Last night writing the delightfully awesome Bridge Laviazar of Prosthetic’s 2015 standout act InAeona, things were going well until she threatened to kill me if I listed her band as “Goth Metal.”
I was telling her how I wish we had a post-metal category on the drop down menu of this site and was trying to figure out what to categorize her band’s amazing, spacious and heavy, outer space meets a little bit industrial racket. We were going through the categories you can choose from on this site and none seemed to really fit.
“If you put us as Goth Metal I will find you and kill you,” she…joked? I told her there were worse fates than sitting in a coffee shop somewhere and having a blue haired amazon run in and decapitate me. In fact, my friends would think it was pretty fitting and probably just shrug. We finally settled on “no genre”.
However you choose to describe the East Coast trio, which also includes James Dunham and Dave Soucy, they have a massive and awesome sound. Force Rise The Sun is one of the years best records. I wont say where it sits on my year end list yet because the end of the year is still a few weeks away, but let’s just say it is absolutely in the top 5 albums of 2015 for me.
Read my chat with Bridge BELOW.
You’ve made one of the most impressive records of the year and actually have an original sound. I can’t think of many bands who make such use of massive, grand space and put out such a big sound with so few members. I mean, Mantar is a two piece but they are a bit more like early Melvins. How did it feel writing Force Rise…?
Wow, thank you! I’m so happy you feel that way, that’s an amazing compliment…
Writing Force Rise the Sun was a process over quite a period of time. James (our drummer) does most of the writing, then we vet songs as a band and start vocals and arrangement… and rearrangement and dismantling and rearrangement… as time goes on, the song morphs through several iterations both in studio and live until we get it to where we feel like it’s starting to become itself, almost like a painter with a canvas, we rework and rework till it’s “done”. We throw everything we feel into each song, and use synth pretty extensively, painting layers and textures with the instruments. We use everything at our disposal… it’s a little bit of a crazy process! I guess Force Rise is a gathering of the songs that best reflect our sound and our story. Recording the album was a test of will and strength… I’m relieved the final product was able to speak so clearly.
How’d the band come about in the first place? I read you changed careers, Bridge?
I didn’t change careers, just focus… I was in college for 2D art, photography. I had put music on the back burner… but it just kept haunting me, you know? I would hear music looking at my photos, and needed music to make them. So I went to the predominant thing in my heart. And in kind of a now or never sort of situation, we got a band together. The three of us had been friends since high school, had remained very close and had been playing off and on, so it wasn’t hard to do. What was hard was finding people who really wanted to commit to doing this thing for real, and that’s how we eventually became a three piece.
Prosthetic seems like a great fit. I love their releases and they’ve certainly worked with helping some weirder bands I love like So Hideous and Kylesa find their niche in the past successfully. How has your experience been thus far with the label?
How was it sharing stages with Cult of Luna and Kylesa, two of the most respected bands in avant garde metal?
That was mind-boggling. I mean Cult of Luna is one of our favorite bands, and Kylesa is a fucking force… I never thought in my wildest dreams we would do that! It’s been a second now, so it all feels just like a dream… to see that show night after night was incredible! Everyone all was so nice, so fun and gracious and genuine. We had a blast. When you get to support two such professional acts, it really turns your game up. It’s truly inspirational, and a great learning experience… Our job was to support the headliners, to be professional, warm up the crowd and don’t fuck it up, you know? And I feel we did our job. I’m so very grateful we had the opportunity to play those shows, it was an exhilarating run!
Do you feel your sound particularly represents where you are from? It doesn’t scream Lobster Rolls and Red Sox to me, but rather like some massive asteroid brushing past the Earth as the light fades, haha. Yes I am listening to “Skywatcher” as I typed that, haha.
Yeah, Skywatcher is like that… it’s a loaded song, seriously.
I mean, I LOVE the Red Sox, and lobster is pretty great, but I’m finding it hard to call anywhere my home anymore. I feel at this point in my life as if I never truly have had one… so place doesn’t have too much to do with our sound. Well, let’s say geographically speaking, no… but “place” like where our heads are at? That’s the place that influences us… our placement in the universe, our placement emotionally, and along the continuum of this human life… that’s our home I suppose. No home. And that idea has a huge influence on our music.
