Interview with Michael Padilla of The Soft Bombs

I’m here with Michael Padilla from The Soft Bombs. How are you, Michael?

Good, thank you.

We’re here in Manhattan at the corner of Bowery and E. 7th St. Joey Ramone Place. Is this The Soft Bombs’ first time in New York?

Yes, and it’s been a lot of fun.

Where have you played?

We played at the Perfect Prescription night at Secret Project Robot in Brooklyn, which was absolutely fabulous. We had such a good time.

Awesome. Do you have other shows while you’re here?

Yes, Sunday we’re going to be playing at Goodbye Blue Monday, also in Brooklyn. And then we’re going to go back to California.

How’s the reception been here in New York?

It’s been overwhelmingly great. It’s much better than I could have anticipated. I’m very happy.

Tell me a little bit about how The Soft Bombs formed.

My old band, Dora Flood… I loved dearly, but I put so many records out with that band, and it felt like we were just going nowhere; I couldn’t get any support for it. So I just decided, you know, sometimes you just have to let a plane crash, and get a new vehicle. I just decided to end that band finally after seven albums. I felt like if I didn’t end it, it was going to end me. I just [needed] to have a new life in music. So I ended the band, and started writing and recording a bunch of songs by myself. I didn’t know if it was going to be a band, or if it was going to be a solo album, or what — I was just working on music. Then I started putting together a band around it, and eventually it formed into The Soft Bombs. I met John Lee Simpson, our bass player, and we started writing a few songs together. And then the album was done and we made The Soft Bombs! We’ve been playing with different drummers in different cities so that we can play more often and reach more people.

How long has it been since you started playing out with The Soft Bombs?

April 30, 2010 was the first gig. In that time [between then and now], we’ve played Laguna Beach, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco a few times, Sacramento, Nevada City, Grass Valley, New York, Portland and Eugene, Oregon.

Great. The record is self-titled?

Yes, it’s called The Soft Bombs.

Is it available for people to buy now?

It’s available on iTunes and it’s available at our shows, and if you e-mail us you can also get it that way.

Great! So what’s going to be next for you?

We’re gonna play a few more shows… we’re recording a few new pieces of music for a couple of singles and EPs coming out [this year]. And I would like to do some more touring. Possibly with some good friends of ours who are in bands. Maybe do another West Coast tour.

I understand you have a studio that you do production work out of as well?

Yes, I produce other bands. The studio is called the Soundport Studio. It’s a good place to be, in the woods, making music without distractions.

What’s your songwriting process like?

I don’t really have a set process. I get haunted by melodies, and until I finish them, they keep haunting me. So if I want to sleep, I just have to finish them. After a while, I just can’t sleep while that melody keeps running through my head. I have to finish the lyrics, have to finish the chords, the breakdowns, all the pieces. But sometimes I don’t have an idea, and I just go into the studio and start playing an instrument, and an idea is born. So there’s really no one way.

Do you record analog, digital or both?


Is there anything else you’d like to say to the people out there?

There’s a lot of great music out there. I just feel really blessed that I’ve had a second life in music.

Thanks a lot, Michael!

Pick up The Soft Bombs’ latest album, The Soft Bombs.