The Burning of Rome
Gig Seeker Pro

The Burning of Rome

Encinitas, California, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2010 | INDIE

Encinitas, California, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2010
Band Alternative Rock




"The Burning of Rome Fumes On"

"Well, I started out playing piano, so that is technically a percussion instrument. But… the glock was already in the band (when I joined)," she said. "(Adam) wanted to incorporate it, so I started playing it. I just kind of picked it up because I started playing in the group. It looks exactly like a piano."

“The glockenspiel was already in the band when I joined,” said Jacobs, a music teacher by day. “It looks exactly like a piano, so it was easy.”

Because the band was between drummers when it made "Ox," three veteran musicians share drum duties on the album. They include Nine Inch Nails alum Josh Freese, erstwhile Nirvana drummer Dale Crover and Matt Chamberlain, whose credits range from Pearl Jam and jazz pianist Brad Mehldau to Macy Gray and the new album by San Diego's Nickel Creek

Traub is uncomfortable calling “Ox” a concept album. But he acknowledges that there is an underlying musical and conceptual arc that links the songs on “Ox,” which features his artwork on its cover.

“The common thread that ties a lot of this together is the working-class plight and day-to-day struggle,” Traub said.

“A trait of the ox is to take the lashes of life and keep persevering. And that’s another theme of the album: Staying alive, keeping yourselves together and never giving up.” - Union Tribune

"The Burning of Rome-- Last Call with Carson Daley"

The San Diego band known as The Burning of Rome has been charming SoCal music fans with its unique brand of self-described "space rock”. Check them out in the Last Call Snapshot. - Last Call with Carson Daley

"SD Music Awards nominees announced"

The Burning of Rome leads with six nods, followed by Little Hurricane with five. Grammy-winners Jason Mraz & Switchfoot have four nominations apiece.
The nominations for the 2014 San Diego Music awards have been announced and The Burning of Rome and Little Hurricane are the top nominees, with nods in six and five categories, respectively. The two bands will face off in at least four categories, including Artist of the Year, Album of the Year, Song of the Year and Best Music Video by a San Diego Band. Two Grammy Award-winning San Diego artists, Jason Mraz and Switchfoot, are close behind, with four nominations each. Mraz kicks off his world tour here with concerts Aug. 21-23 at the San Diego Civic Theatre.

Among the other artists with multiple nominations this year are such varied acts as The Midnight Pine, jazz piano dynamo Joshua White (who is up for Artist of the Year honors), sitar star Anoushka Shankar (who grew up mostly in Encinitas and now lives in London), Neon Cough and the Grammy award-winning bluegrass-and-beyond trio Nickel Creek. "Traces of You," Shankar's Song of the Year nominated composition, features vocals by her half-sister, Norah Jones.

This marks the second year in a row that a jazz performer has been nominated in the Artist of the Year category. That category was won last year by trumpeter Gilbert Castellanos, a periodic musical partner of White's.

Votes can be cast online at now through 5 p.m. on Sept. 16.

The winners in all categories will be announced at the 2014 San Diego Music Awards ceremony and concert, which takes place Oct. 6 at Humphreys Concerts by the Bay on Shelter Island. Performers will include White, The Midnight Pine, The Donkeys, Euphoria Brass Band, Robin Henkel with Horns, featuring Whitney Shay, Todo Mundo and Tribal Theory. Also performing will be San Diego blues mainstay Tomcat Courtney, who is this year's Lifetime Achievement Honoree.Tickets, priced at $35 each, go on sale Monday at 8 a.m. at As in previous years, proceeds will benefit the nonprofit San Diego Music Foundation, which since 1991 has provided 2,000-plus guitars to more than 70 San Diego County schools. - Union Tribune San Diego

"The Burning of Rome -- 944 Magazine"

"Their musical horizons stretch far beyond the threshold of modern rock. The Burning of Rome is a post-apocalypitic mash-up of meticulous orchestration, electronic manipulation and eccentric experimentation. If Danzig constructed a carnival ride, it'd look something like this." - 944 Magazine

"With Us - The Burning of Rome"

