The mercurial Mike Bee, guitarist and some would say lynchpin of the Warrington based human construction; The Bridge honestly answers questions on topics spanning; ambition, local music, Saturday night and much more. This sharp six piece have been attracting a great deal of attention lately and can be described as being conglomeration of Led Zeppelin, The Music, Black Flag, The Pixies and AC/DC, as well as being not too dissimilar to modern masters JET (although don’t say that too loudly in their presence). Lead singer Robert Gough and keyboardist Monkey who occasionally assists with the vocal duties, help to give the retro band a raw and cutting edge.
The Bridge has been constructed from a number of former Warrington based bands and despite the obvious chemistry you have only been together for a few years. Are you still in a band in transition, or have the achieved the sound you have always aimed at and are you now cruising?
Good one, the plan of the band has always been big beats, loud bass, and big riffs but most of all catchy tunes, and lately with the new material those ideas are coming together better then ever, everyone’s always improving on their instruments so that’s making the sound bigger then ever. People don’t need technical crap these days. We just try and make songs people can dance and rock as much as possible. You can’t dance to ballads.
How would you describe the local Warrington music scene at the moment? Do you think coming from Warrington has held you back at all as Manchester & Liverpool bands seem to be given the edge publicity wise and have more opportunities for gigs?
The Warrington scene has always needed a venue and that’s happening now with WA1, it’s been a long process but things seem to be eventually coming together. You can’t have a scene without good bands, and more seem to be coming out of the woodwork. Were now doing a monthly residency at WA1 where were getting all our favourite bands to play. A lot of Warrington bands claim there from Manchester, no names mentioned but why be just one of the herd? We don’t need to drag a hundred people 30 minutes away when all they have to do is get the bus into Warrington town. If you’ve got the skills it doesn’t really matter where you come from.
You have had a lot of interest from a variety of record labels, what is the current situation on that score?
I’m not mentioning any names because its tempting fate, we have some major labels interested and some independents, were about to head back into the studio to do some more recording and attempt to grab them by the balls this time. Convince them if you will.
Your demo ‘Sex and drugs a guide for people who need to know’ contains the anthemic Saturday Night. All bands need to have a potential anthem if they are going to make a ripple in the sea of modern music. It is brassy, raw and catchy in the same elk as; ‘Hate To Say I told You So’ by The Hives that is seen by many a retro rock at it’s best. Is this song your most proud achievement to date and are there more like this come?
Saturday Night must be over a year old now, we’ve given it a breather from the set recently but it will return eventually as one of the major labels thinks it’s a potential single. It’s funny you mention this tune as we were recently put on an un-signed compilation CD and an A&R that reviewed it thought it was fucking shit! It just goes to show the difference of opinion people have, they either love us or hate us and I doubt that will change. Were proud of all our tunes excluding some of the very early stuff, there couldn’t be a bin deep enough to hide those. Things change and tunes come and go but I’ve got a feeling the new stuff is really gonna cause some ripples.
The above mentioned demo also contains the quirky, bold and adventurous ‘PYT’, but unlike ‘Saturday Night’ it comes across as a song that is difficult to replicate in a live arena. How do you feel about this and is it frustrating that sometimes your best material has to stay on record?
It’s always gonna be hard to replicate some songs live, PYT is actually a pretty simple tune once you strip it down, In some ways I think it’s a better tune live as it has a bit more punch to it. All our songs start off life as being live tracks, getting in the studio does strange things to a song so you never fully know how it’s going to turn out.
What does the rest of the year hold for The Bridge?
I suppose it all depends on what happens with this industry interest, we have gigs lined up in Warrington, London and strangely enough… Manchester! But for now it’s back to the studio to try and put some magic down, we’ve failed to show our true potential on our recordings so far, this whole things a learning process and now it’s time for the real Bridge to arrive on disk. Whatever happens we’ll carry on as before because that’s what has worked for us so far. Just keep on feeding the machine and it will deliver the goods.
Which modern day band would you most like to share the stage with?
Is Dane Bowers classed as a band?
You seem such a close knit sextet. How do you resolve any “Creative Differences”?
I think we often ask ourselves the same question, everybody has the same goal in this band which is to be successful so instead of making that a problem we use it to our advantage, everyone has good ideas in the band, even Bum Crumb (drums) sometimes. If it comes down to it we settle it with a band vote and that’s the end of it. Anyway it’s hard to argue when you’ve just smoked 5 joints in 1 hour, maybe that’s the secret.
Describe the songwriting process for The Bridge. Do you each have an input or does someone bring some lyrics to the table and then someone else goes and compiles the music?
Everyone has input in this band, most of the time Marcus (bass) will bring a new tune to practice. Usually wrote on acoustic we’ll then take that tune and work around it until it’s up to scratch, only takes one or two practice then the basics are there. If it doesn’t bounce it gets binned, sometimes bits of it will return and get added to new tunes, that’s how PYT evolved, we had the melody line for ages until it had the right groove and sound. The other way is when one of us comes up with a riff or beat. Rob (vox) will then work on the lyrics and melody, and Monkey will either come up with something insane on the synth or join in on vox depending on what it needs. The only time a song will dramatically change is when Bum Crumb forgets what beat he was doing the week before, he’s good at doing that.
Why should people check out a live The Bridge show and what in your opinion can they expect if they do so?
I think our live show is 100 percent better then anything we’ve put to disk yet, so as I said that’s the next challenge. I don’t think there’s any band that sounds like us around, so whether you love it or hate it, if you don’t move your feat you must be ill. Picture a dance-off in the middle of a mini riot. Failing that we have some of the best looking female fans around.
What is the best venue that you have played thus far and why?
It’s not always the venue that matters, it’s more the crowd and how mad their going. Infinity in London’s a good place, it’s small but the sounds sweet as a nut and the southerners love it, I think they see it as some kind of northern freak show which makes them happy. The White Room in Warrington is always a good gig, a similar size to Infinity and a great atmosphere, and as we have a monthly residency I’ll have to say WA1!
What was the last CD that you purchased?
Dane Bowers of course…