Monday, November 19, 2007

Tommi Infamous of Bomb Town

Bomb Town is a punk rock dancehall band hailing from New Jersey. Under the wings of Hub City Stompers, King Django, and other New Jersey ska and reggae stalwarts, Bomb Town has emerged with a unique and exciting sound in the past few years. In a time where most ska bands are typically judged by their level of authenticity and innovation, and “ska punk” can be easily be dismissed by traditionalists, Bomb Town rise above the norm by tastefully mixing their true roots in a wicked combination. With a punk attitude, hardcore mentality and a dancehall sensibility, Bomb Town is a force to be reckoned with in the scene. Singer Tommi Infamous took the time to answer our questions regarding these influences, their upcoming album and more…

How did Bomb Town form, and what are your main influences?
Well at the time I was playing drums in a punk band called the Insults. I grew tired of not having musical control and being a drummer. I decided to start a musical project using some old school NJ Ska crew and some fresh faces. The influences of the band range from classic reggae and ska to all forms of punk rock and hardcore. My biggest influence at the moment is dancehall and all dancehall DJs.

Where did the band name come from?
The name Bomb Town came from two sources mainly. The first being an adaptation of a Desmond Dekker lyric:
Dem rudeboys get a probation - A Shanty Town
And rudeboy bomb up the town - A Shanty Town
The other source is from the term "Bomb" in a graffiti sense. I love graffiti culture and love seeing towns covered in graffiti, hence "Bomb Town." I basically want the entire world covered in BTC stickers and stencils!

Who’s in the band these days? I think you’ve had some lineup changes? Who plays what?
It’s pretty much the usual suspects. Our original drummer CK joined the Air Force in the early stages of the band and was replaced with Scragg on drums. Other than that, saxophone is still Jen Plum, Matty Glock on guitar, Crash Maline on keys, myself on vocals, and our original bass player Krispy is leaving due to personal reasons and is soon to be replaced with Joey G on Bass.

You already have one album under your belt, Logical Reality on Megalith Records, and a second album in the works. What’s going on with that?
The new album is going to be called !?INTERROBANG! and is in the mixing process as of now. We ran into some budget issues... so once we overcome that it will be released, haha.

How has the recording been going? Are you doing anything different this time around?
Recording this record was awesome! It was a lot of fun and we had the opportunity to do it with my friend and mentor King Django. This album I feel is more reggae and punk rock and not as much ska. There will still be the traditional BTC ska-punk rocker tunes but it’s definitely more reggae than the last.

How has your sound progressed since the last album?
As I stated it’s way more reggae. We experimented a lot with DUB on this album along with other sounds that definitely separate it from old Bomb Town recordings. The band is tighter, my singing has improved (thanks to Django as the producer!) and I feel it’s just an overall improvement. We recorded a lot of our tunes in a reggae riddim style in order to allow for guests and additional dubs.

Logical Reality had a few guests. Can we expect the same on this one?
Yes there are NUFF guests on this one, including Dr. Ring Ding, Rocker-T, Crusader Lion and Weatherman.

How were those recording sessions?
Working with Ring-Ding is always a pleasure. He’s great to have in the studio. He did the recording at Version City when he was here visiting and it was great. Ring Ding appears on our song Lyrics by the Ton which he does in a combination style with myself. Rocker-T recorded his vocals in Cali where he currently resides, so sadly he hasn’t visited Version City recently. Hopefully that changes. Crusader Lion appears on a track called ‘Nother Cop Done which is a song about corrupt police officers. It is done in a very interesting storytelling fashion. New Brunswick’s own Weatherman was in the studio recording some tunes for Django and he was kind enough to chat on our song in a dub plate style where the chorus is "Bomb sound is the ruling sound!" It’s rather entertaining, haha.

Who’s going to release the album?
!?INTERROBANG?! will be a Stubborn Records release.

When is the album coming out?
The album will be released as soon as it’s done. There is no confirmed release date.

I haven’t been to one of your shows in a few years, but from the reviews I’ve read on the forums, they seem pretty crazy. I hear people bring air horns. That’s both hilarious and awesome! How did that start?
Well the air horn thing came from dancehall influence. I just started bringing them and it caught on. It is rather hilarious. At one show there was some heat from another band who thought we were telling our fans to bring air horns to blare during their set to "ruin it.” They didn’t really understand why I would want people using air horns during our set but I love it!

What else can we expect from a Bomb Town show?
Well I have been fire breathing at shows which is also hilarious and dangerous. Other than that you can expect general craziness.

Aside from the band, I know you do some solo work deejaying bars and parties. Your skills have improved tremendously over the years. What would you attribute to your success? Did you have any coaching, or was it self-developed?
Well music is a constant growth. I am always striving to create a better product and improve myself along with the music itself. In music there is no "success" as far as I’m concerned. It’s a constant forward movement to figure out your next move and to top what you've already done. The only direction I’ve had has been from King Django. He has pushed me to work on my singing and to develop my lyrics and concepts. I feel that I have made monstrous leaps in my music just from working with Django and doing this last record with him.

What’s been your best experience yet as a musician? Any memorable shows, stories, etc?
Well I could go on about this for hours. Bomb Town is hilarious. At shows, outside shows, wherever we go, there is always something hilarious going on generally. The most amazing thing to me is having people actually enjoy our music. To have someone tell me they like our music is the biggest honor. Any show where the attendees have a good time is memorable. Doing shows with my friends for people that appreciate it is the best feeling in the world!

Are you planning on touring after the album drops? Will you hit Chicago? How about the west coast?
There is nothing in the works as of yet. But we plan on hitting the road as much as we can in 2008. And of course we will come back to Chicago! Chicago has always welcomed us with open arms and it’s a great city to play. Eventually we will make it west but as I stated nothing is in the works as of yet...

What else is going on in the Bomb Town world? Other projects, gigs, etc?
We are getting the new bassie up to speed and awaiting the release of the new record. We are reinventing our live shows a bit with different transitions etc. Outside of Bomb Town I've been doing sound system shows with my selector King Stout of Steady Sound System fame. We are planning a sound system tour called "DUB THE PUNX!" which is basically a dub dancehall set with me chatting. The tour is scheduled for launch on January 11th and we are heading south to Florida for a week. The logic being....well it’s friggin’ cold in New Jersey in January so why not go somewhere warm! And of course to spread Jah Love. Other then that I’m going to be doing some guest spots on a new FretWide tune and I’m going to be recording some dancehall tracks soon as well.

Anything else you want to talk about? Here’s your chance for rants, raves, shout-outs, etc.
I think I covered pretty much everything. I would like to shout out respect to all reggae ska punk rock and hardcore massive! Music is my weapon in this war against Babylon and I appreciate all the support I have received attempting to spread my message. Thank you for this opportunity. Bless!

For more Bomb Town visit , and for Tommi's solo work,

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