Houston Calling

10 Questions for Tzar Bomba

November 22nd, 2006 · No Comments

Tonight at Walter’s, Tzar Bomba takes the stage with some other great local bands: The Dimes and Something Fierce. The Red Leaves from Austin are also on the bill. Be sure to come out and show your support.

I recently asked Luis Roa, Cramer, and Andres from Tzar Bombaa few questions for Houston Calling. He was kind enough to answer. Enjoy.

HC: How did Tzar Bomba get started as a band?

Luis: Andres and I have been making music since high school, the only problem was finding other people to make music with. We tried doing the whole duo band with only bass and drums (even going as far as naming ourselves Sarcophagus. . .) but it was… bad. Only getting gigs at Cardi’s. We went through numorous people and in a final attempt of desperation I went looking through the houstonbands.net to see if there was anyone I could find. Cramer was making music with a dude named Zach at the time, who now plays in a band named Big Bad Blank, and from there we kept in touch since we seem to hit it off pretty damn well but it wasn’t until a few months later that I came up with the brilliant idea to add Andres. It was genius.

HC: How would you describe your music to someone who has never heard it before?

Luis: We dread answering this kind of question. It’s hard because all of us contribute a different feel. Andres and I were really into metal and Cramer had way different tastes in music than us so I’m amazed we’re even in a band. So we’ll just say to come to our shows and see us.

HC: You guys have a demo that’s being played on KTRU and have played quite a bit around town this year. Have you been happy with the response you’ve gotten from local crowds so far? How can people get a copy of the demo?

Cramer: What?

Andres: What Cramer said…

Luis: Hahaha, I think I’m the only one making calls so that we could get a little air time. I wonder if it helps. But seriously, we’ve had some great response. After a year of being together our shows have just been getting better and better. We’ve gotten great response from everyone even including the sound guys at different venues. It’s been awesome.

HC: What do you think of the Houston music scene? Any ideas on how to make it better?

Cramer: There needs to be more of a central music scene in Houston, especially one that doesn’t sit in the middle of a bunch of houses. I don’t think I need to explain that one since a perfect example of what’s wrong has been happening a lot lately.

Luis: Ugh, yeah. Yuppies. Stupid fucking yuppies.

Andres: I’d just rather not have to see the same act over and over again. It infuriates me that the general public listens to music they could easily make themselves. Songs need to have meaning and depth. If everyone who could play the first few lines to some crappy Emo band’s song decided to start bands, I’d be forced to move away.

HC: What do you consider to be your primary musical influences? How do those play out in your songwriting?

Cramer: All of us together, we listen to pretty much everything and it shows in our songs I think. We’d hate to play the same thing over and over. It needs to change or we will get bored with it and I think it shows from our musical influences and differences.

Andres: As far as the drumming goes, I like to change things up every now and then. That’s why I think it’s so hard to classify our style of music. I like listening to, learning and playing as many styles of music as possible.

HC: What’s your favorite place(s) to play around town?

Cramer: Oh man, I don’t want to single anyplace out since we love ‘em all, but since we’ve played there last, Rudyard’s.

Luis: The Proletariat. Shawna is a sweetheart. I feel the need to also say Super Happy Fun Land since Brian was always quick to give us a chance to play in the beginning.

Andres: I’ve played at a lot of different places and I don’t usually have a preference, just as long as I get to play.

HC: If you could play onstage with any one band/musician, who would it be?

Andres: Dynamite Club! I was once given the honor of sharing the stage with those guys and it was great.

Cramer: A hybrid band consisting of Frank Black, Bryan Wilson, Kim Deal and Keith Moon. I’d be the backstage sweat rag supplier.

HC: Who are some of the local bands you guys are into?

Luis: Plenty of bands we’ve played with before. I’ve been listening to The Low Ends a lot lately, they’ve just released a free demo and it’s amazing. Stare Decisis. We have a blast playing with those guys (all of them
extremely talented). Our last show at Rudyard’s was great.

Cramer: The Boxing Lesson. Even though they’re not from Houston (Austin) it would be a crime to not mention them.

Andres: One local band I’ve been interested in lately is Stare Decisis.

HC: What are have you been listening to these days? Anything to recommend?

Cramer: Tom Waits with his album Raindogs.

Andres: The Puppet Master by King Diamond.

Luis: Have you guys played Twilight Princess yet? It’s so fucking awesome!

HC: What’s next for Tsar Bomba? I see the band is playing a gig in Dallas in December? How did that come about? Are you guys working on a record? Planning a tour?

TB: Who knows. We just ride it out and see what happens. We all have goals in the band but ultimately it also has to do with luck, so we’ll see. We got the gig from Dallas from Carlin with Callithump. We’re very thankful, trying to make contacts in other cities is hard when starting from scratch.

As far as recording, we got a whole slew of songs we need to record but we’re sans money. We’re all broke (with the exception of Andres) especially after last week. Hopefully during the break we’ll be able to raise enough money to go in the studio by early next year. Hopefully.

As far as a tour, again money issues. We need to get a hitch, a van, etc. It’ll happen soon though.

Thanks to the guys from Tzar Bomba for taking some time to answer these questions. Be sure to check them out live tonight with Something Fierce and The Dimes (two of my favorite local bands) at Walter’s.

To find more about these bands, visit The Dimes, Something Fierce, and Tzar Bomba online.

Have a good holiday. Safe travels.

Tags: Music

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