Paul Bombig is no stranger to the music world. Look him up online, and you’ll find a plethora of information – from live music videos, to interviews, to reviews of his international endeavours. He’s no spring chicken. However, with the release of his debut album Atomic Rage, Bom (as he prefers to be called) is injecting a new flavour into good old-fashioned rock‘n’roll.
“Variety has been my spice of life,” he laughs, “Even though I had some good breaks earlier on in my music career, I never let it get in the way of my learning and loving and doing things.”
Atomic Rage is a culmination of Bom’s persona and experiences. Each song is very emotive and energetic, rounded out with spectacular guitar work. “For this album I went to the effort of making sure I picked some of my best songs, from the new to the old,” Bom says. “I wanted to make it a songwriters’ album, so that if you handed it to someone they’d say, ‘Oh this guy knows how to write songs.’ I really wanted people to get the best of me as a songwriter.”
Between the lines, there’s much more depth to Bom the songwriter than is first made clear. “I really like the honesty of people and their stories, whether it be good or bad,” says Bom. “I do have a political tangent to some of my songs, I do. I like good stories as well.
“Bom as a songwriter, I suppose, tries to talk about all the human emotions we go through, and be honest about them, good or bad. ‘Atomic Rage’ is about Hiroshima, then songs like ‘Smile’ and ‘Immaculate Heart’ touch on different emotions, the basic emotions and relationships. I try to make them emotional and heartfelt.”
Atomic Rage is, in part, about what Bom has seen in other people, and how their lives and experiences have shaped his own opinions of the world. “I’m a bit older than when I was 18. I’ve learnt and seen lot. I try to pass on that understanding and maybe some positive direction. I want people to have their eyes open to the truth, not be scared to question and talk about stuff.”
His career has been steady – never exactly thrust into the spotlight, but constantly performing no less. It’s clear he has a fierce love for what he does, but is this love and the opportunity to perform enough? “I’ve often said to myself, even when I was single in the early days, that I didn’t need love because I had music,” Bom laughs. “I felt like music gave me love back, and that sustained me.
“I started off in a couple of different bands, we tried real hard. We broke up, but I had – even early on – some interest from England for management. It came fast and furious. [Fellow musician] Marie Wilson’s management got interested, and took me over to the [United] States. So, I got further solo than I did trying so hard with my band for so many years.
“I’ve kept myself so busy. Because of the advent of managing yourself these days, I’ve never felt I’ve needed management or a record company because I’m doing everything on my own. I don’t mind being an independent artist. A lot to do, but like you said, no spotlight.”
Clearly, not only is music a universal language, but, especially for Bom, it’s far more forgiving than any other relationship. “Can I quote you on that?” Bom laughs. Bom’s upcoming show at The Workers Club will see him share the stage with singer Marie Wilson, a close colleague and friend.
This show will be an acoustic set, with the fast-paced and energetic tracks from Atomic Ragecarefully interpreted onto an acoustic guitar. “You’d be very interested to know, I really do rock it.
“A lot of people have commented on my DJ-style scratching on the guitar, and you’ll notice a lot of people can rock it with an acoustic guitar, really bring it home.”
Bom will play at The Workers Club on Friday December 1 with Marie Wilson and Aimee Francis. Atomic Rage is out now.