Jivebomb: Kat Madeira on How the Baltimore Hardcore Punks Found Their Sound With "Primitive Desires"

(Photo credit: Kayla Guilliams)

Despite having music out for a little over a year, Jivebomb have managed to make their mark on hardcore. The band dropped their first demo in 2021. A year later, they joined forces with Flatspot Records to release their latest EP, Primitive Desires. The result is hardcore punk perfection that doesn’t overstay its welcome - fast, aggressive, and fun-as-hell.

Vocalist Kat Madeira and I discussed Jivebomb going from a “just for fun” pandemic project to where they are now. We also covered their newest EP, Baltimore hardcore, touring with Scowl, Kat’s history as a tattoo artist, and more!

(Photo credit: Sean Reilly)

AA: Introduce yourself with your name and what you do in Jivebomb.

KM: I’m Kat, I sing in Jivebomb.

AA: Who played your first hardcore show? What impact did that have on keeping you involved in hardcore?

KM: I wanna say my first “capital H” hardcore show was Terror and some other bands. I specifically remember the live experience of watching them and watching them interact with the crowd was very different from the other shows that I was going to. I was like, “I want to know more about this!” Which is funny, because I don’t listen to Terror at all. [laughs] But that was my intro!

AA: What made you want to start a band like Jivebomb?

KM: I always wanted to be in a band. After you go to shows for a while - I kind of wanted to know what that would be like, but that was always tucked away in the back of my mind, like… “Oh, this would be cool, but it’s probably never gonna happen for a multitude of reasons.”

I  met everyone in Jivebomb through going to shows, and we all became really good friends, especially over the pandemic. There was, like, a year- to two-year period where at least in Baltimore there was no live music going on whatsoever, and we were all very bored… And also kind of going insane. We were just like, “Damn, that was at least 50% of our whole personality… Going to shows or doing something related to hardcore.” [laughs] 

And they were like, “Let’s just write music for fun,” and I don’t think any of us thought anything would come out of it. I definitely didn’t. I was like… If shows come back, it would be cool to play one and just like feel what that feels like, but I definitely did not think we would be touring or playing shows or anyone would give a shit. I didn’t think I’d be doing this, right now, for sure. But yeah! It was solely for the sake of writing music because there was nothing else to do, so it happened. [laughs]

Album art

AA: A few months ago, you released your debut EP on Flatspot, Primitive Desires, this past month, about a year after the demo.  How was the writing and recording process for this EP?

KM: We had already been playing shows by the time we started writing the EP, and some of the songs we had actually been playing live before they were out… Because, like, our set was like 6-7 minutes long. and we were like, okay, we gotta write more songs. [laughs] I don’t know! I think it was good, because the demo was kinda just like, whatever… I mean, obviously, I love those songs and love playing those songs - but we were kind of just writing to write, and so I feel like all of those songs are kind of all over the place as far as sound goes. And once we started actually playing them and stuff, we kind of got a feel for, like, “Okay, this is more fun to play than this. This gets a better reaction than this.” Stuff like that. I feel like once we figured that out, it made writing the EP a lot better, because we had a better sense of what we enjoyed playing live, and what sound we wanted to have.

AA: What’s your favorite song off the EP and why?

KM: I really like the intro, which is “86,” just because I don’t really have anything to say in that song, so I can kind of just like dance and let everyone else play. [laughs] I don’t know, it just gets me hyped! We’ve been playing that for a while, and every time we play it, it’s like a warm-up. It just gets me going. Like, alright, I’m ready to do this. But aside from that, probably “Illusion of Choice,” because it’s very chaotic, short, and to-the-point. I love playing that song.

(Photo credit: Sean Reilly)

AA: A couple months ago, you got the chance to tour with Scowl, Anklebiter, Ghoulavelli and Strange Joy - how was it?

KM: Oh my gosh, it was so much fun! Scowl is so cool. I’d never seen them before. They did come through Baltimore, but I missed them ‘cause I had to work, so seeing them for a couple nights in a row was really nice. They’re all super nice. They’re all strangely similar to Jivebomb as people, so we got along really well and just had so much fun.

Meeting other bands is stressful to me sometimes, because I’m like, “Okay, what if they’re ‘too cool’ for us…” Jivebomb, as people, together - we’re a very weird dynamic. I don’t know, our humor is very weird - if you’re not down with it, I understand. It takes a very special kind of person to chill, I think. [laughs] But yeah, they were very cool. And they put on such a great show, too, every night - I was like, “Damn, yo!”

