Fresh off an SDMA award, The Burning of Rome previews their new album
By Logan Broyles | SDUN Reporter
It can be hard to tie The Burning of Rome down into a specific genre. Their music has been described as a mash up of indie rock, punk and electronic, with some dark Goth influences.
The band is also known for a fashion sense that is straight out of the mind of Hollywood director Tim Burton, as well as their animated onstage performances, one of which included bringing a severed pig’s head onto the stage as homage to “The Lord of the Flies.”
“We’re often theatrical in our live performances, however we’re cautious about not having it become a gimmick that takes over the music,” said Adam Traub, lead singer and keyboardist.
Traub, who started The Burning of Rome as a solo project eight years ago, said one of their concerts could include everything from “maternity mannequins” and large Styrofoam skulls to crowd surfing, costume and fake blood.
“Growing up I was a punk that loved show tunes and pop music,” he said. “As my pallet expanded, I started to experiment with sounds of my own, and began writing quirky songs and recording them to a four-track tape recorder.”
The other band members joined Traub five years ago “through overlapping groups of friends and musicians in San Diego,” he said. The current group consists of Joe Aguilar on guitar and vocals, Aimee Jacobs on keyboards and vocals, Lee Williams on drums and Colin Kohl on bass guitar.
Their debut album with Surfdog Records, titled “With Us,” is set for release Sept. 18. The record’s first single, “Ballad of an Onion Sprout,” has already begun garnering praise from the local music industry.
“Our new album is the result of a year’s worth of meticulous experimentation and mind-numbing labor spent in various recording studios across the city of Los Angeles,” Traub said. “It took us that long to figure out a way to string together a genre-jumble of experimental pop music with psychedelic rock, orchestral music, and an abundance of synthesized noises, squeaks and squelches.”
Calling the work a “reinvention process” for the band, Traub said they were forced to focus and define their sound, and while they have not strayed too far from their original sound, listeners will be hearing something new.
“Fans can still expect to hear grace notes of our classic stuff embedded throughout the atmosphere of the new record, but be prepared for another stage in the evolution of our sound,” he said. “This album will be different than anything they’ve heard from us thus far.”
The Burning of Rome won the award for Best Alternative at this year’s San Diego Music Awards, held Aug. 12, and Traub said he appreciated knowing the award came directly from fans.
“It’s rewarding to know that the category we were in was determined strictly by votes from the public. The fact that there are that many San Diegans who thought enough of The Burning of Rome to cast their votes for us is endearing,” he said. “I don’t know what this award means for The Burning of Rome in the long run, but for the time being it is nice to know that San Diego has our back.”
If San Diego support is of concern to the group, they seem to have plenty of it around town. To help promote the band, Yiga Miyashiro, the head brew master at Pizza Port in Ocean Beach, created a “Burning of Rome” pale ale for them, with the first batch released in February and the second in July.
Traub and the band will be playing at Eleven on Sept. 15, as part of the San Diego Music Thing festival. Eleven is located at 5319 El Cajon Blvd. For more information visit elevensandiego.com or call 619-450-4292.