Stone Age HAA The Holy MAA

Stone Age HAA The Holy MAA

Writing - Noise - Magic

Monday, August 18, 2014


Bob Brinkman, formerly of Sin Nombre, plays bass in the heavy minimalist metal band Bridesmaid with drummer Cory Barnt and bassist Scott Hyatt, and now new drummer Ricky Thompson. Thompson is also Brinkman’s bandmate in Drose, along with Dustin Rose and John Mengerink. Bridesmaid spend most of their time helping out other touring bands, playing shows around the East Coast and Midwest and trying to write new riffs. There’s really nothing else motivating the music other than a love of riffs and amplifiers.

Bridesmaid will be playing at Now That’s Class Friday, August 29th with Moutheater, Wasted Jaw and Tithe:

Drose will be playing at Now That’s Class Saturday, September 27th with Murderedman and Hiram Maxim:

(Bridesmaid and Drose links can be found within the text of the interview.)

ARH: Hi Bob! What’s it like playing with two drummers? How are the logistics?

BB: Two drummers is going well.  We still aren't sure if we are going to keep it at two or go back to one.  Stage space is a concern, especially with our bass rigs. The other issue is that the songs are all written with one drummer so we aren't really exploiting it to its fullest. Figuring out how to make sure it's interesting will be the big challenge.  Either way it will definitely be heavier. And we wouldn't go back to one until Cory moves. It will be two for sure until he leaves Ohio. 

ARH: I didn't realize Cory is moving--that's too bad. I hope I get to see you guys while you have two drummers. I admire Bridesmaid for its intense balance of minimalism and volume. You guys have stripped metal down to its very essence, and the primal rhythms interplay in a way that is so compelling; it's one of the few bands I could put on for just about any guest and know they'll dig it. What kinds of bands were you guys in before you formed Bridesmaid and what are your biggest influences?

BB Thank you very much, that is one of the nicest things anyone has said about us. 
Cory and I were in our first band together, Suburban Mayhem, along with Jake from Sun Splitter.  It sounded like everyone's high school punk band, I suppose.  I met Scott when he was in a death metal band called Locusta, I was playing in a more straightforward Stoner Metal band called Sin Nombre.  Initially I wanted to start something that was in line with bands like Hyatari or 5ive (the Boston band, not the boy band) and I knew Scott was into some noise stuff and shared my love of amplifiers. The song "Francis with Wolves" off the last album most closely follows my original vision of the band.

As we wrote and evolved, it turned in to a more riff oriented type of music, which I also like.  We listen to a wide variety of music with only a few overlaps and seem to all approach writing differently. Cory's influence and sensibility for stringing parts together will be missed for sure, but I know Ricky the new drummer is also an accomplished songwriter as well.  Some of the biggest influences were people like Mitch and Aaron Vilk asking us to play out of town shows early on, it inspired me to see how far we can push the band when it came to touring, making new friends in different cities and getting our music heard by people that may enjoy it.

ARH: That's cool that Mitch and Aaron drew you guys out, I didn't realize that. I agree that listening to a wide variety of music opens everything up, especially now that music is often fragmented into all these little niches. I do see both more separation and more crossover, if that makes sense. But I know when I'm working on stuff, it helps to listen to a little Faangface, a little Nina Simone, some Black Flag, just to hear what weird little phrases, sounds and rhythms peek through. Likewise, it's inspiring to work with people who are listening to different stuff. Mitch and I have been working together the last six months, and we are each usually listening to different things, sometimes within earshot of each other! Can you tell me about some of your upcoming shows that you're excited about? You're coming to Cleveland soon, right?

BB: Yeah, we are doing five shows in August with two drummers, which will be a lot of fun for us.  We've never played Milwaukee before and that will be one of the shows. There's a fun show coming up in September, too, but the lineup hasn't been announced yet so I can't spill the beans on that just now. 

Full list of shows with two drummers is here:

ARH: Cool--looks like you've got some great shows coming up! Can you tell me a little about the Columbus music scene? I haven't spent much time down there in a long time.

BB Columbus is pretty good for shows, most of the music I deal with centers around Carabar or Ace of Cups.  Both bars treat the bands really well and do a lot of great shows.  There's still a reasonably active house scene, but I am not as involved in that. A lot of the stuff that would have happened at the punk houses has shifted over to Cafe Bourbon Street/The Summit.  They are two venues hooked onto each other, the Summit being the bigger one. Kevin that runs things around there seems to really care about putting on shows as well. 

The local bands are all really good about supporting touring acts, things like giving all the money to them, that sort of thing.  Lately I have been digging on Messrs, Northern Widows, and Earthburner.  I haven't seen Southern State live yet, but they practice in the same warehouse and have sounded really good from what I have heard, so I need to check them out too.  Lo Pan always puts on a great show as well, and their hard work has been paying off over the past couple of years.

ARH: Wow thanks for the information--that's a lot of cool stuff to check out. Oh hey, can you tell me about Drose? I hear that project is pretty sweet.

BB: Drose should be playing in Cleveland in September, and I agree that it's pretty sweet! So much so that I asked to join the band.  Originally it was a three piece, but the guitar player quit.  I told them if they got desperate enough to replace him with a bass player to count me in. 

They ended up pulling Ricky Thomson, the new drummer for Bridesmaid, in for guitar and me on bass upping it to a four piece.  The drummer just moved to Cleveland while his girlfriend finishes up grad school, so we won't be doing a ton of stuff.  Dustin writes it all and is currently finishing up another album, we'll see what happens with it.  The second song on this 7-inch is really what made me fall in love with the band and want to join.

ARH: Yeah, man that shit is good and heavy. Drose has been pretty active with Murdered Man, right? I get excited about bands that are both energetically passionate and making interesting choices in composition because for years my band (DPI) would play with solo noise performers because most band scenes were too codified. So, I love to see Bridesmaid, Murdered Man and Drose joining earlier heavy and interesting bands such as Jerk, Clan of the Cave Bear, Fascist Insect and Hair Police. Can you speak at all to the experience of creative choices made as a band, as opposed to an artist working alone?             

BB: I think being in a band is a real good way to keep your ego in check, I can throw out every idea I have and I receive instant feed back from the other members as to if it is a good one or a bad one. Whereas, if I was going it alone I wouldn't get it.  Plus most of the fun, for me, in being in a band are those random giggle fits with your friends at some rest stop in the middle of nowhere and meeting other people that care about making music and having fun then looking at their pet photos on Facebook, shout out to Nick Wolf from the Proselyte and his dog Baxter in Boston.

ARH: Yes man! That's right! When you're working with the right people, the egos are stripped and great things can be forged. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts, Bob!