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Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Kel in conversation with Bombskare

Kelly - I've seen you a few times over the years, from the Wickerman festival to clubs in Glasgow, but I really do have to ask is the Bakers niteclub stage you played as part of the Dirty Weekender festival in Kilmarnock the smallest, and how did you all fit on it?

Scott (Bombskare) - First of all, I just want to say that we had a great night in Bakers last week, our first time there, but hopefully not the last.
It was a bit of a tight fit on the stage but it's not the smallest stage we've played. We regularly play up in Hootannany in Inverness and their stage is about the size of a snooker table, about half the size of Bakers, no joke.
And there have been smaller ones.
Ages ago we used to play in the Black Bull in Edinburgh, with no stage at all, we would just set up around the fruit machine next to the toilets and go for it.
And that was when we had Big Andy Laidlaw as our lead singer (currently of Big Fat Panda fame).
He takes up a fair bit of room (about twenty five stones worth).

As I've mentioned the Wickerman festival I was a bit disappointed that you aren't on the bill this year.
Maybe not as much as my 12 year old daughter, but still disappointed.
Did you not get the call, or are you playing elsewhere?

We haven't been invited to Wickerman this year, which is a bit disappointing, although we are actually playing a wedding that weekend so it was unlikely we would have been able to do it anyway.
We need the cash to pay to get our second album finished, and the wedding pays, wickerman doesn't.
I know that sounds crap but its unfortunately the truth.
Having said that, last year they asked us only four weeks before the event, so I guess they could still ask us.
Don't hold your breath though.

How does festival gigs compare to club shows?

Festival gigs vs club shows?
I guess the festivals are good because you have a bigger crowd and its all very loud and exciting, but the club gigs are probably my favourite, just because you are closer to the crowd and you can get an amazing atmosphere when everyone's right there in your face.
I like the gigs where the band is falling into the crowd and the crowd is falling into the band, and it all just turns into a sweaty noisy mosh pit.
Great fun.
Plus, when you play these bigger festival type shows you usually don't have the opportunity for a sound check so sometimes it doesn't sound as good on stage.

With so many people in the band do you find it difficult to all commit to gigs. How do you even all commit to a practice at the same time?

As you can imagine organising nine people to do anything is difficult, especially when everyone has jobs, families, girlfriends, other bands, pets, x boxes etc, but we somehow manage to do it.
Over the years we have acquired a kind of gang mentality so we're all kind of pulling in the same direction so to speak.
We also have three different drummers, our main drummer Sam, plus two 'stunt' drummers for when he's busy, and occasionally we have a 'stunt' guitarist and bassist.
Occasionally we'll do gigs with one man down (last week for instance in Aberdeen, we were minus our trombone player).
As for practice, we religiously get together nearly every Monday night at our rehearsal room in Granton, here in Edinburgh (not tonight though, everyone is still fucked from the gigs at the weekend!!).
Monday nights are usually the night when nothing else happens so that's when we practice.
And by practice I mean standing about smoking and drinking beer and slagging each other off.

It's been a little while since the last studio release. Have you plans for recording again, and if so how is that going?

We were actually just in the studio a few months back recording on the Straight To Tape sessions, which was just released in March.
It was hard work because it was all recorded live straight onto tape and took us a while to get it right.
Its download only though, but you can see the video on YouTube.
Our last CD release was The Chop Shop EP, last summer which contains different remix versions of songs which will be appearing on our second full length album.
We're currently mixing that at the moment, approximately 20 songs, which won't all make it onto the album.
They'll probably all get whittled down to 14 or 15 tracks.
The album is going to be called "The Day the Earth Stood Stupid" which is one of the songs on the EP.
It's a slow and expensive process but I have to say the new album is sounding amazing so far.
Not sure exactly when it's seeing the light of day.
We had hoped for a release later this year, but unfortunately it's all moving a bit slower than we had hoped.
We'll keep you posted

How serious are you all about the band?
At a certain young age I find that people consider it a real career path, but then I meet people who have been around the block a few times and have a more realistic expectation of it, and they consider being being in a band as something that's fun and might put some cash in their pocket, but little more than that.
Where would you put yourself in that context.

I would put us in the latter category. We make no money from the band, everything is reinvested and pays for diesel, vehicle hire, drumsticks, guitar strings, saxophone reeds, equipment repairs, rehearsal space rent, recording studios time, etc.
Its an expensive business, and although we can charge a fee for gigs, there are so many people in the band that if everyone was in it just for the money, it wouldn't be worth their while.
We just don't command a big enough fee (yet?).
In some ways this is positive as everyone is in it for the love of doing it and we have never, in over ten years of gigging, ever had a fight about money.
So in some ways it's like a mini communist state, no one gets paid but no one is out of pocket. If we ever get more successful and the money involved increases then I'm sure that will change
However the flip side of that is that several of us are in other bands that ARE working bands i.e wedding bands or cover/tribute bands who do get paid and that can sometimes affect Bombskare's availability.
People have to eat, I suppose.

Okay them just for a laugh, and to finish off tell us who in the band would be most likely to go missing in action after a gig, who will probably drop dead on stage, who would be the last man standing in a drinking competition, and is it true that you are releasing a ska fitness DVD in time for x-mas.

The person most likely to go missing in action after a gig is my brother Colin, our trumpet player.
He's slightly volatile, for example last month he got into a fight and punched a guy in the face with his trumpet, which he had in is pocket at the time.
We are currently writing a song about that incident.
I'm likely to be the one who drops dead on stage; I'm not particularly fit and one or two gigs we've had in the past (like our album launch in 2009) were so hot that I almost passed out on stage so I'm pretty sure it will happen at some point.
Last man standing in a drinking competition that's probably Papa Joe our bass player, purely because of his larger body mass. but Mike, our trombone player I've rarely seen totally hammered and he does drink, so he's probably a dark horse in that regard.
It's always the quiet ones.
As for the Ska fitness video, yes that's completely true.

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