Southern California band The Bombpops formed in 2007, but it’s taken almost a decade for the foursome to put out their first full length album.
So why the wait?
“It might seem like a simple answer, but there’s a lot that stopped us from putting out an LP up until this point,” says Jen Razavi, who shares vocal duties with Poli Van Dam. “We had several severe line-up changes over the course of the band, including six bass players and three drummers. Each time felt like we were starting over. We kept playing shows between line-up changes but we were always set back.”
The Bombpops put out EPs in 2010 and 2011 on Red Scare Records, but it wasn’t until 2012 that they became the band they are now, with Neil Wayne and Josh Lewis completing the rhythm section. Shortly after finally finding a bassist and drummer, Van Dam became pregnant with her son and the band took a short break. A few months after her son was born they hit the ground running playing shows again. They started writing and recording and self-released another EP in 2015.
The band turned to Fat Wreck Chords to put out their first LP, ‘Fear of Missing Out.’ The record came out on February 10th. Razavi and Van Dam spoke recently about the new record, signing to a new label and what’s next.
Innocent Words: Congrats on signing to Fat Wreck Chords. How did that come about?
Jen Razavi: We’ve been fans of the label for years. We’re basically a product of Southern California skate punk and grew up on Fat bands. Over the years, we’ve played with a lot of Fat bands had some of our dear friends become Fat bands, and through those experiences we developed a relationship with the label and the people involved. In the past, Fat Mike had said he thought we were cool kids but he wasn’t ready to sign our band. After we finished up recording “Fear of Missing Out,” we sent the songs to Mike to see what he had to say. His literal response was “You guys really did it! You made a great album, and it would be my honor to put it out on Fat. Call me.”
Innocent Words: Let’s start with the obvious question: why so long to put out your first LP?
Jen Razavi: We had EP releases in 2010 and 2011 on Red Scare but it wasn’t until 2012 that we became the band we are now with Neil and Josh in the rhythm section. They finally completed us as a band. Shortly after Josh and Neil joining, Poli became pregnant with her son and the band took a break. A few months after her son was born we hit the ground running playing shows again but didn’t start working on new material until about a year after that. We self-released an EP in 2015 and then just put our heads down to make this record. In a lot of ways, it worked out in our favor to have waited this long for this record. We learned how to be in a band, how to tour, how to hustle and most importantly we took the time to write better songs.
Innocent Words: Poli, congrats on your first child. Did you ever consider that this band might just be over?
Poli Van Dam: No. I’ve always known that I wanted to be a mother and I’ve always know that I wanted to play music. I never thought of those two things as mutually exclusive.
Innocent Words: “Be Sweet” was written by Teenage Bottlerocket drummer Brandon Carlisle, who passed away in 2015. Can you tell that story?
Jen Razavi: The lyrics were written by Brandon. We were hanging out in a hotel with Brandon and Ray, sometime in 2010 and Brandon showed us this song that he had written and wanted us to play. He wrote the lyrics to the song on four sheets of hotel notepad paper and I held onto them. When we went in to do the record we thought it would be cool to use them, I still had the pieces of paper stashed away in an old shoebox in my closet. I called Ray and asked his permission to use the lyrics, I wasn’t’ sure if Brandon had since re-written a song with those same lyrics or recorded anything. Ray sent me some stuff Brandon had demoed but none of them were songs with those lyrics. It was so long ago, I didn’t remember the chord progression or the melody that he had and we were hoping to record it as he had intended, but that was impossible. So, we wrote the lyrics into a song in the style of Bottlerocket as homage to Brandon and the band. It was our producer/engineer, Chris Fogal’s idea to title the song “Be Sweet,” as that was Brandon’s coined saying.
Innocent Words: Any plans to tour when the record comes out?
Poli Van Dam: Yeah, we have a string of record release shows in February on the West Coast and then we’ll be hitting the Midwest, East Coast, and maybe even Canada in the near future. Still waiting to announce some dates so stay tuned.
Innocent Words: What’s next for the group?
Poli Van Dam: Lots of touring! Looking forward to hitting as many places as we can, following the release.
04/07/17 Thousand Oaks, CA Borderline Bar & Grill w/ Strung Out, Ignite, Assuming We Survive
05/11/17 St. Louis, MO Firebird w/ Red City Radio, Russian Girlfriends
05/12/17 Chicago, IL Cobra Lounge w/ Red City Radio, Russian Girlfriends
05/14/17 Detroit, MI Magic Stick w/ Red City Radio, Russian Girlfriends
05/16/17 London, ON Canada Call The Office w/ Red City Radio, Russian Girlfriends
05/18/17 Toronto, ON Canada The Cave At Lee’s w/ Red City Radio, Russian Girlfriends
05/19/17 Montreal, QC Canada Pouzza Fest BUY
05/20/17 Brooklyn, FL Knitting Factory w/ Red City Radio, Russian Girlfriends
05/21/17 Cambridge, MA Middle East Upstairs w/ Red City Radio, Russian Girlfriends
05/22/17 Philadelphia, PA Voltage Lounge w/ Red City Radio, Russian Girlfriends
05/23/17 Pittsburgh, PA Howlers Cafe w/ Red City Radio, Russian Girlfriends
05/24/17 Fort Wayne, IN Brass Rail w/ Red City Radio, Russian Girlfriends