Long-time hardcore Bomb fan Jordan Wesley asks Michael Dean from Bomb a bunch of questions. This is the first half. Second half comes out later this week. And the album remastered by Jack Endino comes out in a day or two.
Above pic of Michael W. Dean in Bomb at Kennel Club, 1990, San Fran. Pic by Janice Mercurio.
Show notes and questions: I woulda had Jay on this, but he’s not returning emails, which is unlike him.
krist album files, my master. All nirvana liked us. Krist and this album. Jack. master baker. Snackmaster deluxe, bob, Many many emails. great guy. loves the record. recording Hits. Eli Janney froim GSVB
Hits of Acid only sold 2272 copies.
639 Cassette. Boner records. I think 20 copies were made of each one for people’s friends though. Warner Bros record sold about 10,000. Not much.
Europe. Charlie brown’s girlfriend, Janes Addiction, Warner Records, how we got dropped,
I won’t hurt you, much. The story of the band Bomb, on the occasion of the 2021 release of their forensic re-master and restoration of their 1988 album “Hits of Acid.”
33 years, that’s enough to make a whole jesus.
My theory is there are so many one-man black metal bands is that no one will work with them because they’re too dark as people. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UQl6PzXU4cQ
He mentions Doug from Bomb in this. They used to play in an instrumental band “Gifthorse.”
Jeff kept bringing in metal songs they didn’t want to do. Doug told Jeff to get a 4-track Portastudio, the rest is history. Jeff’s tattoo Jesus blowing Mary.
Tony’s Dad, explains a lot.
was workign on this before xmas thing.
How band started, kennel club, Berkeley, skinhead bass jam,, First gig, flipper tex, the farm, actual farm, played early, only about 50 people when we played. Tony sound check, waitress, manager, etc.
Oh, found this, attached. Fun last check. You probably have one too. I misspelled “Meep.” lol.
=—0 use mastering notes.
Ask Tad how he found us, and his thoughts back in the day.
bought rights. Tony, Jay, Doug, getting paid. doug’s gank. nothing in writing. Eddy dancer (nirvana.)
Tony looked at the bass player as just another tom tom on his drum kit. But with recording everything, the bass isn’t going to get hurt if you tell it what to do.
tony gun, mean to women, hit dog.
Benjamin Neusse (pronounced “Noy-ssa”): Where did the name come from? Benjamin Neusse Who were you influenced by? Benjamin Neusse Where are they now? Benjamin Neusse Worst gig? Best gig?
1. So, obviously Tony was a beast on drums… where would you rate him in terms of how hard he hit when he was in top form? Dale [Crover] and Dave [Grohl] — safe to say those guys hit harder than just about anyone… I can play the drums to Made to Fire– and i hit hard but it would sound like crap compared to Tony obviously… I’ve seen the Melvins numerous times, but I never saw Nirvana or BOMB play live. Would you say his physical drumming power is up there near Dave or Dale?
2. Can you ballpark how many times did you got naked on stage while you were in BOMB? Anywhere near a “David Yow level” of whipping the penis out? *I do have a very brief anecdote about Tony and David Yow backstage at a gig in Chicago*
3. So walk me through the history of BOMB going on tour– when/where was the first BOMB show?
3B. When did you guys first go on a national tour, and what bands did you play with most often?
3C. Which tour was the most enjoyable?
3D. BOMB toured in Europe, or in Germany at least– or am I mistaken? What bands did you play with?
3D. Which bands did you particularly enjoy doing shows with / touring with? And what bands did you establish lasting friendships with?
3E. You should tell the story of the gig in SF with the Gits (the one where I found the poster) that you sent to Krist … it’s a pretty heartwarming story in my opinion.
3F. What were some live performance catastrophes? I have a few and I’ve played about 20 shows at most..maybe one wasn’t my fault. Amps catching fire? Hit yourself in the head with your bass like Krist in the ’92 MTV Awards performance of… Lithium I believe.
3G. Which shows stand out as some of BOMB’s very best? … or is it all just a blur? Do you think Tom Flynn or anyone else is hoarding some some delcious soundboard recordings of BOMB shows?
3F. It’s well known that Nirvana were fans of BOMB–did they ever offer for you guys to tour with them? Why didn’t Nirvana and BOMB play shows together?
3H. BOMB was more or less finished by the time In Utero was released, correct? If you guys had still been playing, would you have played the big arenas [they played UB / SUNY Buffalo’s Alumni Arena in the Fall 1993 U.S. tour , for example] or would you have been uncomfortable with playing to really large crowds where you don’t get nearly as much interaction with the audience?
4. Did you guys ever play any venues in DFW (Dallas-Fort Worth)? Did you guys ever play in your old stomping grounds– Buffalo or Rochester?
5. So what was the creative process like for BOMB’s songwriting? Did Jay or Doug bring in riffs or was it more improvisation and developing from there?
6. You played bass in BOMB but guitar in other bands– did you write any of the guitar parts for BOMB?
7. Does BOMB in fact stand for Bend Over More Baby? Did you guys have other names you almost chose instead?
8. What the hell happened with the last record and the Laswell production? Wasn’t there some acrimony between Time Warner and the band at the time?
9. BOMB is very hard to characterize in terms of a subgenre, which I regard as an accomplishment–very few bands are like that–like The Jesus Lizard has an absolutely unmistakeable sound– how do you personally describe BOMB? Underground psychedelic hard rock?