Some music needs to be heard to be understood … and Californian outfit The Burning Of Rome perfectly fall into that category, their new album With Us being a mix of Flaming Lips Pyschedlia, Queens Of The Stone Age garage rock and B Movie Horror Films, and even that description doesn’t do it justice. The band is a hotbed of influences, and each member of the band lets their different musical styles almost bleed through the music, which makes the collision of styles feel natural and organic. Opener ‘Ballad Of An Onion Sprout’ is a small slice of vintage pop heaven, all intoxicating organs and shuffling drums, that stays on the right side of 1960s TV Theme tunes, with the stunning lyrical metaphor of something good sprouting out of a bitter situation. ‘Little Piranhas’ rocks along nicely, building beautifully into the rocking finale, in which the band sing, Is this the best sex you ever had, Is this the best book you ever read - ‘Cowboys And Cut Cigars’ is the first track that REALLY blows me away. A thumping slice of rock’n'roll, essentially the best song The Queens Of The Stone Age have never written, and by the chorus of Braindead and paranoid, Cowboys And Cut Cigars - I was bouncing around the top deck of the bus like a loon. (Now, I know this isn’t a rarity, but I thought it was worth pointing out.) Remixed for the album by Paul Leary of grunge megaband The Butthole Surfers, it really is one of my rock tracks of the year.
First single ‘Norman Bates’ follows, and it’s a classic example of the band’s genius. The first track I heard, it starts as an indie/cabaret jaunt that then explodes into death metal screams and pounding guitars. It’s one of the most successful fusion of styles I’ve ever heard. One of the best things about The Burning Of Rome is that nothing they do seems forced. In the hands of anyone else, the fusion of styles would seem contrived, but with the different musical backgrounds and influences of the band members, the transition from style to style – sometimes, as with ‘Norman Bates’, mid song – is seamless and awe inspiring. ‘Wake Up Edamame’, with its godzilla riff and thrashing beat, almost sounds written to be performed live. As the song dips and the stars twinkle over it, I yearn to sing along to this live. Maybe one day. ‘Island’ continues the slightly creepy cabaret rock element started earlier in the album, inspired by the Aldous Huxley book of the same name, and there’s a killer melody in their too, under all the cakewalk. The gorgeous ‘Why Can’t I Stop Killing My Friends’ pushes the bluegrass-cabaret envelope even further. Cited as one of the only personal songs on the album (slightly worrying, but still) what begins with distorted backwards vocals turns into a darkly comic and revealing little country-cabaret ballad, and it’s one of my favourite things here. More about letting go of relationships than actually killing his friends, it’s nice to hear the person under the stories elsewhere. ‘Audrey II’, an ode to the man-eating plant in the 1960 B-Movie Little Shop Of Horrors, is a gorgeous lilting waltz, with Seymour Krelboyne dialogue from the film perfectly placed over the top, to add extra bite. ‘Opus For Sleepwalking’ is an epic ballad, with shades of Prog Rock amongst the cabaret waltz and the beautiful Smashing Pumpkins-esque vocal. As further contrast, ‘The Universe Is Made Of Nonsense’ returns to uptempo psychadelic rock, and throws us out with a bang, making us realise that far too much importance is placed on futile things in our lives. Now, for the piece de resistance. It’s a very brave thing indeed to end an album with 15 minutes of noise … but if anyone can do it and pull it off, it’s The Burning Of Rome. Originally intended as interludes to hold the album together, lead singer Adam Traub was listening to the 15 minutes of sonic pleasure and decided it should remain in tact, and I’m glad he did. It’s the perfect way to end an album of high musical experimentation and B-Movie homage. It has a meditative quality, as well as sounding like the score to an obscure Sci-Fi movie. It also ties in perfectly with the linear notes about Carl Sagan’s 1970s TV show Cosmos, which seems to have been a big influence on the album and its artwork. Overall, the only way to describe this album would be to say its largely the sonic equivalent of Rob Zombie’s horror masterpiece House Of 1000 Corpses. It’s kitsch, it’s disturbing, it rocks harder than most albums I’ve heard in recent months, and I can just imagine Captain Spalding listening to it in his petrol station. And that’s possibly the biggest compliment I can give any album. If you like your bands quirky, arty, pop driven and just bloody good at what they do, then listen to With You immediately. - Polari Magazine

