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Interview: Bridge Under Fire - 03.06.13
 

Bridge Under Fire - 03.06.13

Interviewed by
Bridge Under Fire - 03.06.13The following is a mini interview of generic questions that we posed to all bands that wanted to answer:

Bridge Under Fire

facebook.com/BridgeUnderFire
twitter.com/BridgeUnderFire
BridgeUnderFire.bandcamp.com

1. How did you get your band name?

At the inception of the band, we batted around a few that were either to offensive such as “ Sherman's March” to comedic like “ Night Court” whicheventually became the title to our first EP. Mark ( Guitar Vocals) was watching a lot of WW2 shows on the History channel and the phase jumped out to him and we said fuck it. Though, “ Night Court” will always be the best band name in my opinion, and if you name your band this I also have a great music video idea.

2. How did this band get started?

The band itself was the beginning of the end of a few other bands. Mark and I ( Matt) were in a band before that radically fucked our lives up, “ The Andrea Doria”. Long story long... Multiple van explosions, money meltdowns and friend ship meltdowns forced us to a stop, which in retrospect was way overdue. We truly learned what it was like to stare into the abyss both financially and musically . We played and toured a lot for scene outsiders, but it was a disaster. SO, Mark and Brendan Hilyard , who was in a band called Vapor Avem, were working at Guitar center and started tossing the idea around, started jamming and I was just always there with a van and bass. We went through a few drummers in last years, Josh Smith, Clayton. It should be said that we’ve had members come and go, but the current line up is Mark Turley, Nick Streeter, Chris Whitmore, Matt Proietta, and behind the scenes Nick Oliver with LRS Records. It's like our SST.

3. What bands are you influenced by?

I think that being influenced by other bands can be a really deep thought. Bridge Under Fire is what I call a “ Punk Rock and Roll band” influenced by bands like Leatherface, Sick of It All, Braid, Clutch, Rocket From The Crypt, The Clash, Damiera, Gaslight Anthem, Hot Water Music, Ben Folds, Mike Watt, De La Hoya, Iron Chic and Lifetime. But personally, we are all over the map in the music we listen to as members. I for one am influenced and inspired by the many of the musicians out there, who are living the music lifestyle in both practice and philosophy. I believe that this lifestyle of juggling work and life while touring and playing music go hand in hand with influences. Punk Rock influenced me to take shitty jobs, sometimes for the freedom to tour a lot. We all work real or bullshit jobs ie: retail, temp, sub teacher, SSI and somehow find a way to keep going. When the going gets tough, which is most of the time, I look at dudes in bands that fucking shred over 30 that will never play anything bigger then a 20 person DIY venue and say, “Fuck, I can do this, we can do this” all while your credit card melts in your hand. So, punk has both given me and interesting a life and destroyed it. Also, 25 percent of the band also operates on spite. LOTS OF SPITE.

4. If you could tour with any bands, past or present, who would they be and why?

If we could tour with any band, we would tour with any band that people would come to see play, which may help with our dismal Merch sales. Really, I cant come up with a group answer, but I think the werider tours would be a better time, SO I would like to go our tour with; The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Mike Watt, Rival Schools, Fear, Tom Waits, The US Bombs and Mojo Nixon. Also with an acoustic set from Earth Crisis.

5. Best food to eat on tour?

The simple answer to best food to eat on the road is the free kind. The poorer we get, the more pizza we eat. Eating on the road can be a shitty challenge, for the longer trips, we try to stock up on the shelf stable shit ie. Peanut butter, and fish in cans. There’s always a lot of chips and granola and Gatorade that Marks mom sends, and we usually need a good supply a shitty beer as to reduce money wasted at the bar. Once were at the venue for the show, if someone asks where Streets, Matt, Josh or Chris are, its a good possibility that were in the van pounding warm/ or frozen PBR.

6. Why should people listen to your band?

I can only sell our band by saying, I hope that our music and lyrics are both inspiring, empathetic of our times, catchy and can move the people watching closer to the band instead of further into the “fuck you ring” at shows. Our goal is to use music to convey our message in the best way we can, in a style that we like and that others may like.

