Bridge City Sinners are set to release their new album Unholy Hymns this summer, so what better time to give them a good grilling on their new record?! AND we got Amigo the Devil to dish out the questions, because why the Hell not!
What challenges or misconceptions have you faced in your music career so far and what changes would you like to see in the industry that would help alleviate that for people in the future?
Awe yes, there have been many, but I’d like to take this moment to focus on the trials and tribulations I have found myself facing as a FEMALE in a predominantly male dominated music scene. The ideal that I, along with other femme fronts and musicians, are merely “eye candy” as opposed to actual musicians who have fought hard, if not harder, to be where they are and deserve to be taken seriously. The, “Nice band tee. Now name three songs by that band?” attitude has got to go. I can do anything you can do, bleeding.
Considering the “Life imitates Art far more than Art imitates Life” idea, do you find yourself writing according to changes in your personal life or do you come to realizations subconsciously through writing? Basically, is it more of a purge or a discovery process?
Ooooo yes yes yes, such a great question. For myself, the inspiration for writing is MOSTLY a purge… I usually come to my realization/discovery once I’ve really vomited my emotions all over myself. Putting the pieces together is easier when they are laid out in front of me. In the end the casualty can and does go both ways for me when I write.
One (of many) of the most inspiring and powerful parts of watching you all play live is how connected you all feel. What are some of the most important parts of keeping that dynamic and those friendships in place while trying to bring together such different creative minds?
Dawwwww buddy!! Well, like a lot of great relationships, we were friends first! We all have a genuine connection with one another outside of the music and we all like to keep in the front of our minds that we started doing this FOR FUN, and we plan to keep it that way! I’d say getting the Sinners around a campfire is our happy spot. We also have a Sinners group chat where jokes and memes run wild on the daily. In the end, making space and time where we are not focusing on Sinners-related activities and just goofing around (maybe playing Pokemon GO or giving each other stick and poke tattoos) keeps the harmony.
Ok…you HAVE to eliminate one band from history. Doesn’t have to be a band you hate or dislike, just one band that now never existed of your choosing…what’s the butterfly effect of that band disappearing?
The Beatles. Congratulations, now there is only Jazz. Thank you for playing butterfly bingo.
What is something you wish people would keep in mind or consider while interacting with you or approaching you whether in real life, on social media or even at shows?
I’m not sure why, you could probably make a few guesses, but sometimes people do not think that I am approachable, BUT I AM SUPER FRIENDLY! Many times I’ve heard “wow you are so nice” like it’s some kind of a surprise?! I know that I’m here succeeding because of each one of you!!! But, sometimes before or after a show there is just not enough time for me to say hi to everyone. But when there is, I enjoy getting to know you all personally and giving folks a sincere thank you!!!!
Alsooooo, like many others I often struggle with my mental health. I have my moments of social anxiety and depression. Somedays, I have an overall sense of overwhelming worry with a dash of despair sprinkled in there. This year, the Covid isolation has only amplified these thoughts and feelings for so many of us. So in the rare instance that I am not perky when you greet me, just know that I am most likely dealing with my mind and will be back to my “happy to talk to you” self in just a moment! Thank you all ahead of time for your kindness and understanding.
In the vein of the last question, as social media continues to blur the lines between reality and a fantasy world, how do you think it has affected or shifted the expectations/relationship between the listener and the band?
The World Wide Web is a WILDDDD PLACE!! I honestly love what social media has done for music… it’s putting your favorite band right in your living room at the touch of your finger tips. It’s giving busking musicians like us a chance to be seen on more than just the street corner and it’s giving the people the power to choose what they really want to listen to instead of what big labels have pre-packaged. I feel it is fostering a whole new bond between artist and fan.
Do you or have you ever dealt with performance anxiety? Any tricks you want to share for how you overcome that? Asking for a friend…
Every-single-time. Big venue, tiny back yard. Doesn’t matter, I’m shaking. I try to remind myself I am wanted and tell myself that this is MY party and I can cry if I want to…also DON’T FORGET TO PEE BEFORE YOU GO ON STAGE. Oh and let your friend know they’ve got the goddamn voice of an angel 😉
Not really a question but here’s an ad lib for you!
I never thought the ______ would find ________ in ________ when there was ________ in so many other ________. What a ________ time to ________.
I had all the boys in the band fill this buddy out:
I never thought the *band* would find *beer* in “the van” when there was *whiskey* in so many other *vans*. What a *great* time to *drink*.
Do you go into the recording process with strict expectations or is it more of a “let’s see what happens” mood? How do you think that helps you create?
HA “strict expectations”. We try to keep it light-hearted and fun once the guts of the song are put together. When a song is brought to the table, it’s essentially a rough draft with the basic chords and lyrics. Like an abstract painting. We then all attack it together as a group. Everyone in the band is a songwriter, so we end up melding everyone’s ideas into the song quickly and we don’t overthink it. It’s not even clear what the full picture looks like til it’s finally together with all the pieces. I think this adds to the creative process ten-fold, because with no expectations, the sky’s the limit.
As a band who is known to be so welcoming and community driven with such a caring approach to mental health, do you find yourselves overextending and affecting your own? What are some healthy habits and practices you can think of from both sides (from the listener and within the band itself) that would help balance that line?
WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER!!! This is the message I am really aiming to get across. I want to write music that reminds us all of that… but just the way hearing a sad song can affect your mood, writing them can be even more difficult. Putting your true thoughts and feelings on paper can be hard, humbling and even humiliating. Sharing them with others is very vulnerable and sometimes proves itself to be both mentally and physically exhausting. But it’s also healing. So as far as needing a balance to it all, yes, that is needed. My best advice is to practice patience and understanding with each and every human you come in contact with. Especially yourself.
DANNY YOU ARE AN ACTUAL ANGEL, a gem of a human. Calling you a friend is a true gift in this life. THE SINNERS LOVE THE DEVIL!
Check out the at-home performances from Bridge City Sinners and Amigo the Devil below.
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Images courtesy of Bridge City Sinners/Amigo the Devil.