Sep. 19, 2012 - Issue #883: Best of Edmonton 2012
The Boom Booms
Edmonton could use a little spicing up, and the Boom Booms, a six-piece Latin-funk-rock-soul-reggae band from East Vancouver, is about to bring the heat.
The band's roots took shape on the school yard between bassist/vocalist Geordie Hart and guitarist/lead vocalist Aaron Ross. The pair started their first band together, the Unknowns, with a couple of friends and had their sights set high from the beginning.
"We were planning on becoming the Knowns when we got famous," laughs Hart, adding he hasn't always kept being a professional musician as his life's goal. "I don't think we were thinking of it in terms of this is going to be our bread and butter necessarily ... Aaron puts it well when he talks about having read Jack Kerouac's On the Road, and that was in our early 20s, and we just kind of wanted to live every moment, travel the world and kind of be in the now, and music just happened to be a tool in which we could live that lifestyle."
In high school, the pair remained friends, but the Unknowns didn't continue. Their music career took a new turn following a trip to Meixco and Cuba after graduation. Hart says they became captivated by the music and lifestyle and wanted to bring it back to Canada. When he and Ross returned, they began piecing together a new band. The Boom Booms, who placed second at last year's Peak Performance competition, have blended influences from dance music, which Hart says included Stevie Wonder growing up, Michael Jackson, some classic rock, as well as reggae and world music, which he and Ross began discovering in their early 20s.
A particularly influential trip found the Boom Booms on tour in Brazil. The band was captivated by the culture, music and people and had felt the love back, with sold-out shows in Rio de Janeiro and Manaus. Hart says he particularly enjoyed the inclusive nature of the country, recalling walking down the street in Rio and encountering live music at each bar they came across, rather than a DJ.
"We went and sat down at a bar with a big patio and out of nowhere the next table had their instruments out and they were jamming and then everyone started standing around the table singing together in these big huge choruses and dancing and clapping with huge smiles on their faces. For me that's how music can be so potent in a culture, y'know?" Hart adds.
This inclusivity has translated into the Boom Booms' own music. Its energetic live shows break down the barrier between performer and audience, gaining fans from all generations along the way. These interactive performances are also a chance for the Boom Booms to road test new material which, Hart says, is the plan on the current tour.
"You get this real, raw connection with the audience. It's almost like playing a CD with someone in the room and watching their face."
Tue, Sep 25 (8 pm)
With David Ward
Vue respects your privacy. We will not forward your personal information to any other organization except as required by law, and will use your e-mail address only to respond to your comments. We reserve the right to edit and remove comments for length, clarity and/or if they are illegal or inappropriate. Your email address is never shown to visitors to vueweekly.com. Read the whole policy at: http://vueweekly.com/privacy