More off-topic stuff that probably we will not have time for
1. If you need to rest your voice, you can have some Nirvana trivia questions for me. I’m not quite as good on that as I once was, but I’m semi-encyclopedic on Nirvana stuff.
2. I love asking this because I was slightly too young– (age 9 when Nevermind came out) , what was your reaction the first time you heard Smells Like Teen Spirit?
3. As you told Krist, Nirvana is one of your favorite bands– what are your favorite songs? I have some, and one single favorite particular recording, but they didn’t really have any bad ones.
4. So you live in Wyoming now… any notable regional culture? When I went to grad school in Buffalo, I was surprised to discover that some people who grew up in WNY were entirely unaware of the existence of okra and white gravy.
5. Buffalo: Did you ever go to shows at Mohawk Place back in your WNY days?
6. Buffalo: Did you experience the legendary Blizzard of ’77 (or was it ’78)? I was told by many it was even worse than the notorious October Storm in ’06.
7. Buffalo: Did you ever cross paths with Kristen Pfaff, who is also from Buffalo, or later on? You gotta listen to Janitor Joe, the band she was in for most of her career.
8. Hypotheticals: A. If invited , would you have played bass for Nirvana? Husker Du? Melvins?
* Any “no” gets the follow up of “why in the hell not?” or “you are out of your god-damned mind!” lol B. The other day you said, most likely you’re not going to play in any more bands… is there any band in the world that if they said, “Michael, we need you, man! ” …any band would you play for?? lol
ok i’ll stop there LOL
Questions from Tad Leger:
What kind of music backgrounds did the members come from
Where in the scene did you fit?
Jack Endino’s old band Skin Yard shared some bills with you & they are very vocal fans. Can you give details about those shows & what brought a mutual respect between the bands
The art associated with BOMB plays a big role IMO Could you talk about the concepts & the artist that created them?
Did you have anything specific in mind sound-wise when you went into the studio for the 1st time?
What were your dugs of choice?
Tony’s drumming is a huge standout part of the band to me Who were his influences & did this style evolve when he was in BOMB?
Who was the primary song writer?
I remember seeing a lot of names listed on Hits of Acid as far as band members (I think? Just seem to remember that) what was the initial lineup?
What are you fave BOMB songs?
What were the best & worst shows you played?
What kind of music gear did you guys use?
Do you consider BOMB as any specific genre or scene
In terms of fans, are you most accepted by alternative, Rock, Metal? Asking for a Metal Head friend lol!
It comes across that your lyrics come from personal experience. Given the kind of detail it has. Was life really that fucked up?
It must have been a major change for the band to go from an indie label like Boner Records to Warner Bros. How did that come about?
When did BOMB 1st come together & when did it officially end?
More notes from me:
“I…am…so…beautiful..to me.” wacka waack wacka Why I re-sequenced the songs, open and closer from our sets. Albums have to be about same length per side, long album, 47 min, non-ego serve-the-album choice to open with the one song I am not the lead singer on. mechanics of that. Todd Rungren.
Loved you, influences, beatles, want you, Joy division my main crooning, Bauhaus, only bands all 3 of us loved, Beatles and Bauhaus. Ian Curtis was imitating frank sinatria, I’d nail god’s had to a tree for you. Nirvana “I’d kill a million for you”, we had two albums out when Bleach came out. tony anti climatic quit, Bruce, deuchaneaux.
What I’ve done since then. Sad when people just do their old thing, I know a guy who played in a band that sounded like Guns and Roses in 1988…. trying to fit into their old leather pants,
Bomb never played any festivals. Biggest show was opening for Primus at One Step Beoyong in San Jose. Second biggest was 800 people opening for the Black Dolls in Germany. We usually played to 100-200 people. Sometimes on first tour we played to ten people. Once we played for 3 in Arizona, but one was a writer for spin who said nice things in that mag, so it was good. That was the club where the owner had a rep for pulling a gun on bands when they didn’t play. On the podcast I’ll tell you what happened to us there. “go ahead and shoot me.” Richard and cop., but who knows.
Or was that the Electric Banana in Pittsburgh. On 1/11/2021 10:10 PM, F Leger wrote: Hey $800 in the 90s could pay the rent You were a Rock Star Brother! What was that? A royalty check?
My rent was $350 a month then, so it paid two months plus burritos. It’s a check from our publishing advance, Warner Chappel Music a division of WB. story about White Zombie contract. And also never signed our contract. and how we got fired. we got 65 grand advance for album. Spent 35 grand on recording. Rest mostly went to debts and manager and lawyer, plus flying to NYC to make the album. Willimsburg Brooklyn again, Bill Laswell’s studio. We netted 4 grand each after all that. On top of that, we signed away half the publishing on that album. That worked out to 4 of us getting 800 bucks a month for a year. That was the last one. lol. It’s almost no money for a major label deal. But I sure felt rich. recording this on tour, Eli, etc “I won’t hurt you…..Much”, which is about the most Bomb thing anyone could say. Don’t brelieve in pickup lines, but when I was attracted to a woman, which is to say, most women at our show, I would tell them within a day of meeting them, usually after the first time we had sex, “I will break your heart and I will cheat on you.”
Never liked Gwar much When I was at Housecore fest a few years ago I was talking to Mike and Brian from Eyehategod and Dave walked past us and Mike yelled “your uterus is showing”. Maybe that’s in bad taste to mention since he’s passed away as well
Dent in my head.