About Gama Bomb, Sister Shotgun - Manchester.
Gama Bomb is a thrash metal band based in Northern Ireland. Their 2009 album Tales from the Grave in Space was one of the first albums ever released as a completely free download while signed to a record label.
School friends Joe McGuigan and Philly Byrne formed Gama Bomb with the guitarist Luke Graham in Newry in 2002 and soon built up a small but loyal following which they consolidated with a rigorous touring schedule and frequent forays into self-released recording. The band first gained attention with their demo "The Survival Option" in the same year. In 2003, they toured and released "The Fatal Mission" single. During this period Byrne often appeared on stage in fancy dress as a chef, priest, pirate or scientist in an increasingly colourful stage show which frequently included a thrash metal version of the theme tune from the 1980s TV show Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Gama Bomb's first tour dates outside Ireland were in 2004, supporting the punk band The Dangerfields on a tour of Scotland.
Gama Bomb released their full-length album, Survival of the Fastest, through the European music label Witches Brew in early 2006. The album, which had originally been independently released in a limited edition format in late 2005, included many of the bands then live staples of which many, aside from those present on previous EP releases, had never been commercially available. At this point, the band's line-up changed with the original guitarist Kevy Canavan leaving and the addition of drummer Paul Caffrey. In late 2005, Domo Dixon filled the vacant guitar spot. The 2006 version of the album features the bonus tracks "M.A.D." and "The Survival Option" from their 2004 "Fatal Mission" single. In April 2006, as the album was released, Gama Bomb embarked on their first UK tour. The "Insane Quest for Flesh" tour had support from Mutant and Deceptor and is seen as a landmark event in the rise of the resurgent UK thrash scene.
After live dates in summer 200, as well as coverage in music magazines like the NME and Terrorizer, Gama Bomb self-recorded a demo of their new album Citizen Brain to show to interested labels. Seeking a larger label to help them tour Europe, the demo did the rounds with most of the major metal labels. Around this point Earache Records began to take a serious interest in the band. In May 2007, Gama Bomb joined the Hungarian thrash band Black Sister on a split 7" EP released by Problem? Records. The Gama Bomb side had new tracks "Zombi Brew" and "Frightmare On Hell St.", together with a cover of the punk band The Dangerfields' song, "Maniac". The EP was released exclusively on 7" vinyl and limited to 200 copies.
In September 2007, Gama Bomb announced that they had signed a recording contract with Earache Records. The band contributes the song "Zombi Brew" to the Thrashing Like A Maniac compilation released by Earache Records, alongside other new thrash artists such as Evile, Municipal Waste, Mutant , Short Sharp Shock and Send More Paramedics.
In April 2008, Earache confirmed the release for early June of Gama Bomb's first album for the label, Citizen Brain. The album was released in July 2008 to overwhelmingly positive reviews. The band toured Europe extensively to support the album.
Since the release of Citizen Brain, the band has been vocal in its support of music downloading, and led a campaign to 'Stamp Out Inferior Metal' on their 2008 Thrashing Like A Maniac Tour, asking fans to bring along CDs they regret buying and to destroy them at shows.
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