Local Gravy #2
Another helping of some great local music in episode 2 of Local Gravy! Our featured guest this time around is Bridge, a blues/rock band based out of the Chicago land area. If you frequent the bars on the weekend then I'm sure you've ran into these guys. Bridge, in some form or another, has been together for over 13 years and has no plans to stop. Some of the faces have changed but the music has stayed the same. Charlie Waldo channels his inner voodoo while guitar player turned bassist Adam Coffey reminds us that white boys can bring the funk too. Pauly Valdilles is what some might refer to as a drum virtuoso and I wouldn't disagree. Joe Scala brings his DJing background into the percussion section for a sound that makes it all pop. New addition Nick Reina makes it look so easy on stage. Be it picking up the guitar, slapping the keys, or completing the harmony. Put it all together with a dash of malt liquor and some cheap cigarettes, you got yourself some Bridge!!
"It Get's Easier"
"What Are We Waiting For"
"I Wish I Had the Words"
"My Baby's Gone"
**DOWNLOAD THIS EPISODE HERE**
**Tracks 1-4 recorded @ Waysound Studio in Fox River Grove, IL**
**Tracks 5-7 recorded @ Chuck's Basement**
Q&A w/ BRIDGE........
Adam Coffey (bass/whoopy cushion/kazoo/skin flute)
Nick Reina (guitar/keys/vocals)
Joe Scala (percussion/synthesizer/vocals)
Paul Valdilles (drums)
Charlie Waldo (guitar/vocals)
1)Who was the first band/artist that made you want to become a musician and why?
CW: Hendrix – he was from outer space.
NR: Probably AC/DC and Angus Young. It’s when I discovered there was other music out there other than the Beatles. Inspirations to continue on the journey that is my music playing career has been multi-layered. The discovery of Paul Simon inspired me to be a song writer, Mahavishnu Orchestra/John McClaughlin inspired fusion between genres, Mozart inspired more complexity in my style and Phish inspires the crowd reaction while melding all disciplines.
PV: No Band really, my mom played the drums when she was younger so I figured I wanted to follow in her foot steps so I started playing drums in 5th grade.
JS: Vinnie Paul from Pantera and Lars Ulrich from Metallica. My sisters boyfriend at the time got me into both those bands and the drums just got my attention more than any other instrument. The way those dudes just hammered away at the drums was amazing to me. I went to my first Metallica show at the age of 15 and never looked back.
AC: The Max Rebo Band from the original “Return of the Jedi”. They were Jabba the Hutt’s house band. Their track “Lapti Nek” just makes you wanna get on your feet and dance.
2)How long have you been playing?
CW: The band has been together about 5 years. I’ve been playing guitar since grade school.
NR: Started playing guitar when I was 10 years old. Bass, drums and voice as 12/13. Piano at 14.
AC: My mom tells me I was playing with it basically since I could reach it. Oh wait you mean music. I was in eighth grade when I started playing guitar. I was grounded for a month at the time and it seemed like a good time filler. Took up the bass when I was in high school and Chuck and I were in a power trio without a bass player. The power part of the trio seemed lacking.
PV: Been playing for over 20 years now!
JS: Me and Chuck played pots and pans and rubber band instruments before girls stopped having cooties I think. But my dad bought me my first drum set when I was 15 and played for a few years, but never with a band. Then picked up my first set of turntables almost 12 years ago. Been spinning vinyl, and cd’s ever since. Then started learning to play percussion a little over 3 years ago with Congas, Timbales, a Synthesizer and still learning how to use them till this day.
3)Describe your band’s sound
CW: Ska + Rock = Skock! (our self dubbed genre). Bluesy, explosive, and not normal.
A sound guy once told us we sound like we are running through the crowd with a musical hatchet. I took that as a compliment. I’d say we’re a mix of ska, rock, and blues. There are times when we hit some heavy riffs and explosive changes (perhaps that’s where the hatchet reference applies).
NR: Ska, hard rock, funk fusion.
PV: SKOCK, in your face type of music!!
JS: I think the Dudes hit that one on the head already
4)How did the band meet?
