by Jack Diablo
This month’s artist spotlight shines brightly on one of Jacksonville’s zaniest, most unique bands, After the Bomb, Baby! EU met up with Ryan Strasser and Jason Irving before their performance at the September Art Walk.
If you’ve seen ATBB perform before then you know what to expect – the unexpected. The group is known for its dynamic live performance which is rarely, if ever, the same show twice. Whether it be new members on stage, crazy costumes, or the most unconventional instrumentation imaginable, the band is unrelenting in their efforts to “keep things fresh.”
At the core of After the Bomb, Baby! are the Strasser brothers; Taylor, Ryan, and Clifton. Alongside them is what seems to be an ever-changing, rotating cast of musicians who dig what the Strassers’ have created and are more than eager to be a part of it. Jason Irving only joined the band 30 minutes before our interview but has been following the group for some time. The list of performers who have joined ATBB on stage is a virtual “who’s who” of players in Jacksonville’s underground music scene including on of their most recent additions, DJ Nick Fresh.
Their music defies classification, but as Ryan puts it, “we try to bridge the gap between synth-punk and synth-funk.” Synth-pfunk anyone? Or, as their MySpace page calls it, “post-apocalyptic cyber-radiation-fallout punk.” To accomplish this, they employ an impressive array of instruments from synthesizers and drum machines to trumpets and trombones with any manner of percussive thrown in, sometimes impromptu. But the foundation of this band is more of an idea than a sound. “After the Bomb, Baby! was born out of bands taking themselves too seriously and killing the point of music in trying to be so serious,” explains Irving. “Everything has to have a slight sense of humor and it’s the most fun band I’ve ever been in because of that.”
After the Bomb, Baby! is working to release an EP in the near future recorded by John Citrone and will also be featured on an upcoming Shrug Records compilation of local Jacksonville bands. Do yourself a favor and check out their next show, you will be entertained.
by Jack Diablo