Burning Image formed in 1983.  From what I've gathered there was a 7" single, a couple of compilation releases and then the band seemed to have disappeared.  What happened and what brought you together once again?

When we parted ways, we had been together for a good solid 4 years, so by that time everyone needed to pursue other projects and go in different directions.

The new cd project came about as a result of Jello Biafra and I meeting up for the first time in 20 years at one of his spoken word shows and getting re-acquainted and him asking me if I had any more Burning Image music tucked away somewhere. One thing led to another and the cd "1983-1987" was released by Alternative Tentacles in the spring of 2004.

Where did inspiration for the name Burning Image come from?

Joe Sparks came up with name Burning Image. I don't know what inspired him but it sounded good and we went with it.



Over the years have the members of Burning Image been involved in any other bands or side-projects?

Yes. Myself, I have played guitar for local bands and I also had a band called I Viscera. Paul Burch played drums with Big Jed and the Flatbeds and also with a San Francisco band called Screaming Bloody Marys. Joe Sparks went to San Francisco to work in the newly developing computer industry and Tony Bonanno works here in Bakersfield for the county.


Musically and otherwise, what are the influences of the band and have they changed over time?

For the most part, deathrock and post punk bands have been the main influences for Burning Image. Christian Death, Sex Gang Children, Killing Joke and Bauhaus were direct influences, but other bands, like Wall of Voodoo, Bowie,TSOL, Dead Kennedys and The Clash and numerous other punk bands also played a big part in the Burning Image sound.


Is the band currently working on new material and are there plans for a new release?

Yes, I'm happy to say that Burning Image is working on new material for a future release. Keep checking the website for more info. www.burningimageband.com



Burning Image played with many different bands over the years.  Are there any specific bands that you really liked or disliked performing with and why?

Playing with Dead Kennedys was a big deal for the band because they are one the bands that influenced us and to play with one of the true pioneers of the punk scene was very exciting.. Playing with Specimen was also pretty awesome.

I cant really say that I disliked playing with any one band in particular. It was fun times all around. The bands really worked together to develop a strong scene. It was a true sense of community.


What is the strangest experience that the band has encountered while on tour?

I would have to say , though its not the "strangest" it was a day I wont soon forget. We had a gig in Las Vegas so we needed to rent a van to haul the gear, but all of the vans were rented out for the weekend so we had to settle on this ancient station wagon with a minimal amount of space. we tied a lot of the gear on the roof of the wagon and set off for Vegas.. We get to Vegas and they are in the midst of a sandstorm and the show was cancelled. A relative of the bass player took up a collection of cash and we headed back to Bakersfield. Tony had this idea of gambling the cash we had collected. I was totally against it. Tony had about 20 dollars and won 90 dollars .....and gambled it all away. We got back on the road and made it back to Bakersfield, hungry, tired, broke, pissed off, on gas fumes .


Outside of music, what other things are members of the band interested or involved in?

I devote a lot of time to music while Paul is very much into computers as is Joe. Joe has a website where he showcases his computer animation projects. Joe is responsible for Radiskull and Devildoll as well as the Dicky and Jackie series. Check out Joe's website at www.joesparks.com. I'm not sure what Tony does in his spare time. I'll have to ask him the next time I see him.


According to your bio, one of the reasons why Burning Image formed was because you were "tired of playing all the crap from the radio" and you wanted to play your own music.  What's your take on the current state of radio now?  Have things improved at all or has it gotten even worse?

I'm not fond of the current state of radio. I think its too safe, bland and manufactured. That is why I enjoy listening to Cathedral 13. Its got an old school feel to it and you're always playing new stuff.


If given the opportunity to collaborate with any artist or band, who would you choose to work with?

Thats easy..... KILLING JOKE



If someone were to rummage through any of your musical collections, what surprises or guilty pleasures might someone find?

It depends what day you catch me. I really like brazillian bossa nova music. Its beautiful and very soothing on the brain. I also like operas and classical music from the baroque period. oh yeah, I also like the Beatles and The Doors.



Do you have any words of advice or wisdom for anyone just starting out in a band?

Be original, copyright your music, try not to jump on a bandwagon because its "the music" that everyone is listening to at the moment and have fun.



Thank you once again for your time and for agreeing to do this.  Burning Image are definitely one of the icons of the scene and your positive feedback to Cathedral13 radio has really been appreciated.  Any final thoughts?

Yes. thanks for playing Burning Image on Cathedral 13. Cathedral 13 is fantastic, So keep doing what you're doing.
Also, keep checking the Burning Image website for up to date news on the band.


Unofficial Discography:

D   i   s   c   o   g   r   a   p   h   y

"1983-1987" CD Alternative Tentacles 2004

"Cultivation 91" Compilation 1991

"Let's Die" Compilation Mystic Records 1985

"Final Conflict/Burning Image, Burning" 7inch

Burning image website



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