If you thought you had a busy week, I have to tell you Bite Me Bambi has you beat! In addition to their regular Twitch sessions three times a week, they have been in the studio, they dropped a new song and video today, and will be selling out their Second Annual Summer Sizzler in about 3, 2, 1…
In the midst of that craziness though, front-woman Tahlena Chikami took a break to chat with OC Music News today.
Traci: Hey there! I see you just got back from the Pacific Northwest.
Tahlena: Yes, a couple of weeks ago and then we went right into Summer Sizzler planning. So it’s been kind of nonstop. We released a new music video and a new song today.
Traci: “Red Flags!” Is it part of an upcoming album?
Tahlena: The way we do it is we release singles throughout the year and they each have a video, and then at the end, we will put it all into an EP or an album, depending on how many we get through. That will get pressed to vinyl, and then that’ll be the album release.
THE GARDEN AMP
Garden Grove, California
August 13, 2022
Traci: Dropping a new song and video the week of your big event! I just saw you have less than 40 tickets remaining!
Tahlena: We’re very close to sell out. We’re very excited!
Traci: I know you guys select who plays with you for the Sizzler. Tell me about this year’s artists.
Tahlena: Opening the show we have Tilwyth Teg, a band comprised of young people in comparison to the rest of us! They just graduated high school and they formed for a Battle of the Bands contest. They’re super talented. One of our friends was one of the judges and he said, “You’ve got to check out this band.” We’ve actually had a couple bands from this Battle of the Bands competition play shows with us. They’re all super talented. Audrey, the lead singer of Tilwyth Teg, told me that during the pandemic, she just wrote a bunch of music and she has all up on Spotify, which is really cool. Love her voice. They’re super. Then we have The Paranoias from Los Angeles who are veterans in the LA ska scene. They don’t come to Orange County very often, so we’re very lucky that we could coax them down south a little bit more to be on our show. We’re very excited about that. Then we have Code Name: Rocky, who have been friends of ours for many years. They’re more on the ska core edge, so we’re kind of mixing it up a little bit, but they’re going to be great. And then we have the return of Suburban Legends. They have not played since pre-pandemic, so I know a lot of people are very excited about that. They’re Orange County ska legends, I guess, for lack of a better term. Been around a long time and they always put on a really fun and exciting show, so we’re very excited. We also have Ghost Town Sound System doing DJ sets in between the bands. And then we have Dr. Skipper Marley, who is, I think, most famous for doing the Jungle Cruise stand up and writing books about being a skipper on The Jungle Cruise. So he will be hosting the event. So we’re very excited!
Traci: Everybody should dress for a tiki luau?
Tahlena: Yeah, people love a good theme around here! I have to go get my outfit still, but I at least have a hairpiece. So we’re like 99% of the way there.
Traci: I know last year was the first Summer Sizzler. Did it sell out?
Tahlena: Yes, it sold out last year.
Traci: Ok we gotta make that happen today! What inspired you to come up with a luau get together with other bands?
Tahlena: Last year, Summer Sizzler was on Friday the 13th, so it had a Friday of the 13th vibe. We have a meeting about the Summer Sizzler six months before it happens. You’d never know it based off how we’re running around right now, like chickens with our heads cut off. (laughing) But we do try and plan. We were discussing our theme and someone said, “Revenge of the SIZZ” as the full title of the show. We thought, “That’s like tiki.” We have a lot of tiki fans in our band. We’re known for going to tiki bars when we’re on tour. Those are the stops we’ll always try to fit in. So we thought it would be really fun and we love to have people dress up and Starpool, which is a band that some of our members are in, they always threw a luau every year, so we thought it could be a call back to that, but a little different.
Traci: It sounds like a great night!
Tahlena: Summer Sizzler is a whole weekend! We do a bunch of events. Friday we’re going to an Angels game together. A bunch of our Twitch subs and other fans and friends and stuff. You just have to buy a ticket in our section where we’re all sitting. Then on Sunday, we’ll be doing an event at Rad Beer Brewing in Anaheim. We’ll have a couple of people from the show come play acoustic. Brian and I will be doing an acoustic set. So it’s very casual, there’s no stage. We just literally are sitting around, like campfire style, just playing stuff. It’s really fun. It’s from one to three.
Traci: After that, you’ve got some other shows coming up in September and December.
Tahlena: Yes, the September dates are with Panteón Rococó from Mexico. Those are all in California. And then in December, West Coast and East Coast with The Slackers and Big D and the Kids Table.
Traci: Gee, is that all you have going on? (laughing)
Tahlena: (laughing) Yeah, the new song “Red Flags” coming out. We’ve got more music videos and releases that we’re currently working on. We were in the studio last Friday recording a brand new song that’s still in production. We have those two tours coming up, which we’re very excited about. And you can see us on Twitch three times a week – Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Sundays – where I sing, I take requests, and we have a grand old time.
Traci: I want to thank you for all you do for a multitude of causes. I see you raising money and donating it often. That’s so amazing of you and your fans.
Tahlena: Oh, thank you. I try to talk about mental health issues and I just want people to know that you don’t need to feel alone. I try to always remind people to check in on your friends, check in on your people, and if you feel sad and alone, you’re not. There’s days where I feel sad and alone, we all feel like that. I would say don’t do a permanent solution to a temporary problem. Just come hang out with the Bite Me Bambi crew. We all love you. I feel very grateful that we have such a cool community.
Traci: That’s something I’ve noticed about the ska community. It’s just such a positive environment.
Tahlena: Yeah, we’re really lucky. I always say, go to a ska show alone, leave with 10 friends, especially our Bambino crew. Bite Me Bambi twitch subs. Everyone will be your best friend within 10 seconds. Nobody’s ever left out or on their own. You will come to a Bite Me Bambi show. Before you know it, you’re doing Smirnoff Ices in the parking lot with people you just met! We’re really lucky. It’s a really rad community of people. We’ve been really fortunate.
Thank you Tahlena and we look forward to spending the weekend with you! If you do not have a ticket to the Summer Sizzler, consider this your sign to get it now! You do not want to miss it, or any event Bite Me Bambi has coming up!
The Second Annual Summer Sizzler happens Saturday night at the Garden Amp. Catch performances by Bite Me Bambi, Suburban Legends, Code Name: Rocky, The Paranoias, Tilwyth Teg, DJ sets by Ghost Town Sound System, and the whole shebang is hosted by Dr. Skipper Marley. Plus dress in your best luau-themed apparel and be ready strut your stuff to win some goodies. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and tickets are just $20.
After you buy your tickets, check out “Red Flags,” new stuff from Bite Me Bambi!