It’s no secret at this point that genre lines everywhere have been stretched to a point that when a band comes along and captures the essence of a particular genre it can be quite remarkable, to say the least. This is exactly what Kansas City’s Bummer have done on their full length debut, Holy Terror, due out August 24. Their chosen drug is noise rock full of wallowing sludge and angry tempos but with emphasis on methodical grooves and energetic songwriting. Essentially, they’ve captured the actual soul of what made noise rock so great when I first heard it many, many years ago. On top of that they take the classic noise soul and make it their own with a pinch of thrash and a robust dose of dirty blues (the kind that makes you want to clean up afterwards). Without completely spilling the beans before you actually listen to this thing, I’m stopping there since I could go on all day about this. One more thing, that album cover! It’s simple but damn effective.
Keep reading to find out more about this trio and be sure to hit the links at the bottom to support them.
How did you first get into playing music, and have you achieved the level of success that you hoped for?
Mike Gustafson (bass): Music is something we’ve all been into for most of our lives. We all started playing when we were kids. Think the boys are stoked on how far we’ve gotten with this band. Best not to get your hopes up and just keep doing your thing.
Matt Perrin (guitar, vox): I wanted to follow in my grandma’s footsteps, music was so eye opening as a kid. It started with a violin and worked its way from there and just never stopped. I don’t get many things but I get music. It’s weird to look back and see how far it has gone from that spark when I was young. I’m just here to rock.
Sam Hutchinson (drums): My grandma played piano and insisted on getting me into lessons. Then I played clarinet in middle school, but neither of those really got me interested. When I was 13 my dad got me a bass guitar for my birthday and my friends older brother showed me Slipknot’s album Iowa and it hooked me into heavy music. Hell yes I have, I never thought Id be able to travel with my best friends playing the music we do.
What’s the most you have ever debased yourself to get your band onto a show, into a magazine or otherwise promoted, covered, and praised? (If you don’t have a story, please tell us any funny/embarrassing story.)
Try not to go out of our way to get coverage from magazines and blogs. Same thing when it comes to hopping on shows. If people dig the tunes enough they’ll hit us up. We want the music we put out to speak for itself.
What do you see as some of the great things happening in metal and what are some of the worst things happening inside the scene right now?
Dig seeing more bands pop up with a shit ton of influences. No one wants to see Pantera Jr. and Led Zeppelin the Sequel. Might as well be a cover band at that point. When it comes to something shitty about the metal scene I really don’t know what to tell you. Metal music has always had a pretty kickass fan base. Think metal heads are pretty good about having each others backs and making sure people are having a good time at shows. Fuck music snobs and fuck anybody thats trying to make heavy rock and roll a secret club.
It seems that now everyone has a passion for some cause and that those people are very open about displaying their passions. This is probably a very, very good (and progressive) thing socially. What are some of the most important issues (social/political/humorous/etc.) for you and how do you insert those issues into your music?
MG: Too many people talking the talk and not walking the walk. The three of us have always been about standing up for the underdog. Bullies suck. Stand up to the motherfuckers that think it’s okay to judge someone because of the way they look.
MP: A lot of the lyricism within Bummer is an outlet for my mental health. Life is weird, really weird at some points and I’ve used Bummer as a way to reflect on my past, both the good and the bad. That outlet has always been very important in my life and has given me a chance to verbalize issues I have a hard time grasping.
What, or who, got you into metal and how old were you? How did your family take the news?
MG: Got into heavy music when I was a little baby man thanks to Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1. My parents have always been supportive of the music I listen to and play. I’m lucky as shit.
MP: It probably all started when I was young going through my Nirvana phase around 12/13 it all grew from there, the sound of Bleach never left me. Once high school came around I was finding (and being shown) bands like the Melvins, Young Widows, Jesus Lizard, Pissed Jeans, Roomrunner, Duck Duck Goose, Aminals, Heavy Heavy Low Low, and etc. Then college came around and I dove even deeper with bands like Unsane, Mclusky, and the like. My family wasn’t really supportive of it at first, especially my dad. After the years have gone by they’ve eventually warmed up to it all.
SH: I bought Slipknot’s CD Iowa at a Hastings in Jefferson City when I was 13. It has been pretty much all downhill from there.
What advice do you have for aspiring music critics and outlets out there? How can we all better serve the genre in the eyes of a hard-working musician?
MG: You dig a band buy their record. Whether it’s vinyl, a digital download, CD or tape. Any little bit helps.
MP: Pay attention to what the kids are doing. Pay attention to the music coming out of basements and diy spaces. Sometimes I feel like a lot of music critics and outlets don’t dig deep enough in their local scenes. There’s so many layers to what’s going on in your city musically but I feel like people only scratch what’s on the surface at times.
SH: Scene egos suck, pay attention to your community and homies. You’ll find great music.
What’s your goal? You guys thinking world domination? Maybe saving a continent? Maybe invading one? Any interest in starting a cult? Do you guys have day jobs or hobbies you want to share? Whatever it is, please let us know.
Bummer’s goal is to play as many kickass shows with as many kickass bands we can.
When you’re not obsessing over your own material, what are some of your favorite albums to listen to currently? (Feel free to include non-metal)
MG: I’ve been listening to a shit ton of Devo and Aphex Twin lately.
MP: See You Space Cowboy, Sneaks, Guerilla Toss, Holy, Tongue Party, and Mourn have been some of my favorite bands on the radar for 2017 and 2018. I’ve also been jamming a bunch of Stereolab, ZZ Top, and Duster.
SH: Behemoth. The new Ahtme record Sewerborn is rad. Breather Resist is always a good listen as well. Gotta show Neil Diamond some love too.
What is the 12-month outlook for you or your band? Any specific events on the horizon that the masses should be aware of?
Don’t know where we’ll be in about a year. Hopefully on tour with some cool ass band. Got a record coming out soon. Check it out. Don’t. We’ll still be here rockin.
Summarize your band in exactly one word. (Disclosure: If you include additional words, we will select our favorite for the final publication.)
Many thanks to Bummer for their time!
Holy Terror will be available August 24 on Learning Curve Records (vinyl and digital) and High Dive Records (CD and cassette). For more information on Bummer, visit their Facebook page and Bandcamp page.