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Japanese Bat Bomb is back, for now

by Ryan Balfanz

I sat down with Japanese Bat Bomb drummer Andrew Orr as the band was preparing to play what may be their last show ever on December 19. Japanese Bat Bomb (formerly Cat, Jump!) came together in Highland, Illinois when Orr was holding band practice and John Krane, now lead singer and guitarist, filled in on bass for a no-show. The two have been playing together ever since.

The current JBB line-up also includes Butch Zollner on bass and Nick Horn on guitar, with Horn as the newest member, having joined about two years ago. Orr expressed that since that time, JBB has really flourished. Their shows always draw a crowd that’s ready for anything, especially a good time. Rarely does a song play that doesn’t provoke audience sing-alongs or bouts of money-maker shaking goodness. The crowd loves them, and it’s apparent that JBB loves the crowd.

Orr’s favorite venue happens to be that of their upcoming show at John Brown’s in Marion, but Edwardsville’s own Stagger Inn is close behind. Perhaps that’s because of his local roots. JBB have played a lot of shows in nearby Highland, the place where each of the members have at one time or another called home.

Unfortunately, JBB is on hiatus after the 19th. Orr has been attending Penn State since the fall, pursuing a graduate degree in acoustics. Newlywed Zollner and his wife are about to have their first baby.

So for now, Orr says, future shows are unlikely. Fortunately, we live in a digital age with CD’s, MP3′s, iTunes and the rest. JBB won’t be gone forever. You can find the 2006 release Until The Beat Stops on iTunes under the Cat, Jump! moniker as well as other released tracks on their MySpace page, along with some John Krane tracks.

Check out Japanese Bat Bomb at John Brown’s in Marion, Illinois on Saturday, December 19, starting at 8 pm. (see map below)

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