AC: I met Chuck while I was doing a two stretch down on the county farm on a trumped up B&E charge. Chuck was on a one year vacation for political pandering within 100 yards of a voting site. We met through our mutual love of intricate crochet and macramé techniques. So I guess you could say it was the yarn that brought us together in the beginning. That’s all bullshit. I really shouldn’t mess around about being in prison. Or knitting. Might piss off a lot of ex-cons and grannies. Chuck & I performed together for the first time in 8th grade at our school talent show. We played “Man Who Sold the World”. I can only speak for myself but I think that’s when we both caught the bug that is playing music live. After that Chuck and I were in a band together in high school and after college we both had boring jobs and we were hanging out and said damn let’s get another band together. It’s a pretty good time when you can get on a stage in front of people (hopefully there are people in the crowd, not guaranteed for our shows) and be really loud.
CW: We went to high school together but we assembled into the band over the last 5 years.
NR: Met everyone in school.
PV: I heard Charlie, Adam and Joe play once at Tinman’s in FRG. I think I just went up to them after there two song set and told them if they were looking for a drummer I would be interested and gave them my number. I thank a week later I got a call from Adam and the rest is history. I was the new drummer of Bridge!! Sorry Joe!!! LOL
JS: Fuck you Pauly!! LOL Are we allowed to swear in this interview? Have been friends with Chuck and Adam for a lifetime. Met Nick in high school. Then met Pauly after the guys felt bad for kicking me out of the band and let me play some congas Charlie had laying around the house.
5)Any meaning behind the name Bridge?
CW: I think it started out with no meaning, and we just wanted a short, simple name. We were more interested in jamming than coming up with a cute name like “Spanky and the Ass Hats”. I guess if it had to have a meaning it is that music connects or ‘bridges’ people & good times together.
AC: I thought it would be fun to mislead old people and entice them into bars late at night thinking there would be a card game there.
6)Your favorite song that you/the band have written?
AC: My favorite song is always changing. It seems like whenever we write or play a new song it’s my new all-time favorite. Not every song is like that though but most. If I had to pick just one right now it would probably be ‘Waiting on the Weather’. It’s short, loud, then quiet, then rocking, everything you could want. Or “Slow Downturn” cause I really like the harmonica in it and also the harmonies in the vocals. And can’t forget “Selfless Care” cause it’s fun to play and has a cool rhythm. Shit, I can never pick just one.
CW: ‘Something Has Got to Give’- our first studio recording. It is a raw jam built on a blues riff. Good lyrics too, about a woman being a pain in the arse.
PV: SKA 2 (AKA “I Wish I Had the Words”)
7)What was your worst show ever?
AC: We were playing at a sports bar so I shouldn’t say I was totally stunned. We were supposed to start at around 10 or so but we got bumped back like three or four times because there was a baseball game on TV. An out-of-market baseball game. It wasn’t even like it was the fucking Cubs or something. That was a low moment. But the six to eight people that hung around until after the game was over were treated to a very loud night. I’m pretty sure that bar only booked acoustic acts after that night.
CW: My worst show experience involved my amp shorting out and ruining the latter half of our set. In the midst of this equipment fail a girl from the crowd handed me a note. It read “your fly is down”. Son of a bitch.
PV: Ditto to AC
8)What kind of stuff are you listening to right now?
NR: Really digging the album Bitte Orca right now by Dirty Projectors.
CW: Reggae, My Morning Jacket, Jack White. I enjoy new takes on the blues.
AC: Jack White “Blunderbuss”, Arcade Fire “The Suburbs”, Elephant Gun “Kid Scissors”, Wilco “The Whole Love”, 93XRT & Channel X on wxrt.com, WSCR (go Sox!), WGN 720 (GM on the AM in the PM)
PV: Iration, Paul Oakenfold, Anything with a good beat I listen to.
JS: Dubstep, Psy Trance, Rebelution, Slightly Stoopid, Iration, Dub Rock
9)Where do you see the band heading in the future?
CW: I just hope we take it as far as it is meant to go. We’ve had a lot of awesome experiences that non-band folks don’t get to live. Even if we jam in a basement or catch an opening gig with a bigger name… it’s all fun.
AC: “…take it as far as it is meant to go”. For shit’s sake Chuck that sounds like a freaking romance novel. I love playing music together so as long as we’re still playing I’m happy.
PV: I don’t care as long as we are all having FUN!!!
JS: To Outer Fucking Space so we can Skock all over alien faces!
For more information on BRIDGE check out their facebook page