All is as busy as ever in the land of the Boom. We're currently getting ready and rehearsing the set for the new tour, dusting off some old classics and spring-cleaning the tried and tested. We're gonna have sax on as many of the dates as we can manage and we're raring to go. Come and check out the dates HERE and grab a ticket if you haven't already. These could well be the last UK dates of 2010.
So, I've had a nice little mailbag over the last few weeks, time to get through some of these here questions!
First, I've got a few from Joshua Parker...
"I saw on your MySpace page, on the animated banner advertising City Of Thieves that it "includes the singles The Concrete We're Trapped Within (It's Yours), Back 2 Skool and Strange Transformations". Does that mean at some point you guys will be releasing Strange Transformations as a single?"
Hey Joshua. There was a plan to do that and make an elaborate video but unfortunately the timing/plans/budget simply didn't allow it at the end of last year. It would have been really cool to follow up 'Concrete' and 'Back 2 Skool' with it but, alas, it was not to be. We may well make a video for another tune from 'City Of Thieves' but it would be unlikely to be 'Strange Transformations' as I think only a really ambitious video could do that tune justice. We're going to be releasing the 'Rude Awakening' compilation on CD in France and Germany so we're thinking about doing a video for one of the tunes on there.
Also, in regards to your new sound, with the introduction of Jimmy T Boom and synths, will it be going the same sort of way that "Charge!!" was for The Aquabats, dropping the brass section or will it integrate both? I have a small idea after seeing you last at the Camden Barfly, playing "Bandito" and "Shockwave"?
This is a funny one because it was the plan to move in that direction with absolutely no brass but after playing with Robin from Random Hand at Slam Dunk and our sax player Alex in France we decided that we really loved having brass in there. We're actually rehearsing with a sax player this coming week (Dave from Kid's Can't Fly) who will be playing with us on a lot of the dates on our forthcoming UK tour and on the gigs that The Hostiles are playing with us, Lynsey will be helping us out. Our ideas change everyday but me and James have been speaking a lot about the new stuff incorporating a cross between heavy rock and ska with drum n bass and dubstep while using a lot of very minor hornparts inspired by the Latin American ska-core bands like Voodoo Glow Skulls that we played with over in the US. So on the one hand there is going to be more samplers and synths but still as much brass as we normally use. Anyway, our ideas change from day to day but one thing is sure, we're definitely very pro-brass section at the moment, whether it's deemed cool or not!
What will Ben C's involvement be with the band now? Will he help with songwriting or recording, or just general support of the band?
In terms of what we're doing at the moment, nothing really, but the door is always open. He isn't involved in terms of songwriting or recordings... Ben's living in the US and doing his own solo thing so there isn't much time and we're all happy and getting on with things. I'm sure we'll work together in the future again. Maybe sooner than people think actually! But that's all I'm saying for now...
Hey man, just a short one, but i was wondering if anything new was happening with Babyboom or if you guys were done with that as a side project.
Hmmm, that's a very well-timed question, nudge, nudge, wink wink. ;) We're playing a Baby Boom set at Rebelllion and that's it for now. We really didn't think of Baby Boom as a side-project anymore, it was really just Sonic Boom Six acoustic. But who knows what's going to happen there, we certainly aren't done with it but time and financial constraints make it a very difficult project to put the time into at the moment. In fact, it's nigh on impossible.
Farran Key asks...
With regards to militant anti-fascism, which i am in support off, do you think anti-fascism should widen its scope to include the unfair immigration policy toting Conservative Party?
Wow. Personally, no. I'm loathe to get too into politics because I always wanted our lyrics to speak for themselves and be taken how they're taken. But in a nutshell, no, I don't think it should include the immigration policy of the the Conservative's because, although it's not my idea of the appropriate take on immigration, I simply don't think it's anywhere near extreme enough (especially within the context of other country's immigration policies in Europe) to be deemed 'fascist'. I'd go as far as to say I think that deriding any attempt to regulate the entry of people with different citizenship into any country as 'fascist' is probably a bit idealistic and hysterical. But, much more than this, blaming immigrants for taking jobs, rising crime and anything else that the dim and feckless use them as a scapegoat for is ignorant beyond belief.
A big one from Николай Волков (!)
I fetl curious, and wanted to ask just this: what do you think of anarchy? (An' overall anarchy, not just the anarcho-communism "anarchy", which itself is something I dont like.)
I think it's an interesting concept to speculate about and use as a notion to build discussion around but, ultimately, I think it's pretty clear the boat's already sailed on that one and there are more relevant things to improve within our current way of life. A solid, academically-sound concept of humanity without church, capitalism and the law as we know it is useful as an ideal to strive for and maybe the thin end of the wedge in terms of the presence of civil liberties in the minds and hearts of the decision-makers of the world. However, in my head, it's our ambition that is at the heart of the way we live, not necessarily greed or bloodlust or power-hunger, just ambition to do something more than the next man. And that ambition is ultimately what has allowed us to sit behind computers and pontificate about anarchy... But yeah, I like the thought of it and will put my fist up in the air and weakly shout it but I don't really think of it as a legitimate possibility. In a nutshell, I think if the world had a little more anarchy, it would be a better place but I'm not holding my breath on seeing it as a full-on human reality any time in the next aeon and nor would I really want to.
Here's a few of Henry Raby!
It's been puzzling me for many years now, and I keep meaning to ask you whenever I bump into you or any of the other guys/gal. In the song 'Tell Me Something That I Don't Know' from Arcade Perfect, what does the line "I'm not a fucking hippie 'cos there's races I don't hate" mean?
Maybe it's just a rubbish lyric! The song is about my observation that in the UK music press, any bands that have a slightest message that deviates from songs about love or dancing at a disco are pigeonholed as 'political' bands, almost always in a negative way. I meant, "the fact that I don't hate other races doesn't make me a hippie" ergo, "just because I don't write songs about love doesn't make me political".
Also, what's your favourite comic book/comic book author. Mine's Neil Gaiman and 'The Sandman' (specifically 'Season of Mists')
Wow. Neil Gaiman and the Sandman 'Season of Mists', literally! It's as great as any great novel. I like Neil Gaiman's prose books too but nothing comes close to Sandman. I also love all the usual Vertigo suspects; Alan Moore's Swamp Thing run, Garth Ennis's Preacher (the best ending to any comic series ever), Jamie Delano's early Hellblazer and Fables. I love stuff by Peter Milligan, Brian K Vaughan, Frank Miller, Alan Grant, and generally love Batman stuff. More recently, I enjoyed Y The Last Man and Grant Morrison's All Star Superman. If you want something that hasn't been overly-lauded, I think Grant Morrison's work on the first 50 or so issues of Animal Man in the late 80s is amazing, ahead-of-it's-time stuff. And I loved Watchmen obviously, first time around, but that's been somewhat played out now.
And 3rdly....what band that are still gigging that you have never played with would you love to play with?
I'd love to do some shows with Gogol Bordello because to see their live show every night couldn't help but inspire a band to work on that side of their show.
Alright then. That's it for now, please keep those questions coming in at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you haven't checked them out yet, I've just posted up the full series of 4 tour vids from our recent US tour below. They took me ages to do and I don't know if I'll bother again unless I get a bit more feedback you buggers. Please watch them with your head-balls and laugh at the abject ridiculousness of our little troupe...
Till next time!