“… I decided I wanted to do a recording that was raw and blown out, done quickly for cheap. So we opened up the four track tape machine with a lot of scotch, whiskey, and reefer around, for one of the funnest sessions I’ve ever had. ”
– Lamont “Bim” Thomas, OBNOX
Lamont Thomas aka BIM is Obnox. This is a one man gig. What you see is what you get (except on tour when Elijah Vasquez aka E-React will be playing drums. Bim, currently of This Moment in Black History, Bassholes, and Puffy Areolas (yes that’s three other bands) debuts his first solo LP titled “I’m Bleeding Now” today on Smog Veil Records. Check out the Get to Know we got with him.
IF I RULED THE WORLD FOR A DAY I WOULD…
legalize marijuana. Ha Ha just kidding! (no I’m not) Seriously, I couldn’t imagine myself as a ruler. Ruler reminds me too much of dictator for some reason.
WHO HELPED YOU GET STARTED?
From the start I was into rock and just about everything else. My folks had great soul and RnB records and I loved that stuff, but the excitement and energy of rock always appealed to me. Punk was the next logical step. I used to skate a lot, both ramp and street when I was young, and those guys used to make me tapes. I started playing with friends from high school in my late teens in Sandusky, Ohio. We were horrible…sort of like punk rock versions of classic rock songs. Eventually I went to Bowling Green State University and fell in with a bunch of djs at WBGU. This was key as these guys used to get all the best 7″ inches coming out on the best indie labels and I would hang at their houses (instead of going to class) soaking that in. After being ousted from BG, I ended up in Columbus, OH. which had a great scene at the time, full of record geeks like me, and everyone was in a band that was releasing or planning on releasing 7″ inches. I couldn’t be around this and not participate. I love music…that love for music got me a job at Used Kids Records, one of the best record stores in the country, and that provided me with a bastion of knowledge on a shit ton of styles. It changed my life, point blank. It was also where I met my longtime musical collaborator, Don Howland, formerly of the Gibson Bros., but at the time, a member of the Bassholes whom I’d just seen open for Boss Hog and was immediately hooked. I’d never seen a two-piece band before. He and Jim Shepard (V-3) took me on my first tours and that’s how people became aware of me as a musician, although, I’m not sure if anyone really gives a shit. I just keep putting records out and hopefully people will hear the stuff before I’m dead.
WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT WHAT YOU DO?
What I love most about music is recording. I love imagining what a record will sound like and seeing what happens on any given day when the tape machine is running. It doesn’t matter what kind of equipment as long as its cut on real tape. I’m not very into digital recording except for assembly and mastery every once in a while. I love making analog recordings because that’s how the best records of all time were made, releasing them on vinyl, and playing shows so that people can bear witness that the records are just as real and gnarly as they sound at home, not some fraud.
IF I HAD TO CHOOSE ANOTHE PROFESSION I WOULD BE A..
If I had to choose another profession, I’d love to be a stand-up comedian. Book yourself, drive yourself, work for yourself, and if you’re any good at it, the crowd really appreciates it. But if the state government would quit closing libraries, I would love to go back for my masters in Library Sciences. Working as a librarian is a lot less risky and more realistic than being a comedian. Reading and laughing are fun activities though. You gotta try it!
WHERE IS THE BEST PLACE TO BUY EQUIPMENT?
I don’t shop for gear a lot. I am not a gearhead. I usually just by stuff to maintain my drums and guitar. Sticks, strings, and drumheads are usually all I ever need. The closest store is Guitar Center. The place sucks, because like most music stores, it’s filled with people who are not very original and way to many cover band members.
WHAT DO YOU HAVE THE MOST ABOUT WHAT YOU DO?
What I hate most is phonies and frauds who make lots of money ripping off other artist from the past and present. Its okay to have a familiar sound, but not a carbon copy of someone else. I also hate the fact that most people in this business make a lot more money than the artists they represent. Booking agents, publicists, journalists, doormen, soundmen, bartenders, managers, lawyers and some labels all make more money than the average touring underground musicians, who never seem to have steady jobs, money, or anything else resembling stability. Nevertheless, I’ve had my fair share of good deals and bad deals, and that’s just life.
MY MOM WANTED ME TO BECOME A…
preacher or anything more respectable than a drummer in a punk band.
WHEN DO YOU GET A CHANCE TO CHILL?
I don’t get to “chill” very often between my daughter and the recording schedule lately, but when I do, I like to go fishing. I know it sounds corny, but its very relaxing. My girlfriends father has a little fishing cottage near my hometown, so I tend to go out there on the weekends that I’m not playing.
WHEN ARE YOU GOING INTO THE STUDIO?
I’ve been in and out of the studio a lot in the last few months. In May, I recorded a new full length This Moment in Black History lp at Suma Recording Studio, which is where every Pere Ubu and Grand Funk Railroad record was made among many others. Last weekend I went to Columbus Discount Recording and tracked the new Puffy Areolas full length. These guys are right up my alley. I haven’t been in the band for even a year and we’ve made two 7″ inches, one 12″ inch split and a full length as well as playing a gang of shows. That’s wassup. That’s what I do. Don Howland will be here next week to finish the next Bassholes full length that we recorded near Christmas. A few overdubs, a mix and that’s wrapped.
