Q&A Scene: Nicky Bomba ~ MELBOURNE SKA ORCHESTRA

 
Tell us about your new Good Days Bad Days single?

We had this title in the songbook for a while and it felt like a strong vibe when we were looking for songs for our ONE YEAR OF SKA mission. It’s a universal sentiment , experiencing the constant pendulum swing that is life itself. How we react to the extremes and where we sit in that is what really shapes us. It reflects so many aspects of life from health to creativity to relationships etc.. and the crowd love singing it. The second verse describes us trying to put a gig on where we had to do everything and wait for a crowd to show up. A lot of this industry can be hit and miss so you have to keep a middle zen and smile. A lot.

What are you looking forward to most with your upcoming tour?  

We love playing live no doubt. It’s an ancient ritual that unifies energies and stories creates a bubble of higher vibrations. We’ve been working on introducing a lot of the songs from the ONE YEAR OF SKA box set to keep the whole thing fresh. We’re also looking at what we can do from a theatrical standpoint and having lots of fun with that. Its not often you get 25 peeps on stage so we’re going to brainstorm the possibilities. Did someone say tigers and acrobats???

What’s your favourite work at this point in time?

Hard question to ask…songs are like children ..all valid and beautiful. The single Good Days Bad Days is pretty relevant and works a treat live so the energy is there for that tune…good ska style celebrating the pathos and joy. There is one track called Ska Noir which is a complete deviation from what we’ve done before. It cracks me up every time.

How would you describe your sound in food form and why? 

If The Melbourne Ska Orchestra was food….it would be…..

An exotic 3 course meal covering all tantalising taste sensations.  

Oyster Entrees- half Natural half Kilpatrick…. A Duck l’Orange with roasted honey glazed vegetables …. Some Jamaican Jerk and a Watermelon for everyone.

Tell us a quick, on the road or studio, anecdote.

Logistics is always an issue and on our last UK tour we had to transport the whole band and gear on the Tube …oh what fun we had…

When Rodrigo didn’t answer the roll call, we had to laugh.

What, or who, inspires you?  Why?

Life is such a rich tapestry of joy and pathos. I’m truly amazed at the wonder of our existence and know the power of music is a healing force. I trust in the journey through creation and it has provided for me since I was young. Humanity and nature offers an endless flow of inspiration.

Which song do you wish you wrote?  Why?

Golden Brown by the Stranglers.  Captures an essence that is evergreen and sublime.

What’s next for you?    Doing lots of preparation for the tour, writing on a daily basis, getting the summer vibes and more dreaming of musical missions.

What’s your scene?   My scene is gratitude. Respect for the wonder of life. Happiness.  Jah In Every Moment.

MELBOURNE SKA ORCHESTRA ANNOUNCE MASSIVE NATIONAL TOUR

+ NEW SINGLE GOOD DAYS BAD DAYS OUT DECEMBER 2

+ 2019 ARIA WIN FOR BEST WORLD MUSIC ALBUM 

The beloved Melbourne Ska Orchestra has today unveiled their new single Good Days Bad Days – a showstopper of a track lifted from their most recent album One Year Of Ska – the box set album that just saw them take out the 2019 ARIA Award for Best World Music Album.  To celebrate, the epic 25 piece band have announced a huge national tour, which will see them hitting up metropolitan and regional cities across the country throughout the early months of 2020.  The group will be kicking things off at the Mullumbimby Civic Hall on February 28, then moving through Brisbane, Maroochydore, Newcastle, Sydney, Wollongong, Canberra, Fremantle, Pinjarra (WA), and wrapping up with a massive hometown show at The Forum, Melbourne on May 1.

Melbourne Ska Orchestra are a force to be reckoned with when it comes to the stage.  Audiences will be blown away by up to 25 musicians performing at a time, and the joyous, energetic vibe of a Melbourne Ska Orchestra gig is one that must be seen to be believed.  Multi-instrumentalist and band leader Nicky Bomba enthuses, “With so many band members, we’re a bit like a soccer team!  Our live shows are a community experience.  It’s imperative for us to make a solid unifying connection with our audience.  We hold the live performance in high esteem, as it’s an ancient ritual where humans come together celebrating life through the wonder of music.  It’s a bit of a spectacle to behold.”

