If you’re one of the fanatics who believes that Punk is dead, then there’s a strong chance you’ve never of Melbourne’s own Bridge The Border, whose Pop-Punk fusion is continuously breathing life into the genre. They’ve recently wrapped up production of their debut EP, ‘Congratulations Everybody’s Gone’, and OVERDRIVE Music Magazine caught up with some of the boys to discuss how it all went down.
Leading the Pop-Punk charge is Harley Nobelius (vocals/guitar), Ryan Qualizza (bass/vocals), Darcy Handley (drums/vocals), and Jake Van Roy (secondary guitar).
There’s no denying that if you aren’t within certain circles, or don’t frequent local gigs, then you’ve never heard of these guys before. Don’t worry, we aren’t calling you out! In fact, the guys were more than happy to give an insight into who Bridge The Border are at their core. Handley opened up the discussion saying,
“As a band you can slot us right into the pop-punk pigeon-hole, there’s no point denying it, I mean Harley has a Blink 182 tattoo! That being said, we’re always up to create different sounds and styles and we’re not really tied down to the genre, but it’s where we’ve kicked things off from. Our new EP can feel often quite heavy and dark with some recent influences, but can also ease off with lighter more rock based sounds. As people, we’re all over the shop. We’re a bit childish at times, a bit ‘bogan’ and other times we try to be proper adults and act with a bit of self-awareness. Our stage banter is mostly chaos, we haven’t really got it down to a script yet but it’s all generally positive and uplifting, despite our songs being, y’know, not that.”
Nobelius followed this up by saying,
“It’s funny though because as people we are idiots, but when it comes to music all our songs always tend to have a serious message about them. You wouldn’t think that we are the ones writing these songs, that’s for sure! So you could say that’s where we balance out.”
Van Roy was the last to chime in, adding,
“Darcy pretty much handles the organisation side of things, without him we wouldn’t have a clue what’s going on most days. You could say he’s the mum of the band. But over all we’re all pretty kicked back people, we’re only really serious when we need to be.”
The Melbourne outfit has recently dropped their single Congratulations off of the upcoming EP, and it has definitely generated a fair bit of noise leading up to the release. Nobelius opened up about what motivated the band to use this particular track to help promote the EP, saying,
“Congratulations is our most versatile song. Not because it’s our favourite by no means, but because it has a strong meaning and story behind it. It’s a harsh song, it may be offensive or even a reality check to some, but it’s something we feel passionate writing about. We chose this song because it is probably the most creative song off the EP in regards to experimentation with the structure and of course the chopping and changing of vocals. Every band has their ‘own sound’ and we think we have found ours for the time being, and we are proud of this song to be the starting point.”
As for mentioned, Bridge The Border’s debut EP ‘Congratulations Everybody’s Gone’ will soon be hitting shelves (and online mediums, of course). Releasing an album definitely evokes a lot of emotion, but one’s debut is a momentous occasion that will leave a permanent mark on both one’s memory, and musical career. Handley spoke of said emotions, and how the band have been handling themselves leading up to the release. He explained,
“I think stoked kind of understates it but we’re really stoked. CEG has been a drawn-out process for us, working in the studio was fairly streamlined, but organising all the peripheral content took some trial, error and patience. It feels exciting to think that we’re connecting with a new audience in this release, to have new people and some people we’ve never even met listen to our music – relate to a song or even just chuck it on their Spotify playlist, it just cements in my mind why I love writing and playing music in this band.”
The production of ‘Congratulations Everybody’s Gone’ has been a process that’s culminated over the past near twelve months, as Nobelius discusses. The energy exerted from these guys is somewhat uplifting, and you can see within their words just how proud they are of what they’ve accomplished. He explained,
“After the release of our two singles, Spears and G.O.O.N mid last year, we continued to write and piece together ideas for new material. Eventually we had a couple of songs that were ready enough to take into the studio to work with and record. So we decided around August last year to combine the tracks into an EP, which we began recording late last year. We are really happy with the way it has all come out, especially seeing the progression from when we entered the studio for Pre-Production for the two earlier singles in 2016, to where we are now. Of course after listening to the songs over and over and analysing them for so long, there might be tiny little changes we could probably make if we were to do it again, but overall we couldn’t be happier with what we have created. We are beyond excited to show the world what we have and hopefully it is only the start for what could be a long and enjoyable BTB journey!”
Speaking of production, Handley opened up on Bridge The Border’s processes when they hit the studio. He explained,
“It’s such a varied thing, for myself I don’t think I’ve narrowed it down to one way of writing that works for me, sometimes I’ll have lyrical content to begin with and create instrumentation to fit, other times – and in the case of the opening track on our ep ‘Places’ – I’ll write purely into Protools as pre-production recording sections as I write them. I love to collaborate with writing and I also think it’s where our strength is, I have such talented bandmates so it’s inspiring to be able to spring ideas back and forth with them. The recording process is helped by my prior studio knowledge, I’ll record all our content and send multi-tracks to be mixed by our Producer/Mix Engineer Christopher Vernon.”
“For years I’d been writing in a similar style, before I was in a band; I’d come up with melody for vocals and write lyrics that fit. Usually it would start from a guitar riff and everything would flow from that, or vice versa. Sometimes I’d have a vocal hook that I’d work guitar in to follow. I guess overall with song writing we don’t really have a repetitive structure or style, it’s different for every song which I think makes it more interesting cause you never really know how the final piece is going to end up”
Bringing things to an end, Nobelius gave insight into what the future holds for Bridge The Border post-EP launch. He explained,
“Once all this hype dies off, we are keen to just get stuck into playing shows as much as we can. With all the organising of getting the EP ready, we have struggled finding time for the part of this that we really love which is playing shows. We are really keen to jump on an east coast tour or something like that towards the end of the year, so we will definitely be in discussion on planning that! As for an LP, that will definitely be on the cards! Whether it be next year, or the year after, putting together a full length album is something we have always wanted to achieve. Between the four of us, we have thrown lots of ideas on the table for new songs to be made so we are certainly on a good start for an LP. Overall we love music and our focus is always going to be on how we can better ourselves as a band and grow into something that people will enjoy listening to all around the world.”
‘Congratulations Everybody’s Gone’ is available June 29th, pre-orders available HERE!