Throwing Gravity • by Emily Patrick
Tom DuPree III
make it big
Last fall, anyone passing by the old peach warehouse near Pennington Road would have been surprised to hear rock music pouring out into the countryside.
Inside, the up-and-coming Nashville-based group Throwing Gravity was shooting a video for their song “Here We Go Again,” which is currently ranked number one on Melodic Net's Singlelist.
The band's roots run deep in Madison: guitarist Jesse Triplett and drummer Tom DuPree III grew up here and used to sneak into the peach warehouse as teenagers.
“I sure hope we won't get in trouble for it now,” DuPree said.
Throwing Gravity has been gaining momentum over the last several months. They released their first album, “It's Not the End,” in December, and TNA Wrestling featured “Here We Go Again” for the theme song of a televised event.
In January, they played a sold-out show with the band SafetySuit at Nashville's 12th & Porter.
Even as the band gains national acclaim, for DuPree and Triplett, Madison will always be the place where they got their start as musicians.
“The great thing about growing up in Madison is all the support you get,” Triplett said.
He began performing at the age of 10 as a drummer at Madison Church of God. Since that time, he has added bass, guitar, piano and vocals to his repertoire.
“He was always the force in town for musicians,” DuPree said. “He could play everything and play everything well. I could just play the drums, but nobody knew.”
Triplett and DuPree formed a strong friendship while playing in the drum line at Morgan County High School.
“We would go to lunch during band camp and hang out at football games, and we just kind of hit it off and ended up kind of starting a rock band,” DuPree said. “It was easy. We just kind of became friends at that age, and we've been friends ever since.”
Their interest in rock music developed as they listened to bands like Metallica, Trust Company, Sevendust and Linkin Park.
They started their first rock band, Vernacular, with a group of friends from MCHS.
“They would go and play around town and all the high school would come listen to them. They had lots of little local fans. They did that all through high school,” said Triplett's mother, Jean Triplett.
After graduation, Triplett and DuPree set out to test their mettle as musicians outside of Madison.
“A small town is great because you get a lot of local support from people, and that's really awesome and great, but it's almost masked a little bit,” Triplett said. “People think you're the greatest thing in your hometown, but that doesn't necessarily mean that you stack up outside.”
In 2004, Triplett won the Exalting Him Talent Search with the Athens-based, ministry-oriented, alternative-rock group, Julian Drive (then called Refuge). For the next five years, he toured nationally and contributed to their acclaimed album “My Coming Day,” which was released by Inpop Records.
Meanwhile, DuPree completed a degree in religion and classical civilization at Emory University in Atlanta.
In 2007, he moved to Los Angeles for a year-and-a-half where he played drums as a member of The Forward.
Despite their time spent apart, DuPree and Triplett remained strong friends.
“I've seen them make decisions that for the sake of their friendship, they might not do something that they want to do,” Jean Triplett said.
In June 2009, they reunited in Nashville and joined The Rust, which they would eventually rename Throwing Gravity.
“2009 was a whirlwind year,” DuPree said.
In July, the group got a manager and booked a tour throughout the U.S. and Canada with Secondhand Serenade and Parachute.
While on tour, The Rust caught the attention of Jason Flom, the founder of Lava Records, a subsidiary of Universal Republic, who also discovered the multi-platinum sellers Collective Soul, Matchbox Twenty and Stone Temple Pilots.
In December, they signed with Lava/Universal and began to revamp their image and make a new record.
“We realized that there were five or six bands throughout the course of history that had been called The Rust, and rather than buy the rights to the name from them—a name that none of us really loved—we decided to change it,” DuPree said. “So, we went through a process of spit balling names back and forth and eventually settled on Throwing Gravity [with] one of the biggest reasons being that when you Googled it, nothing came up, and it sounded kind of cool.”
Throwing Gravity completed the album, which was to be called “Wake Up,” in the spring of 2010.
“We recorded this big budget record and everything seemed to be going great, on the fast track to doing a lot of really cool stuff,” Triplett said.
But after eight months of stasis, they were informed that the record would not be released, and in December of 2010, they were dropped from their record contract.
Even after such a major setback, Triplett and DuPree's musical ambitions were not deterred.
“It's just a speed bump. There's a lot of people out there just searching for the golden record deal, and that's really not what it's all about at all,” Triplett said. “If you're a musician, there is no such thing as your last chance. It's just another thing that happened, and you just keep on playing music like you always have.”
Throwing Gravity's December release of “It's Not the End” proves their persistence.
While Triplett and DuPree are excited about the future of the band, they are also working on several side projects.
As a duo, they go by the name Until The Anthem and play pop-rock music with an electronic edge. They hope to release an album soon.
They also work with country singer Sarah Turner, and Triplett has had the opportunity to play with Collective Soul and Ed Roland's Sweet Tea Project.
On Sundays and Tuesdays, they both play worship music at churches around Nashville, even if that means getting up early after a Saturday night gig.
“Sunday afternoon naps are your best friend,” DuPree said.
As for the future, while DuPree and Triplett would like to be commercially successful, their greatest goal is simply to continue to play music for as long as possible.
“Everybody obviously wants to make money at it, but if nothing ever happens with music for me from here on out, I'll still be 80 and playing down the street,” Triplett said. “You don't just quit music.”
Printed in the February 23, 2012 edition.