What do you attribute to the band’s style? It is kind of tribal, kind of futuristic and also has like some new wave feels at times. “Empty Now” could be like Duran Duran and Pat Benatar filtered through fucking old Neurosis! It’s the coolest song in the world!
I feel you! I think that song came out great on the recording… I love the comparisons you make, though! Of all the ones I’ve ever heard, yours may be my favorite…
We listen to and have been influenced by so many different bands and types of music, and just like life experience shapes us as people, all of the bands and music and sounds of the earth shape our sound I guess… we really don’t have one direct influence, and we feel the best way to express ourselves is just to be what we are. And however that ends up coming out is our style… The songs come out sounding the way they do just cause that’s the way they sound, I guess that’s how I’d explain it… they come from inside and from the aether, and get pushed through the processors of our hearts. It’s pretty hard to explain! We are what we are, and kinda can’t be anything else, you know? So we end up sounding like a confluence of all of our experiences, and are full of everything we love, and everything that breaks our hearts.
How did it feel to find fellow musicians who shared your vision?
It’s hard for me to answer this question, cause we kinda didn’t. Like I said earlier, the three of us have been friends for a long while now, and have always been (for the most part) on the same page… we’ve grown up through life together… so we have a common vision that you can find you can have with people you’re close to, that you’ve had happy and bad times with, that have been there through everything… when we first started out in our previous project, we were a six piece! When we finally got sick of rotating members and lack of commitment, we started InAeona… it was back to just us three, cause we were the only ones that had the vision and commitment to see it through.
This might seem rude but is Bridge a stage name? Don’t be mad, I asked the same thing of my chill wave new friend Crystal Sister whose last name is Bender (like the Futurama robot or partying too hard).
You are funny dude! Nope, not a stage name, just a name. It does cause confusion though, you’re not the first to ask!
How did you learn to love your own voice and just be you? So many bands just cop out and repeat tired cliches instead of realizing that life is a gift and it is our own time here we should be concerned with, not trends and hairstyles. I mean, dont get me wrong, I follow a lot of fashion companies on Instagram but none of them are the equivalent of watered down compressed emo bands, haha. Even Miley Cyrus is getting cooler and weirder lately with her self released free Dead Petz record.
Who’s Miley Cyrus?
I think a long time ago, when I was first starting, I didn’t use my authentic voice. Like, if was singing some song from another artist, I would end up sounding kinda like the original voice in the song… that habit made it’s way into our original songs, me covering my voice with the influence of others, and it was good, but lacked authenticity. I was afraid to use my own voice because of fear and self doubt… soon, I was at a crossroads, because it just wasn’t working… Either I could worry about pleasing the masses, or do the scary thing and go with authentically who I am. That meant I had to stop worrying about who I was going to please or piss off, if I was “good” enough or not… I had to stop caring about whether or not I was too girly, or not girly enough, to gritty or not gritty enough, screamed too much or too little, I had to stop thinking and start feeling… I had to stop telling other people’s stories and tell my own and really stop giving a fuck. Not in a fuck you sort of way, but to be truly brave enough to go with what I had and what I was as a singer. Whether or not I was good enough never made it’s way into my head again, because it’s not about that. This is not American fucking Idol, this is art. My art. My soul and what my body can do. My sound. And ultimately, it has to be my authentic self. It’s the only thing truly sustainable, cause the only thing you can be perfect at is you. So that’s what I decided to go with… I just let it fly.
Lastly, one of the strongest songs is “Soldier”. Can you talk about the lyrics? It is so emotional.
This question is the hardest of the bunch, because the song is very personal, and the situation it was written about has only gotten worse for me since it was created. It’s a difficult tale of being misunderstood, judged and cast off under false circumstances, and hole that’s left in your life because of it… but since then, the song has gone out into the world and has resonated with different people deeply for their own personal reasons. I feel that people are drawn to its raw suffering, but also to its refusal to lay down and die… it stands up for itself, defiant but war torn. I believe really, when you put a song out there like Soldier, you have to let it go… it’s not yours to keep. You don’t own its identity anymore… you need to let it go be about whatever anyone that needs that song needs it to be about… if it can help anyone else feel less sickeningly alone like I have (and still do), then that’s the best I can do in life… music has been the greatest gift to me. Without those songs and bands that have helped me through my life, I’d be rudderless… I only hope I can give back what I have so beautifully received.