Introducing: Blast Bomb

Hamburg-based noise merchants Blast Bomb are gearing up for the release of their latest slab of Punk N Roll: new EP ‘Rock N Roll Junkie’. We caught up with band members Klaus, Torben, Kai, and Brummie Johnny to get the lowdown on what to expect with Blast Bomb, as well as discovering some of the difficulties facing EU bands when it comes to dealing with the UK post-Brexit.

What are the origins of Blast Bomb? How long have you been playing together?

Klaus: Torben, Tobi, and I met up to make some music together in 2017. At the time Torben and I still used to be in a different band. Torben and Tobi also used to play in a different band together a long time ago. Shortly after my old band split up we were searching for a singer and bass player.

Torben: Yep, myself, and Tobi played together in High Gain District since ages. Then Klaus and me played in Skull Havest also…so we come across at a session and the whole thing starts…

Johnny: So when I finally joined it was like joining an already established band. They knew each other inside out, it was a little scary but I think the click was there with all of us pretty quickly and that’s how we were able to move forward so fast… I mean we was on the road within 5 months of me joining.

How did you feel performing your first gig as a band? And how was it?!

Johnny: It was pretty exciting actually, we managed to get a really good gig supporting The Honeymoon Disease in a very unique venue called Ms Stubnitz. It’s an old fishing boat that been turned into a music venue, the stage is in the hull of the boat and the sound is monstrous not to mention amazing scenery. You can actually see what we are talking about in our ‘Born To Lose’ music video. It was filmed at that show. So for me, it was amazing to get on stage with these guys and show people what we have been working on.

Klaus: Was really cool to play on a boat. Awesome venue. I was really excited too…

Kai: It was pretty cool cause I liked Honeymoon Disease so much…

Torben: We were really tight together at that show, Honeymoon Disease could not believe that it was our first show and that the band was together since a bit more than a half year.

What should people expect when they check the band out? How would you describe Blast Bomb?

Johnny – Describing Blast Bomb as a member is always difficult, as a musician you like to think there is something unique about the sound that you make. But I think the best explanation is Explosive Rock, I mean there is definitely punk and Rock’n’Roll infused in there but there’s also some real heavy riffing maybe one of the guitarists want to give a better explanation??

Klaus: Johnny is right. We’re trying to connect our different tastes of music. It goes from punk to metal.

Kai: Dirty RocknRoll with a slice of Metal!

Torben: Just in your face Rock n Roll

Johnny: I think you guys should listen to us and tell us what you think we sound like! Maybe better, plus it’s always really fun to hear other people’s opinions.

‘Go Away’ is the new single, what was it about this one that made you chose it as a single? And what are the lyrical themes behind it? It doesn’t seem to be as straightforward “go away” as in “leave me alone” or “fuck off!”?

Johnny: Actually originally I thought it was just a straightforward “fuck you” song! But once we had recorded it and the PR for the EP began I found myself thinking about it from outside the moment and realized it’s just an outpouring of frustration. At the time we wrote the song and I began the lyrics we was on lockdown, we couldn’t really meet so we was sending ideas to each other. I couldn’t really work, locked indoors, I saw all our gigs canceled, all the hard work we had put in over the last year to take a step forward lose momentum, and of course personal conflicts that come from this incredibly unique solution, we found ourselves in. I was really really frustrated like most people and It all came out in these lyrics but I also think they are optimistic, they are saying try and stop me, but you won’t win! I will win. So it’s not all negative.

What goes through your head in the run-up to releasing new music? Are you excited? Nervous? – Both?!

Johnny: I think for any band at our level it’s a little stressful. Because we have worked on the songs, recorded them to the best of our ability, and created something we are really proud of, then we have to try and get it heard! Entering a fight for attention with musicians and bands as talented, if not more talented than us… all searching for anyone that will listen! But it’s a fun challenge, if I didn’t find it fun I wouldn’t release music.

Klaus: And it’s not easy to find a pressing plant at the moment. They are really busy. Many bands got the idea to make vinyls.

The single is lifted from the forthcoming EP ‘Rock’n’Roll Junkie’, the 10” red vinyl version of the EP looks stunning, have you held it yet?!

Johnny: No but I cannot wait. Last year we had a very limited run of a live album we recorded in the UK and they sold out so quickly but this one is a step up, the pressing plant is fantastic and a transparent red 10″ is like gold. 10″s are so rare. I just can’t wait.

