Welp. If there’s one really nice guy out there just lookin’ to make a living off music, it’s Mr. Phil Kominski. His band, Lloyd Dobler Effect, has pretty much done everything there is to do around the D.C./Baltimore area. We’ve reviewed his records. We’ve sat down for a podcast with him. We’ve watched him perform with his band. We’ve watched him perform in a solo capacity. And now, we are talking to him about his brand new project, The Bubbas, which recently put out its debut EP.
We’ve been exchanging emails over the last few days and below is the transcript. Among the things discussed are what his new band means for his other band, what expectations he has for The Bubbas, and of course, what it’s like working with various family members in a musical project. You can follow The Bubbas on Twitter here. You can also get tickets to Lloyd Dobler Effect’s upcoming annual Christmas show in Germantown here. He has a lot to say, friends. You’ll want to check it out:
How did The Bubbas come about? And, of course, what does the name mean?
The Bubbas came about because a husband and wife who have been playing music together ever since they starting dating, wanted to finally put a real band together. Elizabeth and I have been writing music together for years, but the songs have only ended up being contributions to Lloyd Dobler Effect albums or live Elizabeth/Phil/Chris albums. We wanted to start fresh. But, we also felt that we had to get something out before 2014 ends, so we decided to release an E.P. of other people’s songs that we re-envisioned and recorded in our own “style.” The name “The Bubbas” came about as a term of endearment. Elizabeth and I have called each other “bubba” and little babies “bubbas” for a long time. It’s a twist on the word “baby”, really. On the underside of my wedding ring, it says “Bubba 1” and under Elizabeth’s ring, it says “Bubba 2.” So much for chivalry!
The EP has three songs and each are covers. How did you pick which songs you would record?
The three songs on “The Winter 3 E.P.” were originally recorded between four and two years ago. We have a wonderful friend, Karen Della Torre, who has been immensely supportive of our music and an incredible friend. She is a regular babysitter for our kids and she even adopted our dog when we could no longer keep him! We recorded the songs for her as Christmas gifts over the years. She sent us a list of songs that she really loves and we chose from that list. This past November, I had my iTunes on random shuffle, and one of the songs came up. I thought that if I remixed and remastered the tunes, they would be a decent first album release, just to get awareness of The Bubbas out there.
What about writing and recording a full-length album next year — can you talk a little about what we can expect from that?
The plan is to write new music and record a full-length album for a mid- to late-2015 release. We are hoping to include some fellow musicians who we are friends with on the 2015 release. I think that the new songs will have a different vibe from “The Winter 3 E.P.” in many ways. I am just not sure what the sound will be, as we are only in the beginning stages of putting together the material for the 2015 CD. Also, all of the music on “The Winter 3 E.P.” was recorded by me, with vocals by Elizabeth. I would love for the full length album to feature several musicians.
Conversely, what does this mean for your other band, Lloyd Dobler Effect? Is that still the priority? How so?
The Lloyd Dobler Effect will, as far as I assume, always be around. However, I recently became the last remaining member of the band to be a full time musician. So, as you can imagine, LDE performances/practices/writing have slowed down considerably. I envision LDE still writing and recording music, and, of course, still playing several live shows each year. But things are not as much in my control as they once were, in regards to LDE. We are all, of course, still good friends and all of that – no bad relations, intentions, ill will or falling outs. But it has become clear that priorities have shifted in every LDE member’s eyes.
What are some goals you guys have with The Bubbas?
I really want to have a fresh approach with The Bubbas. I would love to attract a crowd that appreciates folky singer songwriters and interestingly produced recordings. I would love to perform at artistic venues where people really listen to the words we sing as well as the music behind it and just go from there.
What was it like to have your son featured on your own recording? That must have been a special moment.
It is neat. Really, he doesn’t do anything but laugh. I recorded a sample of him when he was a baby, over four years ago. I placed it in a few segments of our version of “What A Wonderful World.” It is neat to hear, especially since he is 5-and-a-half-years-old now. Come to think of it, I never got him to sign off on us using his voice – I hope we don’t get sued!
What can we expect from LDE’s holiday show?
The Lloyd Dobler Effect Holiday show is always my favorite show of the year. This is our fifth-annual version of this show. We perform alternate versions of LDE originals, a whole batch of holiday songs and a few miscellaneous cover songs. We try to include a song or songs from each of our recordings. We feature schtick. For example, we have Santa appear and give gifts to the children every year. We have a live Grinch who tosses broccoli at people. We have a human dreidel. We have many other surprises in store for this year.
And finally, what’s next for you as an artist? More cover songs solo sets or will you be looking to do more with the bands as the new year starts?
I look at my solo shows as me being more of a “paid entertainer” trying to make as many people happy as I can. I try to play every single request that people ask of me. I enjoy this, because I really love seeing people happy! So, I am fine with that. However, I always feel the need to create music and record it, as well. The ambition for 2015 is to write and release both a Bubbas full length album and my first solo album. I am certain that performances will remain similar to what they were in 2014. By the way, I played more shows in 2014 than any year in my life. By the time the year ends, I will have performed 340 shows.