What do you get when you combine Save Ferris, Starpool, Suburban Legends, My Superhero, The Knuckle Brothers, Unicorn Injection and Lorde? You get phenomenal musicians and an unreal lead singer who have joined together to form what may be the next BIG band to come out of Orange County. The band in question? Bite Me Bambi!
Bite Me Bambi is a 4th wave ska band, and to do that and be successful in today’s environment is a tall order. Truthfully, being a ska band isn’t as challenging as it once was. Legacy bands like The Specials, English Beat, Reel Big Fish, Rancid, and the Bosstones kept the scene afloat.
Meanwhile, bands like Big D and the Kids Table, Mustard Plug, CodeName: Rocky, Suburban Legends, and Starpool kept the DIY ska scene above water and cool.
Then, a few years ago, the emergence of The Interrupters kicked the door open for the scene we know today. That’s right, it’s cool to like ska again.
BMB’s website probably has the best description of the band’s musical style and sonic vision: “Bite Me Bambi brings sounds reminiscent of British 2Tone and 3rd wave ska into the 21st century.”
Calling Orange County home (the epicenter of the 3rd wave of ska), Bite Me Bambi came out strong. They hit big right off the bat with their single “Strippers on a Sunday.”
Then, they exploded with “Crazy.” It instantly became a fan favorite.
With Crazy, they got local radio airplay support from in Orange County by way of TNN RADIO and Ska Parade, plus other online shows like “Viva Ska Radio” in Las Vegas picked them up and put their music on rotation.
For years OC has had several great ska bands with great musicians playing shows, then there was Tahlena. Anyone who saw her perform fell in love with her voice.
The excitement was evident within the community when Bite Me Bambi formed. It featured all these great musicians with a dynamic lead. Once their music videos started to surface, industry people and music fans alike took notice.
Pearls of Wisdom
“The difference between a good sound and a great one is the time and effort the artist puts into their craft. A great sound doesn’t develop overnight.”
Their next single, “Hot Lava,” got them noticed at L.A. juggernaut station, KROQ on their “Locals Only” show.
That single propelled them to the next level of being a legit “next big thing.”
Like many bands, 2020 was supposed to be a banner year for Bite Me Bambi, but the pandemic had different ideas. Instead of becoming household names, the band has to wait until the concert scene comes back. Like most great bands, they kept working on projects that are now taking off for them.
Recently, we caught up with lead singer Tahlena Chikami. We asked her how life has been for her and the band the past few months. She said, “It’s been tough for everyone, but we’ve made the best of our down time. We spend time with family, then turn our energy towards being creative while staying safe… it is a crazy time we live in.”
She went on to say, “We’ve been keeping busy with recording music for a full-length EP… there’s no official release date just yet, we just hope to have it out soon.”
When asked if she enjoyed working with her band mates, she said, “I can’t believe how good this band is… we have so many great musicians you can’t help but to love working with everyone.”
As far Chikami, she’s a triple threat. In my opinion, she has the ability and potential to be one of the greatest leads to ever come out of the OC ska hub. With the quality of lead singers to come out of OC, I know that’s a bold statement. But, she has an amazing stage presence, she can play a wicked guitar, and most importantly…. she can sing. She has that intangible quality that the queens of ska bring; Gwen Stefani, Pauline Black, and Aimee Interrupter entertain us at that level. That’s the level of talent that Chickami brings to the stage and to Bite Me Bambi’s sound.
As for the band, they are electricity personified. The band features Chikami behind the mic and on guitar, Brian Mashburn on lead guitar, Ryan Brown on bass, T-Bone Willie (Trombone), Kyle O’Donnell (Sax), Mike Berault on keys, and Dan Evans on drums. Collectively, it doesn’t get any better than this. That’s not a statement I make lightly… this band is that tight.
When asked about 2020, Chikami said, “Despite all the setbacks, we’re lucky to be safe and in good health. That’s enabled us to work on a few very cool projects.” Some of these projects include taking part in this year’s Supernova International Ska Fest and most recently in the very successful Slacktober-fest, the online stream show put on by legendary ska band, The Slackers. BMB also took part in the awesome benefit compilation album, “Ska Against Racism.”
For their fans, there were a few other projects the band worked on that’s taken off. They put out some of their favorite covers and it has been a bright spot for so many of their fans. Some of their covers include “Song 2” (Blur), “Gangsters” (The Specials), “My Boy Lollipop” (Millie Small), and “Want You Bad” (The Offspring). Perhaps the band has been slowed down by the pandemic, but not knocked out.
Once we get to some semblance of normality, I’d highly recommend checking out Bite Me Bambi. They are great performers who put out an infectious sound. In the meantime, their latest single, “I Don’t Wanna Be” just came out and it’s already doing very well.
Look for more surprises from BMB coming our way.
A few year ago, we predicted that the Interrupters would blow up. Today, we give that same prediction about Bite Me Bambi. Check them out so you can say you knew all about them before they became the next big thing.