New York's Bridge and Tunnel have been capturing punk rock hearts since the release of their self-titled 7" in 2007. The two ladies and two gents continue to create fist pumping sing-alongs that fit right at home with the rest of the No Idea roster, where they released their debut full length East/West last fall. They'll be one of the many great acts heading to Gainesville, Fla. this Halloween weekend to take part once again in The Fest. Kira Wisniewski chatted with drummer Pat Schramm by phone on July 30 discussing a new record, an elevator incident from the Fest last year and what makes No Idea so special.
Let's pick up briefly from your latest punknews dispatch written by Jeff, where he talks about the rest of Europe, van troubles, Propagandhi and super soakers - what‚??s the latest in the world of Bridge and Tunnel?
Since then we‚??ve been back home and basically we‚??ve been writing for a new record. We took a few weeks off when our bass player Tia got married; let her get her stuff together. And now we‚??re just working on writing a new record.
When can we expect a new record?
I think we're doing a UK tour, possibly a whole European tour in late March/early April. We‚??re shooting to get it done by then.
Going back a little to Jeff‚??s dispatch, Jeff mentions that Propagandhi is his favorite band and I hear those guys are super legit and chill; but have you ever been star struck by anyone?
Star struck? I feel like there have been many people who were really important to me growing up. Bands like Avail. Tim (Barry) is a really, really awesome guy and we got to meet him. When you're a young kid you get super stoked and then you kind of get older and you end up playing with some of those bands. I wouldn't say star struck, but it is something really crazy. It makes you feel really great about what you‚??re doing and lucky that you are able to have that happen in your life. I think that‚??s what happened with Jeff on the Propagandhi tour. Those dudes are totally rad. I know they were one of his favorite bands growing up. The tour was awesome. They aren't super crazy party dudes, just really genuine, really great people. Even if we weren't on that tour I would still want to watch them every night just because they‚??re so tight and they rip it so hard.
I‚??m assuming the new music that you‚??re working on is going to also be released on No Idea?
Yeah. It will definitely be on No Idea.
No Idea seems like a great fit for you guys; what do you think is special about them?
First of all, they're kind of like a big family there. Everyone there is super, super great and super helpful with things. There are no contracts involved. If they‚??re psyched on a band, they‚??re like "We should do something." Other labels it will be like "you have to sign to do four records" and I‚??ve even heard of some smaller labels trying to do that and rope bands in for most of their careers. If you think about it, four records is a lot of records. It‚??s like four years that you‚??re attached to whatever label that is. So I think that's pretty rad [about No Idea]. It‚??s like the good ole‚?? handshake agreement; where they‚??re like "we‚??re psyched on you guys and want you to do stuff with you." We can call them up and shoot the shit with what we're thinking and it‚??s more like you‚??re talking with some buddies rather than a record label.
Kind of going on that, Bridge and Tunnel really prides itself for the fact that you guys are all buddies; how do you ensure friendships hold strong through relentless touring, the creative process, etc?
It's hard. Even friendships within our own band, when you‚??re on tour as much as we are, it can be trying on friendships. Touring the way we do, people we care about are now all over the US and the world; touring brings you to those people. So not only are relationships locally important to the band but also in the grand scheme of things with the punk scene all over the world. Friendship is something we try to hold true; it‚??s a thing that‚??s really important to us. But yeah, it is hard sometimes, touring is really great, but it can be super stressful at times. Personally what I do is try to remove myself for at least a second and think what really am I doing right now? Mainly, I get to play music with people that I care about and mean a lot to me. I‚??m just really lucky to be here. So if you think about it that way it at least takes away from some of the stress.
Does anyone in the band have any particular quirks that you‚??ve had to get used to?
I don't know… Everyone has a little bit of everything. Rachel is pretty forgetful about most things. So we have to do a double check on things like leaving the keys in the van or leaving equipment behind. It‚??s kind of natural that people are forgetful but she‚??s super forgetful! (laughs) Everyone has little things and you get to know them and learn how to do deal with them when you‚??re with the same four or five people for an extended amount of time.
What's your little quirk?
Mine? I don‚??t really know what mine is. Uh‚?¶ I'm really into sleeping on carpet. I can't really sleep on hardwood floors. So when we stay at places I have to find the small, tiny room that even has the littlest speck of carpet to sleep on because I have this thing against hard wood floors. Not only are they uncomfortable, they just freak me out. I hate lying on them.
So you guys are playing the Fest this year, but you also played it last year. Any memorable moments from last year?
Let me think‚?¶ last year at the Fest‚?¶ oh yeah. Jeff got stuck in an elevator. There was some elevator issue that happened last year in the Fest hotel. Jeff and some people from No Idea and I think Virgil from Suburban Home and maybe like 10 other people got stuck in this elevator sometime between 1:00 or 2:00 in the morning. By that time most people were kind of drunk too. People started freaking out. The fire department had to come and get them all out. And that took like an hour. It was a crazy, crazy ordeal. I wasn't there, but apparently there was this one particular lady who was really freaking out. He said it is probably one of the worst things ever. But I guess a few people tried to keep their cool and hold things together but a few others were really losing their shit. Besides the shows that were obviously really good, that is one of the standout things I can remember from last year.
Again the Fest this year is happening on Halloween weekend. Any plans for Halloween costumes?
I think we always say we're going to and then we never do it. Last year we were on tour for a while before that. So when you‚??re on tour and you‚??re doing all the normal tour things and you say "oh yeah, for Halloween we should get costumes." And next thing you know you‚??re at the show playing, and oh well‚?¶ we didn‚??t do that again this year. Hopefully though! We'll see how it goes.
What's the best Halloween costume you've ever had?
One time, me and my roommate in college were Danny DeVito and Arnold Schwarzenegger from Twins. But I think we just ended up looking like two senior citizens on a cruise. It didn‚??t look very good at all. It was pretty ridiculous.
What kind of music is in your personal heavy rotation?
I guess a lot of pop punk records. The last Banner Pilot record that came out, I‚??ve been listening to that a lot. The New Ringers record I‚??ve been listening to. What else? I mean I listen to the same kind of music I listened to as a kid, like all the American Steel records are in rotation and a lot of Hot Water Music.
Since you are all so in the know with the New York scene from all the bands you‚??ve collectively been in (Latterman, Fellow Project, Con Amore, Slingshot Dakota, The Solidarity Pact); are there any bands in particular that you think people should be on the lookout for or get into?
Yeah.. Actually, you know a lot of our friends bands that I have been super into have kind of broken up in the past month. Like Cheeky was a really good New York band and they just kinda broke up. Get Bent was a great New York band and they just broke up. There's this band called Zombie Dogs who are really good. They‚??re kinda more 80s, but they just actually started and they're on tour now. There are always bands popping up and breaking up and popping up and breaking up.