Ahead of the upcoming tour with SSS, Divine Chaos and Visceral Attack, I managed to grab a few words with Joe McGuigan (Gama Bomb bassist) about, amongst other things, free albums and the possibility of “Gama Bomb: The Movie”.
I have never heard a bad word said about a Gama Bomb show, what is it that makes the band such a good live prospect on this tour?
“Having fun and getting merry! It’s a mix of things really. I s’pose we’ve got quite a back catalogue now, so the set has more “hits” in there; we’ve always been very big on crowd interaction too, so it’s a much more animated show then maybe some of the other bands about. Plus a big one; we haven’t toured the UK in a while and these are our only UK gigs this year. So get ‘em while there hot kids!”
‘The Terror Tapes’ has been out for a while now. Looking back, how does it compare to the rest of the catalogue?
“I’d say it’s stood up very well. The reaction’s been very positive all round really. After the last LP, we spent a lot of time working on the songs for this one and consequently it’s really got the best elements of what we’ve done in the past. Speed, humour and more of a pop sensibility in the chorus.”
“We live in a very small box musically. No down-tuning, no clean guitars, no synthesizers or ulterior motives. So it’s all about writing better songs for us, not flapping our musical wings. That’s what people who like us expect and that’s what we strive to deliver.”
Metallica released their own film last year. With your bands obvious love of the medium, what would Gama Bomb the Movie be like, and who should be in it?
“It’s actually an idea that we’ve been talking about for a few years. I think (hopefully), with the more videos we’re doing with this album we’re putting ourselves into a better position to actually make it happen next album.”
“It’s too early to tell if we’ll have time to write a really good album, write a soundtrack, produce a film AND tour this album. To be honest it would sort of require us to take a year out of touring altogether.”
“But, yea idea-wise, think ‘Mad-Max 3’, meets Lucio Fulci, meets ‘The Warriors’.”
With the thrash revival and bands reforming and a healthy scene there have been some brilliant tours over the last couple of years. What would be your ideal touring line up?
“For us? Maybe At War, Violator, Gama Bomb and Agent Steel. As a fan? Num-skull, Living Death, Flotsam And Jetsam and Lazz Rockit.”
You gave away the ‘Tales From The Grave In Space’ album, back in 2009. With hindsight, how did that experiment work?
“Very well. It outsold our previous LP “Citizen Brain”, despite the fact we were giving it away online.”
“Due to the unique nature of the release we got to tour in a lot of territories such as Brazil and Mexico, where we’ve never had a CD for sale, so obviously that proves that the business model works. We did encounter some problems though; such as Walmart refusing to stock the CD due to our agreement with Rapidshare, but at the end of the day that’s small fry. Simply put, the free download changed us from being a band that tours Europe, into a band with a world-wide following.”
Philly underwent throat surgery in the build up to recording the ‘Terror Tapes’, how is the voice holding up?
“Philly’s voice is fine. He’s had his nodules removed (Oo Er) and is on the mend. Recovering from this sort of thing can take up to 2 years so he’s only really getting his higher octaves back now.”
“I think he put in a stellar performance on ‘The Terror Tapes” without the screams being so wall to wall. It made him explore his voice a lot more. But, yea well be glad to see the shrieks return in his own good time.”
What are your plans for the rest of 2014?
“Some European festivals, another video for this LP, most likely another European tour, then we’ll start looking at North and South America.”
Gama Bomb are on the road for 6 dates at the end of January, hitting Cardiff, York, Glasgow, Liverpool, London and Brighton. This could be your only chance to catch them in the UK this year, and with such a strong line up, these will be gigs that shouldn’t be missed.
28 Jan – Cardiff, The Globe
29 Jan – York, Fibbers
30 Jan – Glasgow, Audio
31 Jan – Liverpool, The Kazimier
01 Feb – London, Underworld
02 Feb – Brighton, Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar