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A Conversation With Moneen
by Veronica Hutchings

July 20, 2003

After a good set (despite a serious neck and shoulder cramp endured by Kenny) at the outdoor and intimate setting at EMO’s in Austin, I managed to corral Kenny Bridges (vocals and guitar), Chris Hughes (vocals and guitar), Peter Krpan (drums), and Erick Hughes (bass), otherwise known as Moneen for a visit about the show, their plans and the upcoming Saves the Day tour.

Rockzone.com: I’m going to toss my "prepared questions" and just wing this. I understand you were supposed to be going to Europe, but that fell through because the band broke up that you were going to tour with. What’s next on the agenda for you?

Kenny Bridges: Yeah well after this tour we go drive about 40 to 100 hours or however long it’s going to take us to get to Ottowa – that’s where we start our East Coast Canadian tour – we’ve done the West Coast Canadian tour so now we’ve gotta do the East Coast Canadian tour, and right after that we go on tour with Reggie and the Full Effect which is going to be pretty crazy.

Erick Hughes: That’s in late August.

KB: And then directly after that we go and tour with Saves the Day and Taking Back Sunday which ironically enough actually Taking Back Sunday is the band that we were going to go to Europe with that broke up and now they are back together.

RZ: Are you looking forward to these tours?

Everyone: Oh Yeah Definitely Sure!!!!

KB: See the cool thing about all these tours that we are doing now is that we are hooking up with all these bands that we either know a little bit or we don’t know at all and making new friends. Actually that’s what the mission is up until January pretty much – it’s just coming to the States, meeting people and get your name out there and……brainwashing people.

Peter Krpan: Yeah taking over!

Chorus: Yeah that’s pretty much it.

RZ: Are you better on the road or in the studio???

PK: Definitely on the road.

EH: No. Not in Studio.

KB: Actually, in studio we are getting better at it.

Chris Hughes: We didn’t do so bad and we’re getting better at it.

KB & CH: You cant like….. You know get into tantrums …. and smash the drums in the studio and everything and like feel cool about it.

KB: But you do it live and the kids are "They are CRAZY!"

CH: But do it in the studio and the producer is going like "Hey You’re a LOSER!!"

KB: But playing live is the greatest thing ever – so much fun. Like even though I had one of the worst times of my life tonight – in retrospect I had a great time. Now that my neck isn’t killing me as much and I don’t have to like endure the friggin’ stupidity of just feeling like a loser, I can look back and say hey it was alright! I mean people had no idea what was going on.

EH & PK: Yeah, they didn’t.

KB: Yeah, but the funny thing is that we are so honest we’ll just tell people ………How many bands will just tell people "my neck really hurts and I feel like I wanna get hit by a truck"?

PK: At least then people can understand

KB: They can understand; it will bring them into our world bring them into my neck pain. (Laughter)

RZ: People probably appreciate it too.

KB: Well I guess so if not they can just screw off. (More Laughter)

CH: Oh, Wanna sound like a badass???

KB: (With full Canadian Effect turned on) OK, Eh, so they can just screw off Eh?

RZ: Was the stage a little too cramped??

KB: No - well that’s why I kept running over to their area and it was fine but on my side this…

Everyone: POLE

KB: And of course of all places it had to be beside me!

EH: Pole dancing!!!!

KB: I had a lot of great of ideas about how I wanted to do that show…..until I started playing there was like, right off the stage and it has a pretty low ceiling, and these pieces of support wood and stuff and I had so many things I wanted to do on them, but I just didn’t get to. That’s why I want a do over. No one wants to end a tour like that, with a show you are not that proud of.

PK: Yeah, but Kenny said he talked to a lot of people and they said they really liked it a lot.

KB: But thats the thing we play so much for ourselves that we don’t even realize that people have no idea - they don’t know what it will sound like anyway so… Most people….. it probably sounded fine, but to us it was like, at least to me, it was pretty disappointing that we couldn’t pull it off as well as we wanted to. Most people really don’t care I think they are just there to have a good time….

RZ: You guys are really your own toughest critics aren’t you???

Chorus: Oh Yeah sure Every band is that way. Hell yeah

KB: If you’re not then that’s when bands start drinking way too much beer and not caring about anything. That’s when you stop pushing yourself and you don’t care. Some bands do……..that’s when you become a bunch of friggin’ drunks and you get like "just get drunk and get the chicks and the show doesn’t even matter anymore" I don’t really know any bands like that but I’m sure they exist.

CH: Well you HEAR that they exist.

RZ: And maybe someday when you grow up, right?? (More Laughter)

EH: One day we’ll get there guys!!

KB: We keep touring……….we’ll be jaded………..

CH: If sex, drugs, and rock and roll still exist.

PK: Well, we’ve got rock and roll!!!

RZ: Are ya’ll going to get a break before you start the tour?

Chorus: NO

KB: Well we do get a week off before the Reggie and Full Effect tour. Petes’ going to Croatia to find his roots.

PK : Yeah, find my roots.

KB: And I’m gonna go see Radiohead.

RZ: And Eric, what’s your ambition for your time off??


CH: Hey he gets the most sleep that any of us do!


