Let’s be honest. When it comes to Los Angeles, rock’n’roll has gone the way of the Sasquatch. Thousands have claimed to see it, but we’re still waiting for proof. Throughout our city’s “rock” shows, a thick fog lingers. There’s an unsavory haze of derivative sludgy surf punk, Radiohead cover bands, and this new Coachella hat, stomp folk genre.
Some of you have lost all hope, and I was just like you. That was until I heard Rachel Fannan’s new project–a fuzzed out, unpasteurized, cock punch of a band, THE BOMB. Ms. Fannan, Deanna Streffer, and Ryan Qualls have ventured into uncharted territory. The trio successfully threw Grace Slick, J Mascis, and Black Sabbath into a sonic blender. The outcome is a rock’n’roll cocktail that’s going to cure Los Angeles’ hangover of mediocre music.
You might have already heard Rachel Fannan’s musical talents from her time in Sleepy Sun (2007-2010). Before that she performed as Birds Fled From Me (2006-2008). After moving to Los Angeles, Fannan started the band Only You (2010-Present). The project brought soul and nostalgia to beautiful love songs, performing alone or with a full band. This past week I had the opportunity to interview Ms. Fannan about this new band, that’s going to take L.A. by storm.
HappeningInDTLA: You’ve been writing songs for over 10 years now. What generally comes first for you: The melody, or the words?
Rachel Fannan: I’ll usually start with something lyrical I stumble into while out and about. A title or a hook. I’ll put it to music when I get around to jamming and most of the time I’m able to improvise something I like underneath, either on piano or guitar depending on my mood really,
I first heard your singing during your time in Sleepy Sun. When did you discover your killer pipes?!
Hey thank you. You know I’m one of those kids that started singing at a super young age. My dad lead the youth choir at the school I went to and he and my mother both enjoyed singing very much. So I was hearing “you have such a pretty voice” a lot growing up. Eventually somewhere during my first tour with Sleepy Sun it really sank in “dang… I’m hitting notes I’ve never hit before” and it feels more and more effortless as the years go on.
I’m hooked on “Teenage Tomb” & “Everybody’s Famous”. When can we buy those tracks?
Ya I’m planning on casually releasing both on Bandcamp next month along with a video for “Everbody’s Famous”. Definitely stay tuned; I’ve never really done things by the books.
With the straightforward accessibility of self-publishing, do you have plans to work with a label? Or release THE BOMB’s music yourself?
You know my friend Avi (Avi Buffalo) and I recently had this talk where we both expressed frustrations with labels. I think these days it’s about being happy with self releasing until you’re proposed a deal you really like.
Do you have any music videos in the works?
Ya, aside from my own projects I’m about to start working on 3 videos for songs I wrote with Kan Wakan. I encourage fans to keep an eye out. I have a tendency to overload my plate because I enjoy the stimulation of working on multiple projects. New people, new ideas…
What can our readers expect from a night out at a BOMB show?
The Bomb is all about mashing together the things I like about Dinosaur Jr and Black Sabbath. It’s a 3-piece rock thing with a lot of head bangers. Each show is getting faster and louder, it’s been really fun getting the guts to launch a new band.
Is there anything you’d like to see change in the L.A. music scene?
Oh man don’t get me started. The truth is it’s so broad you can’t really talk about the scene here as a whole but I will say this much. I’ve found certain pockets of LA scene to be the cliquiest pieces of high school bullshit I’ve ever encountered. There’s a handful of warm hearted talents out here with the experience it takes to get past ego, but under them is a sea of PR hungry hacks and the like. It’s been a bit discouraging to create in their midst.
You’ve travelled all over the world playing music in bands, through the years. Do you have any advice for the young men and women, of today, inspired to start a band?
Ok golden rule Number 1. Don’t give up on what YOU like to play. Try to listen to your inner voice you know? Create with wisdom and an open mind.
Number 2. Don’t take things personally if something is not working. Your band has a slim chance of “making it” so breathe and make the art you want to make for yourself because it makes you feel good. It’s not about that one person who didn’t get it or keeping that shitty drummer because they’re your bestie.
Number 3. Music is art and it should feel like a release to create it. Respect your art. Treat it holy.
What’s your favorite book right now?
This is gonna sound kinda “Mom”, but Getting the Love You Want. I highly recommend it to everyone looking to find emotional balance.
Where’s the best place to stay up to date on “THE BOMB” news?
Please if you haven’t, follow us on Instagram @FollowTheBomb or put our Facebook and website in your favorites (www.SheIsTheBomb.com) I’m always posting exclusive clips and things. Come catch us at Echo Park Rising on the Play Like a Girl stage!
Echo Park Rising is a FREE, 4-Day, All Ages festival. It takes place in the streets of Echo Park, starting August 18 (Thursday) to August 21 (Sunday). Along with music, art, and performers, the festival will feature craft beer gardens, vendors, and food trucks.