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Bite Me Bambi

Bite Me Bambi

April 15, 2020
By Alan Ho
What do you get when you take members from 4 different bands in the reemerging ska scene and put them all together as one? You get Bite Me Bambi, who are poised to roar ska back into the forefront and not any kind of ska, the brand that has flourished in Orange County, CA. From there, you got Reel Big Fish, Save Ferris and No Doubt, among others from that region and for Bite Me Bambi, it's time to join those legendary ranks! We had a chance to sit down with the group's vocalist Tahlema Chikami...

Thank you for climbing into the Hot Seat during such a time of the “abnormal” normal!  For those who are unfamiliar with the band, can you tell us how you all came together as a band?
Thank you for having me! Bite Me Bambi came about in a time when Orange County ska band, Starpool went on hiatus and I was leaving my band, Karate in the Garage. I had gotten to work with Brian Mashburn (Save Ferris/Starpool) on a couple shows and we decided we wanted to start writing songs together. We were really digging the stuff we were working on and decided to pull in the best musicians we knew from all over the ska scene (Mike Berault on keys, Ryan Brown on bass, Dan Evans on drums, Tbone Willy on trombone, and Kyle O’donnell on sax).

Some people think either ska is dead or is no longer mainstream and one that’s wrong and two if that were true, don’t think we’d have you on our Hot Seat, why do you think those “some people” think that and what do you want to say to those “some people”?
I think ska has always dipped in and out of the mainstream consciousness, but it has never died. Nor do I think it ever will die. People, like us, who love ska music will always love it. I think I’d tell “those people” to come and give ska another try. Come see what we’re up to. That’s lots of exciting stuff going on with the genre with bands from all over the world putting their spin on ska.

Do you believe though, the next wave is coming with bands like yourselves, The Interrupters, Walk Off The Earth and Captain SKA?
People love to talk about ‘waves’. I don’t tend to focus on that so much. There’s always new bands breathing new life and ideas into the genre. I do think though that ska is usually upbeat and positive, two things I think the world could really use right now.

I had a chance to check out your new video “Hot Lava”, that is a fun song and a even fun video!  Let’s start with the music video, whose idea was it for the concept?
Thank you! It was just as fun to shoot as it looks. The concept came out of a band brainstorming session with the director of the video, Chris Graue. I think I came up with the library idea and well just started pitching ideas from there.

Now for the song itself, like I said, it’s a fun song!  Take us through the songwriting process; with as many members in the band, the process must have been wild or did it all come together as one all-encompassing voice?
Hot Lava was one of the first songs Brian Mashburn and I wrote when we started the project. The two of us typically start with an idea and work out the structure and melody of the song together. We then bring it to the rest of the band, at which time everyone puts their own spin on their parts.

If you had to choose your opening acts and you get two…who is opening for Bite Me Bambi on a headlining tour?
Ooooo…good question. I don’t know who we would have open for us, but we would love to play with some of our international friends like Oreskaband and Mayson’s Party. That would be a fun show for sure!

Now to expand on it, now we’re crafting one for an overseas tour, which spots in the world would you love to play at?
I guess along the same lines as the last question, we have been wanting to go to Japan. There’s a really great ska scene out there and we’re lucky enough to know a lot of the great musicians in that scene. I think it would also be great to hit the UK. It would be amazing to play where 2 tone ska originated. We are actually shooting to knock both of those locations off our list in 2021.

At some point, an EP or a full length is on the horizon?  What is on the horizon for Bite Me Bambi as that time approaches, what can we expect to hear?
We are planning to release our first EP later this year. Everything is a little wonky with Covid-19, but we really want to get this EP out there.

We always ask this question, where do you see yourselves in the next three years?  Five years?
In three years, I would love to see us playing more internationally. I’d also love to get out another EP in that time. Five years? Hmmm…world domination?

You are now officially off The Hot Seat, thank you so much for “sitting down!”  Anything else you would like to add??

Thank you for having me! Make sure you follow us on Instagram (@bitemebambi) and Facebook for all the latest Bite Me Bambi updates!
Alan Ho is the co-founder, CEO and Chief Publisher/Webmaster of Musiqtone.com.  In between his IT guy duties in his day job, watching CW superhero shows, rooting for the Cubs and his alma mater Purdue, he manages to find time to review albums, make an infrequent sit-down in the Hot Seat and go cover a show or two. Tweet him at @atrain2324, he tweets, therefore he tweets.
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