Baghdad Scuba Review

by Andrew Frey
December 2009

Baghdad Scuba Review on the cover of Dec. 2009 Maximum Ink - photo by Nick Berard

Baghdad Scuba Review on the cover of Dec. 2009 Maximum Ink
photo by Nick Berard

Since their inception Baghdad Scuba Review has been swimming through the sands of creativity and their existence has bloomed and flourished because of it. When their dynamic and thematically charged jam rock debut “Testing The Waters” flowed into our ears in 2007 it was critically acclaimed and nominated for a MAMA award. Since then the band has played numerous shows and events around Madison and the Midwest, highlighted by memorable sets on the Capital steps for the Great Midwest Marijuana Harvest Festival, in Black River Falls at the Grateful Garcia Gathering, and at Milwaukee’s incredible Summerfest.

Recently Chad Thompson (lead guitar/vox) and Justin Gerstner (drums) took a moment to update Maximum Ink about what’s percolating these days for BSR and what their next release (slated for an early 2010 release) holds in store. The rest of the band is composed of Erik Riedasch (bass), Rob Bloch (percussion), and Jason Krueger (keyboard).

Since their politically charged debut release, the country has leaped to a new perspective both from the White House and in economic terms. How has this affected BSR?

“Our newer material is not quite as theme dominated,” Chad explains. “Our songwriting has become a bit more diversified in that we are pulling more ideas from every member as we progress together. The more central theme is that we have realized, and we hope that others do too, is that the world is what we create. We need to seize the moments that hit us both as individuals and as a group to see what kind of impact we can create on determining our own reality. We hope that all will participate in the creation of tomorrow.”

“The tough thing is really labeling the style that we are playing,” Thompson continues. “We’re finding that we create together in a way that reflects each others niches and influences. This brings us to putting out a more complete total package through everyone’s talents than we could with our own fingers, arms, feet, hands and thought processes alone. The goal of the album is to harness those into a presentable amalgamation of sound which we create a new and unique experience for ourselves to which we in-turn share with our audience.”

Each summer brings new opportunities to experience and enjoy in the form of outdoor music festivals. BSR has had the opportunity to frolic and play at a number of such events.

“We have participated in quite a few festivals since we began performing together in ‘05.  They are certainly their own environment,” exclaims Thompson. “Really, those are situations that are separate from the rest of real life. We all have jobs; we all have other lives, and so do all of those other people that come to those festivals. It is a chance to get away and take ourselves and others to a different state of mind.  The daily 9-5 really isn’t good for people, and everyone that comes there seems to be seeking an alternative to the status quo. We are pretty sure there is a critical mass moving in terms of the general consciousness, and we can see the festival movement shows that people are searching for something other than that status quo.”

Baghdad Scuba Review - photo by Nick berardGerstner recalls, “Our best festival moment was being at our 3rd Summerfest show (Milwaukee, WI) on the Harley stage. We were 2 slots prior to Bob Weir & Ratdog. We happened to feature a couple of Dead tunes that day to try to hype up the full crowd for Weir. After our slot a “roadie” approached us and introduced himself as “Stinky”. He asked us for our CD and one of our long time friends dug one up and gave him one along with a shirt of ours.  Obviously we stuck around for Ratdog and we couldn’t help but notice that “Stinky” ended up being the bass player for Bobby… and rumor has it Bob sent him out of their tour bus to find out who was playing Dead tunes.”

To keep up on the latest BSR news simply hop online. BSR sports a solid web presence. “We use Facebook, Myspace, and our own website,” states Gerstner. “We try to keep our crowd informed with regular email updates of when we will be around and performing. We are actually looking into a rather unique song distribution scenario for the next album release, so keep your ears peaked for the details.”

Finally Thompson mentions, “We are blessed to be in what is likely the most vibrant music scene in the state, living in Madison, and we are honored to be a part of it.  Please support all local music enthusiastically and often. You are all beautiful and we would like to provide you with no-strings-attached children… unless you are a dude.”

BSR will be playing on December 17th for the Maximum Ink Holiday Party at the Frequency along with Madison’s El Donk.

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