PK: Yeah, WAY more sleep than anyone!!!!

RZ: What about you Chris?

CH: I’m gonna hang with my lady.

RZ: I was going back and looking at stuff and what I was reading was that Harmonial …ummm….

Chorus: Theory of Harmonial Values.

RZ: Theory of Harmonial Values - was it a hard sell? Was it hard to get people to back you to do it??

KB: Umm no not really. We had already been working with Smallman, that’s our label back in Canada, and they were really supportive of anything we wanted to do pretty much.

PK: Well if we wanted to put out a blank CD they probably wouldn’t let us.

KB: Actually no – they probably would have let us. The thing is we weren’t really shopping it around ……….and it wasn’t until we did this record that I realized how different some of those songs off that record are for people hearing it for the first time. Like even for Smallman when they first got the record I was waiting for them I called them and was like "Well… Whattaya think?" and I was waiting for "eh it’s amazing" and they were like ‘hey, its pretty cool’ and I was like, "What does that mean????" I understand now, it’s a totally, well it’s a "grow on you " kind of album. Whereas this one, I think this record, the new record, it will catch on first look, more straight out than that and the other was more ambitious; it was songs that we had been working on since the band started. This record, we had a couple of months to write most of the songs. And its just from a different space. The other was like we had spent our whole lives writing the songs. Sorry I don’t know if I really answered your question at all.

RZ: I have listened to some of your music and there was a lot of stuff that people tuck away inside….and you all took it out and did it on a record.

KB: We just - I think we show some of our influences but at the same time we just want to be something different but we are not trying to create a new genre or anything or change the world of music. I think we are just trying to push ourselves as far as we can and do some different kind of stuff not so different that people will go "ewww," but different that we will be happy with it. (passing ambulances drowned out this part .) ….so that people will enjoy it…I think we did really well on this record.

RZ: Is Are We Happy… really the essence of the whole thing??

KB: Yes pretty much so. It was like – I wondered if it was kinda stupid when we named it that. When I told the other guys …I thought it was a kind of a stupid question thing. But it just made sense; with all we everything were doing right then, the whole Vagrant thing and everything that was changing and moving forward. So much stuff was happening and were we OK with it and were WE changing too much?? It was really a valid question so it made it right to call it that. I mean we could have called it The Frigging Donkey Pisses in the West or something. (Chorus debates the merits of the proposed title……………..decision is made that Donkey Pisses would have sold more and faster)

RZ: Do you see yourselves as a particularly socially conscious band with a great message you want to transmit, or are you just enjoying yourselves??

KB: We don’t have like too many views we try to shove down anyone’s throat and even if we did we wouldn’t be able to explain them well. We try to send Hippie out on political missions to explain things.

RZ: So you are really just out making music and enjoying yourselves and if you save a whale along the way it’s a good thing??

KB: We just try you know to speak what’s on our mind and stay under the radar. We don’t wanna piss anyone off. We’d rather lie low. We don’t want to shove anything down anyone’s throat.

RZ: What’s the one thing that you have never been asked that you think you should be asked ? You take it first Kenny.

KB: Me?? Go first??? What’s the one thing I haven’t been asked……Ummmmmmmmmm

RZ: Should I ask Hippie while you think???

KB: No… actually I don’t even know to be honest. I don’t think people talk about my cats enough.

RZ: How many cats do you have???

KB: I have two cats. I always talk about them on stage and no one seems to really care about them and I find it disgraceful that people don’t care. I would really, really, really want people to know about my cats. How one poos all over the ground all the time and the other pisses everywhere. I think its really interesting.

RZ: Well, yeah, people want to know how you deal with it.

KB: I don’t!!!! I go off on tour and laugh at my mom since she takes care of them while I’m gone. OK… Hippie, its your turn.

CH: Aaaaarrhhhhhhhhhh No one ever asks me how big my shoes are.

RZ: So how big are your shoes??

CH: Size 11

RZ: Are you happy having size 11’s?? Does it fulfill your life??

CH: Yeah, it really does.

KB: Actually, no one ever asks him enough if he’s a hippie. They just seem so accept it. He’s just a hippie, hippie, hippie.

RZ: And what about you??? What does no one ask you that they should??

PK: No one ever asks me out on dates!!! Man… that is such a double standard. NO Girls ask me out on dates

RZ: Folks this man is obviously heart broken.

KB: He is. Please he’s not just heartbroken. He’s’ just

RZ: Before we sink any further what about you Erik?

EH: To elaborate on his point….the reason why I don’t get any dates - I should be asked what my favorite video game is.. and I guess I would say Street Fighter II

RZ: Well that might answer why he doesn’t get any dates.

KB: He has a full sized arcade game in his basement

RZ: Oh my god you ARE sad!!!

Rude Photographer: Ronnie that’s rude!!!

RZ: SSSSHHHH.. it may be rude but its true!!! I can just see it, "Call me later, I’m playing"... "Umm can you call me later I’m busy."

(Riot breaks out with everyone imitating Eric playing games.)

RZ: Thanks for your time guys. Show was great.

KB: Thanks, but I wish it had been better - today was a bit of a challenge to survive.

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