In the spring of 2004, two life-long friends, Jon Rohlf and Jacob King, decided to cure their cabin fever by starting a band. Due to Jon's inability to play any instruments besides the trombone and keyboards (and his lack of an electric keyboard), they decided that ska would be a good music style to play.
Jacob and Jon recruited friends Zach Brenner (who was learning bass), trumpetist Justin Smiley-Oyen, Bryce Randall (who owned a drumset!), and Jesse Erickson to play guitar and sing.
Right off the bat, Jesse didn't really want to play guitar and sing, so duties moved over to Jon Rohlf, who wrote lyrics for Atombender's first song, "Night Riot". It took most of the summer for Atombender to actually begin to practice, and after losing touch with Jesse, Zach Brenner took over second guitar duties. The band finally recruited Jeff Kollasch, a classical guitarist at heart, to play bass and Jon Rohlf became primary lead vocalist and songwriter, with Smiley as second lead vocalist.
Finally compiling enough "material" to play their first show, Atombender's six-man crew set out to rock the Gilbert Bandstand in the Spring of 2005. Since then, Atombender has been dedicated to constantly developing their songs and live show. Along the way, Andy Lane replaced Jeff Kollasch as bassist, Bryce Randall left for college, being replaced by Ben Wiedenhoeft, and synth player Michael Davis was added, giving Atombender a relatively unique sound in the ska/punk world.
Their dedication is starting to pay off. In the fall of 2005, in some of their first shows, Atombender won the Blinks Club and Coffeehouse Annual Battle of the Bands in Ames.
Since winning the Blinks Battle of the Bands Atombender has shared the stage with national acts such as Andy Zipf (Mono Vs. Stereo Records), Children 18:3 (Tooth and Nail Records), Flatfoot 56 (Flicker Records), Last Tuesday (Mono Vs. Stereo Records), Run Kid Run (Tooth and Nail Records), and Twelve Gauge Valentine (Solid State Records).
Atombender's first album, the eight-song "Turn It Up" was released November 11th of 2006 and the band is currently writing songs and playing shows all over Iowa.