Klaus: I love vinyl, I’m really looking forward to holding it.

Kai: I think all in the band like vinyl and we love the coloured stuff.

Torben: We choose the “Mercedes Benz” and decide the 10”

Johnny: To make a 10″ is a little more tricky for pressings plants, especially the smaller ones because they must take apart the machine and rebuild it for 10″ but we just couldn’t say no once we realized it fitted on a 10″, I mean they are just killer.

It seems important to the band to have a physical product out there?

Johnny: Because streaming services don’t pay artists fairly. So it’s the only way to raise money to keep on recording. Don’t get me wrong, there are many many positives to streaming sites, but nothing beats holding physical music in your hand.

Torben: Furthermore the fans at the shows continuously asking for vinyl…

Johnny: We have not really sold a CD in a very long time. People would ask for vinyls and when we said no they would take a free badge and sticker and leave…

Topical, serious question (well, there has to be at least one!) – There is an obvious British connection with Blast Bomb, have you tried to get your head around the clusterfuck that awaits any bands wanting to ship merchandise to supporters in the UK? Fish just posted on his socials some of the obstacles and costs involved in shipping from the UK to the EU, and how no-one can advise small businesses what they have to do. Have you looked into what you would have to do to ship to the UK?

Johnny: Oh man… How many pages can this interview be??? As an English national living in Europe, it’s all ready messed up with residency visas etc, will also affect my ability to tour over here, because I will need a visa for most countries we play.

Shipping is the biggest kick in the balls though because obviously we have a fan base in the UK and these guys now have to pay more. Shipping vinyl was in December €10.50 but now it’s €26.50 that’s the cost of two vinyls we are selling, it’s just not worth it for people. What hurts more, I have been told in the UK the price has only risen by 2 or 3 pounds so of course people don’t understand why the cost is so high for us. Anyway, I think I need to sit down now before I fall hahaha!

Klaus: Fuck BREXIT!

Likewise, whenever gigs do resume, would the additional red-tape and costs involved put you off touring the UK? Could you afford to?

Johnny: I think we can be OK because we make no money touring the UK anyway. Most venues and bookers won’t pay for an unknown band so when we do it’s always a lads vacation with a little music.

The band has opened for many different bands, but in terms of a similar audience: who would be the ideal act for Blast Bomb to support?

Johnny: To be honest we can fit in with most bands but if I had to pick a dream tour it would be in Germany with Beatsteaks and Smoke Blow, the UK with Wildhearts and Terrorvision. Followed by a world tour with Turbonegro! Now that would be an amazing year!

Klaus: Val Sinestra is a good German band I would love to support. Also, Dampfmaschine is a cool band I would love to support. Feel free to check those bands out!

Kai: Smoke Blow from Kiel Germany and Gluecifer from Oslo Norway.

Torben: Yep, I think the guys have already mentioned them all…

Johnny: right now we are so desperate to play we would support anyone! It’s horrible having all these killer new songs and no one to hear them!

What are your first musical memories? And what was the lightbulb moment that made you go “I want to do that”?

Johnny: My father is the reason I make music. When I was very young he used to sing me to sleep instead of reading me a story, he would explain to me the meaning of the songs, what the artist was feeling at the time and it just lit a fire in me. His favorite artists were David Bowie, Chris De Burgh, Pink Floyd, and what became me biggest influence: The Beatles.

Klaus: When I was a kid I found some old records from my stepfather: Led Zeppelin I and Black Sabbath Volume 4. That must have been the beginning of my great career. LOL

Kai: My brother listens to Motörhead and Rush. When I was young I hated it. Later I [started to] dig the tunes from Iron Maiden and a lot of Thrash bands from the US.

Torben: I think when I was at the first school band shows. There was this feeling that I also want to be on stage and impress the girls :-)))

Johnny: Let’s be honest we all started on bands as teenagers to impress the girls!

Personally, who has been the biggest influence on you becoming a musician?

Johnny – I should read all questions before answering! So as I said above The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Steven Wilson but I also have a punk influence with bands like The Misfits, Amen, Turbonegro, and The Sonics It’s actually one thing I love about this band, we are all so open minded musically. To sit and have a beer and listen to music takes down so many different streets! I believe that DNA makes us a perfect match.