WHEN ALONE, I PASS MY TIME BY…
reading, listening to records, cooking, writing songs, smoking weed, fishing, and hanging out with my daughter. (I guess that’s not alone)
WHY DO YOU DO THIS?
The reason I do this is because I love it. It is a labor of love…I was raised in a church with good music, my family had amazing records, and I’ve met most of my closest friends through music. It’s how I feel most comfortable. I’m a lifer!
WHEN IS YOUR NEXT SHOW?
My first OBNOX show is July 8th at Now That’s Class as part of Wonderful Fest.
THE WORLDS WORST BAND IN HISTORY
…is Mors Ontologica or the Doors. Either way Mike Rep is going to kill me for saying that.
THE BEST BAND OF ALL TIME…
is James Brown’s Apollo band from Live Vol. 1, Jazz Messengers, Black Flag, The Meters, Bad Brains (Roir Years), Rolling Stones, too many amazing bands to call it cuz!
THE BEST BAND I’VE HEARD LATELY…
Cola Freaks from Scandanavia, Birds of Maya from Philly, Bad Noids and Lucha Eterna from Cleveland and the Cheater Slicks from Columbus. Muamin Collective is the best hip hop I’ve seen as of lately.
WHAT IS YOUR MESSAGE TO THE PEOPLE?
BIM: My message to people would be to try and strive for originality instead of novelty. There’s a lot of things, nowadays, that may garner you fifteen minutes of fame (a’la Warhol), but life is short so you better stand for something real…like yourself. There is not enough time to rip off other people’s style or to toss off performances when there is so much crap out there vying for people’s attention.
WORDS OF WISDOM:
Crazy in the head, crazy in bed…
Sorry it took so long, just got back from a Puffies recording session! Thanks ya’ll!
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I’m Bleeding Now, Debut OBNOX/Solo Album
By Cleveland’s Lamont “Bim” Thomas
Out On Smog Veil Records June 7th, 2011
Chicago, IL, April 28, 2011 – Smog Veil Records announces debut album by Cleveland underground hero, Lamont “Bim” Thomas titled, I’m Bleeding Now, to street on June 7th, 2011. The record was pressed on heart of darkness (aka, black) vinyl, with eco-friendly recycled content jacket and full color two-sided insert. This collectable release is strictly limited to a single pressing of 500 pieces.
The OBNOX album was produced by Bim and Paul Maccarone (formerly of Zombie Proof Studios, production credits include Homostupids, This Moment in Black History, Puffy Areolas). I’m Bleeding Now was completed in just seven days at John Neely’s Loft on St. Clair Ave. in Cleveland, Ohio July and August, 2010. The mix was done at Columbus Discount Recording by Adam Smith (Bassholes, Psychedelic Horseshit, Times New Viking).
Bim’s existing body of work includes several full lengths, EPs and 7″s with Bassholes, This Moment in Black History, Deathers, and Puffy Areolas. Bim explains the move to a solo release stating “After 15 years of recording with Bassholes and eight years with This Moment in Black History I decided I wanted to do a recording that was raw and blown out, done quickly for cheap. So we opened up the four track tape machine with a lot of scotch, whiskey, and reefer around, for one of the funnest sessions I’ve ever had. After recording for so many different labels and going all over the world to play, I’ve come to the conclusion that punk rarely gets more fun than recording with a pal, and releasing the tape on another pals label. With that in mind, it’s great to be running with Frank Mauceri and recording for Smog Veil Records.”
During his career Bim has shared the stage with The Cramps, Rocket From the Tombs, Black Keys, John Spencer Blues Explosion, Dirtbombs, New Bomb Turks, Cheater Slicks, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, White Stripes, The Hold Steady, Bob Log III, Tav Falco’s Panther Burns, Nashville Pussy, Death, Black Merda, Blowfly, Country Teasers and countless others.
OBNOX is Lamont “Bim” Thomas on guitar, vocals, and drums. The album also features Buddy Akita, guitar solo (track 5), backing vocals (track 7); Lawrence Daniel Caswell, backing vocals (track 7); Bill Weita, lead guitar (track 8); Felipe, bottles (track 7); Ribbon Sylvester, scream (track 5). The eight tracks on I’m Bleeding Now are 1. “Cum Inside,” 2. “I’m Bleeding Now,” 3. “The Get It Inn,” 4. “Totaled,” 5. “The Cowboy and the Cowgirl,” 6. “Daughter,” 7. “Gin and Coke Water” and 8. “Whaddup Young Bleed (Drum Thunder Suite).”
Smog Veil Records was founded in Cleveland, Ohio in 1991. This release will be distributed by Revolver, CTD, Ltd., Forced Exposure, Sonic Unyon (Canada) and IODA (digital). OBNOX radio promotions will be handled in-house. The Smog Veil roster includes Batusis (Cheetah Chrome and Sylvain Sylvain of New York Dolls), Complaints Choir, This Moment In Black History, The New Hope v/a compilation, Peter Laughner, Pere Ubu, Tin Huey, Easter Monkeys, Pistol Whip, Unknown Instructors (Mike Watt, George Hurley, Joe Baiza, Dan McGuire, Raymond Pettibon, David Thomas), The Pagans, Teacher’s Pet, Thor, Rocket From The Tombs, Amps II Eleven, New Christs (featuring Rob Younger of Radio Birdman) and Rubber City Rebels. Visit the label online at SmogVeil.com.