"The Best Concerts to See in L.A. This Weekend"

Much like the Roman Empire itself, The Burning of Rome are all over the map, extending their reach far beyond music's usual borders. The San Diego band have a grand, ambitious sound as encompassed in the rolling thunder of "Little Piranhas," a stirring anthem set in a spaghetti Western neverland, and "Ballad of an Onion Sprout," which comes off like T. Rex covering Arcade Fire. The group shift gears yet again on "Cowboys & Cut Cigars," a metallic rocker with hard grunge riffs and such modest lyrical declarations as "I'm bigger than Led Zeppelin." Given The Burning of Rome's aptitude with a dizzying variety of styles, from the eerie goth-cabaret chanson "Norman Bates" to the arty, demented circus waltz "Island," it's not such an idle boast - LA Weekly

"9 out of 10 stars for YEAR OF THE OX"

" could liken them to '60s psychedelic grunge squeezed through a mad house prism that confuses Alice Cooper's Grand Guignol and experimental mental with mental disorder. Or maybe they're better described as musical existentialists turned gleeful nihilists during an LSD binge.”
- Andy Kaufman, Music Connection Magazine (May 01, 2014) - Music Connection Magazine

"Owl and Bear’s Best Albums of 2012"

San Diego Album of the Year

The Burning of Rome – With Us

The San Diego band’s new album is an unabashedly weird yet accessible piece of work that evokes everyone from Blondie to Black Sabbath to Man Man. With Us may evoke those other bands, but it’s an undeniably unique effort that’s driven by The Burning of Rome’s unfaltering creativity and eagerness for risk-taking. That fearlessness pays off on tracks like “Ballad of an Onion Sprout” and “Cowboys and Cut Cigars,” making With Us the best album to emerge from San Diego this year. (Chris Maroulakos)

Live Photos: The Burning of Rome at the Soda Bar
Poetic Memory: The Burning of Rome - Owl and Bear

"The Best Songs of 2012"

The most avant-garde on our countdown yet, “Ballad of an Onion Sprout” is hard to predict even halfway through the track. Synth, petering drums, alternatingly crooning and taunting vocals, and even a sprinkling of holiday bells all jive in this musical journey. September of 2012 saw the release of With Us, The Burning of Rome’s third and latest album. This five-piece band claims citizenship of both Ocean Beach and Oceanside, and really claims the right to produce a thrilling brand of nothing like you’ve ever heard before. - Aural Gravy Records

"Pure Volume Premieres "God of Small Things" video"

"With satire in hand, charm in our hearts and casino smoke in our lungs, we climbed to the 18th floor of a Las Vegas hotel to shoot this picture," Traub recalls. "The song is an ode to death and an anthem of rebirth--call it metempsychosis. We took a dip in the stream of consciousness of Muse's video director Tim Qualtrough to conjure up the video, we hope our fans find it with a tinge of fear and a whole lotta love. Beget, the God of Small Things!" - Pure Volume

"Local Musicians on Fire at SD Music Awards"

SD Music Award veterans the Burning of Rome had a standout showing, taking back-to-back awards for best live band and best alternative album (for their release "Year of the Ox"). Rad enough, amiright?! For some, maybe. But San Diego's need for these musical mavens just can't be satiated. Those deviants of death pop came back for a third win when SoundDiego's own Dita Quinones presented them with the second-to-last award of the night, Song of the Year, for their "God of Small Things" composition. Play on, troubadors. Play on.

Follow us: @nbcsandiego on Twitter | NBCSanDiego on Facebook - sound diego

"The Burning of Rome's new album soars"

"The Burning of Rome have a reputation for being a great live band, and they live up to it every time, with an infectious energy and larger-than-life songs that practically demand to be heard in person." "It's an ambitious and sprawling album, as big as the band's ever sounded. From the opening rise and eventual, explosive climax of the title track, The Burning of Rome send a clear message that they've graduated to another level." - San Diego City Beat Magazine

"Album Reviews"

“9 out of 10 stars for YEAR OF THE OX " could liken them to '60s psychedelic grunge squeezed through a mad house prism that confuses Alice Cooper's Grand Guignol and experimental mental with mental disorder. Or maybe they're better described as musical existentialists turned gleeful nihilists during an LSD binge.” - Music Review Magazine - May 2014


With Us (2012)

Year of the Ox (2014)



The Burning of Rome began modestly as Adam Traubs recording project in a laundry room in Oceanside, CA. It rapidly outgrew the four-track tape recorder on which it was born and demanded his complete devotion, as well as some talented extra musical hands, to bring it to life.

