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The Mass Media

Bridget and The Squares Making Noise

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Bridget and The Squares

 

Laura Bridget Regan, Boston Arts Academy and Berklee graduate, is beginning to make a name for herself in The Big Apple. After recording her first album ‘Still Life’ she immediately moved to New York to chase the dream. Laura/Bridget was kind enough to sit with The Mass Media and discuss all things Bridget and The Squares.

 

Mass Media: Do you prefer Laura or Bridget?

Bridget: For the purposes of the band I prefer Bridget.

MM: So when you’re outside of the band its Laura?

B: Well… Not always. It’s actually kind of complicated. I started the band like four years ago and at first we called ourselves Arts and Sciences but that was already taken. So, my band-mate said “Why don’t we call ourselves Laura and The Squares.” I really hated the way that sounded, so I said “Why don’t we try it with my middle name?” Bridget has a hard consonant and it creates separation between ‘Bridget’ and ‘The Squares.’ So that’s how the name happened and once we started playing shows, people just assumed my name was Bridget. So a lot of people started calling me Bridget. I do answer to both.

MM: Oh, okay.

B: It’s kind of how I decide what my friendship status is with someone, how they introduce me. If someone introduces me as Bridget I know that it’s a professional relationship and is someone that knows me through music and treats me as such.  I don’t mind that at all, in fact half the time I’d prefer that. I know I’ve crossed the friend threshold when someone will introduce me as Laura. I’m like “anww that’s kind of nice, I like you.” Bridget is the performer and who people know and that’s fine I’m cool with that.

MM: You moved from Boston to Brooklyn correct?

B: Yes, I did.

MM: What triggered the move?

B: Well I had been doing music in Boston since college and that was like six years I was really preforming a lot. I just felt like I hit a wall. Boston has a great music scene, it’s a scene that’s not very well-known but if you live there it’s awesome. However, for my genre I feel there just isn’t a huge scene for indie pop. I didn’t really see a huge network of bands that were comparable to what I was doing. On top of that my band kind of broke-up so I was playing really sparingly. I just really hit a wall; I needed to try something new. I wanted to head out on my own and start a new band and the best place to do that is New York. Everybody says that it’s so hard and it is. It’s hard to live here; it’s expensive, stressful, and busy. I love it. I love that it’s hard and a challenge I feel like I’ve grown a lot. I have amazing band-mates now and we have a great music relationship, we’re doing things that I never thought I would get myself together enough to do.

MM: Like?

B: Well, we are going on tour starting next week. I booked the entire thing myself which is hard but I did it! I’m really proud of myself.  In Boston it was really hard for me but in New York I just feel like there are so many opportunities. There are so many different kinds of scenes, bands, and venues. Plus, you never know who you’re playing in front of. About a month ago I was playing an open mic and this guy walked up to me and was like “Hey, my friend does PR and I want to give her your CD.” I was just like “oh, sure.”

MM: Sure, sure.

B: Yea like whatever; I mean how many people in a week will say that to me? “My friend does this, my friend does that. I’m a producer.”

MM: I can imagine.

B: I’ll always give them my CD though, I don’t care. I’ll give you a free CD if you might be able to pass it along to someone who can help us. In this case it worked out; Amanda Charney from Plan A Media contacted us and now we work with her. She’s amazing; she’s doing really great things for us. It worked out really well. That has never happened to me in Boston in six years of playing; I never met someone that said “I can do this for you,” then follow through. Not to say it couldn’t happen in Boston obviously it can, I just think it’s harder to make those connections because it’s such a small scene. 

So, that’s basically why we moved to New York. Needed a change and wanted to do something challenging.

MM: You mentioned your tour earlier, is this going to be your first tour? 

B: It’s  Kyle’s (drummer) and my first official tour. I’ve done lots of weekends out here and there. I’ve never done a full, over a week, tour; it’s going to be ten days. I’ve also never booked this much before, on my own. This is a pretty big deal for us.

MM: Is there anything that you’re specifically looking forward to on the tour?

B: Honestly, I put together this whole thing and I put it together specifically because I want every night to be something great.  I went through the bands… it took me forever to confirm bands that I actually wanted to play with. I went through so many MySpace profiles, and websites, and listened to so much shitty music. I finally found bands that all seem really cool and fun to play with. They’ve all been so nice in corresponding with us, helping out with places to stay, and sharing gear. They’ve all been wonderful. I’m really looking forward to the entire thing. One thing we decided to do is have Kyle submit himself to eating challenges in every city we go to and we’re going to see if he can beat some of them.  I’m actually going to do the taco one… I think it’s in Atlanta. So, yea I’m going to do the taco challenge because I love tacos. We are just trying to make it as fun as possible because it’s going to be hard. It’s a lot of driving and close time in the car but we are going to make it as fun as possible. It’s going to be great, I’m excited.

MM: Can we go over you finding your voice?

B: Well I went to Boston Arts Academy, I was in the vocal department but while I was there I wasn’t really challenging myself. I was just trying to be the best soprano I could be. At this point I hadn’t really discovered what I wanted to sound like. So I was doing what people expected of me, the songs were “pretty.” I just kind of knew that it wasn’t really me, I’m not pretty. I wanted to do songs that say something with power behind it. I knew I had it in me but I just didn’t know how to do it. So, I started listening to a lot of soul and blues. I would listen to it in the basement of my parents’ house because I didn’t want anyone hearing me trying to sing that style. I was practicing one day, I was singing “At Last” by Etta James and my mom came downstairs crying. She asked if it was me singing and she said “You found your voice finally!” She always knew I had it in me; I just had to get it out.

MM: Your songs are pretty quirky, where do you draw your inspiration from?

B: When I’m writing I don’t necessarily have a goal in mind for what I want the song to sound like. I kind of write everything at the same time. I’ll usually have something in mind that I want to write about or want to say when I sit at the piano. I would say the quirkiness of it is sort of a defense mechanism. A lot of the songs, especially the quirkier ones, are generally really sad songs. They don’t really have uplifting lyrics at all. So, I’ll write them to be a little more poppy and fun in order to distract from what the song is actually saying. For example the song ‘There Are Ghost In My Pants’ is a really dark song about a really dark period in my life but it sounds very poppy, a sort of happy pop song. We try and counteract the darkness of the subject matter with the feel of the song. I just think if it was all heavy all the time people would get bored.

MM: It’s an interesting contrast; a lot of the lyrics are heavy.

B: Yea, I definitely write a lot of dark stuff but you know we try and keep it light with the music so people don’t kill themselves!

MM: That’s not a good way to get fans.

B: Yea, exactly. It’s not a good way to keep the fans; we’re trying to keep the fans.

MM: What’s next for Bridget and The Squares after the tour?

B: We’ve got a lot of stuff planned; it’s all in the planning stages though. We are definitely going to be working on a music video. We’re hoping to record a six song EP, and release that right before we go on tour again in the fall. We want to tour for longer in the fall. Those are pretty much our goals for the year.  

Bridget and The Squares’ album ‘Still Life’ is available on iTunes. You can also find them at BridgetandTheSquares.com. For a good time be sure to check out The Squares on the 23rd at O’Brien’s Pub in Allston. 

About the Contributor
Ariel Rodriguez served as the following positions for The Mass Media the following years: Arts Editor: Fall 2011 *Music Editor: 2010-2011 *The position of music editor was developed in Fall 2010, and disappeared in Fall 2012. Elizabeth Dow served as music editor from 2011-2012.