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the Boom


Randy Christopher Bates

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Phil Varone

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Tony Cortese


Chris McLernon

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Sean Martin

The story behind     the boom


A band of great players, great songwriters, and great friends. A phone call to Jason Flom, President of Lava/Atlantic Records secured a demo budget and the birth of Panic Boom began.
Phil's first call was to long-time friend and guitar player, Tony Cortese. Phil played drums for Tony’s band some ten years prior, and the pair remained friends ever since. Tony loved playing guitar, but never cared about being a rock star. His love for music is the same today, as it was thirty-five years ago.

The next call was to another long-time friend Randy Christopher Bates for vocals. Phil has said of Bates;

"He is an incredible talent that captivates, and stuns an audience with his stage presence, a huge voice, and has a natural ability to perform."


Phil met Randy eight years prior when his band, East of Gideon rehearsed next door to Saigon Kick. The two bands became fast friends, and East of Gideon members would sing gang vocals on Saigon Kick's self-titled debut. 
With Tony and Randy on board, Phil knew the one bass player he wanted, and that was Saigon Kick bandmate, Chris McLernon. Unfortunately, Chris had prior commitments, and couldn’t join Panic Boom at that time. A great bass player named Billy Velvet from another South Florida band joined, and with him, Panic Boom went into the studio to record songs for the Atlantic demo. Along the way, Boom set out for a small run of shows, but soon after, Billy decided to part ways. They say it’s all about timing, and when Billy left, Chris McLernon was available. Shortly after Chris joined, they welcomed a second guitarist Sean Martin. Sean came with incredible guitar playing and songwriting skills, and at that moment, Panic Boom was truly born.


Atlantic Records would eventually pass on Panic Boom. The band continued rehearsing and writing songs, but as time went by, each member became busy with other projects. A unanimous decision was made to put the Boom on hold, with the hopes of revisiting the band and the songs when the time was right. That was in 1994.


Fast forward twenty-eight years to the present day. Although they weren’t together as a band, they always felt like band members, and over the years never lost contact with each other.
Phil would repeat history and make a round of calls to each band member asking if they were interested in re-recording some songs from the original demo. 


The band agreed to the song REVOLUTION, and on that day,  the rebirth of Panic Boom began. Unfortunately, this was the time when Covid was right around the corner, and within weeks, we were locked down. No rehearsals and no face-to-face. The band hasn't been in the same room for over 25 years, but like many, we had to adapt and make the best of the situation.  


The result is the Panic Boom debut album, TWENTY EIGHT.  The title of the album is the number of years since the band wrote its first song. That song is on the new album as well. One song turned into recording eleven songs. The band wrote so many songs, that there's a second album of material that will be released in 2023.  


Timeless songs, with no expiration date. Songs that literally... stood the test of time.      







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