COBRA SKIN BELTS AND ROADSIDE FRIED CHICKEN
Brandon anderson | 05.02.2021
recently, we had the opportunity to chat with THE delta bombers' lead-guitarist Andrew Himmler in anticipation of the bombers' headlining appearance at this year's hot rod rock & rumble festival in fountain, colorado!
• What drew you to the music business?
What drew us first was the “music” part of the phrase. We didn’t realize or have any idea about the business part until much later! Being young guys in Las Vegas we were obsessed with starting/being in a band before we had met one another on MySpace in 2008. I myself (Andrew) constantly fantasized and daydreamed about being on stage playing rock and roll in high school. I really obsessed over it, I would consume all the live music I could through media and just imagine myself there. After a while, Chris and I had landed on a love of old rockabilly and blues and then we met each other. So to put it another way we really didn’t have a choice! It’s what we wanted to do since we were very young.
• Now that you have tenure in the music business what keeps you guys inspired?
It’s true after years of doing it it’s very easy to become jaded. Fortunately, we haven’t. The coronavirus ironically helped with that. We played 150 shows a year before that and you could definitely feel the burn on the road during long tours sometimes which doesn’t feel good. We stay inspired by all the badass music people have made and continue to make. Sometimes people come out of nowhere that we had never heard of and just blow your socks off live or on record. Recently that guy has been Charlie Crockett for me. I liked his previous albums but “Welcome to Hard Times” was just so well-timed and well done and recorded. It’s like looking into a completely different way of doing things from yourself in a good way- it makes us inspired to continue to dig deep to do things our way and push that to its limits.
Also, our fans who continually appreciate our presence really make it worthwhile. At a certain point you feel like a Disney character at Disneyland that just brings smiles to people's faces and how could that not keep you fresh and inspired?
• How would you describe The Delta Bombers’ sound?
The cliche is “it’s hard to describe our sound” ha! But for us, it’s really doing a lot of things people have already done but framing them in a way nobody else has done before. For instance, during “Wolf” we were really trying to write a Bunker Hill “Hide and Seek” style song but make it as evil as possible. We mix and combine sounds and textures we’re crazy about. We don’t turn our nose up at putting a metal riff in a rockabilly song, or a country riff in a hard rocker. We don’t think blues, rockabilly, and country are mutually exclusive at all. At the end of the day, we try to bring the most entertaining and hard-hitting sounds to the stage to make things concise and face-melting. Chris’s voice really helps there. His way of singing isn’t much like anyone else. His normal voice sounds like a guttural yell (he can sing softly too) but not many people are able to keep that up night after night.
• What’s the craziest story you have from the road?
There are really so many. Right now I remember traveling on a European country road in 2012 when hard snow started coming down. We must have seen 6 overturned cars and our shotty van spun out at one point. We were very lucky to get out of there without going off the road. During that tour, we played Vienna Austria and had Paris the next evening. That’s a 13-hour drive if you don’t stop. It was wintertime and snowing all over. We left at 2 am and it was so hard to stay awake. I was young and didn’t know what I was doing booking tours! I think we made it in 18 hours because of all the snow/nap breaks. A legendary story is Greg’s “Russia” odyssey. In which he missed a flight to Russia and actually got a rental car to try and chase down the connecting flight in Los Angeles. He missed it by about 20 minutes and what followed was nothing short of a miracle to get him there in time for the show. We actually produced a comic book about it! It’s floating around out there somewhere.
• Was The Bombers’ version of “Smokestack Lightning” really recorded in one take?
It really was! That’s a song we had practiced incessantly the days prior because we knew it would be good. It was towards the end of the day recording (actually it was the last song we recorded for wolf) and we didn’t want to blow Chris’s vocals out doing it over and over. So we got in the right frame of mind and laid it down. I really have to credit our old drummer Nick Lopez on the Wolf Record. His simple but very smart cymbal hits and snare timing just made the record. Not to mention Chris literally invoking the ghost of Howlin’ Wolf!
• Do you guys have any artists you would like to collaborate in the studio with?
It’s kind of a pipe dream but Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney of the Black Keys are sonic heroes of ours. I just love the way their recordings sound. Everything from “Brothers” that was engineered by Mark Neill whom we worked with recently and their latest album “Let’s Rock” they produced themselves just sounds so tasty. It would be interesting to hear how they’d want to pitch our sound in the studio.
• What is your dream band to tour with (any era, any genre)?
Any era any genre! Man, that’s a real fantasy now. I can’t help but want to tour with Hank Williams Sr in the 1950s. The way they toured back then was so different and the crowds were too. The idea of rolling along in a few station wagons from town hall to gymnasium across the country just sounds too good to pass up. I can taste the roadside fried chicken just thinking about it.
• What is your favorite part about being in a touring band? Your least favorite? Why?
I love being in a touring band. I really signed up for this. I love the feeling of “doing something” on tour I feel both incredibly busy at all times but somehow at complete ease. There’s lots of meditative downtime in our bus. And I love bullshitting with the guys. However, my favorite part really is the first note we hit of the night. The excitement and the adrenaline. What I don’t like is being away from our families for extended amounts of time. That is a different kind of pressure and I respect anyone that deals with it be it a soldier or a truck driver.
• Are you guys truck-stop knick-knack shoppers?
Not usually in the USA unless you like 3XL make America great again t-shirts and cobra skin belts! In Europe yeah. We’re tourists there and they usually love local specialties in their truck stops be it paprika chips or olive oil.
• What’s your favorite venue?
My favorite venue is the Belly Up in Solana Beach, CA. The venue itself is great, nice crew, and I had one of the coolest experiences of my young life there. A 22-year-old me was asked to come on stage and jam with Reverend Horton Heat. I was so damn nervous. This was in 2011 and It was the coolest out of the blue honor I’d ever had up until that point. I remember my hands being sweaty. It was like a scene straight out of a rock and roll movie. Before I went on the hospitality person asked me if I wanted anything. I took a shot of jack daniels and walked on stage. It was the first time a roadie ever plugged my guitar in for me, haha! I felt like a real big deal for three minutes.
• Finally, Beatles or Rolling Stones?
Dammit, this is a trap! For me, it’s going to be the Beatles overall. They’re really what got me into this music. I investigated their influences when I was a kid and discovered Carl Perkins and Motown. I never get tired of their songs. However, band wise I think we take a lot of cues from The Rolling Stones. Their attitude, grit, and tone was the first of its kind. It’s fun to be seen as the bad guy. And of course, we covered “sympathy for the devil” and “the last time” on our records. So the answer is easy for the Delta Bombers as a whole.
Catch the delta bombers headlining set at hot rod rock and rumble august 27-29, 2021 at pike's peak international raceway in fountain, colorado.