news Sports Opinions arts variety interact Wildcat On-Line QuickNav


By phil villarreal
Arizona Daily Wildcat
April 15, 1999
Send comments to:

Shoebomb followers are waiting for the band they love to become popular on a national level. They're counting the days until the first major record label pulls its head out of its arse and signs the young alternative band, which will be making its third appearance at this Saturday's Club Crawl.

"Can't you see we need a bit more time," sings vocalist Melissa Manas in the song "hody hody," before pausing, "to win them over?"

A bit more time is all it might take for Shoebomb to make the same impact on the national level as the band has in Southern Arizona. They just returned from South by Southwest, independent rock's premiere showcase in Austin, Texas, where they were constantly asked things like, "Why aren't you guys signed?"

The band placed a litmus test of its popularity two years ago with the release of their debut CD, Pop Quiz.

"When you make CDs with a low run, most people get either 500 or 1,000, then reorder," Manas said. "We ordered 1,000, and we were worried that we wouldn't sell all of them."

But the public ate the CD up.

Pop Quiz passed the band's own expectations, selling more than 1,600 copies statewide under the independent Naughty Robot Records label. The songs "show off," "hody hody," "742" and "tour bus" all received airtime on 92.1 KFMA.

Melissa Manas said that Shoebomb plans to release another CD by the end of the year, and fans attending Saturday's Club Crawl will get to see a sneak preview of the new stuff.

"Nothing You Don't Know," and "Lottie's Wearing Fuchsia," are two songs that Shoebomb plans on springing Saturday night - uh, early Sunday morning.

"Those are the songs we'll be begging KFMA to play," Melissa Manas said.

Shoebomb will play at midnight on the mainstage, following the Sand Rubies.

Manas graduated from the UA with a set design degree in 1993. She and her husband, guitarist and backup vocalist Joe Manas, started the band with bassist Margaret Ford and drummer Diane Jurgens three years ago. Or was it four?

On a phone interview, the Manases argued with one another over when the band formed. What's more important is how much longer they'll be hanging around Tucson as a local band.

"Everyone is always asking us, 'Did you get signed?'" Manas said. "What we're hoping to do is concentrate more on songwriting and more diversity ... We're feeling liberated. We only have ourselves to answer to."

But if Shoebomb keeps on turning out the goods, national record labels are bound to see that they're the "(shoe)bomb" and try to sign 'em up.

All they need is a bit more time to win them over.