As I sit here at my computer, my kick-drum, which I cannot fit in any normal closet, sits next to me unplayed. I haven’t played drums for a while now and it kills me. I was in a band in Syracuse for a while, The Avondales, and had a lot of fun playing music with new people. It was cool being brought into a band that had been around for a while and was even cooler that the guys accepted me right away as one of their own. Even if I didn’t love the music we were playing immediately I still had a great time and enjoyed playing gigs in front of people who enjoyed what we were doing. The music grew on me after about 6 months or so. Like most bands, we stopped playing as often as we wanted to due to some internal stuff and because becoming an adult means less time to practice and play out.
Before that, I was in a band called Burning Bridge Street. We came together in the fall of 2010 at SUNY Oswego. Eric, Corey, and I always talked about starting a band or something, but never really got around to doing it. In the mean time, through a friend of ours, Jay, we met Ian and Myrar (Bryan), which was during our sophomore year. We would hang out and drink in their dorm room on weekends and talk about music and shoot the shit. At the beginning of sophomore year, the three of us, Eric, Corey, and I, started playing random covers in the basement of a residence hall that Eric lived in at the time. For whatever reason the hall director, who originally said it was ok for us to leave our gear in there, decided it wasn’t. I can’t remember the exact conversation that took place, but we were pretty bummed. We brainstormed where we would be able to play, and again I can’t remember exactly, but somehow we got to talking with Ian and Myrar and the next thing I remember is asking their housemates one day, and moving our gear in soon afterwards.
The band really became a “band” when I was on some committee that was having an event at SUNY Oswego and I thought it would be a good opportunity for us to start playing covers and playing together. So I said, “I can get us music,” even though we didn’t have a name yet, which was it’s own process, and one of the most annoying parts of being in a band. We finally decided on Burning Bridge Street, and, if I remember correctly, it was because we were sick of not having a name so someone just chose it. After a few weeks, we learned the event was going to be cancelled. At first it was a bummer, but in reality it was just a good excuse to start writing our own music, which we began to do. By the winter of that year, because Myrar needed a band for his audio production class, we recorded a 5 song EP in the basement of the music building on campus, and is the second most annoying part of being in a band.
We kept writing and throwing parties at Ian and Myrar’s house so we could play in front of our friends. It was a lot of fun. I think this is one of the first of these party-show things and the first and only time I sang (badly) in front of other people on purpose. (Dec. 2010)
This is me doing my best drummer impression at the same”show.”
So, we kept writing and would play gigs every now and again throughout the spring of 2011 and eventually, late in the semester, we recorded an 8 song EP. It came out pretty good, it wasn’t the best, but we were proud of it. Because everyone goes home for summer, we ended up not doing much of anything in the summer of 2011, well, besides ripping our EP apart via text message and google docs comments. Here’s a picture of us right beforewhat I think is the last show Myrar played with us. It was a battle of the bands at SUNY Oswego, that we didn’t win.
In the fall of 2011, the band moved in together: Eric, Corey, Ian, and I.
(Burning Bridge House, August 2011)
Myrar had graduated the semester before and moved back to Buffalo. We started playing a little bit, but needed to add a new bassist if we wanted to do anything serious, and is the third worst part of being in a band. Really glad we spread these things out.
Anyway, after deliberating for what seemed like forever, we decided on Andrew. He was into more hardcore stuff, but fit in nicely with our amalgamation of musical backgrounds. We taught him songs, wrote new ones, and before we knew it we were playing our first gig with Andrew really early in the fall of 2011.
The songs we wrote were some of the best songs I’ve been a part of. It was amazing we could ever decide how it would be written, but when we did it was something else. The shows were empty most of the time, but every now and again we would get a good crowd and it was amazing to be a part of. Here’s a picture of my kit with a show poster from November 2011.
(Mayflower, The Surrogates, Burning Bridge Street)
We wound up playing a bunch of shows at The Raven, some of which were pretty packed out. It still amazes me how many people showed up to watch us play when they could have just came over and watched us practice for free. Here’s one of the shows we played at The Raven. I think this was with Dreams of Gin (Rochester) and some other bands.
We recorded some songs, the only one that was finished is embedded below, and played out here and there during the spring of 2012. We knew that some of us would be graduating, meaning some of us would be leaving Oswego and others would be sticking around. We wanted to keep playing in this band, but it looked like it would end. It may have been one of the hardest things about finishing my undergraduate degree. The worst part of the whole thing was, we never got to play our one last show. We played in Watertown at the Dungeon in April of 2012 and thought we would get one more shot at playing to say our goodbyes to the band. Unfortunately, we played the show not really knowing it was the end. It was an amazing time and we played really well. I think we surprised a lot of the people and bands there with how we played and wrote our music. Here’s a picture that was taken at some point of us in Watertown behind the stage followed by one of us playing.
So that was it. We were done. We all still talk, mostly about how much we miss playing and all the regrets we have, but hey, that’s music. This was one of my favorite memories of college and these guys are all amazing musicians that I miss playing with. I hope I get to be in a band again that is half as talented as this. I loved playing these songs and best of all, I still love listening to our hard work. Below is a link that will play what is arguably our best song and probably the band’s favorite song. If anyone reads this stupid blog, comment below and let us know what you think. Even though we don’t play together anymore, this band still means a lot to us.