by Leslie Krouse
I have to say The Buzzbombs put on a pretty insane live show. From shots lined up across the stage, to the stand up bass player standing on his bass, and the lead singer who has seemed to channel the spirits of Buddy Holly and Elvis, if they were on crack. I would describe it as controlled Kaos, that is severely out of control. It’s a combination of rockabilly meets funk punk, and then mix in with a wee bit of the Irish boozing flair, and you are guaranteed by the end of the night to not only be shit faced (if you follow the bands lead), but you will absolutely have had the greatest times of your life.
You would think with all the mayhem they create at the shows there would be a large group of guys causing all the ruckus, not the case, there are only the four, with the energy of 10. Lead vocalist/instigator Johnny Carson lures in the female portion of the crowd in with all the charisma of Frank Sinatra, then we have drummer/beat master Johnny Magnum who amidst all the lunacy manages to hold everything together, to stand up bass/devil in blue jeans Johnny Diablo who plays his skull top instrument like its been attached to him since birth, and finally Johnny Fuego guitarist extraordinaire, who’s fingers move so fluently, you know the girls are just gaga over him. You will not only get to sing-a-long with old favorites like “Twist & Shout’ , and ‘Rock Around the Clock’,but they will also serenade you with their originals like ‘Beer & Cigarettes’ and ‘Truck Driving Vampire’ and we can’t for get the classic ‘San Diego Drinking Song’ which seems to be the crowds favorite. I wrangled up Johnny Diablo to find out a little more about these 4.
RIS: Describe “The Buzzbombs”?
Diablo: We’re San Diego’s Favorite Party Band. It’s like Jerry Lee Lewis playing a raging toga party. Lots of dancing, drinking, and me and Fuego rocking out on top of a table somewhere while Magnum keeps everyone on beat. I would equate our live shows to those wild house parties you see in 80’s movies. Chips, dips, chains, whips…You know, your basic high school orgy type of thing with a 50’s soundtrack.
RIS: Where does the name “The Buzzbombs” come from?
Diablo: Fuego (guitarist) was the one to come up with our name. A Buzzbomb was a gigantic WWII bomb (V-1) that was basically a self-propelled plane with a one-ton warhead. It could be heard for miles around, buzzing as it flew, until the final boom. I thought it sounded cool and gave a nod to old band names of the 50s’ & 60’s so that was that.
RIS: I hear it gets pretty crazy when you guys sing the ‘San Diego Drinking Song’, what is the craziest thing that has happened?
Dialbo: Yeah, that song is definitely a huge crowd favorite; every time we play it it gets pretty crazy. People come out sometimes just to hear us play that song! It’s hard to remember specific crazy moments since our shows are so filled with them they become a blur but I do remember one time at the Zombie Lounge when we had this huge line of Jaeger shots lined up on stage for us. The crowd kept buying ‘em for us and every verse we did another shot. Buy the end people were just pouring shots down our throats while we were playing and everybody was on stage singing. It was complete mayhem. We have little memory of the rest of that show. Then there was the time some guy was puking up blood like 3 feet away from us while we’re playing. That was gross.
RIS: I understand you take request for songs at the shows. What are some of your favorites to play?
Diablo: We take requests as long as they pick a song that’s on our set list. Ha-ha. Well, I guess there are a couple songs we’ll do if someone requests them, like ‘The Amazing Royal Crowns’ or ‘Reverend Horton Heat.’ Also, people request some of our original material that we like to play. ‘Beer n’ Cigarettes’, ‘Truck Driving Vampires’ or ‘She’s Ugly’ are some of our favorites so it’s always good to hear people ask for them. If we get enough requests for something we don’t know here’s a good chance we will go learn it for next time.
RIS: What are The Buzzbombs goals for the future?
Diablo: I guess fame, fortune, hot girls and a never-ending amount of Newcastle and Jameson. We would like to record another album too, and get a little recognition by the San Diego Music Awards. Oh, and Fuego wants to become a ninja, and Magnum is in training to mud wrestle a jaguar.
RIS: Any shout outs for friends and family?
Diablo: Big thanks to the booking guys at all of our favorite venues, Jay and Lisa for their help and support, the Coronado White boys for their colorful antics at our shows, Jenny, and the whole Johnny / Stiletto family. We’ve all had great times with all those people. Thanks for the love and support.
For a list of all their shows check them out at: