The BombPops were on stage Sunday, July the 15th, 2018
Punk rock from Oceanside, California. Fat Wreck Records.
Q&A with guitarist and singer Jen.
Hi! It's great to talk with you, you're one of the bands I'm most looking forward to see at the Punk Rock Raduno 3!
Hey! Thanks for talking to us! We’re excited to play! I’ve actually been to Punk Rock Raduno in 2016 but I was only there for a few hours. I came down from Venice to buy a guitar from Yeahman’s guitars. A 1989 Gibson Melody Maker in Ferrari Red. Appropriate color for being in Italy!
You started the band in 2007, while in high school, right?
Wow! It’s been so long! Just about 11 years, yeah. We started writing together in 2007 but I don’t think we played any shows until 2008. I was actually 20 and already out of high school, but Poli was 16 and she was still in high school.
How did you meet each other and decided to play together?
We met each other at a rehearsal studio where she took guitar lessons and I had been playing in a band with some friends. Poli was also in a band with the guitar teacher who owned the rehearsal studio and they needed a bass player. I didn’t really play bass, but I did in that band. After a while we just decided to start our own band and write some skate/pop punk songs!
How did you get into punk rock?
I had a neighbor when I was in middle school who came over and showed me The Vandals “Fear of a Punk Planet” and Blink 182 “Dude Ranch”. It was all over from there. Blink 182 and Green Day were all over the radio at that time as well, and I started listening to everything they mentioned as their influences. My mom took me to see Blink 182 and Bad Religion in 7th grade and I knew right then and there that I HAD to play in a band.
What does punk rock mean to you?
Punk rock is about doing what you wanna do and doing it your own way. It’s an attitude as well as genre. It’s also not just black and white. We’re finding out own way and our own voice about what our band means to be punk rock. At this point in time, especially in America, it’s about us as females doing whatever the fuck we wanna do when we’re on stage and in our songs. There are a lot of things society makes women believe they should be. We’re often told that we don’t dress “punk” enough. That we don’t look like we’re in a punk band cause we don’t have tattoos. But we’re also told that we should be better feminists and sing about real women’s issues. The real issue with that is that we are women and we’re doing something we truly enjoy and people still think they can tell us that we’re not doing it the way we should be. That doesn’t make any sense! We’re also told to act more like ladies because we like to make jokes about shaving our pussies or anything else that women “shouldn’t talk about”. So to us, right now, being punk is making music with that driving force that defines the genre but also doing whatever we want to do with our voices and letting women know that no one can tell you how to behave, how to dress or what music you should or should not be playing.
Which are the records that helped shape your music style?
That’s a hard one! The whole band likes a lot of the same music. We were heavily influenced by bands like No Use for A Name, Bad Religion, Lagwagon, NOFX, Pennywise and Descendents but we're also influenced by a lot of other stuff like AFI, Saves the Day, Thrice, New Found Glory, Millencolin and of course Green Day and Blink 182. But I can tell you that one of our collective favorite bands that we all 4 could say is our favorite band is Alkaline Trio. And if you made me pick a favorite album, I would have to choose “Good Mourning”
Why did you take so many years to release your first LP, while putting out some very interesting EP's?
We had several line up changes in the course of being a band. The first 5 years of Poli and I playing together we were trying to find the right rhythm section. We had 5 bass players and 3 drummers. So it was like starting over every time. Then in 2012 we were finally complete with Neil and Josh in the band. Poli also was pregnant with her son at this time, so we took a short break. So really the band as we know it got started in 2013 and recorded our first songs in 2014 as this lineup. Released those in 2015 and then our full length in 2017. And that’s a brief history of The Bombpops!
Jen, you have a special relationship with Italy, since you spent some time here playing with Rumatera. How did it happen? What was it like to move to a foreign country to play punk rock?
I met Rumatera in a bar in Los Angeles when they were searching for an American guitar player to play with them on their 2016 summer tour. I was playing guitar in a band called Payoff at the time. After our set they introduced themselves and we exchanged information. The next day we started talking about Rumatera and their plans for the Italian Dream TV show and the opportunity to play with them for a summer in Italy. It was the experience of a lifetime! I still think about my time living there everyday. I fell in love with Italy in the months that I spent there and now it’s always a place I want to come back to. I had always wanted to live in a foreign country but it’s not that easy to do without having work and a purpose to keep you there. Sometimes I still can’t believe that it happened. I feel very fortunate to have been able to play guitar in an Italian pop punk band and spend almost half of a year in such a beautiful place. Rumatera and their whole crew are some of the nicest people I’ve ever met. The whole summer felt like a gigantic party and the guys in Rumatera remind me a lot of my band so they really made me feel at home, we have a very similar sense of humor.
Did you enjoy your time here? Do you miss Italy?
I absolutely loved my time there! I miss it everyday and I try to make sure I get to spend some quality time in Italy every year. I’ll be spending 10 days in Veneto at the end of this tour actually and I’m already looking forward to that!
Thank you for your time! See you at the Raduno!
Thank you! Can’t wait for the Raduno! Ciao!
The BombPops interview
From Punk Rock Raduno 3 fanzine - 2018