Enter the Romans: Often barefoot axe wielder Joe Aguilar, whose specialties include scratchy guitar licks and spastic dancing. French bass man Keveen Baudouin, whose metronomic mind produces calculated bass lines with intelligence and fury. Slacker-era siren Aimee Jacobs who belts with operatic force while hammering on her glockenspiel and synthesizers. Zen guru Danny King, shredder behind the kit, who is, quite obviously, the terrestrial answer to the octopus. And Traub, manipulator of keyboard, guitar, light systemthe proverbial kitchen sink through an amplifier all while demonstrating a vocal gradation as yet undocumented elsewhere in nature.

Mix this all together and you have space rockers The Burning of Rome blasting their phonic waves at unsuspecting humanoids in Southern California for the past few years.  The quintet has conjured a sonic palate replete with everything from death pop bliss, galactic rock, gypsy punk cabaret, to indie spaghetti western, and are now poised to harken the masses with the release of their forthcoming effort, Year of The Ox.

We have assimilated, Traub says of the unit. We share an unbridled passion to revere music as life rather than hobby.

The Burning of Rome was welcomed into the sun-kissed arms of San Diegos independent Surfdog Records who released the groups strange and sprawling debut With Us in 2012.  A regional favorite, which the San Diego Reader described as sounding as if the Misfits took psychedelics and performed an ABBA tribute, With Us won the title of Album of the Year from the San Diego Music Awards.

Surfdog introduced the band to famed Butthole Surfer and producer Paul Leary (U2, Melvins, Sublime and Meat Puppets), who fell in love with the band, leading him to captain the production duties for Year Of The Ox, alongside co-producer Traub.

The brunt of the thirteen-song collection was tracked at the El Paso, TX pecan orchard and auditory oasis known as Sonic Ranch, which Traub calls a veritable museum of rock and roll artifacts with some of the rarest recording gear on the planet. The rest of the album was completed back in Learys hometown of Austin, where several guest drummersJosh Freese (A Perfect Circle/NIN), Dale Crover (Melvins/Nirvana) and Matt Chamberlain (Pearl Jam/Of Montreal) dropped by to beat sticks and blow minds.

Year of the Ox weaves the three concepts of art, rebellion and life into a cascading aural braid. Each song, disguised by infectious pop hooks and provocative allusions to historical lore, elicits an intensely moving account of Traubs interpretation of the human experience. (RIYL: Mr. Bungle as heard through whatever space-fangled stereo system is installed in the Starship Enterprises holodeck.)

The Burning of Rome's live show is a different beast entirely. It fuses the brashness of punk with the orchestrated drama of a theatrical production, personified by front man Traub stomping carelessly on a crooked timeline between GG Allin and David Bowie. The group is oft (and rightly) regaled as one of the best live bands in Southern California, much to the chagrin of band members body parts which are regularly sacrificed to serve their mechanical purposes as mere extensions of their instruments. Its inherent, Traub says. Our blood beats to perform, travel and create. And damn the torpedoes, well continue to do so as long as this worlds still spinning.

2013 was a year in motion for the Burning of Rome, opening for the Yeah Yeah Yeahs at Milwaukee's Summerfest, a string of east coast dates with alt-supergroup Volto!, tracing the Pacific coast with the iconic Psychedelic Furs, and a jaunt across the pond for an acoustic tour of London.

2014 is poised to supernova with a Mexican tour, including the Mexico City Vive Latino Festival alongside NIN and Arcade Fire, worldwide tour dates, and a brilliant new album.

Whether the Burning of Rome leaves you mesmerized, bloodied, confused, ecstatic or bewildered, or whether you cant figure out if youre witnessing a punk show, carnival, dance party or performance art piece, one thing is certain; the Year of the Ox is upon us.

Band Members