Bite Me Bambi - Sound In The Signals Interview

We recently had the chance to interview Mike Berault, keyboardist of Orange County, CA ska/pop/punk band, Bite Me Bambi about the band's musical inspirations, their new video for "Hot Lava", the ska revival, and more. Check it out below.

First, thanks for the interview.
You are very welcome, thank you for having us!

For anyone not familiar with your band can you tell me how you got started and formed the band? How did you get interested in music? 

Bite Me Bambi began with a couple of endings.  The hiatus (I did not write end…just hiatus) of the Orange County legendary Ska band Starpool. At or about the same time singer Tahlena Chikami made a departure from the band Karate in the Garage.  There was a surplus of great musicians and no outlet, it just made sense for Tahlena to team up with Brian Mashburn and Tbone Williams from Starpool (also founding members of teh 90’s Ska band Save Ferris) to start a new project.  Many of our members have been in bands for years, so it made sense for Tahlena, Tbone, and Brian to recruite other musicians from around the Southland Music Scene - Dan Evans of Half Past 2 and Starpool, Ryan Brown formerly of the Maxies, and currently in Suburban Legends, Mike (mikeB) Berault formerly of 90’s Ska band My Superhero, and Kyle O’Donnell of the Sax Offenders (and various other Jazz Projects).  Tahlena collaborated with Brian Mashburn on five songs that the band learned and Bite Me Bambi played their first show in July of 2018. 

You released your video for “Hot Lava” recently. It looked like a fun video. Can you tell me a little about the video shoot and who came up with the concept for it? 

As far as the Treatment for the video It was a collaboration between Tahlena and our director Chris Graue I think one had the cupid idea and the other had the library idea and we merged the two to come up with something fun. Just so happened that we had a friend of the band who owns a bookstore (Shout out to The Bookman in Orange, California!) so we were able to film from 8pm to 3am one day and Chris made it all work. 

I really like the song and lyrics. What was the inspiration for the lyrics? 

The song is about chances.  You know the stage of the relationship or infatuation when you know to your core that there could be something more? That is what the song is about…asking someone to take a chance on you.

What’s the songwriting process for your band like and with so many members how do you get everyone on the same page?

Typically Tahlena or Brian will come with something they are working on either individually or separately   It may be in various stages of the process either complete, or in need of a lyrics or a bridge.  The two will collaborate and to make it easy Brian will make a little demo with on his computer.  At that point the band will get a hold of the demo and make adjustments, re-arrange parts, or we may change the key to better fit Tahlena's vocal range or whatever.  The song is never done and completed without everyone getting to collaborate.

There seems to be a little bit of a ska revival happening with bands like yourself and The Interrupters leading the pack. Have you noticed the excitement around the genre and why do you think it has had a bigger resurgence these last of couple years?

That is a good question.  There is definitely been a revival of sorts happening what with the two years of the Back to the Beach shows in Huntington Beach, Ca (ska heavy line up) and other ska centered festivals around the country i.e.-Supernova, Viva Ska Vegas, and the multitude of Ska Bands playing Punk Rock Bowling this year and in recent years past.  Also, the release of Pick It Up- Ska in the 90’s Documentary. about the genre.  As far as the Ska scene goes, I think there is a couple of things contributing to the rise in popularity of Ska again.  

One reason in my opinion is that we are right at the time where 90’s concert going kids nostalgia is kicking in.  I think like all of us, the ska kids of the 90s and 00 years are longing for a time where they saw themselves as invincible (for lack of a better word), when they had little responsibilities and going to shows with friends was their life.  Now with kids, and jobs, and real responsibilities, there is a longing for a simpler time.  Maybe nostalgia takes 15 years or so to ruminate?    Now those kids have kids they are bringing to shows to see the bands that the family has listened to in the car or at backyard parties, and there is a whole new generation seeing bands like Less Than Jake or Reel Big Fish for the first time.  

The second is, the caliber of bands is getting really great.  The Interrupters had two consecutive great releases and toured with the right bands early on.  Their record got picked up on terrestrial radio, not because it was a “Ska” record but because it is a great record.  We hope to just put out quality music regardless of it being considered Ska or rock or whatever. 

What’s coming up for your band for the remainder of the year? Will we hear new music or maybe get an album or EP?

In Bite Me Bambi we like to release videos to youtube and put the songs on Spotify and Itunes so they are available immediately to the fans.  It is our plan to release the singles collection in an EP format for those fans that want it, (possibly a record for collectors and CD to have with us at shows) however all of our released music is available right now for free (we wouldn't be mad if anyone reading this would buy them off of itunes, don't get me wrong).  Also, look for new video releases for two more songs in the coming months.  As for touring, right now with Covid-19 all touring and shows have been suspended.  We had a tour booked with two major ska bands for June through the United States that is on a ‘wait and see” plan right now. Also, were planning on going to Japan which is now on hold (but checkout our single for Hot Lava in Japanese!) The business is moving at a stand still pace right now but we are expected to do at least a tour of the west coast in the fall. 

Thanks for taking the time to answer the questions. Do you have anything else that you would like to add?

Thank you so much for having us.  Please check out our latest video release for our single Hot Lava and keep an eye out for future videos and shows to be announced.  Also give us a follow on instagram for latest news and live streams in the future.

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