DS Exclusive Interview: Jay Kellom (Karbomb) discusses longevity, “Nose Before Toes,” and Georgia’s punk scene

Karbomb play that nitty gritty punk rock that’s just so hard to come by these days which makes them a favourite amongst the Dying Scene crew.  The band aren’t new players to game having been around for six years but they continue to kick on release after release while many of their counterparts are fading into the background.  The band pride themselves on having the right mix of technicality, speed and melody and it’s something they definitely nailed in their release, “Dick Move.”  The band have completed work on their upcoming full length “Nose Before Toes” which they had the pleasure of working with Joe Queers from The Queers on.  The new album is slated for a 22nd September release through Warbird Entertainment.

We spoke to Jay Kellom who takes care of bass and a few vocals for KarbomB about what was happening in the band right now.  We discussed the longevity of KarbomB, “Nose Before Toes,” diving in head first and since the band hails from Athens, Georgia we discuss the punk scene in that part of the world.  The band have some big plans for the 2011/2012 which you can find out more about when you read on.  Check out the full interview here.

So first off, for those who have not heard Karbomb yet, can you familiarize us with your band?

I guess I would say if you threw Propagandhi, Comeback Kid, Strung Out, Nofx, Lagwagon, and Bigwig into a blender, you would get the Karbomb flavor. Nice aggressive punk that’s easy on the ears.

Karbomb started in 2005. With the longevity of bands only lasting an album or two these days, what has contributed to Karbomb being a band for six years now?

I think the fact that we’re really close friends that happen to love playing music has helped. It seems in the recent years with social networking and music sites that anyone and everyone can be in a band, and put out “music,” and for all the wrong reasons. In my opinion, the reason bands don’t last very long now a days is because it’s become more about image, being the hottest/cutest, and trendy topics than the actual music. Bands forget that a good song is just that, a good song. We are in a band because we love writing music, and sharing it with people of similar interest. We’re not a bunch of “models” trying to play what the industry is trying to pass off as “punk rock,” so we can get our royalty checks. We’re just four dingy poor punk kids who write what we know, and people see that. It’s genuine. We all have the same goal and want to get there the same way, without stepping on so many heads.

Being a band in such a digital age, do you find it easier getting your name out there with tools like Facebook and Reverb Nation?

Oh most definitely. You can stay well connect to all your fans and friends. It gives a way for fans to reach back out to the artist, with comments, messages, etc. Makes them feel more a part of the bands mission, which is always awesome. While websites are cool and beneficial, they seem less personable to me and at times tend to be too cluttered (not excluding MySpace). Coming from a fan’s stand point, I got the album for the artwork; so I’m going to your site for the information. I don’t need flashy whatnots and crazy animations. I want, tour dates, preview of tunes, news, and the option to send you a comment. Nice and clean. Of course with the good, comes the bad. With this digital age, it’s easier for everyone to jump on board and think they will be the next big thing. So now you have to help people swim through this ocean of music and noise to find your one single vessel. This can be time consuming and frustrating. I will say I miss the days where you HAD to tour for people out in other states and countries to know who the fuck you are. Now people in New Zealand can hear a song written from a kid who lives in Bumblefuck USA, and has never left his room. So in a way it has its pros and cons just like anything else.

Can you tell us a little bit about the new album ‘Nose before Toes’?

It’s your standard 40 min punk rock record. We spent about a week in the studio recording with Joe Queer from The Queers producing it. Working with him was exactly how I thought it would be, totally fucking awesome. He helped us find our strong points and accentuate them. Dan Dixon was our engineer and got some amazing sounds. We wanted a raw, true punk record. No auto tune, no processed guitars, just a room, a mic, and us. He knew exactly what we were going for and helped turn a month long session into a weeklong adventure. The record sounds like a bunch of guys playing music, not pro tools.  As far as releasing, it is coming out on Warbird Records which we’re really excited about. A lot of killer bands call Warbird their home so we are very excited to be a part of the family. It’s going to be release Sept 22nd. You’ll be able to find it on ITunes, Amazon, and select stores.

What are some themes/subject matters on the new cd?

It is pretty much a documentary of our lives the past two years. Touching on the ups and downs we all had, partying, and the scene in general. Just going balls to the wall with everything that life throws at us. If there was a “statement” or theme the record is supposed to make, I believe it would be just dive in head first in whatever the fuck you want to do. If you are gonna party, party fucking hard. If you are going to just sit on your ass and do jack shit, be the best lazy jack shitter there is. There is no reason to half ass anything. Hence the title “Nose before Toes.”

How does the writing process go for Karbomb?

It’s a bit of a democracy really, everyone gets a say, and no one’s idea is over looked. We all are moving in the same direction as to where we want the band to go musically, so it’s pretty smooth. Usually it will start with one of use bringing in a small part or a “skeleton” of a song. Then the band will work with it, tear it apart, put it back together, and layer other ideas on top. Once the music is roughly done with the core ideas in place, Nick and I will start rough drafting lyrics and ideas. Once we do a few runs with the lyrics and tones we figure out which parts work, what doesn’t, add certain dynamics that flow with the rhythm of the vocals, etc. Then we do a final cut of the music with the vocals, seeing if certain guitar/bass lines clash with vocals or what stops and dynamics we can add musically that will marry the vocals and music together that’s more preferable.

Switching gears a little bit how is the current punk scene in Georgia currently?

I’d say we’re in the middle. Some states have a stellar punk scene, some don’t really have one. I think we fit pretty snug in between. For the most part the small punk community we have in Athens is really close. Of course at times there are “cliques” in the scene which really bum me out. It’s supposed to be about united and support, and sometimes you don’t get that— maybe because of musical differences, success and so on. I will say that every show we have played in Georgia has been awesome. The crowds have always been super cool. Being an outsider coming to their town you can still see the local drama in the mix of the punk scene but I believe that is everywhere with every genre of music. You just have to push through and make it the best you can.

Any touring plans for the rest of the year?

We’re heading out for 2 weeks late September to support the release. We will be heading down to Florida for a few days, then up towards North Carolina. Check our Facebook under the “My Band”tab for all the dates and info.

What does the future hold in general for Karbomb?

Once the “Nose before Toes” is out, we’re going to do a tour to support it. After the two week tour we’re going to do weekend tours constantly around the east coast, so check our Facebook for updates and info. At this very moment we are working on a few songs ideas for a 7-inch we plan on releasing in a few months. We have plans to do much bigger tours in 2012, so mid-west and west coast will be hearing from us soon.

Closing this out, what is Karbomb listening to this year? Any new albums that have really grabbed your attention?

I will have to say a band favourite this year has been the new Comeback Kid record, Symptoms and Cures. It’s the perfect blend of melody and hardcore. I don’t know what drugs those guys do but they need to keep doing them and let us have some.

It’s not a new record, but NoTrigger’s Canyoneer is pretty bitchin, solid song writing and structure. The Be Honest EP is killer as well.

And finally, we have been listening to our new record nonstop, for business, not pleasure.  Well, Fozzy uses it for all kinds o fpleasure. Sick sick pleasure.

Check out our Facebook for more info and previews of the new record!!!

www.facebook.com/karbombmusic


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One Comment

  1. Cole Keese10/9/2011 8:29 AM | Permalink

    LOCAL 706 PUNK ROCK UNION

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