AA: Baltimore is an iconic hardcore scene and always has been. What are your thoughts on it?

KM: It’s definitely got its positives, I wouldn’t really say we’ve experienced any negatives. A lot of people like to bring up Turnstile, which - obviously, they’re fuckin’ killin’ it right now, so that definitely brought some people out to shows that maybe weren’t coming out before, which is really cool. I’m here for it, the more the merrier.

AA: What are some of your favorite bands from the area?

KM: B.R.A.T. is definitely up there. Actually, half of B.R.A.T. is half of Jivebomb. They’re a straight-up punk band, and they’re all so talented. I love watching them. I’ve seen them so many fucking times, but every time I see them, they put on such a cool show. I feel like every time I watch them I feel like an adrenaline dump, kinda. [laughs] Sinister Feeling is a new band, and they’re really cool too. They’re more on the powerviolence side. 

There’s probably a bunch I’m missing right now, but those are the first two that really come to mind.

AA: Unrelated to Jivebomb - you’re also a tattoo artist in Baltimore! Can you tell us a bit about how you got into tattooing?

KM: Yeah! I’ve always wanted to tattoo, because my interests growing up have exposed me to tattooing, and I’ve always been really into art - drawing and painting, specifically. I knew college was not for me, I don’t know… I can not survive in that environment. So I realized, “Oh, maybe I could try and tattoo.” I’ve just had my mind on that for so fucking long - I wanna say since I was 13. I just kept searching for an apprenticeship, started my apprenticeship when I was 19, and I’m 23 now. I haven’t been doing it for very long, but it’s definitely a passion career choice. It’s kind of funny, because I didn’t expect to be doing Jivebomb stuff at the same time - I always thought, as soon as I start tattooing, that’s gonna be my attention and focus, there’s nothing else that could possibly stray my attention from that. But now, it’s 50/50 band shit and tattooing. I want both to do well!

AA: What kind of stuff tends to inspire you artistically?

KM: Definitely old-school traditional stuff. I have a lot of books from artists from the 50’s and shit - artists way, way, way before my time. I love collecting books. There’s always something that could make a cool drawing or painting or anything like that, so I try to get inspiration from old stuff like that. Books, magazines, anything I can get my hands on, really.

(Photo credit: Zeltzin Vazquez)

AA: What are 5 artists you’ve been listening to lately, hardcore or not?

KM: Let me see, let me open up my Apple Music. [laughs] … So a lot of Dark Thoughts from Philly. They’re really good. This band called Puffer, they just put out a demo in 2022 and it’s really fucking good, they’re from Montreal. Syndrome 81, great band. They put out this record Prisons Imaginaires, they’re French. I have no idea what they’re saying, but it’s so good. I always put it on at work, and no one has any idea what he’s saying, but it’s such a feel-good record. 

Oh! I’ve revisited Beach Fossils’ What a Pleasure. Beach Fossils are so fucking good. If you haven’t listened to them yet, I would definitely check them out. And then… Ah. Lots of SZA. I don’t know why, but I’ll listen to her album Ctrl and, like, binge listen to it, and then I’ll just abandon it for months, visit it again, and do the same thing. [laughs] I’ll just binge it for a week straight and not listen to anything else, forget about it for 6 months…

AA: [laughs] As somebody with a Ctrl tattoo, I 100% get the sentiment.

KM: Stooop, that’s so sick! [laughs]

AA: Thank you!! I also do that though! That album is such an emotional dump to listen to thoroughly, I don’t know. I have to be just a little extra angry at men… [laughs]

KM: Yeeees!

AA: … And then, once you get there, you’re like… Ma’am, you have captured the spectrum of human emotion, thank you so much. [laughs]

[We fangirled about SZA for a little while longer and came to the collective conclusion that we felt like she might be dropping that album soon, finally… And, finally, thank god… SOS finally came 19 days later. The power of manifestation…]

AA: Anything else you’d like to add?

KM: Not that I can think of! Thank you so much for taking the time.

Thank you again to Kat for chatting with me! This band is just getting started, make sure you keep an eye out for what they do in the future.

Instagram | Twitter | Bandcamp

Give Primitive Desires a listen via Spotify below:


No comments

Post a Comment