Gama Bomb - Interview
With "Bats" Irish thrashers Gama Bomb came out of the blue with a new album. This one is much more diverse than its predecessors and has many influences you probably wouldn't expect on a classic thrash metal album. Apart from this we have to mourn for Snowy, their lovely mascot who accompanied the band during the last couple of years. But their bass player Joe McGuigan who answered my questions has some good news about that. Enjoy reading and check out "Bats"!
I hope the funeral wasn't too wild and you didn't have a bad hangover the next few days.
No, we have an iron constitution for drinking so we were A/OK the next day.
But fortunately at the end of 'Speed Funeral' he rises up again – is he a zombie now, he looks pretty malevolent…?
He's a vampire now, as can be seen on the cover of our new album "Bats". Yeah he was angry beforehand so being killed has annoyed him to no end I can tell you.
Apart from this video you have released a pretty clandestine new full-length album called "Bats". Why wasn't it announced in the press (at least I didn't read anything about it in the German press)?
Yeah, our new album came out last week. Prosthetic our label is an American label so their focus is much more on the US than EU at the moment. So I'd say that is the reason you didn't see it being announced or the other singles.
I've read that you go back to the 60s on the album. Can you explain that a little bit more?
Well the style and design of the CD/LP is as a Hammer Horror movie from the 1960s. Every album we try to come up with a theme we can use that ties the cover, booklet design and some of the music together. Last LP was the sea, this time it's a 60s movie.
What's up with the album title? Is there a deeper meaning behind it?
Yeah as I said the idea behind it is to imagine it was a forgotten 60s horror movie and we had the song 'Bats In Your Hair' so we thought Bats was a cool title.
What about the lyrics? Do they go hand in hand with the album cover or did you use some old movie topics again?
The lyrics are quite varied on this album, we've got the usual fantasy stuff like 'Egyptron' or something based on a movie ('Living Dead In Beverly Hills') but we also try and include a lot of our opinions and social commentary on our albums. So songs like 'Don't Get Your Hair Cut', 'Mask Of Anarchy', 'Dreamstealer' and 'Secular Saw Deal' with real world topics we like to include.
What does the guy in the intro discover under the pyramids? I always think about this Gantenbrink tunnel in the Cheops Pyramid about twenty years ago where nothing was found after this huge hype….
It's an introduction of the song 'Egyptron' so the intro follows someone under the pyramids and into a room where the gigantic robot is activated. The title is taken from a Lovecraft story.
Musically you are much broader than on the previous albums. From some softer Thin Lizzy tunes to some NWoBHM reminiscences up to some classic thrash riffs. Didn't you fear that some fans are irritated about these stylistic changes? The saxophone in 'Bats In Your Hair' and 'Egyptron' combined with the rap by 'The Egyptian Lover' is pretty daring…
Well, I don't know if I would describe any of the songs as softer but there is definitely a Thin Lizzy influence on some of the songs. We tried to broaden the material this time as were all such fans of Priest, Dio etc. We thought mixing some of that in would be fun. We suspected that our fans would largely be pretty happy to see a bit of a shift in gear after 8 albums, no complaints so far.
I really love this Edvard Grieg-riff in 'Living Dead In Beverly Hills'. I didn't expect you to be some classic fans! Can we expect some more classic tunes in the future?
We've actually done this quite a few times in our guitar solos as were all big fans of classical music, Aram Khatchaturians "Sabre Dance" is in Terrorscope. There are lots of Claude Debussy bits in the solos too. I think it's more interesting to have influences like this for guitar parts rather trying to sweep pick endlessly
Do you have some touring plans for the coming year and some more videos you're going to release? I always enjoy them pretty much. 'Living For The Lockdown' really brightened my days during the pandemic!
Thank you man, yeah we really enjoyed doing that video, just saying to everyone "hey were all in the same boat here, soon we can all go for a beer" Yes we have Irish shows in Feb, then a German tour with Rezet in march followed by some festivals. Next show is in Mexico in 2 weeks. Regarding videos, yes there will be a new video in January and possibly an EP in spring.
Is recording a video more work or fun for you? I guess you have to drink pretty much to get these hilarious ideas…..
Well, we do all our videos in house these days, same as recording the album, we've been doing it so long that we have lots of experience in how to do it as we like. Also we've had some bad experiences working with video people who didn't know what they were doing so well keep doing them ourselves.
Without which albums/bands Gama Bomb would not exist?
Thin Lizzy - "China Town", Agent Steel - "Unstoppable Force", Sodom - "Persecution Mania", Nuclear Assault - "Survive", Flotsam and Jetsam - "No Place For Disgrace", Iron Maiden - "Piece Of Mind"
The last words belong to you.
Thanks very much for the questions man, hope to see you guys for a beer in Germany in '24
Thunder Over London
Living For The Lockdown
Speed Between The Lines
The Terror Tapes
Tales From The Grave In Space
Survival Of The Fastest
- Beyond The Hate - Darkest Times - Mar 08
- Merrimack - Of Grace And Gravity - Mar 08
- Apogean - Cyberstrictive - Mar 08
- Puteraeon - Quindecennial Horror - Mar 08
- Ecclesia - Ecclesia Militans - Mar 08
- Alterium - Of War And Flames - Mar 08
- Houwitser - Sentinel Beast - Mar 08
- Magefa - Rotting Away - Mar 08
- Shadohm - Through Darkness Towards Enlightenment - Mar 08
- Skeletal Remains - Fragments Of The Ageless - Mar 08
- Shadowpath - The Aeon Discordance - Mar 10
- Rites Of Regress - Dust - Mar 11
- Defect Designer - Chitin - Mar 14
- Vltimas - Epic - Mar 15
- Malsten - The Haunting Of Silvåkra Mill - Rites Of Passage - Mar 15
- Lutharo - Chasing Euphoria - Mar 15
- Corpus Diavolis - Elixiria Ekstasis - Mar 15
- Necrophobic - In The Twilight Grey - Mar 15
- Chapel Of Samhain - Black Onyx Cave - Mar 18
- Acathexis - Immerse - Mar 20