NEW BOMB TURKS

The New Bomb Turks are a fun bunch of guys who play punk rock with the greatest of ease. Their debut album “!!Destroy-Oh-Boy!!” is a punk rock masterpiece and was loved by many a critic. Soon they flooded the market with an endless number of seven inches, and their second album should be out anytime. We caught up with vocalist Eric Davidson after an energetic performance on July 12, 1994 at the Bottleneck. Interview by Mike & Bo Watts.

Eric Davidson: I couldn’t really gage what the hell the audience thought about us though.
FUNGUS BOY: I THINK THEY ENJOYED IT.
Eric: Yeah it’s one of those things like I never know if we’re being too damn silly or the people just like don’t either care, don’t get it, or don’t like it. Do you have a lot of questions about the Minutemen?
FB: NO.
Eric: Good, good. Any way go ahead.
FB: COULD YOU GIVE US A LITTLE BIT OF THE BAND’S HISTORY BECAUSE WE’RE NOT TOO WELL INFORMED ABOUT IT.
Eric: We’re all originally from Columbus, Ohio. We’re all from Cleveland originally but we met at Ohio State as students at a student run radio station that is not around anymore. We just kinda got together—they’re weren’t many sort of fun exciting bands in town. We just kinda got together to have fun and everything else was just kinda gravy after that, we didn’t really expect to much more than maybe put out a single, I think it’s been really fun. A lot of bands from Columbus a few years ago were really super serious and kinda artsy in the wrong way—not really artistic in crafting interesting new music but artsy in just pretentious thinking and usually just doing a lot of drugs, so it was pretty boring. So anyways that’s how we just got together and played and quit Columbus (State University). I do have to say it’s a pretty good time there’s always about every six months a decent band pops up and keeps things going.
FB: HOW MANY YEARS HAVE YOU BEEN PLAYING TOGETHER?
Eric: About four years now. This is the first time we’ve ever played in this town, second time we came out West. The first time we came out West we only played 12 shows and they were mostly down South on the West Coast.
(Two guys from the show walk by)
Eric: (To the guys walking by) See you man! Sorry we didn’t do it you know.
Guy: That was a good show though.
Eric: Thanks, what’s your name again?
Guy: Brian.
Eric: This is Brian he wanted to hear “Last Lost Fight”, which I love to do but we just did it the night before.
Brian: Oh you did, where were you last night?
Eric: We were in Des Moines, Iowa.
Brian: Did you like it out here?
Eric: Yeah it was fun.
Brian: I saw you guys out in Colorado and there was like six people there.
Eric: Did you see that?
Brian: Colorado State.
Eric: Yeah, yeah that’s cool. You know what happened was our van broke down, all this was going on on the last tour, and it broke down so when we get there everyone was leaving and all this shit.
Brian: They were like, “Well, we’ll give you a $3 refund if you don’t want to see them”.
Eric: We sat at some fucking gas station all day waiting to get a rental van. We had to rent vans the rest of the tour, ate a lot of money.
Brian: Are you guys on tour with the Supersuckers?
Eric: Yeah.
Brian: How many times have you toured with Gaunt?
Eric: Just the one time out West, we played with them a lot in Columbus. Maybe we’ll be coming back again soon.
Brian: Are we ruining an interview?
Eric: No, in fact this will be fun stuff to put in.
FB: NO, THAT’S ALL RIGHT IT WILL BE ADDED TO THE INTERVIEW.
Eric: We’ll see you guys, take it easy.
FB: SO DID YOU TAKE YOUR NAME FROM THE “HOLLYWOOD KNIGHTS”?
Eric: Yeah, you know that movie?
FB: IT’S ONE OF MY FAVORITE MOVIES.
Eric: This is great I’m meeting more and more people out here who have heard of it. Most people think—cause I know it probably sounds kind of pretentious if you’ve never heard of the movie. Yeah it’s a hilarious character you know, I keep meaning to write him—the actor and just send him a T-shirt or something. That’s a good one, he’s really good, the cops are kinda funny, the stupid cops.
FB: I READ YOUR INTERVIEW IN FIZ MAGAZINE AND THEY HAD A QUESTION ON WHY YOU PUT OUT SO MANY7”S AND THAT’S BECAUSE SO MANY LABELS ASKED YOU, IS THAT RIGHT?
Eric: I mean we were kinda kidding a little bit but it was true. I mean all of a sudden there was a few labels, some of them were friends with Tim Warren who runs Crypt Records and so they would call us and say, “Hey Tim really likes your band, would you mind doin’ a single?” “Uhh, yeah sure”. But then you get to a point where so many different labels would call, and that’s not bragging it’s just that there are a bigillion labels in this world, maybe too many. And they would say, “Would you like to do a single?”, and it’s flattering so we’d be like, “Yeah sure”, but now it’s gotten to the point where you want to watch it a little more because you just don’t want to start putting out any old demo you make and just putting out some shitty single. You want to make sure you like it and like the songs.
FB: HOW MANY ACTUAL SINGLES DO YOU HAVE OUT?
Eric: I think there’s like 9, well maybe 9—8?
FB: DO YOU THINK YOU’LL EVER PUT THEM ALL TOGETHER ON ONE COMPILATION?
