by Max Hill
VANCOUVER – You can’t take a single step into this city’s music scene without running into the Boom Booms. These local legends have been selling out Vancouver venues and touring the globe for almost a decade, and have won The Georgia Straight’s best unsigned local band award five years running — a fact that isn’t lost on their lead singer and songwriter, Aaron Ross. “They should call it the Boom Booms award pretty soon,” he jokes.
Ross describes the band’s music as indie soul and funk with a little bit of Caribbean mixed in. “I love rhythms. I love music that loosens you up, makes you move, makes you happy,” he says. “You always approach these styles with a lot of humility, because the people who play it, who really play those styles that you try to play properly — like reggae, salsa, all those styles — you just come at it from your own end, taking it as a spice in your own music.”
The Boom Booms’ music mashes different genres together seamlessly, something that their new record A Million Miles highlights. They take plenty of notes from modern R&B stars like Miguel and Bruno Mars, as well as from the old pros. “When I was a teenager, I wanted to sing like Otis Redding, he was my first vocal hero,” says Ross. “But vibe wise and music wise, it was always Bob Marley that I listened to.” He also mentions the music of Cuba as a huge influence, having visited the country during his teenage years.
When asked whether the band is hoping to get signed, Ross says they’d be open to partnering with the right label. But he’s not in it for fortune and fame. “If we’re talking making it big as making it big big, I don’t know if that lifestyle would be for me,” he says. “What I’d love to have is a really dedicated fanbase — fans that we have now, but more of them and in more places.”
Whether or not it catapults them into pop stardom, A Million Miles is sure to go a long way.
The Boom Booms play the Vogue Theatre October 20.