless supply of coppertops (right), it would have to be Revis' "Places for Breathing, Linkin Park's "Live in Texas" and Fuel's "Natural Selection."

My favorite TV show: I really don't watch too much TV because of my schedule. If I had to choose a show it would have to be "Friends." Favorite performers: It would have to be a tossup between the band Fuel and my great, lifelong friends from BAC! It was so cool to play in a great quad line with some of the best players in the country. I am very greatful to have met and made some great friends because of the Boston Crusaders. How do you "blow off steam?" The best way I like to blow off steam is to get on my motorcycle and go for a nice, long ride up the coast. In drum corps it is a little harder to blow off steam, but I like to just go for a little walk with my CD player at "eat/shower/load" time. Why I march with the corps I am in: My entire staff at my old high school marched or were involved with the Boston Crusaders in some way for a long time. My percussion instructor (who I really looked up to) told me that I should audition for the group cause I "had a good shot" at making the group.
At Boston we have so much history and tradition in everything we do. I guess you could say the reason I march with the Boston Crusaders is because of the great friends and family I have here both with current and old members. Was it always your goal to be in a leadership role? It really was not my over all goal to be a "leader." The first leadership position I was asked to take on was to be the percussion section leader of my high school marching band. I really enjoyed taking charge of my section and making them ready for anything. I knew that I would want to be a leader in drum corps, but never knew I would be what I am today.
How will you go about balancing the roles of leader and corpsmate? By being myself and listening. Trying to make sure everyone knows what is going on at all times! What has been your formative drum corps moment? I think it would have to be when we were playing the ballad at the 2000 finals performance! I just remember looking at the crowd and thinking "Wow ... I am actually a Boston Crusader!" Best drum corps show ever: There are a lot of great shows out there. As a drummer I don't think you will find a line that was more clean that Star of Indiana 1993! As a "drum corps nut" I enjoy SCV 1987 and 1992, Madison Scouts 1995 and 1997, and Boston (every year) and especially 2003!    What are you most looking forward to about the summer? A great summer back with the people I love the most. Having a great show, and playing for thousands of screaming fans nationwide! I can't ask for more than that. Best thing about being a drum corps leader: Having the best seat in the house! Being in front of my best friends every day. Working with the people I love. Worst thing about being a drum corps leader: The thought that you can always make a wrong call and 134 other people are counting on you making only the right ones. Having to tell your best friends something they do not want to hear! During tour, the best part of the day is: It would have to be a tossup between "eat/shower/load" and my favorite five words of the day -- "Set-up-for-the-run!" During tour, the worst part of the day is: Waking up!
Favorite drum corps personality and why: Rich Viano! He would have to be the craziest person I know. He motivates everyone -- I can always look at Rich and get inspired to work even harder!
What do you want to be when your drum corps career is over? I would like to stay involved with drum corps in some aspect. I want to own my own business and be able to do whatever I want in life. I have an overall goal to be a rock star some day. Who knows? I'm still working on that!

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