Tropic Bombs takes Toledo by stormWritten by Mike Bauman | | firstname.lastname@example.org
At Toledo Music Festival on July 9 at Headliners, Tropic Bombs started to bring the roof down when it took the stage. Literally.
Equipped with two tall, inflatable, flailing arm “sky guys” from his workplace, guitarist Jon Hammond had each one set to inflate on either side of the stage when Tropic Bombs started playing.
“After a couple of seconds, I thought it was snowing until we looked at the guys,” Hammond said to Toledo Free Press Star. “One of the guys, particularly, was scraping the ceiling and knocking like the insulation from the ceiling, so needless to say they asked us to turn it off after the first song.”
While both sky guys were shut down after “Even If I Were,” Tropic Bombs’ set that night was one of the highlights of the evening, according to Jeremy Lublin of Verso Group.
“They’ve become one of Toledo’s biggest-drawing bands,” Lublin said. “[It’s been] pretty neat to see their progression over the past few months. They’re kind of like a party onstage.”
That party will continue July 29 when Tropic Bombs headlines the Mid-Summer Meltdown at Frankie’s Inner City, which will be decorated in a tropical theme for the show. Comprised of Hammond (guitar/vocals), Justin Crumley (guitar), Ben Snyder (guitar), Nick Archer (bass/vocals), Jason Goss (drums) and Ryan Wayton (vocals), the band will be in tropical attire and is encouraging the same for showgoers.
“We bought leis to hand out to people,” Wayton said. “The first 100 people in get lei’d. There’s going to be inflatable monkeys and seahorses hanging up, some orca whale mural stuff. It’s not going to look like Frankie’s. It’s going to look like you’re in the Bahamas.”
Originally a studio project formed between close friends Hammond and Wayton in 2009, Tropic Bombs has played four shows since April and enjoyed the ride — except the one it took to Maumee Bay State Park last month for band photos, when the van driven by Archer got pulled over in the park. Archer was issued a ticket for speeding.
“There’s six grown men dressed ridiculously — coconut bras, scuba diving suits and all this,” Wayton said. “Then the photographer is Nick’s wife. She was in there with the camera, a nice camera, and then there was a baby in the backseat because their daughter was with us in the back. [The cop] actually made Nick get out of the [van] and go back to the car with him because he thought we were some, like, tropical baby-nappers or something.”
Though Tropic Bombs may not always dress to impress, the band takes its music seriously and has attracted a strong fan base in a short amount of time. Friend Aaron Taylor is the leader of “The Tropic Bombs Army,” a street team dedicated to promoting the band. Taylor is in charge of Tropic Bombs’ merchandising and has a Facebook page where he posts trivia questions about the band and gives away tickets to the first person who answers correctly via comment. He also is the second known person to get a Tropic Bombs tattoo.
“They’re awesome,” Wayton said of the band. “Obviously, our music in particular does something for them. We’re always going to do it no matter what, but it just eggs us on, man.”
With a solid base in Toledo, Tropic Bombs will start playing Bowling Green venues in September, aiming for a winter release of its debut album. With about a decade’s worth of friendship and playing music together, Wayton and Hammond said this band is the purest music they’ve made. In one of its first jam sessions, the pair came up with a riff they dubbed “Surf.”
“I guess since the very first time that we had met, we had tropical vibes,” Hammond said.
Tropic Bombs will headline the Mid-Summer Meltdown featuring Tropidelic, GOLD and Weep the Beldam on July 29 at Frankie’s, located at 308 Main St. in Toledo. Tickets are $5 for those 21 and older and $7 for those younger than 21. Doors are at 9 p.m. All ages are welcome. For more information, call (419) 693-5300 or visit www.frankiesinnercity.com.