Bridge to Breakdown is a local band that originated in Jacksonville, North Carolina. It is comprised of four guys who met in high school in 2011. Through the years and member changes, they have honed their musical talents into a funk rock sound. They have had the honor of opening for such performers as Deuce, Fozzy, and Orgy. They took some time to talk to me about who has influenced them and the person who has supported them from the start.
Photo: Matt Klingle
Shockwave: Hi guys! Thanks for taking the time to talk to me today. Introduce yourselves and what you do in the band.
My name is Malcolm and I do vocals and guitar.
I’m Talyn. I do vocals as well. We both do that. At the same rate. Right?
Malcolm: Yeah, about the same.
Who writes the music?
Talyn: Riffs and lyrics for his own songs … (pointing at Malcolm). I do anything with vocal notation. I take over on that. He actually does more of the rap intensive vocals. It’s sort of a groove equivalent of Linkin Park.
Malcolm: Yeah, it’s that kind of style.
Talyn: It’s that same mentality. Rap, verse, kind of catchy chorus.
Malcolm: We all collectively try to write, especially when we jam and we’re playing off the top of the head. It’s definitely a collective thing.
Talyn: He and I usually have this huge database. He comes out with the riffs and I’m like, oh this fits with this, and we piece it together like a puzzle, and Taylor just nails the drums like a boss. Ian’s got this groovy bass line.
What are your musical influences?
Malcolm: My main influence that got me into really wanting to do music myself is Jimi Hendricks, obviously. I love blues, but I also love metal and hard rock. Black Sabbath is one of my favorite bands. They are the godfathers in my eyes. I also love hip hop, funk, reggae. I am all over the place. I try to pull inspiration from everywhere. I even listen to classical, Irish music, world music, anything that I can meld with different genres.
Talyn: My main influences as far as guitar are Jimmy Page, Joe Perry, Andres Segovia, a classical guitarist from the 19th century. As far as voice goes, my influence is Josh Groban. For composing stuff it’s Mozart, Haydn. I’m really old fashioned with those things. For the voice, I incorporate in the band a lot of Devin Townsend, he worked with Steve Vai early on, Myles Kennedy, a lot of Robert Plant and Steven Tyler, and then definitely to have that bit of philosophical or political side of the lyrics, Tool, Alice In Chains, things like that, challenging the status quo. I try to keep it as light hearted as possible without directly addressing the issues I am trying to get across because I don’t want to take a political stance with the band. I don’t want to be labeled. Everything is labels nowadays and I try to avoid that at all costs.
Malcolm: We try to mix a lot of styles. Blues, metal, funk, different things like that. Try to do things a little different than what you usually hear locally or on the radio, just doing our own thing.
Are you guys still based in Jacksonville?
Talyn: Technically. Three quarters of us are in one apartment in New Bern and Malcolm lives in the Jacksonville area. It’s quite a drive for us. We used to practice in Jacksonville and now we’re all spread out.
Malcolm: It’s kind of hard. The way we got together is that most of us knew each other from high school and we would go over to Talyn’s house every weekend and just play for hours. Go outside and play basketball, go inside and play. Just hours of us in the room coming up with terrible sounding music but eventually it started sounding good.
Talyn: It was mostly trial and error. Right?
Malcolm: It was mostly trial and error.
Malcolm: We were out of our league. Not ready for that.
Your mom has always been so proud of you guys.
Talyn: Oh yeah. She was probably the most supportive person, early on. I don’t want to say, “Oh it’s my mommy.” She was totally there for me. Not everyone’s mom is cool with a band coming over every weekend for three years straight and playing for hours a day.
Malcolm: Blasting metal.
Talyn: Her whole weekend was dedicated to just tolerating us. So I have to give her major props for that, because not every mom does that. She heard us when we were absolute crap and I was up there trying to sing “Aerials” by System of a Down and I was not a vocalist yet. I could hear her when we paused “YOU SUCK! YOU’RE FLAT! SING BETTER!” She doesn’t hesitate with that. It’s wonderful and we’ve seen so many people coming in and out. At one point, we had two drummers and three guitarists.
Malcolm: Yeah, she tolerated a lot and we really appreciate that. She really supported us. Speaking of new people … (seque) … Ian’s in the building. Introduce yourself.
Talyn: You’re on candid mic.
Ian: I’m Ian and I am the PERMANENT bassist of Bridge to Breakdown. I’m not going anywhere.
You pretty much refuse to leave.
Ian: Oh. I’m not leaving. (laughing) I’m not going anywhere.
Talyn: We tried on the way here. We tried to push him out.
Ian: I was driving! What are you talking about? (laughing)
Talyn: Influences. Things like that.
Yeah, you’re late to the game. Catch up.
Ian: I’m very late, aren’t I. Wow, what do I say? I guess my biggest influence on bass is Nate Mendel from Foo Fighters. I kind of just latched on to these guys. They were, “Oh, we need a bassist. Can you join?” “Yeah, I’ll join. About time.” I was supposed to audition about a year and half ago and that didn’t happen because they kept the bassist they had. Later they approached me and here I am.
Where do you guys see yourselves in five years?
Talyn: Carolina Rebellion at least. That’s my goal because we go every year. It’s a regular thing. We do the camping. I see bands up there that we have actually performed with. I want to be one of those bands. At the bottom of the list at least. I know we’re nobody right now, but I want to be on the ticket. Rob Zombie, Skillet, any of those big bands.
Malcolm: I feel you. One of my biggest dreams ever is to have a sea of people jumping up and down. The way I practiced guitar when I was younger was I would be in the living room blasting music through the stereo system pretending I was on stage playing. That’s all that I want. Even if its 300 people or 30 people, I just want to people to say that was pretty cool.
Ian: He’s the most active on stage. He’s always jumping around.
Talyn: He’s always been the most active. Even when none of us moved. Oh, here’s Taylor.
Taylor: Hello! I’m Taylor. It’s nice to meet you. I play the drums.
I heard you back there and that was pretty awesome just warming up.
Taylor: Thank you very much.
What are your influences?
Taylor: I listen to a lot of progressive metal. I’ve been obsessed right now with Dream Theater, Animals as Leaders. I also listen to death metal, White Chapel and Hatebreeed, Slipknot, Slayer, System of a Down.
I will let you guys go; I know you’re getting ready and it’s about that time.