Band's career going Boom Booms
The Boom Booms — Theo Vincent, Richard Brinkman, Aaron Ross, Geordie Hart, Tom Van Deursen, Sean Ross — are set to play for a B.C. audience on July 17 (OMAR KHAN PHOTO)
A soul-infused indie band, The Boom Booms are set to release a new album later this month and will be appearing at the Pemberton Music Fest on July 17. Joe Leary spent 24 Seconds with singer Aaron Ross.
24: You placed second in the Peak Performance Project. What do competitions like that do for a band and what kind of musical doors and opportunities does it create?
AR: We gained prize money, publicity and industry training from the Peak Performance Project. Each of those things helped us. The prize money allowed us to underwrite our tours and band expenses, allowing us to become a full-time band, which as any artist will tell you is an important transition. From the publicity we gained a sort of industry “stamp of approval” and name recognition that made it really easy to book us for festivals, which means we had a really good summer and our reputation grew consequently. Lastly, the boot camp taught us lots of valuable information that helped us direct our career successfully.
24: The band obviously has a longtime connection. When did you all come together and form?
AR: It started when I recorded a solo album called Butterfly Man in 2007. Geordie, our bassist, and I went to Edinburgh that summer for the Fringe Fest and on our return Theo joined on the congas and we played weekly gigs on Commercial Drive. For a while our friends Carl and Gabe from Five-Alarm-Funk filled out the band, but when summer came they were too busy and we added my brother Sean, plus Tom and Richie, who were cousins of our friend and we got to know in a tree-planting camp. It all fermented in September 2008 as we toured from Vancouver to Brazil setting up shows as we went.
24: Is there a single and common musical bond among you or do you all bring a variety of influences?
AR: We definitely all bring a variety of influences. I love soul, highlife and reggae. Geordie loves jazz among other things. Tom and Rich come from rock backgrounds. Sean and Theo, whose musical training is in African marimba, love hip hop. But we all like everything and the R&B we are making now is a good meeting ground.
24: You’re about to release the album, Love is Overdue later this month. Tell us about it.
AR: Love is Overdue feels like our first album in a way. Instead of the Caribbean vibes people are used to from us, it’s an R&B record. We’ve been working on it for a year with Chin Injeti and that has been a great growing experience for us because he knows so much about music.
24: In addition to the music, there’s a charitable component to the band — your organization the Music Tree.
AR: The Music Tree was born out of hosting the Boom Boom Block Parties in our alley. It’s a collaboration with our friend Levon Kendall, who plays basketball professionally in Europe, and all the extended family and friends that help. We just wanted to throw a party for our neighbourhood friends and when it started making money we wanted to put it back into the community and also reach across borders to support people who are doing great things to uplift their community at a grassroots level. This year we turned the Boom Boom Block Party into something bigger — the East Van Summer Jam. We want it to be more than just a music fest, something for everybody with a social, political, and sports dimension that eventually will raise a lot of money, awareness and energy in the East Van neighbourhood. You know, we just want to give back to the community and the worldwide family in the ways that we are able.