This Sunday is a little better by the scuzzy punk of Period Bomb. There is a blunt kind of charm to the band backed by a gleefully noisy blast of fuzzed out, mutated garage rock infused jams, none of which seem to give a fat fuck what you think. Theirs is the kind of music you put on to freak out the squares, and it’s absolutely brilliant. This interview is awesome. Conducted by Cami, the frontwoman for the band, you get this sense that they really just want to do what they think is the coolest and most positive thing that they can do. Maybe I’m reading this all wrong, but it was a lot of fun on my end. You can hear them at the link below, and see what they’re all about this Sunday night at Haymarket Whiskey with Andrew Rinehart, Murals, and Divide and Dissolve from Australia. We caught up with Cami to talk about their band hotline, creepy meth people, and Gloria Estefan!
Never Nervous: How did you get started with music? Were your parents or siblings into it, or did you come to it in some other way?
PB: My family is only into like old Cuban music and Gloria Estefan, but put me in singing lessons since I was 4 cuz that’s what I wanted more than ballet or anything. My mom was friends with Gloria in high school and saw her struggle a lot, but ultimately marry into it, so she thought the same model would work for me, but I remember being grossed out by that and Gloria’s attitude from a young age. I actually kinda idolized her until I sang Mariah Carey’s Emotions for her at age 5 and she said it was cute and laughed and it made me furious and I yelled “I’m not cute I’m cool” and hated her for the rest of my days.
NN: What’s your musical resume? Is Period Bomb your first band or have you been in others? How have you evolved as an artist since you started?
PB: My pre-PB solo project is called Mysterr. It’s extremely ambient and experimental and lacks consistency which is why I think those really cool and complex videos that took me forever to make remain with less than even 50 views online. Unless i’m performing and having a great time I only like to work on artistic projects that are completely new and very challenging for me.
NN: What responsibilities do you have as a singer/frontwoman? How do you both represent the band and yourself fairly?
PB: Fairly? I guess I don’t represent us very fairly. I’m a pretty incendiary person and it usually comes off terribly and represents us extremely unfairly. We’re all super forgiving and friendly and don’t really care too much about anything…. I mean we care about political issues and can all be anal, but different things but we laugh it all off ultimately. We just have a muuuuch better sense of humor than most normal people are able to understand right away.
NN: Tell us about your fan engagement. When you’re on stage, how do you get into the head of the crowd? What kind of show should people expect?
PB: I like to avoid questions and descriptions like these, because my favorite are totally unsuspecting audiences. Audiences who go out seeking quality music are my favorite because they get what they want but also get a whole lot more. Musicians tend to be the largest part of our fan base, because they are the most appreciative of people making good music that is also different and who are also having a lot of fun while doing it. The last insight I can offer dealing with this question is we are bored by the vastttttt majority of bands performing in the world today. One strong passion we all share is to save the world from being incredibly safe, uniform and boring.
NN: For that matter, what’s a good show? What about a bad one?
PB: A good show to me is one where people are able to speak to me very lucidly after… Almost like we’ve given them some kind of power or confidence to be themselves is a more clear or grounded way. A bad show for us is one where everyone is fucked up and don’t give a damn what is going on musically or otherwise.
NN: It’s clear that socio-politics are a big part of the band’s image. What does it take for someone to be an effective alley to feminism, etc.?
PB: I think to be an effective alley to feminism you should not identify anyone according to their genitals. I, personally, and this sentiment is not shared by every member of the band… like to fluidly voice whatever kind of pronouns I feel fit with the person I am talking to. For example if I’m talking to someone who has this kind of goddess spirit I’ll call them a goddess instead of asking what sex they identify as. I don’t believe we’re all put on this earth with our highest purpose being to reproduce. We’ve surpassed that purpose a long time ago and would hope every individual gives themselves a lot more credit than that. I often get in trouble for praising attributes of women they are ashamed of for some reason. Definitely hasn’t stopped me… I’m not a very big fan of telling people what they want to hear. That kinda defeats the purpose of being alive for me.
NN: Have you ever gotten any push back from any nitwits out there that may not get what you’re putting out? I mean, you’re playing/have played the midwest, I imagine, and there are plenty of regressive goons out there.
PB: Oh yea ha definitely. Well actually conservative people have for the most part been pretty polite with us. At this old Saloon in Denton they lowered the glass curtain on us, waited for us to be done with our first song and then gave us an envelope with our money and nicely asked us to leave. Others in the South have just left after getting in an argument with their friends about our lyrics and intentions, instead of just asking us lol.
Also with people trying to give us record deals or some kind of “free” promotion. Nothing is free. Everyone has some kind of agenda their trying to scam you into. All I’m doing is weeding that shit out when I start talking to people in this “aggressive” way, which is just how I talk to everyone being a loud, Cuban woman. All of my musical hero’s have muuuuch more controversial lyrics, song titles and album titles than anything I’ve done so far. I’m just warming up so I’m sure I’ll have a ball with the haters that are surely to lie ahead.
NN: What’s the LA punk/indie/whatever scene like? How do you see it as different or similar to any other place that you might be similar?
PB: The modern LA punk scene just baaaarely exists from my perspective. I lived there 8 years in 7 different house venues (they all get shut down in a year or less) and saw countless talented young people with lots of passion try and form a band and record just to find out they also kinda have to form their own scene there as well. There’s so many people in that town that it’s also possible to form some kind of new mix of people which is cool, but as a scene as a whole… I don’t think it’s much of a community based town because of the overall trend of going there to make it in Hollywood. The same attitude has kinda bled into the punk scene sadly with people going there to get sponsored by Thrasher or featured in some fancy magazine… there are a lot of talented weirdos who have grown up there or lived there for decades. They all usually hang out at Don Bolles’ Hushe Club every Wednesday which always features some f the best stuff on earth. I do dearly miss my ‘Psychobabes’ as I call them that would play or attend the shows I used to throw there that I’ll probably still try to throw there at least once a year. I even got that tattooed on my head :.( LA was so awesome when I could live there for $600 a month… its just simply not possible anywhere in LA county anymore.
NN: How did the phone number idea come together? Have you received any good calls?
PB: Oh yea we get great calls every day!! Just yesterday someone wrote and sang an amazing song for us called “My Life in the Toilet Bowl” !!! We just want to make its of cool weird friends who actually talk to us rather than like us on social media and never say a word to us. The phone makes it still anonymous but open for a real connection. Most people hang up when we ask them a comical question but were trying to get better about holding off on that at least until we tell them our next tour date :/ !
NN: Having traveled now a bit, what’s the dumbest shit you’ve seen in a truck stop? Don’t hold back.
PB: Oh man once in this super creepy meth town the employee of the month’s name was “Crystal White.”
NN: What do you think Kentucky is really like?
PB: Kentucky is awesome!!!! I’m more excited to go back to Lexington than most other places!! I can’t wait to play with Dr. Paul again and hopefully even collab! He’s one of my favorite artists alive today!!! Him and Bangplay in Colorado i’m most excited about.
NN: What non-musical things have you excited lately? Have you read, watched, eaten, or drank anything worth note?
PB: The Problem Child trilogy. So. Fucking. Good. I want to make more movies.
NN: Last, but not least, what are your top three desert islands albums and why?
PB: Omgggg ugh this questionnnnn as soon as I hear it I forget all my favorite ones…. I’m just gonna go with what comes to mind right now… Geza X anthology (he’s like my favorite person ever and my musical dad), God is my Co-pilot, mmmmm tough call between Sonic Youth and The Residents… Also if they came with music videos I’d chose The Cardiacs, Negativland and Ariel Pink.