Eric Bartl 11:30 a.m., June 17
The painted man speaks
Under a layer of body paint, there's a lot going on in the nomad-ish mind of Dive Bomber front man Kris Keyes
On Facebook today guitarist Catfish Comstock posts this: "First Time EVER! Dive Bomber is #4 on Reverbnation San Diego Rock Charts and #10 in San Diego for all genres! "
Dive Bomber is a San Diego hard rock band fronted by a man named Kris Keyes who is also an actor and a martial arts instructor.
They call him Nomad. Keyes is likewise Dive Bomber's lyricist.
Aside from the fact that he hand paints pretty much his entire body (he wears a pair of ripped jean shorts or some such) before taking the stage, he brings a Faith No More intellect and a Mike Patton-ish quality to the band. Of my first encounter with Nomad, I wrote this:
"I had met the Nomad earlier in the evening. He looked fearsome at first but was actually quite friendly with much high fiving and hand shaking. After, I secretly looked to see if any of his paint had come off on my hands. It had not."
Dave Good: I heard that you once lived in a cave in India. Is that true?
Kris Keyes: "Yes."
How did you come to make that choice?
KK: "I love to meditate, and I read a book on a master named Bramananda Saraswati. His mediation was so strong he could walk with the lions and bears in the jungle. This was in 2009."
What was it like, cave-dwelling?
KK: "Intense. I was not ready for the energy."
I'm having a hard time imagining cave-living as being intense. Could you explain what you mean?
KK: "When you meditate, intense energy builds in your body, and being by myself I was face to face with my fears. The dark whispered my name. I wanted to know what was beyond."
What did you eat?
KK: "At the transcendental level of existence, there is no need for food. Water I would get from the local ashram."
What did you learn from that experience?
KK: "That I was not ready to renounce the world."
So, how did you arrive at the body-painting?
KK: "Ahh, let me tell you of the first 'painted man.' My band, Sold on Murder had a show when I was 11. I stole a wedding dress and I took zip lock bags and filled them with beet juice and green food coloring. I put them in the dress and while I was performing, I made them explode. And I ripped off the dress until I was naked. I was green for a week."
I'm wondering if the body paint distracts the audience. You have a strong voice.
KK: "I don't always paint. In fact, I never know when I am going to do it. It's completely spontaneous."
How did the name Nomad come about?
KK: "I was meditating on the floor of Catfish's apartment in Pacific Beach."