The album One Year Of Ska was an innovative undertaking for the seasoned group.  They set themselves the mammoth task of recording one new song per week for an entire year – that’s a lot of ska!  The band took on the challenge firstly as a way of embracing the idea of creating content for their fans, and also to mimick the old-school Jamaican practice of releasing new songs on a weekly basis to encourage punters to come to their weekly dancehall gigs.  It was an epic task for the Melbourne Ska Orchestra, to say the least, as Nicky Bomba reflects, “We had to move our studio from country Victoria to a studio in Collingwood to facilitate the whole process.  It felt like a NASA mission, working around the clock to create, arrange, record, mix and master in time for each weekly launch, which would happen every Friday morning at 9am.”

The new single Good Days Bad Days is just one of the tracks borne of this intense year of work.  Bright, spunky and full of life, it’s everything audiences have come to love about the band.  The track reflects on exactly that – the good days and bad days that are all part and parcel of life – with geniuine happiness and wisdom, as Nicky says, “The Good Days Bad Days sentiment is universal and it covers all walks of life.  The second verse is particularly close to home, as it relates to putting our own gigs on – it’s always a risk, and things can turn on a dime.  Life is full of the extremes of the pendulum swing.  Finding the balance is the key, eh!”

Showcasing the wild intensity and fun that is Melbourne Ska Orchestra in a live setting, Nicky speaks on the video for the song, Good Days Bad Days really kicks in with the crowd when we play it live. It’s a universal theme that has almost become colloquial.  I love how the film clip captures the raw energy of the live spectacle of the orchestra.”

It’s always nice to be recognised for hard work, and what better acknowledgement is there for a band in Australia than the coveted ARIA Award?  Melbourne Ska Orchestra scooped up the well-deserved nod at this year’s ARIAs for Best World Album, a well-respected and competitive category.  It’s a meaningful win, as Nicky explains, “What an honour to have again been presented with the World Music ARIA award.  We love the fact that we are flagbearers for the international ska sound here in Australia, and hailing from Melbourne, the multicultural diversity is inspiring.  This award is a perfect fit and we are looking forward to sharing our new One Year Of Ska songs with all of our fans.”

Tickets to the Good Days Bad Days tour will go on sale 9am local tomorrow, excluding Anita’s Theatre and Forum Melbourne which are on sale Friday, tickets from www.melbourneskaorchestra.com

Good Days Bad Days is out now

 MELBOURNE SKA ORCHESTRA NATIONAL TOUR

Tickets from www.melbourneskaorchestra.com

 

FRI FEB 28 | MULLUMBIMBY CIVIC HALL NSW| 18+

Tickets from http://bit.ly/gooddays-mullumbimby

SAT FEB 29 | THE TRIFFID, BRISBANE QLD | 18+

Tickets from http://bit.ly/gooddays-brisbane

SUN MAR 1 | SOLBAR, MAROOCHYDORE QLD | 18+

Tickets from http://bit.ly/gooddays-maroochydore

THURS MAR 12 | CAMBRIDGE HOTEL, NEWCASTLE NSW | 18+

Tickets from http://bit.ly/gooddays-newcastle

FRI MAR 13 | MANNING BAR, SYDNEY NSW| 18+

Tickets from http://bit.ly/gooddays-sydney

SAT MAR 14 | ANITA’S THEATRE, WOLLONGONG NSW | AA (U18 ACCOMPANIED BY LEGAL GUARDIAN)

SUN MAR 15 | UC REFACTORY, CANBERRA ACT | 18+

Tickets from http://bit.ly/gooddays-canberra

FRI APR 17 | FREO SOCIAL, FREMANTLE WA | 18+

Tickets from http://bit.ly/gooddays-freo

SAT APR 18 | FAIRBRIDGE FESTIVAL, PINJARRA WA | 18+

FRI MAY 1 | THE FORUM, MELBOURNE VIC | 18+

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About Mary Boukouvalas 1220 Articles
Mary is a photographer and a writer, specialising in music. She runs Rocklust.com where she endeavours to capture the passion of music in her photos whether it's live music photography, promotional band photos or portraits. She has photographed The Rolling Stones, KISS, Iggy Pop, AC/DC, Patti Smith, Joe Strummer, PULP, The Cult, The Damned, The Cure, Ian Brown, Interpol, MUDHONEY, The MELVINS, The Living End, Foo Fighters, Smashing Pumpkins, Rage Against The Machine, The Stone Roses –just to name a few - in Australia, USA, Europe and the Middle East. Her work has been published in Beat magazine, Rolling Stone magazine, Triple J magazine, The Age Newspaper, The Herald Sun, The Australian, Neos Kosmos, blistering.com, theaureview.com, noise11.com, music-news.com. She has a permanent photographic exhibition at The Corner Hotel in Richmond, Victoria Australia.

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