Following the release of its first EP "Let Sleeping Elephants Lie," in August, local band Bombadier is looking toward the future with motivation to evolve its sound.
Bombadier, an indie alternative rock band, has been playing together since November 2022. The group includes vocalist and rhythm guitarist Brandon Dowell, bassist Scotty Groth, drummer Hannah Edmonds and lead guitarist Anatoli Chavchich.
"As Sleeping Elephants Lie" consists of five indie rock songs. The EP takes inspiration from many aspects of the band’s lives, Dowell said. And as a result, it doesn’t stick to just one tone or topic, he said.
“There’s songs that deal with grief. There are songs that deal with the just general life experience of a person trying to do music,” Dowell said. "As far as inspiration goes, it's kind of like on a daily basis, right?"
Though it's grown into a band now, Dowell started writing songs for Bombadier as a solo project before finding his current bandmates.
The band met in an organic sense at a local open mic event hosted by Dowell, he said. After six months of performing solo, he found three more musicians for the lineup.
Adding new members to the group allowed Dowell to include others in his song-writing process, he said.
Dowell has been the main song writer for the band. He often times will create the lyrics and structure of a song and then looks to the other band members for their input, he said.
“We try to compromise in our writing as much as we can. Because I started the project as a solo project, but I want a band, so I can't be the dictator of the band, it has to be a group effort,” Dowell said. “Everybody has to be on board with what they're playing. They have to enjoy what they're playing, so I'll bring the skeleton and then they add the flourishes and the little bits and pieces that make it theirs as well.”
The music wasn't finished after the writing, however. The process of recording and mixing the album lasted months, but it paid off, Dowell said.
“I woke up the morning of (the release), and it was just like a big sigh of relief," Dowell said. "Because it's like we've spent a good chunk of time, I don't know how much time we spent recording it, probably about four or five months from start to finish.”
During the recording process, it was hard for the band to imagine it as a full production, with each part being recorded separately.
“You don't really have a feel for how it's all going to sound together until you get the finished product, so I'm happier with it then I, well, as happy as I possibly could be," Groth said.
Recording parts separately was a change for the band, as the group had been primarily playing the material together live, Edmonds said. It brought a new perspective on the music, she said.
“It was the first time I'd been in a studio in a while. And really hearing nothing but yourself against the backing tracks, it's just, it is a different vibe when you play together live versus like when you're playing against each other's tracks,” Edmonds said. “But yeah, definitely a very humbling experience. I thought I was a decent drummer and then I’d go in to play, and I'm like ‘Man, I kind of suck,’ but it's a learning experience.”
After about a year of consistent gigs, Bombadier has taken a step back to experiment with new writing techniques, Dowell said.
The goal is to have equal input from everyone in the band in order to make the writing process more of a group effort, Dowell said.
“We're kind of trying to flip it around and make it more of an equal process,” Dowell said. “Like we want everybody to feel like they're contributing at least 25% to the songs that we're doing, because we’re a four-piece.”
The band hopes to start playing shows again in the spring or summer after it had some time to write new songs and update it's set, he said.
“Ideally by summertime, we'll be back with a whole new set, and we've got a few pieces and chunks of songs that we're working on now. But nothing quite finished yet,” Dowell said. “We're still trying to figure out what we're doing. In a way, we're still getting our shoes on as a band and it's fun, it's interesting to try new things.”
"Let Sleeping Elephants Lie" can be found on all streaming platforms.