Eventim Spotlights meets Christian from three piece electronic rock band Kids On Bridges for a cheeky afternoon beverage at The Tap in Euston before he headed back to Liverpool, to talk influences, his love of New Orleans, having a billboard on Sunset Strip and touring.
HK: Hey Christian! Thanks for popping down to see us today. How did you meet the rest of the band?
Christian: We met at a studio session in Alien Sound Studios. I was working on some early demos without a name for the band as Andy and Danny were finishing some material they had been working on, and Mark our producer suggested we get together!
HK: Whereabouts are you all from and long have you been together now?
Christian: We are all from Liverpool, Andy and Danny are currently based in the little market town of Ormskirk. It’s been about two years all in all. We did an album that was released in Japan and was big over there, but it didn’t really see the light of day over here. We were signed with Wall Of Sound then and we’ve resigned with them now for this album so it’s been a two year cycle.
It’s worked out great because it’s the 20 year anniversary for Wall Of Sound, and the irony is our single Walls has kind of become the theme tune for the anniversary. The label used to always sign of with that, hence where the lyric ‘where there’s a wall, there’s a way’ came from!
HK: Where did the band name come from?
Christian: I had a brand new car that my dad had given me, and I was driving along when some kids stood on a bridge threw a breeze block on to the road. It scraped away all the bottom of my car. I won’t repeat everything I said [laughing] but I went “Argh kids on bridges!” and it just stuck with me as a name. I thought it was a good backdrop as it reflected our northern background and where we come from.
HK: What influences your music?
Christian: Well… [laughs] as a band we love all types of music. I know everybody probably says that, but I’m influenced by electronica although I was a rocker to start with. That’s where the hybrid comes from.
I am a huge fan of Phoenix and Depeche Mode.I love what they’re doing. David Bowie, The Clash, Afghan Whigs, The Meters – not that any of those are electric bar Depeche Mode – but my brother introduced me to Paul Oakenfold and Cream he was working with them in the early days so I’ve always been around dance music.
Musically I spent about three months in New Orleans hence we’ve got Dr John and the drummer of The Meters on the album. Hence there’s a bit of New Orleans funk to it!
HK: Do you spend a lot of time in the US?
Christian: I have done in the last year yeah. They’re just starting to grasp electronic rock so our sound seems to be well suited to what’s going on there. We just came back from LA where we did two shows at The Viper Room, and they were both sold out. Hopefully we’ll get to spend a lot more time out there!
HK: Brilliant! What does this summer hold for Kids On Bridges?
Christian: The album is going to come out at long last end of July or start of August, a couple of singles then touring. Hopefully we’ll go to Australia then Japan and then – as Mark from the label calls it – an ‘RDM tour’ a ‘Rockatronic Dance Music tour’ [both laugh]. We want to do Route 66. Hoping there’ll be a couple of festivals here in the UK too.
HK: Who writes the music? Is it a collaborative thing?
Christian: Generally, I write all the lyrics and top lines, then Danny will put the music to it and I’ll work around the guitar parts that have been created. [Laughing] There is a democracy there! it normally starts with me singing the lyrics in a Dictaphone on me phone y’ know, in the middle of the night. Danny is the musical one of us all.
HK: Where are the rest of the band today?
Christian: We’ve all been busy, so it’s kind of a day off for the band although Danny is programming a live set tonight. He’s busy reprogramming certain tracks that we’ve never played before. I think Andy is just off having a sleep!
HK: You’re just shouldering all the responsibility [both laugh]! Tell me what the best venue you’ve ever played so far…
Christian: Ooooh it’s a tough one! for myself it’s probably Tipitinas in New Orleans, because it’s so iconic and so not electro rock! Also I’d have to say The Viper Room. When we were there a couple of weeks ago, we were living the dream for a couple of hours and going for a barbeque in the Hollywood hills and we got a taxi down Sunset Strip and we were there on a billboard.
HK: That is soooo cool! Was it advertising the gig?
Christian: Yeah it was just us! It was almost better than the gig – we didn’t know it was there! I know it sounds a bit cliché, but for me it’s never just been about the music it’s about the experience. So when you get to do things like performing in those venues and meet people it’s just great.
HK: your new album is called Kidology, where did the name come from?
Christian: It’s about the quintessentially British art of deception. It was originally going to be called Trickology, then my brother suggested Kidology and I thought that’s amazing because I was thinking the same thing!
HK: Does your brother have a lot to do with the band?
Christian: He’s been me biggest fan since we started. He’s always introduced me to, like Paul Oakenfold and dance music. The irony is, that the last trip I met Paul [Oakenfold] again all these years later and he remembered me carrying his DJ box.
Christian: Yeah he was like ‘I’m gonna help you!’ so it’s gone full circle. My brothers just been a big fan of music and he’s always tried to help the band wherever he can. It’s good to have a big brother who looks after you!
HK: That’s really nice. It’s just good to have family supporting your career in general isn’t it. That time old question put to musicians of ‘when are you going to get a real job?’ is awful!
Christian: I’ve been really lucky my parents have always supported me. As long as I haven’t just bummed around all day, they’ve always supported me. As have Andy and Danny’s parents. We’ve all been really lucky.
HK: Whats next for the band in the next few years?
Christian: Well we’ve been fortunate enough to do a few remixes for people. I’d love to carry on doing the remixing. We did INXS box set – we beat Nile Rodgers to the job on that – and I’m a huge fan, so it was quite daunting.
To hear stuff from Michael Hutchence I’ve never heard before was like…oh my God. We did a remix for Ledisi’s Pieces Of Me she had a track nominated for The Grammys, Lenny Kravitz, The Meters…remixing is something I love.
Obviously I’d love to do another album y’know. If Kids On Bridges could get another couple of albums I’d be made up! I’d love to do more touring and I’d like to get into writing and producing a bit more for other people. We love writing, we’ve got our own studio and we’re always writing, writing.
I just love music!
Kids On Bridges will be live at AAA in Kensington 29th May. Buy tickets here
Check out the new single Walls released on the 26th May from Kids On Bridges here: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/walls-single/id877605337