Tropic Bombs ready to go off at Frankie’sWritten by Mike Bauman | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Some of the best things in life happen by chance. That’s exactly where the story begins with former Promise of Tomorrow and The Devil and The Executive band mates and longtime friends Ryan Wayton and Jon Hammond.
“It’s funny,” Tropic Bombs’ lead singer Ryan Wayton recalled on how his latest project got started. “It was actually an accident. It started as a two-man studio project. We were just jamming one day and we didn’t have a name. We didn’t even really know what we felt like doing. He went to do a reggae riff, and he forgot to click off his distortion pedal. Completely serious. He started making this distorted reggae riff, so jokingly I started doing double bass to it, which you never hear obviously in reggae, and it sounded really cool.”
That jam session back in 2009 ended up becoming Tropic Bombs’ first son —“The Assassins of Abboneau”— and laid the foundation for the band’s name and its unique, “Heavy Reggae” sound, a fusion of reggae, rock and funk. Wayton and Hammond continued recording the music in the basement studio at Wayton’s home, deciding this past November that they wanted to take their funky grooves out of the studio and play live again. Having played in local bands for the better part of the last decade, the duo started putting their ideal lineup together for their latest project.
After recruiting former The Devil and The Executive band mates Justin Crumley (guitar) and Jason Goss (drummer), former Decibel guitarist Ben Snyder and ex-OnceOver bassist Nick Archer, Tropic Bombs became a full band and will bring its sound live to the public for the first time April 23 at Frankie’s Inner City. It will headline a show that also features local rockers GOLD and The Fight Within, as well as Athens, Ohio’s Mindfish.
“Basically, our goal for this show is not even just to have it be a show,” Wayton said. “We want to do this every month. That’s our goal is to do this every month, basically like a party. It’s just a gathering of people to rock out and have fun and hang out.”
Even though Tropic Bombs hasn’t played live yet, they’ve already generated some buzz this year. In addition to being featured on Fox Toledo News’ “Toledo Idol,” Tropic Bombs has also experienced some serious fan dedication. David Maxwell of West Palm Beach, Fla., got a tattoo of “Pimpy McBride,” the band’s symbol, which Hammond painted on the Tropic Bombs’ studio wall. As promised by Wayton, the feat earned Maxwell free Tropic Bombs merchandise for life.
“We made good on our promise,” Wayton said. “We just got shirts made. That’s our first merchandise, and we sent one down to him first thing.”
Having grown up in the Toledo music scene with one another, there is a friendship and collective creativity that binds the members of Tropic Bombs together. The group is excited to share its sound live with the public and hopes it will refresh local music.
“I think every once in a while you do need to hear something different, and I’m hoping that we’ll be a part of kind of helping give a breath of fresh air to the music scene,” Wayton said. “I want people to get excited again about going out and having fun at a show, rather than just going to any bar.”
All ages are welcome for the show at Frankie’s Inner City. Doors open at 9 p.m. Tickets are $5 for ages 21 and older and $7 otherwise. For more information, visit www.frankiesinnercity.com or call (419) 693-5300. To check out Tropic Bombs music, you can visit them via Facebook, tropicbombs.bandcamp.com and myspace.com/tropicbombs.