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Friday, December 28, 2012

How I Became the Bomb's Jon Burr talks synths, geeks, and getting along for the sake of the song

How I Became the Bomb
  • Jonathan Kingsbury
  • How I Became the Bomb
When he's feeling loquacious, vocalist Jon Burr describes How I Became the Bomb's sounds as, "Melody-driven dance music, inspired by pop culture and ephemera." Since the Bomb's inception seven years ago, the group has toured throughout the States and Europe, performing for geeks and hipsters alike (if you saw them at Dragon*Con, you know who you are). In just a couple of days, the group will bring its nerdy space rock vibes to the Star Bar. So, what do they have to say for themselves before taking the stage in Atlanta again?

You and (keyboardist) Adam Richardson have been friends since you were kids, right? When did you start thinking about starting a band together?

Adam and I met at Darlington School, in Rome, GA, where they filmed parts of Dead Poet's Society, if that gives you any idea of the place. "White Hell," is what fellow Darlingtonian James Dickey termed it, actually. We were just two misanthropes on the Scholar Bowl team, and we started making horror and ninja movies over the summer ... Somehow, someway, we ended up in a band years later. My idea for the band sorta stemmed from the fact that Adam was a helluva classical pianist. I had a number of old synths that I was complete rubbish at playing. I figured someone out there might appreciate some synthy stuff by a guy who was actually an accomplished pianist, as opposed to [the] typical rhythm-guitarist-on-synth scenario one usually finds.

How do you think you've changed since you got together in 2005? Has international touring affected you as a band?

Well, we've had a few personnel changes, but this group has been together as long as any other configuration and is probably the tightest-knit group. I think our music has gotten better, mostly. We figured out how to play and write together more in service of the song, as opposed to everyone getting their licks in. I think we have less of an ego about things, in that regard. However, touring overseas had probably swollen said ego to an uncomfortable size, so I'm glad it's under control again. We certainly loved it, as our music does better over there, and we hope to get back over sooner than later.

Who would you say is your audience? How do your shows at sci-fi conventions differ from your shows at dive bars and larger venues?

People who like to have fun and dance, mostly. The two audiences are pretty similar, as I think geek and hipster have pretty much merged to become some new and terrible being, at this point.

What's the worst thing about touring? What's the best?

The worst thing about touring? That answer probably remains best kept untyped. Far too puerile for print, I'm afraid. The best? New places, new culinary delights, new people. Getting to see the reactions of new listeners, of course. Oh, and the free libations!

How I Became the Bomb, Cute Boots, and Factory play the Star Bar on Saturday, December 29. $7. 9 p.m.

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