ADAM BOMB INTERVIEW:
June 9, 2011
Websites: www.adambomb.com – www.myspace.com/adambomb2012
Interviewer: Dirk Ballerstaedt
It had been a while since I had heard the name Adam Bomb, but I knew that he had put out several fine records over the years, like his 1985 debut ‘Fatal Attraction’, ‘Pure S.E.X.’ (1989), ‘Grave New World’ (1993), ‘New York Times’ (1997), ‘Get Animal 1 and 2’ (1999/2000), ‘Third World Roar’ (2002), ‘Rock Like Fuck’ (2005) and last year’s ‘Crazy Motherfucker’. The later features new tunes along with a couple of cover songs, and when listening to Adam Bomb’s large repertoire it becomes clear that he is addicted to classic melodic glam and hard rock — which has its roots in the ’70s and ’80s. Adam Bomb also recorded and played guitar on one of the best hard rock albums of the mid-’80s, TKO’s ‘In Your Face’, was in a band with a young Geoff Tate, and even auditioned for KISS in the early ’80s to replace the departing Ace Frehley.
Earlier this year Adam Bomb toured Europe (he performs about 250 shows every year) and Sleaze Roxx had the pleasure to chat with the guitar wizard in his backstage room in Berlin shortly before he entered the stage and performed a helluva glam rock set.
Sleaze Roxx: Adam, you’ve been to Berlin a couple times now, did you ever see the Berlin Wall before it was opened up?
Adam Bomb: I played in Berlin for the very first time at the end of the ’80s, but I’ve never been at ‘The Wall’ — but I have a piece of it. This time in Berlin is wild because our sightseeing is more of the dark side — not to the Brandenburg Gate or something like that, we want to see the dirty and disgusting places. We played the Wild At Heart Club as well as the White Trash Club, which is like our second home.
Sleaze Roxx: How has the European tour been going, because I didn’t see any promotion…
Adam Bomb: Adam Bomb is doing 250 shows a year, we love being on tour. Let’s see, last year we only took time off in December and three weeks in summer. I do everything on my own — I don’t have a record company and I don’t have a manager or booking agent. I also stopped people from selling my music because I wanted to have control over my music. In the ’80s the little record labels ripped you off — they gave you a dollar and pressed 2000 copies. I don’t want to give those guys anything, so that’s why I started to sell my records on my own. For example, that’s what happened with the ‘Boneyard’ CD — I wasn’t satisfied with how it was released. It’s funny when a record label tells you that you owe them money. How can thatwork out? They print the CD and I didn’t get any money. That’s kinda weird.
Sleaze Roxx: It’s very tough to buy Adam Bomb CDs, especially when they’re out of print or out of stock. I’ve been searching for stuff like ‘Grave New World’ and a few more…
Adam Bomb: Actually, with the merchandising we have ‘Pure S.E.X.’ and the new one ‘Crazy Motherfucker’ are on sale while we are on tour. The latest release is a good compilation of songs like “Angry Angry” and “Crazy Motherfucker”.
Sleaze Roxx: When I Googled your name (Adam Bomb’s real name is Adam Brenner) I read that you have Austrian roots. Is that true?
Adam Bomb: Yes, my grandfather is from Austria. But I don’t know that much Austrian, I can speak a little like ‘Scheisse’ which means ‘shit’ and ‘lutsch mein Schwanz’ which means ‘suck my dick’. When you’re on the road you get bored with something and so you talk a lot of shit… or a lot of ‘Scheisse’.
Sleaze Roxx: A long time ago, when you were a teenager in Seattle, you played in a cover band named Tyrant with Geoff Tate (later Queensryche). How did that come about?
Adam Bomb: I had a friend named Gary who was into that Eddie Van Halen thing. We were 15/16 years old and hot shots in the suburbs of Seattle and we wanted to get a singer because we wanted to play gigs. Mostly we played with older guys — our singer back then was about 30 years old and sang in the style of Steven Tyler. We wanted a new singer because we lost a couple gigs because our singer wasn’t ambitious like us. So we had auditions, put an ad in a paper and then came a guy with a Volkswagen who told us he could sing Rush songs — very high and powerful. Geoff Tate back then had an afro hair cut, horrible skin and bad acne — he wasn’t looking so good back then and he also worked for my dad in our bakery. Geoff wanted our music to go more into progressive rock territory. One day we had a ‘Battle of the Bands’ in Seattle, but we lost it and broke up…
Sleaze Roxx: Then in 1981 you found yourself in a band called TKO which released a couple records. You did the guitar work on the excellent ‘In Your Face’ album. Two versions of that record exist, the original release from 1984 on Combat Records and a 2-CD set titled ‘In Your Face And Up Your Ass’ which featured the so-called ‘unwatered down’ studio versions and a live show from 1981 with the original line-up…
Adam Bomb: ‘In Your Face’ is my record. I brought in drummer Gary Thompson, with whom I played for years, to join bass player Evan Sheeley and singer was Brad Sinsel. Later TKO had Ken Mary on drums, and that was the drummer from the band that beat us in the Seattle ‘Battle of the Bands’. In the summer of 1981 the band went to Hawaii to record the album with producer Rick Asher Keefer, but we couldn’t find a record company. We had a few good shows, toured a lot the Northwest of America, and it was a good year for TKO.
The title of ‘In Your Face’ came from the producer — later the band Kingdom Come used that title again. And in those days you couldn’t do anything without a record deal. We were just kids and the producer told us to search for a record company and we thought ‘okay’ and went home — but then nothing happened.I didn’t want to be in the band anymore, Brad was an alcoholic, and I just started being a solo artist — singing andplaying guitar. I then made my first solo record, ‘Fatal Attraction’, and in the meantime I moved to Los Angeles.
Sleaze Roxx: Before you headed to Los Angeles and did your very first solo album, I heard that you auditioned for KISS. How did that happen?
Adam Bomb: I read an ad in Billboard magazine that ‘a major group is looking for a guitar player’. I sent a tape to them with the TKO songs, a photo and a bio and then Paul Stanley called me. I think they already had Vinnie Vincent but were checking out more people. First of all they werelooking for six foot tall guys that were at least over twenty years old — at this time I was 17. I met KISS and we played a few songs together like “Detroit Rock City”, “Firehouse”, “Calling Dr. Love” and “Black Diamond”.
Sleaze Roxx: So they didn’t hire you because you were too young?
Adam Bomb: I was 17, I was a baby. Look at me now, I was shorter than Eric Carr. I did my guitar solos with them but I wouldn’t have been a good fit becauseI did a few drugs and went on the dark side while KISS was a serious band with all the things they have to do.
I’m happy being Adam Bomb. I built up my reputation — I mean its rock ‘n’ roll, playing in a dirty rock ‘n’ roll band. And when I have enough money I want to release my wholeback catalogue with all of my music.Right now we have the new album out that we wrote while out on the road. We mixed it with cover tunes and songs we recorded in studios in such places as Finland and Belgium — whenever a song was ready to record, and we got an offer to have studio time, we recorded it.
All in all its good being on tour and so here we are… Adam Bomb, Paul del Bello on bass and Violet Cannibal on drums — we are still rocking ’til we die. We are back on tour in Europe until August this year (2011) with some breaks. I will rock ’til I die!