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Friday, November 23, 2007

Bridezilla Interview

My interview with Bridezilla recently ran in Sydney's Drum Media: FRONTWOMAN HOLIDAY CARMEN-SPARKS BITES HER FINGERNAILS AS SHE TALKS TO ROB TOWNSEND ABOUT THE RELEASE OF BRIDEZILLA’S HOTLY ANTICIPATED DEBUT EP

Anyone with their finger remotely near the pulse will have noticed the growing reputation of Sydney’s Bridezilla over the past year, during which time they’ve supported the likes of Midlake, Eskimo Joe and Youth Group and performed at The Playground Weekender and The Great Escape. Impressively, if you read back over the many live reviews they have received, you will struggle to find anything other than glowing reports of their enthralling performances. Superlatives battle each other for prominence in an attempt to describe the quintet’s unique sound, which, with guitars, drums, keys, sax and violin, comprises elements of indie, folk, jazz and blues. “I cut them out and stick them my scrapbook,” says vocalist Holiday Carmen-Sparks enthusiastically when I ask her about the band’s positive reviews.

Another thing you will always notice when reading about Bridezilla is an incessant interest in their age, or lack thereof. Perhaps this is understandable when you learn that, of the five, only drummer Josh and violinist Daisy are old enough to drink. Guitarist Pia is 17, while Holiday and saxophonist/keyboardist Millie are just 16. “It’s another aspect of us that people can latch onto but it doesn’t mean anything because, essentially, the music is what people are going to take back with them.” Indeed, the band oozes charisma and charm on stage, and their gigs are met with fervour from increasingly large and mesmerised crowds.

Fronted by Holiday and her sultry vocal, Bridezilla sound like the result of a strange love-affair between The Velvet Underground, The Dirty Three and Nancy Sinatra and, unsurprisingly, the band’s members have eclectic music collections. “I’ve got lots of country like Dolly Parton, and blues from my Grandpa,” the singer tells me. “Millie listens to heaps of jazz and also The Rolling Stones. Pia grew up with a lot of folk, Daisy listened to more classical music and Josh listens to the weirdest mixture of modern Australian music. Primarily Silverchair. I’ve never seen anyone take to a band in the way Josh has taken to Silverchair.”Like the other members of Bridezilla, the sparklingly intelligent, polite and amiable Holiday has a maturity way beyond her years. So, considering she was already rocking venues like Candy’s and The Annandale to their very foundations at the tender age of 15, does she feel she is missing out on a normal teenage life? “A little bit,” she admits. “But I was never part of it in the first place. I’ve never really been a party kid or whatever. It’s just not in my nature.”

Indeed, the gang of five have always been a step outside the circle, and they offer a pleasingly alternative aesthetic to the generic, skinny-jeaned bands that litter stages across the city. This leads me to ask Holiday if Bridezilla deliberately avoid being part of any recognised scene. “It didn’t start like that. I just wore whatever I’d been brought up wearing - whacked out funky shit. We wear whatever we feel comfortable in and what we feel good in.” It seems that the band have never had any aspirations of being cool – you’re more likely to find them in the local library than hanging with the In Crowd, which perhaps makes them cooler than most.

Fans will be delighted to learn that their eponymous EP, featuring standout track Brown Paper Bag and long-term live favourite Saint Francine, is about to hit the shops. “My fingernails have been bitten to their limit because this EP has been burning in my hands for a few weeks now.” Holiday divulges. “I’m incredibly proud of each little ditty and hope they find their place in some people’s hearts.”The debut release of their beautifully-crafted music also means that the band are set to return to the live scene following a sabbatical from touring which allowed Pia and Daisy to concentrate on their HSCs. There is immense excitement within the Bridezilla camp about getting back onstage and they are especially enthused about their appearance at Homebake - arguably their biggest gig to date. “I had a nightmare about Homebake last night,” Holiday chuckles. “But of course we’re looking forward to it with a great sense of awe and enamour. I simply cannot wait to be back in the game, dancing like wildfire and singing as if I were a runaway in the circus.”

So, with time on their side and talent in abundance, it is easy to imagine Bridezilla becoming Australia’s Next Big Thing. Looking ahead to their exciting future, Holiday says: “I just want people to like our music and for it to be really special to them. I want to play music for most of my life. It’s the only way for me to express myself properly.”

1 comment:

jonn said...

good piece in a good band :-)