Eric: Oh yeah, we’re hopin’ like around next February, March we’ll start putting together a singles comp. It will probably have to be a double record cause we’re gonna try and put some unreleased stuff and some songs we did for compilations. We did a song for a Johnny Thunders compilation that will probably never come out. We did a song for a Hawkwind tribute, believe it or not, but hopefully that should be coming out. So a couple of these extra tracks that we recorded we’re gonna throw those on plus all the singles, it’ll probably have to be a double record or some shit. (Laughs)
FB: YOU GUYS HAVE A NEW ALBUM COMING OUT RIGHT?
Eric: Yeah, tentatively titled “Pinchers Of Loaf”.
FB: IS THERE A SET RELEASE DATE?
Eric: Well probably like about mid-September it’ll finally get out. It’s done, when we go down to Austin on this trip we’re gonna hear the final mix and if it’s cool then we’re gonna send it off and it should come out by September. We have a single on Sympathy coming out.
FB: IS YOUR ALBUM GOING TO BE ON CRYPT AGAIN?
Eric: Yeah but Crypt’s getting some sort of new distribution deal in the states that hopefully it will be easier to find and cheaper to buy. That’s the main thing. There’s a lot of these questions in Maximum Rock & Roll recently about distributors and all that but a lot of independent distributors have ripped off Crypt just as much as any major distributor, and Crypt almost went under because of distributors not paying their bills. So which ever way we can get the records out to the people so that they’re cheaper and easier to find.
FB: HOW DID YOU GET HOOKED UP WITH CRYPT? DID THE GUY THAT RUNS IT HEAR YOU AND WANT TO PUT OUT YOUR STUFF?
Eric: Yeah, he heard the split single that we did with Gaunt, I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of Gaunt they’re a really good band fromColumbus. But he heard that split single and he just got in touch with a guy we knew in the states and he said, “Would you send me a demo?” So we hurried up and recorded this 4-track demo and he had never seen us live only heard our crappy 4-track demo and he was willing to put a lot of time and money into us so it was cool.
FB: HOW DID YOUR SPLIT 7” WITH THE DEVIL DOGS COME ABOUT?
Eric: We were touring with them last fall and there was an Italian label—it was kinda funny it was supposed to be a promo for that label and by the time it came out we were already done with the Italian shows. (Laughs) I mean it was supposed to be a promo for the Italian shows and by the time we played you know. But a couple of the Italian shows were cancelled because of Mafia stuff, it was really bizarre. Italy’s a weird place, a lovely place, but a weird place. We figured it would be fun, just record— in fact we even recorded our track the same day they did. So it was fun, we thought a medley would be kind of a funny idea. (Laughs)
FB: I’VE BEEN READING A LOT OF STUFF WHERE THEY SAY A LOT OF FANZINES ARE INTO YOU GUYS, LIKE YOU HAVE A REAL BIG FAN BASE, DO YOU NOTICE THAT A LOT?
Eric: Yeah, I think certain times I get the feeling that the people who run fanzines and who write for magazines they’re likereal music fans—they like actually like records and buy ‘em and listen to ‘em you know. Then sometimes a magazine might like you a lot or some of their writers might, but I think to people it looks like, “Oh they must be really popular. They must have a million fans”, but then that doesn’t necessarily mean you have a million fans it just means the writers themselves really like you. I know it probably looks to people if all you read was Maximum Rock & Roll you’d think we were Nirvana orsomething cause they review us a lot and that’s really nice but touring is a very humbling experience because some shows there’s 10 people and some there’s a 100. It’s nice any time somebody wants to talk to us or write a review, I think it’s really cool. It’s nice that somebody’s listening to the music and likes us.
FB: WE ONLY DO INTERVIEWS WITH BANDS THAT WE LIKE.
Eric: Really? Yeah you guys have a lot of interviews, it was like the interview zine. I was just looking through it.
FB: DO YOU CONSTANTLY GET ASKED IF YOU ARE GREG DULLI (of the Afghan Whigs)?
Eric: I’m starting to because they have videos now. To make a long story short we played with those guys a few years ago, a couple times in Columbus and every time I’ve seen them, I’ve seen them 5 times—I’m not even a big fan I’ve just happened to have seen them. I’ve seen them in New York, Athens, I saw them in Cleveland, I saw them in Columbus, and every time I see them they complain about the audiences. But they’re OK guys, the nicest they ever were to us was recently, we played with them and the Breeders & Guided By Voices in Dayton. And they were nice, classic, I go, “Hey, we played with you guys a few years ago”, he goes, “Really, I don’t remember.” (Laughs) But yeah people start sayin’ that now because of the big chin shit, but personally I think he’s much better looking.
FB: WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR INFLUENCES?
Eric: Well the kinda things you’d expect like Ramones and Dead Boys and some of the late 70’s punk stuff but we listen to a lot of rap and a lot of rockabilly from the 50’s. I listen to a lot of Otis Redding and Wilson Pickett, a lot of old soul singers and stuff. And then there’s like some of the noise bands from the 80’s-Pussy Galore and Sonic Youth, we like those bands, I don’t know if we really sound like them but there’s like a lot of bands. We also love the Stones, I like the Didjits a lot. There’s also a lot of like movie influences, sittin’ around coming up with funny stuff from movies, you know we joke around in practice a lot about different shit. Like Chris Elliot we like a lot. (Laughter)
FB: YEAH, GET A LIFE THAT WAS A GREAT SHOW.
Eric: Yeah that was funny. I didn’t even get to see the movie that he did, cause we were hoping it would come to like the
second run theaters and we’d just go see it every night but it didn’t turn out that way.