"In 1980 or 81, I was a long-haired Led Zeppelin dude," he explained. “Then one day I walked into The Courtroom Lounge in Clearwater and happened upon some kind of new wave freak show. The band was The Fanatics, who did great originals and covers by 999, The Buzzcocks, The Clash, The Undertones...It was a musical epiphany so I went out and bought Ramones, Sex Pistols and Dead Kennedys and cut my hair. Other bands I started following were Zenith Nadir, XXX Girls, Roach Motel and The Wankers."
Car Bomb Driver's line up has remained pretty stable in the time they have been playing together. "We just got lucky that nobody was too much of an a---. It probably helped that we were in our late twenties and early thirties when we started. All you bedroom players, it's never too late."
Dave Reeder and guitarist Joe Borelli and bass player Todd O. Johnson have been with the band since it started and played together with the same drummer for eight years. The band added guitarist Shea Moxon in 2001. Matt Grimshaw joined on drums in 2003. "We actually started a few years before with me on bass and Joe on guitar and two other musicians," Reeder said. "After a few gigs they flaked on us, so I got stuck singing when we found Todd to play bass.”
Car Bomb Driver's barreling, rawking sound with Reeder's attention-getting writing and ...lively...onstage show have made the band a favorite of rock critics and local musicians.
Classics like "Chicks Don't Dig Me," "Electric Sheila," I Wanna Be A Ramone" and the anthemic "Beer Drinker Baby, Yeah" (destined for a beer commercial one day) combine bent sensibilities with Dead Kennedys style irony and the shallow/deep bop of the Ramones. "Short Bus," a recent addition to the band's list brought in by guitarist Shea Moxon, is among Reeder's favorites. "It's got the kind of twisted lyrics that I write, but it's more of a 70s style rock epic than an ironic "Stairway."
Asked to name a favorite among his songs, Reeder answered "Shea once referred to "Chicks Don't Dig Me" as our "Satisfaction." Electric Sheila" seems to be a fan favorite...Our "Free Bird," maybe."
The band has recorded a new, 14-song full-length album, currently in the mixing stage, to be released in the next few months. "We're knocking around a few titles, which, I'm not giving away," Reeder said. "People that know us well will recognize most of the songs and we're going to throw in a couple of the classics.
Previous Car Bomb Driver recordings include three EP's, one on cassette, a 7' vinyl on Hardline Records and a self-titled CD. They have also appeared on several national compilations. The band will probably do more short touring in support of their new release.
It's not a secret that Car Bomb Dave loves The Ramones. Asked to pick his favorite Ramones song, he answered "Blitzkrieg Bop was the first song on the first record that started a revolution, so it's pretty hard to beat. Pretty much everything on those first four records is perfect."
Car Bomb Driver played to a packed Emerald Bar on Oct 7th with the Kevin Kay Band. They will play at the Uptown Bar in St. Pete on Sat. Nov. 11.
By Frances Brennan
Car Bomb Driver Onstage