Bomber’s debut album Sommation made a lasting impression on the Klown, it ranked #3 on the Klown’s 2018 albums of the year list. On that note, the Klown had built more intrigue, donned his Mike Wallace outfit and journalistic know-how and got a hold of Bomber’s vocalist/ guitarist Jürgen Wattiez and asked his a few burning questions through a series of chats and email exchanges to get to know more about the band!
Ugh Metal: Why did you choose the name Bomber for the band?
Jürgen Wattiez: The name was chosen when we were only two (Vianney D’Alessandro / lead guitarist and himself), at the very beginning of the band. We were both fans of Motörhead, and obviously of the album Bomber. The name sounded pretty cool to us.
UM: How did the band first meet?
Wattiez: We knew each other for quite some time before forming the band. We were friends at first, then started Bomber. Vianney and Romain [Ircio] (drummer) were in high school together, and Hugo [Belval] (bassist) was in a band with Vianney that I joined as a singer, we even played live together! Through mutual friends, we met and there you go.
UM: When did you officially form?
Wattiez: As our first band had split, we talked about what would become of Bomber with Vianney in the summer of 2013. Hugo joined quickly after and our first drummer was the same we had in the previous band, but he didn’t last long because he was not interested in playing our songs. Apart from us, three, our closest friend was Romain. He learned to play the drums to join the band and did a great job since behind the kit. We all liked the same kind of bands so it was pretty natural to have him as our drummer. By 2014, we played our first concert.
UM: Was thrash your first choice when you first started the band?
Wattiez: When we started, the favorite bands we had in common were mostly thrash bands from the eighties, then you add Motörhead, Venom and some hardcore punk bands to the mix and you obtain what we were listening most of the time, so thrash metal was a choice, even though it was more of a starting point than a goal.
UM: Which bands or artists are your biggest influence?
Wattiez: I just mentioned our first influences, but each one of us has his own. Hugo is more death metal and hardcore oriented, Romain loves everything that grooves, crossover and hardcore punk, Vianney and me share the same passion for seventies hard rock, but also hardcore punk.
UM: Is there any band or person you would like to collaborate with?
Wattiez: Not really. If there is an interesting project, musically speaking, why not do a collaboration, but if it’s just to put a name next to the title, it’s useless. It can be fun on stage, but most of the time it doesn’t bring anything.
UM: Do you have a pre-show ritual?
Wattiez: We drink a liter of beer, enough to give you energy, too little to be drunk. It took us several gigs to find the right balance
UM: Any funny or interesting stories that have happened to you on a tour?
Wattiez: A few months ago, we went to Reims. A transsexual did a striptease while we were playing, then a guy offered us to piss on him for twenty euros, and finally, the host of our room refused to open our door because he didn’t recognize us and thought we were homeless drunks. Eventually, he let us in, only to wake us at 11 am because the janitor had to clean the room. For some reason, our beds were full of rum, grilled onions and meat. We didn’t sleep much that night. Crazy city.
UM: What big names you shared the stage with?
Wattiez: We never played with really big names, but in October we’ve got a show with Agressor, pioneers of death metal in France.
UM: What are some, if any, big-name bands that you would like to share the stage with?
Wattiez: Just every band we love. It’s always a pleasure to share the stage with someone whose work is appreciated, even if a lot of them are dead, old or retired now. It’s our job to keep this thing alive.
UM: Assuming you’re all working on a new album, is there a process, ritual for your songwriting preparations &/or recordings?
Wattiez: As for the first album, we bring most of our songs to the band when they’re finished. If there are changes to make, they are often minimal and come with the practice of the song in rehearsal. On a few occasions, we worked together on a particular part if one of us couldn’t find it alone, but most of the time the songs are finished when presented. The next album is on his way, we already play seven songs out of eleven or twelve. We are recording some demos ourselves, then we’ll search for someone to do it with the best sound we can have. The first album gave us an idea of what to do and not to do for the second one. It’s an ever-changing process.
UM: Why was Sommation chosen as your debut album’s title? Does it have anything to do with the battle of the Somme?
Wattiez: “Sommation” is a French word for “warning”, specifically the one you gave before opening fire. It fits the album perfectly: most of the songs were written in 2014 or 2015, and by the time the album came out in 2018, we were already working on new songs. We even played one of those songs live before the release of Sommation, but decided to keep it for the next one as it didn’t correspond with the other songs we had. We were already looking to the future, we knew it was just our first album, not the best pieces of music we could come with, but the ones we started with. It was a warning, something to give a listen to, to get people’s attention before releasing something superior. It doesn’t mean that the songs on Sommation are botched or bad, it just means that the next thing was going to be even better. You have to improve as musicians and composers, and we did it since it came out. You can have a taste of it on our SoundCloud since we released three demos of the songs we’re working on, and there’s more to come as soon as we can record it.