Klaus: Like I said before, Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath are some of my biggest inspirations. But I was also heavily influenced by the grunge music of the 90s. For example Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam, and Stone Temple Pilot. Suicidal Tendencies, Biohazard, and Pantera I also enjoyed listening to.

Kai: My first gig was The Ramones in 89 in Hamburg. That has a big impression on me. It was damned loud but I know I want more. Much more…

Torben: First Guns N Roses (before the Use Your illusion records), Suicidal Tendencies, definitely Pantera and Faith no More. Later on a lot of other bands but I would say that was the beginning.

What was the last gig that you attended as a fan?

Johnny: Actually we was able to attend a socially distanced show together in October. A really good Mod Punk band called The Movement from Denmark. They put on a great show.

Klaus: Coincidentally, I was at the same concert. And John…actually, it was in September. 😉

Kai: We all went to Molotow Hamburg to see the Movement!

Torben: Yep Kai is right, it was after the first lockdown, when concerts with seats were allowed again. It was really weird and for me the first seated rock show.

Johnny: It was strange sitting in a bar watching a band but I found the band very inspiring. They rocked it so hard like they was playing to a full room of 500 people going crazy. It made me realize how it must be once we get to the point where we play a socially distancing show. No matter what – 100% energy.

What current social issue are you particularly passionate about?

Johnny: I definitely feel passionate about equal rights for everyone. No one should be discriminated against for any reason. The last year has definitely been one that proves things need to change and we need to start respecting each other a little bit more.

Klaus: Currently I’m worried about the Nazis and right wings getting too much attention and power all over the world. Scary…

Kai: All the Corona deniers and the Nazi Scum in so many countries. Disgusting!

What album do you have in your collection/Spotify playlist that would surprise most people?

Johnny: I love Abba and the Bee Gees, they make me wanna boogie.

Klaus: I have a lot of hidden treasures in my vinyl collection. Sergio Mendez & Brazil 66 or Ike & Tina Turner. I’m a huge fan of Funk and Soul.

Kai: The german Hip Hop band Neonschwarz. They are left-wing orientated and have superb lyrics! Fuck Nazis!

Torben: I have no personal Spotify list. Just listening to what I want. But I also think that Hip Hop or Funk would be a surprise for people.

Although 2020 was a year to forget, there was some great music released; what would be your album of 2020?

Johnny: McCartney III but I also must say that Bruce Springsteen ‘Letter to you’ and Nick Cave ‘Alone at Alexander Palace’ are also amazing records.

Klaus: Mantar – Grungetown Hooligans, Mothers Cake – Cyberfunk, The Good The Bad and the Zugly – Algorithm & Blues

Kai: Armored Saint – Punching The Sky, Fates Warning – Long Day Good Night, Mothers Cake – Cyberfunk

Who would you class as an underrated songwriter?

Johnny: Without question Chris De Burgh… forget Lady in Red go listen to Spanish Train or Don’t Pay the Ferryman…fantastic.

Kai: The best songwriter after Lennon/McCartney is without doubt Nicke Andersson. He plays in Hellacopters, Imperial State Electric, and Lucifer.

Klaus: Chris Isaak. Wicked Game is heartbreaking.

What are your plans for 2021 should COVID ever disappear?!

Johnny: I think this year will be the same as 2020 sadly. But once we are allowed, we intend to get back out there spreading our new explosive sounds to fresh unsuspected ears. I also look forward to going back to the motherland and buying a suitcase full of prawn cocktail crisps. I just heard Quavers have brought back this flavor… I need that in my life

Klaus: If it’s possible, play some gigs in front of a present audience and finally getting vaccinated.

Kai: I would like to travel to other European capitals to discover new craft beer and taprooms. Craft beer is the only way! Cheers to our local brewery in Elmshorn: Simian Ales. Delicious, check them out!

Torben: Play and see concerts and do some vacation.

How active are you on social media and where can people connect with you?

Johnny: We are everywhere. If you search Blast Bomb Hamburg you will find us.

Klaus: Blast Bomb is always entertaining the world. 💣

Johnny: To promote the EP we will be playing a special event on the 6th of March available worldwide for free so keep checking our social media for more details.

 

Live photo – Robert Metz, Markthalle Hamburg

Landscape band photo – Skeleton Dream Photography

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