While the coronavirus pandemic has disrupted their release plans over the last few months, Somerset-based outfit BRIDGES are still keeping their fans happy with the unveiling of their latest single 'More Than Before'.
Lifted from their forthcoming sophomore EP, which is now set to drop near the end of the year, 'More Than Before' shows us all that this new collection will certainly be worth the wait. Taking their cues from the likes of Doves and Frightened Rabbit, their newest gem makes for a wonderfully bold and euphoric listen throughout.
So with their new track doing the rounds right now, we sat down with the band's Ethan Proctor to find out more about their background and what has inspired them most over the years.
What was the first instrument you fell in love with?
Guitars were what brought me personally into music – I’d say guitar bands are largely what drew us guys into wanting to be musicians, whilst Chess grew up as a classical pianist and clarinettist. We’ve all had a huge love of music since kids though and been in various types of bands growing up.
What has been the most prominent inspiration behind your music so far?
Music can be a big healer for people; I know it has been for me. The topics we want to put across are considered, but at their core are relatively simple and honest. We know what BRIDGES stand for - wanting to be better, knowing it’s okay to struggle, being open to those you care about, being kind. The past year has been really cool to see a community start to grow out of those ideals.
What kind of music did you love as a teenager?
Henry and I actually became friends at Judo club over our passion for Mötorhead, but I was also really into bands like Blink 182, Rise Against, Zebrahead. Josh grew up a big Zeppelin and Nirvana fan, but also is a really talented fingerstyle player. Tom’s favourite band I am pretty sure is still Queen and Chess had a big My Chemical Romance phase. We are a nice mixed bag of influences.
Can you remember the first song that made you want to pursue a life in music?
I think for me it was probably the Ace of Spades or Bomber, something by Mötorhead for sure. Definitely something fast, with lots of guitars – always had Kerrang and Scuzz on with my friends growing up. Playing live for us all was always the dream; writing songs then became the big passion as we started listening to more genres. I imagine this is very different for the rest of the gang!
When you wake up in the morning, what kind of music do you like to listen to?
Right now I have been listening to Broken Social Scenes latest record a lot – caught them at All Points East summer before last and they were incredible. I’m pretty late to the party with them, but they are ace. We are all big fans of The Wonder Years; I reckon Henry starts most of his days with them.
How many of your songs have you written about people in your life?
It’s probably all of our songs if I am honest – particularly in the last couple years. It’s nice to be able to solidify a moment in a song, especially when friends you’re writing about connect with the song, or are at a show.
What have been the most memorable moments in your career so far?
I think playing at Glastonbury last year was a lifetime highlight for us. Growing up near the festival, we’ve always had huge aspirations to play there. We were playing on Bimble Inn in the Park Field, and were expecting it to be fairly modest. We couldn’t have been more wrong. The crowd spilling out of the tent blew us away, felt incredibly lucky and special. Looking forward to the next time we are there, gutted it was not able to go ahead this year.
Outside of music, what is your biggest passion?
Since I was very young I have always been a massive gamer, big fan of Japanese RPG’s. Tom has been part of the carnival that happens in our hometown pretty much every year since he was born – that’s a big thing where we are from. Chess and Henry are both artists and illustrators, you can check out their work on Instagram (@Chesswilliams, @frankthehumanboy). Josh and I have been learning Japanese the past couple years, he is much better than me though!
If you weren’t a musician, what other path do you think you might have taken?
Outside of BRIDGES, Henry and I both work in the booking side of the industry, which is fun – I can’t imagine not working in music but maybe something with video games would be cool. Chess is a graphic designer and has always had a love for art. Tom is a college teacher, just finished a masters. Josh is studying a degree in Computer Science at the moment. We’d all love to be doing the band full time; we will get there eventually. We supported The Slow Readers Club last June, it was really great to get their perspective on making everything work around day jobs and getting to a point you can go full time. Inspiring to see bands be successful in that way, and we are in for the long haul.
And what advice would you give to those looking to start a career in music?
Have fun, be kind and connect with as many people as possible. I think in the beginning we weren’t writing about subjects that really mattered to us, and since being more open in our song writing that has really changed us. Being real, whilst hopefully being musically interesting, is our goal and I think that is good advice.
BRIDGES' new single 'More Than Before' is available to stream and download now. Have a listen to it in the player below.