Bomb the Music Industry! (commonly abbreviated as BtMI!) was a musical collective originally from Baldwin, Nassau County, New York in 2004. They write, produce, record, and distribute all of their music under the leadership of songwriter and producer Jeff Rosenstock, and you can get their albums free at quoteunquoterecords.com
They are known for their DIY punk ethic, embodied in such actions such as distributing six albums worth of their own material for free on their website, and offering free stencils and paint for fans to create their own T-shirts. They also offer their fans a chance to perform on stage if they learn a song and bring their instrument to the show. Beginning in April 2009, the band will only play all-ages shows with ticket prices of $10 or less. Rosenstock and several other contributors were previously members of The Arrogant Sons of Bitches. As that band was breaking up, Rosenstock recorded the first Bomb The Music Industry! song, "Sweet Home Cananada" using his PowerBook's built-in microphone.
"I wrote that song and put it out to see if anybody wanted it. That was how it started, people showed interest and I like recording stuff."Bomb the Music Industry! plays a blend of several musical styles anchored in ska and hardcore punk. The influences go deeper than ska and punk, however, as studio experimentation, synth-pop, and DC hardcore all pop up in the mix. Rosenstock says bands such as Harvey Danger and Neutral Milk Hotel are as much an influence as evidenced by tracks such as "This Graceless Planet" (an adaptation of a song by We Versus The Shark into the musical aesthetic of Bomb the Music Industry!), "Stand There Until You're Sober", and many other songs' meter experiments (which feature, respectively, jarring synth breakouts, backwards looping, and time signatures such as 23/4). In live performances the band has begun using digital technology to create breakdowns that sound like they are lifted from 8-bit video games. Tracks such as "Sweet Home Cananada" and "Future 86" strip down the arrangements to barebones loops and guitar, with the latter (a previously unreleased The Arrogant Sons of Bitches demo) featuring a full brass section but lacking the upstroke rhythms on the guitar, a key element of third-wave ska.
Lyrically, Bomb The Music Industry! songs vary widely from furious rants about corporate rock to ordinary stories about finding a job. They also use a good deal of humor, as in "Can I Pay My Rent In Fun?" and "Sorry, Brooklyn. Dancing Won't Solve Anything." One interviewer described the band as "ska for smart people." Jeff Rosenstock responded,
"…you could call us ska music for smart people or indie rock for dumbasses at the same time. That's nice that somebody thinks we're smart."Bomb the Music Industry! has toured as a duo consisting of Rosenstock and Rick Johnson of Rick Johnson Rock And Roll Machine and Mustard Plug. Both carry vocal responsibilities while Rosenstock plays guitar and Johnson plays bass. Both play a variety of instruments as well, such as theremin, tub drum, and saxophone. Additionally, Rosenstock has been known to play keyboard with his feet. Often, this incarnation of the duo performs accompanied by an iPod wired into the venue's PA system that supplies all of the instruments that the duo themselves cannot perform live.
Bomb the Music Industry! has also toured as a duo consisting of Rosenstock and Matt Kurz of The Matt Kurz One. During this tour, Rosenstock fronted the band, playing guitar and saxophone. Kurz sang backup and played bass. As with the Rosenstock/Johnson combo, the rest of the instruments were played through an iPod. Fans were encouraged to join them onstage and play instruments.
In December, 2006, Bomb the Music Industry!, this time as just Rosenstock and Johnson, toured the United Kingdom as part of the Ska Is Dead tour with Mustard Plug and The Planet Smashers. On May 19, 2007, Bomb the Music Industry! headlined Skappleton 2007, the biggest ska fest in Wisconsin. Throughout June 2007, Bomb the Music Industry! embarked on what its website describes as the "Real Bands Tour?". On this tour, the band sidestepped their regular, thrown-together arrangements and opted to perform with a full rock ensemble, consisting not only of Rosenstock as frontman but also of two keyboard players, a bass player, an additional guitarist, and a drummer. The decision to play with this ensemble reflects upon the style of their 2007 album, "Get Warmer", which was recorded with a similar ensemble of live players as opposed to by mainly Rosenstock.
On October 4, 2008 the band entered the studio to record their next album titled "Scrambles", which was released February 15, 2009. The album "Others! Others!" Volume 1 was released on May 7th of 2009, an album of demos, unreleased songs, and bonus tracks. The album "
Adults!!!... Smart!!! Shithammered!!! And Excited By Nothing!!!!!!" was released in early 2010 via their website.
The band went on an extended hiatus in 2013
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