Published Sep 20, 2011It's been three years since Bridge and Tunnel released their debut full-length, East/West. A technically minded interpretation of the No Idea Records back catalogue filtered through the politicized Long Island hardcore scene, it used washes of guitar effects, spacious drums and unexpected harmonies to paint a loud, gritty picture of their NYC hometown and the wider American cultural milieu. Rebuilding Year, the long-awaited follow-up, shows the band refining what made their initial tunes so compelling, offering up some unexpectedly personal moments in the process. While the inventive guitar heroics that have always been the centrepiece of their compositions remain intact, the effects boards have been stripped down, making for an incredibly direct, uncluttered sound amidst the technical chaos. Thematically, the band turn inward, and the result is an undeniably personal record. While the last three years of Bridge and Tunnel's career have been anything but easy, the unsettled feeling has made for their strongest set of songs yet.
Do you think of the idea of rebuilding, as you've used it in the title, as a completed act or an ongoing process?
Vocalist/guitarist Jeff Cunningham: Unfortunately, it has been somewhat of a constant thing. A lot of times, it feels like we're constantly rebuilding in our personal and professional lives. As a band, we had gone through some member changes and we had even gone through some sound changes. I think all of that gets reflected lyrically and in the title. We've had to get focused again and again and again. This was the year where we had an opportunity to make the record that we wanted to make and say the things we wanted to say.
As a band, you've always taken big ideas and themes and tried to make them personal. Did you approach this record the same way?
I think there's a sense of self-preservation in there as well. We write about topics we relate to ourselves, so it's not just reactionary finger pointing. I don't know that we outlined the concepts as a whole, but once we started to talk about what the songs themselves were going to be about, we could see where there was room for certain kinds of discussion, or dialogues, and we realized there was room for things that were strictly personal on this record. (No Idea)