Interview with cofounder Davey Death Ray | By Kelley O’Death
“We’re all really hoping that Bridge City Sessions will take off and be a must-do while bands visit our little city of Portland, Oregon,” says cofounder and audio engineer Davey Death Ray.
Founded by local heavy-hitters Nick Wilson of The Brass, Jake Carpenter of Dirty Kid Discount, and Death Ray—who is a member of 48 Thrills, Absent Minds, and Danger Death Ray—Bridge City Sessions seeks to provide the world with a window into the vibrant Portland punk scene. The project was born, fittingly, in the Shitty Musicians Union, an impressively appointed warehouse space that serves as venue, practice space, and recording studio for several local punk mainstays. “The night of the Western Settings [and] Gentlemen Prefer Blood show at the Shitty Musicians Union this past December, Nick had mentioned the idea of doing an live, in-studio show similar to what KEXP does up in Seattle,” Death Ray recalls. “I told him that I would be into doing audio and that it should be an all-out show with a host, segments, interviews, [and more]. Then, just a mere four days later, we had the boys in the studio and we were well on our way.”
Death Ray sees the endeavor as “a promotional tool for up-and-coming bands both local and from out of town. Being musicians ourselves, we all know how important exposure is and how, sometimes, you feel like you’re clawing yourself out of a well just trying to get your music heard by people outside of your immediate social circle. We want to help broaden that reach and help give hardworking bands what they deserve: an audience.”
The project is fueled by the kind of passion, work ethic, and ingenuity one would expect from DIY punks, but the more bands—both local and touring through Portland—who participate and get the word out, the more likely Bridge City Sessions will be to get the attention it deserves. “Right now, everything is still in its infancy,” Death Ray admits, “but we’re hoping that, in time, the show can grow in scope and in viewership. As more bands visit us, we hope to upgrade our equipment, fine-tune our craft, and make the show better from one episode to the next.”
Interest is growing for the fledgling project, but its founders hope even more bands will reach out and get involved. “We already have our next few sessions booked, and we have bands hitting us up about sessions in the coming months,” Death Ray says. “However, we encourage any band that is interested in doing a session to contact us. We’re committed to helping out everyone we can, and we’re committed to communication in order to maintain the most professional atmosphere we can.”
He concludes, “We’re all really excited about what we have going and we can’t wait to see what the future brings!”