7. If you could be any athlete, which athlete would you switch places with?

Sports don't really factor in to my life except when I get to hear the lurid details of another fallen angel.

8. If you won a Grammy, who would you thank?

I think if we won a Grammy, I would wonder what were doing wrong. I dont even know how that shit works, it's all based on myspace votes right?

9. If you could change something about the music industry, what would it be?

I think that the music industry manufactures music to fuck people up into buying into what ever needs to be sold or to manipulate our culture. Its a myth that the most
important thing you do as a band is “ get signed”. I fully believe in independent music marketing and distribution. We opened a show for Chuck Reagan 2 years ago, I was able to ask him, “ what should my band be doing” and he gave me some pointers, one was if you dont have a label, you need a booking agent. Easier said then done. So, why wait to get a call from a booking agent? Mark recorded our 7 inch in his studio, and booked shows with other bands. We don’t play very big shows, but there is no point in waiting for someone to take us to another “ level”. My point is to stop. Then Think. Then do something. We use social media, we talk to other bands, we get LRS to put out our music and others music and just keep going.

10. Memorable tour experience?

We Played a basement show in Albany with The Slaughterhouse Chorus, as the show finished the party moved upstairs, though Mark was semi asleep, he had no idea that he had set up camp in the party zone.

11. What does AP.net mean to you?

A site keeping the people in the know.

12. What is your favorite song to play?

My favorite song to play is “ Jaws 8, Mr. Hollens Opus”. The guitar leads are catchy

13. What is your vacation spot of choice?

Vacation. TOUR IS VACATION. I consider driving 2000 miles on a weekend tour where we play to 40 people over 3 shows a privilege and a burden I will bear for as long as I can. We embrace Catholic guilt and responsibility.

14. What music reminds you of your childhood?

The music that reminds me of my childhood would be tied to the music my parents listened to, music of the 60’s and 70’s mostly rock. I guess it would be considered the “Oldies” though I just heard that they call it “greatest hits of all time” now. Either way.

15. If you could have any super power, what would it be?

Why? If I could have a super power is would be flying, obviously. I could cut my commute like in half.

16. Any pre-show superstitions or rituals?

We have no official pre show superstitions or rituals. I feel like all that shit is for bands who dont have to worry about finding a parking spot for the band after a fast
load in, and having to run back for a forgotten bag or merch box.

17. What is something that most fans don't know about you?

I think that if people knew some of the bullshit we do to keep this operation running, they would think we were extremely foolish. But thats the one thing that people would know about us the most. We are foolish, self loathing, shit heads. Who love Seinfield.

18. What is your assessment of the current state of radio? Do you think it's a place where your band could flourish?

I believe that radio on a commercial side is mostly garbage over all. The few indie/college channels are those guys on the ship, thats sinking, but are going down with the ship. Since I travel so much, in a van with no AUX hook up for my non existent IPod. SO While Im driving, I constantly cruise the dial hoping for a college stations. Theres a spot just before Binghamton, NY on 81, where every time I drive though, I pick up a Hardcore/Metal Christian station, I don’t know where the fuck its coming from, but I kinda hope that it never stops. Radio will change, either to all commercial, or no one can do it, or mobile pirate radio will come back like, (which is crazy to think in our post 9/11 age). As full disclosure, I'm a NPR guy, but sometimes, everyone has to turn the channel. I think that radio will come back, but kitchy, just like cassette, vinyl, Polaroid and the 80’s.

19. What do you like to do in your spare time?

Each member has a lot going on, we all have girlfriends (which both defies logic and who are radically supportive for woman that didn't grow up in trailers) . Mark is
recording and working with Nick O on LRS records, Chris watches a lot of sports and has navigated Link for millions for Zelda miles, Nick Streeter plays a lot of drums for different bands and hosts Karaoke, I spend a lot of time looking at youtube for the holy grail that will finally lift me our of poverty. Side note; This is not a suicide note.

20. What kind of hidden talents do you have?

I can play bass.
 
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