Ontario rockers Bleeker Ridge have shown no signs of slowing down. Fresh off their latest album release, “Four” released June 4th, 2013, they are set to rock Big Music Fest in Belleville Ontario Saturday June 22, 2013. Hitting the stage at 2pm they urge fans to come early for a good view of the stage!
Reverting back to a style of writing they experienced when Bleeker Ridge first formed ten years ago Taylor Perkins (Vocals), Dan Steinke (Guitars), Cole Perkins (Guitars), Dustin Steinke (Percussion) have shown incredible versatility in their music and prove little time between albums (though unplanned) can do some good.
I recently was able to talk to Bleeker Ridge through email and they were kind enough to answer some questions about the new album, touring and insights to their song writing and lyrics. Check it all out below!
CTP: Give me a glimpse into the early years, how did the band start?
BR: We all were taking music lessons at our local music store, they hosted a jam night and we all ended up playing together that night, It clicked and felt great. So we exchanged numbers and started rocking in the basement for fun.
CTP: Tell me the story of how you decided on ‘Bleeker Ridge’ to be the band name?
BR: We were sitting around one night thinking of a name for the band, and Joe (Taylor and Coles dad) mentioned maybe we name it after the streets the 2 sets of brothers lived on. We never thought it would stick but here we are 10 years later!
CTP: How has coming from a small town influenced your writing style?
BR: I think it influenced the style on our last album (small town dead) more so just because we were young and looking to experience the world and new things and not be stuck doing the same thing at the same places each day, where now we have been out on the road for the past 2 years and we enjoy coming back to our hometown and seeing friends and going to those same spots.
CTP: Any place you haven’t toured yet that you want to get to?
BR: We are very eager to get across the boarder into the US. We have people hitting us up on social media from the states so we are very much wanting to go there. And Europe, they love their rock!
CTP: Any tour stories/ pranks you can share?
BR: There are lots of pranks that go on while we are on the road. I cant specifically mention things but I can tell you that there is a lot of collusion!
CTP: Favourite meal on the road?
BR: Oh, McDonalds!! Junior chickens and Mcdoubles! All day and all night!
CTP: Any stories you are willing to share behind tattoos you have?
BR: I personally have a tattoo on my ass cheek that says “YUPP” and the U has eyes in it and makes a smiley face…. Dan got a tattoo gun off ebay, I agreed to let him tattoo me if we got signed to a major label. So now I have a pretty shitty ass tattoo.
CTP: Who are your musical influences?
BR: They vary. We all listen to different artist at different times. But we are big fans of older rock, Zeppelin, Aerosmith, the Beatles, SoundGarden etc.
CTP: How has the new record, ‘Four’ progressed your sound?
BR: I think we have matured as players and song writers. We actually have kinda gone back to how we used to write when we first started playing together. But this record definitely has matured and is a real honest album.
CTP: Tell me a story behind a song on the new album?
BR: SLEEP, Tay was out in Montreal for a weekend that got wild one night. The lyrics throughout the whole song give a glimpse into what went down that whole night. But overall the song is about being too drunk and high and all you want do is sleep.
CTP: What is your favourite song to play live?
BR: I love playing “sick of you” live, it’s got a cool shuffle type groove in the verses. But off the new album right now I really like playing “shine”.
CTP: Tell me about your song writing process? Is it collaborative or is one member primarily responsible?
BR: We all write as a group. But it will start usually with someone having a guitar riff and we will jam on that and build off that one riff. Tay writes all the lyrics, and he will start doing those once the music is close to finished that way he has an idea of where he wants to take it lyrically.
CTP: Why such a long time between albums?
BR: Well it wasn’t planned that way, it just kinda happened. We left roadrunner about a year after small town was released. Then we kept touring and working on how we were going to get back in the studio and who we were going to have produce the album. And since we were now an unsigned band we had to figure out how we were going to fund the album. If we could have we would have liked to have the album out much sooner then it did, but everything happens for a reason and we are very pleased with the way this album turned out.
CTP: How has the time off influenced Bleeker Ridge?
BR: I think it let us really focus on the songs, some bands drop a record tour it for a year or 2 and hit the studio right away and it feels rushed and not as strong of a record as their last. I think we got to come home, recharge and get these songs right. We got to write back at home and do pre production at home. The album is raw and real and I think that came from working out all the tunes in the garage where we started.
CTP: Independent artists vs Signed? Which do you prefer and why?
BR: I don’t have a preference, I think a good song is a good song and a good band is a good band, and there are lots of bands out now who are independent who have great catchy songs, just as there is with signed major label bands. And now a days, bands are proving that you don’t need that massive record deal and massive recording budget to make a good album. At the end of the day it all comes down to a great song.
If you cant get enough of Bleeker Ridge and their infectious rock sound, your in luck! Kingston Punk Productions is hosting Bleeker Ridge and Airbourne on Friday August 16th, 2013 at The Mansion in Kingston Ontario! Get your tickets now!
Don’t wait! head over to Bleeker Ridge’s website http://www.bleekerridge.com for full tour details and links to their music. keep connected with them here:
Here is the YouTube link to a fan made lyric video for “Last Cigarette: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DmyeMsbaQNQ
Hope you all enjoy “Four” as much as I am and get out to a live show, From what I have heard people say about Bleeker Ridge they put on a “Kick Ass Show!”