We at UCSB are a fighting breed. We need good fight songs: Who better to provide than Tsunami Bomb? The Petaluma, Calif., superpunks recently talked with Artsweek writer Matt Cappiello before their Jan. 27 performance at the Hub. On the heels of their latest release, The Definitive Act, Tsunami Bomb was as rebellious as ever.
Artsweek: All right, for the Nexus readers that haven’t heard your music, why don’t you give us a brief biography, where you’re from and how long you’ve been around for?
Agent M: Our band is based out of Petaluma, Calif., just north of San Francisco. We have been a band for over six years. We’re still based out of the area but only one of us really lives there. We’ve toured almost everywhere that we would be able to tour. We’ve never been to Australia, but we’ve been to Japan, Europe, Canada and the U.S.
I know that your band is especially known for having really phrenetic shows filled with ruckus energy. What do you guys think are essential elements to a great live show?
Agent M: Movement.
Mike Griffen: Good kids.
Gabe Lindeman: Good crowd.
Griffen: Yeah, it’s the crowd that makes or breaks the show.
Agent M: And the distance from the crowd.
What’s one of your favorite cities to play?
Agent M: I like playing at the Metro in Chicago, but Matt hates playing there
Matt McKenzie: It’s my own personal thing, it’s just because of the pressure. I’m always so excited to play there. Every time we’ve played there it’s been sold out. It’s like a huge place and I’m always like, oh my god, I’m going to have so much fun playing. [But], like always, I just have a bad show.
Agent M: Like technical difficulties.
I understand that it can be annoying sometimes when journalists classify your music. Do you guys ever feel like you’re categorized, and if so, do you feel that that’s a bad thing?
Lindeman: I think, actually, it seems like we’re pretty good at dodging specific genres. I see us classified as a lot of different styles. The only thing that I personally think is annoying is [that] you’ll find yourself in a genre, and you’ll read something and it’s like ‘oh yeah, they’re northern California’s premier ska band.”
I notice that a lot of zines are interested in getting up on the girl rock phenomenon. Do you have any comments on that? Do you feel that that is an accurate stereotype of you, of your band?
Agent M: What girl rock? I think it’s just kind of lame because, you know, it’s true that there aren’t very many girls in bands, but it’s not like you call bands without girls dude rock or something. You know? That’s just kind of lame to categorize a band just because of [its] gender.
Did you guys vote? What do you think of American politics?
Lindeman: I think American politics have very little to do with actual decision making, that’s part of my upbringing. It’s just like TV. It’s all sensationalism and the issues that people talk about aren’t really issues.
Does that every come into your music at all?
McKenzie: No and that’s maybe the way it should be.
Lindeman: It’s nice just having a good time.
Agent M: Music is entertaining and fun; politics is boring.
Griffen: I mean, it has its place. Like some bands do politics well. But that’s not something that we strive to do.