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Toy Bombs on their residency at The Virgil, new music, and augmented reality

Indie pop-rock band, Toy Bombs began their residency at The Virgil in Los Angeles, CA on June 29th. The Utah Natives have been living in Los Angeles for several years now and are making their mark on the music industry. Toy Bombs is made up of Cole Barnson and Brandon McBride.

Toy Bombs Perform at The Virgil
Jason Ikeler

In an at times fleeting industry, Toy Bombs is using technology to innovate their live performances. With the help of Zappar, a European created APP, they’ve transformed their intimate small venue performance into an innovative and interactive experience known as an ”Augmented Reality Art Show.” Zappar will no doubt be a wave of the future for indie artists and musicians.

With the scan of a code, users can access art that coincides with the music. Barnson explained Toy Bombs’ reasoning for implementing this technology into their performance saying, “People have their phones out anyway, 90% of the time they have it up filming or looking at Facebook or Twitter…so the idea was to see if we could tap into that a little bit.”

After viewing their live show, engaging an audience doesn’t seem like something the band will ever struggle with. They performed with an energy that doesn’t typically happen in small venues, and their chemistry on stage is palpable. The duo recently finished their third EP Life Is Good, which will be released later this summer. The duo told that their sound is also evolving. McBride explained, “We’ve done a lot more production on this one. We’ve let some of our other influences beyond Garage Rock, Punk Rock, Rock ‘N Roll lead in a little more.”

This could be in part to some of the bands influences that include Vampire Weekend, Reptar, The Kinks, and Father John Misty. But, when they hit the studio they have a distinct sound that can only be described as Toy Bombs. McBride explained that, they “Approach song writing really differently, Cole is more lyrical than I am…but when we get in the room together it kind of just happens.”

For more information on Toy Bombs, visit their website,

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