SURREY â€” On their forthcoming album, The Boom Booms are making a triumphant return to the soul and R&B sounds of their youth.
Known for their worldmusic leanings, the Vancouver-based six-piece band most definitely plans to stay true to what’s earned them a strong international fanbase. However, members looked a little closer to home for inspiration this time around.
"It’s definitely an evolution," says Aaron Ross, lead vocalist, of their upcoming record, Love is Overdue.
"When you listen to our first full-length album, Hot Rum, that’s an album that we wrote when we were driving through Central America. So you can hear those Latin and reggae influences. And then now, we haven’t been travelling through Latin America for the past little bit and everybody’s just been digging a lot of the soul and R&B music that we grew up on, so the sound is more in that direction."
(scroll down for video of the band in studio with Injeti)
The Boom Booms perform Saturday, May 31 from 5 to 8 p.m., under the big tent in Lynn Valley Park, as part of Lynn Valley Days. Admission is free, with donations supporting the North Shore Disability Resource Centre (for more information, visit Lynnvalleyday.ca).
Helping shape The Boom Booms’ new direction is Grammy-Award winning producer Chin Injeti, a Surrey resident they met through Vancouver’s music community. Injeti, cofounder of Bass Is Base, has worked with countless big-name artists, including Gwen Stefani, Eminem, P!nk, Pitbull, Drake, 50 Cent and Dr. Dre.
Typically, Ross serves as The Boom Booms’ main writer, coming up with lyrics, melodies and chords, and then taking them to band, and working on arrangements together. On this project, Ross collaborated with Injeti first.
"It’s been an evolving process but we’re really stoked to be done recording," says Ross.
The album is currently being mixed in Los Angeles and they’re aiming for a summer release.
When asked about lyrical content, Ross says the tracks on Love is Overdue vary in what they’re about, however the general sentiment is similar to that of gospel music.
"We’re not singing about God, but it’s almost got that same community, uplifting vibe that I think that you get from gospel music," he said. "I think that’s true of soul and R&B music, of that genre, that’s where it comes from."
In addition, writing love songs is something that continues to come easy to the East Van native, who came to music early.
"We decided, a couple of buddies, when we were in fifth grade, ‘Let’s start a band and organize a talent show.’ It’s kind of funny to think about now," he said, in light of where his musical journey has taken him.
Ross became more serious about music near the end of high school, starting to write songs again. He spent a few years travelling and tree planting and eventually got a laptop and recorded a demo of 12 songs that he distributed to friends.
Ross and fellow Boom Booms members Sean Ross, Theo Vincent and Geordie Hart grew up together in East Vancouver, all students at Hastings elementary. They met Tom Van Deursen and Richard Brinkman at a tree-planting camp in Merritt, and the band was officially launched in 2008.
These days, The Boom Booms are working hard rehearsing, and putting together their new live show, ensuring their songs come to life on stage and on arranging a set that takes the audience on a journey from the first song to the last song, says Ross.
They’re gearing up for their East Van Summer Jam, a festival they’re organizing in Vancouver’s Strathcona Park, July 5. The event "is basically the evolution of the block parties that we’ve been throwing in our alley for the last five years up until 2012," Ross said. "We started those as soon as we started the band. The first year was probably 50 people, we barbecued some chicken and had some beers. And then, each year it grew until in 2012 we had probably over 1,000 people, six bands, a big stage that we built and we raised $14,000 for charities."
Tickets are $20 and other featured artists include The Rascalz, The Funk Hunters and Injeti’s band, The New Royales. Proceeds will support a number of non-profit organizations, including Saint James Music Academy and Haiti Communitere.