Bones & Bridges
I have been talking with Bones & Bridges…
about their latest single, Go Figure. They tell me its story and the story of their formation. I ask whether there is more material coming and what sort of artists influence their own sound – they talk to me about their favourite memories and albums.
I wanted to know whether Bones & Bridges have any artist recommendations and how they chill away from performing; what advice they would give to musicians emerging – the guys each select a song to end the interview with.
Hi, guys. How are you? How has your week been?
Hey, man. No complaints here; we’re good!
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourselves, please?
We’re Atom Martin, Tee and Anthony Arthur and, together, we’re called Bones & Bridges - a group from Toronto, Canada.
Go Figure is your latest single. What can you reveal about its story and inception?
We co-wrote this track with an amazing writer called Matthew Chaim and we just started jamming. The track reflects on the feeling of loving and supporting someone with all you’ve got, only to find out they never loved you at all. We drew from past relationship experiences as we felt that, at one point or another, we’ve all been both the hero and the villain in a relationship. We contrasted these easy lyrics with uplifting production and it really resonated with us.
Might there be more material coming later? Are you working on more stuff?
Absolutely. You can expect to hear a couple more singles before the end of the year.
Is it true Bones & Bridges formed at a writing retreat a couple of years back? How did you engineer that meeting and when did you start making music?
The thought of forming a trio was bounced around but wasn't taken seriously until we came back from that writing trip (November 2016). The initial plan was to do a writing trip for Jocelyn Alice's project in Nashville. However, when TEE presented the idea of the trio, Jocelyn was so excited that she suggested that we write for the trio instead.
We spent a week at her house writing and it was these songs that started the Bones & Bridges sound and gave us the belief that our skills combined could create something truly unique and special. Individually, we have all been making music for five-plus-years but, as a trio, we've been working together for two years.
Toronto is where you are based. What is the music scene like there? Is it a good place to create and play in?
The music scene here is really inspiring. Canada has been on the map for the last few years and there has been some incredible talent coming out of Toronto. It’s an awesome place to create and play in because there’s just so much diverse talent and everyone is hungry.
Which artists are you all inspired by? Did you grow up around a lot of different sounds?
The three of us grew up in different areas of Canada so, naturally, we are inspired by a wide range of artists and sounds (Tee: Dr. Dre, Pharrell and Timbaland/Atom: John Mayer/Anthony: Otis Redding). What makes our sound special is that individually we come from such diverse musical backgrounds and tastes.
Do you think there will be touring dates? Can we catch you play?
To be honest, right now, we’re just focusing on creating music. As soon as we have a show lined up, we’ll be sure to let you know.
Will you come to the U.K. and play? Have you ever been over here?
Tee: Definitely! I came over to the UK a couple of years ago for a writing trip. I was so inspired by the artists and level of talent out in the U.K.
If you each had to select an album that means the most to you; which would they be and why?
Atom Martin: One of the early John Mayer albums (Inside Wants Out/Room for Squares)
They helped improve my guitar playing and was a big inspiration for me getting into writing and singing my own songs.
Tee: Dr. Dre - Chronic 2001
I was always so curious as to how music was made but this album actually made me want to make music. While my work now is very stylistically different from this album, I have always loved how West Coast Gangsta Rap made me feel - Xxplosive is still one of my favourite instrumentals to date.
Anthony Arthur: The 1960s Stax Records ‘best of’ album
Otis Redding, Sam and Dave, so many soul classics. That was the first album I ever got – well, took - from my parents’ C.D. player in Florida.
Have you each got a favourite memory from your time in music – the one that sticks in the mind?
Atom Martin: Our first show ever at the Drake Hotel. We put a lot of work into that. It was amazing to finally perform in front of a crowd. Even more amazing when the reception is warm. Good vibes!
Tee: I’ve got so many it’s hard to choose! One that sticks out to me was meeting will.i.am in a writing session out in L.A. a few years back. He casually popped by our session (as he knew one of the writers) and started dropping knowledge for about fifteen minutes straight. He then pauses for a minute as he hears our music looping in the background and looks at us and says: “You guys made this?!”. We nodded our heads and then he says: “Turn that sh*t up”. Definitely one of the coolest moments ever - and he wasn’t even wearing a spacesuit!
Anthony Arthur: I played an outdoor festival at a maple syrup farm in upstate New York. There was a very Woodstock-y (is that a word?) feel there. Everyone, including myself, camped out and we had an incredible time until sunrise broke through.
If you could support any musician alive today, and choose your own writer, what would that entail?
I would actually say Ed Sheeran on both accounts. Was very jealous of his recent self-cover collab with Andrea Bocelli. Two geniuses in their own right.
What advice would you give to artists coming through?
Atom Martin: Be patient and hone your craft. Surround yourself with good, musically-minded people and musicians who are better and more skilled than you are.
Tee: Work hard but, even more importantly, work smart. Just because you’re keeping yourself busy doesn’t always mean you are being productive towards your vision, your goals. Also, collaboration is key - working with others will help you keep an open mind and continue growing/learning.
Anthony Arthur: I would say be persistent: you don’t often make it in music off the bat. It’s a slow marathon slope. Therefore, you need to juggle work, life responsibilities and your craft. Never forget why it is you have your passion. For me, it’s knowing you can leave an impact on someone’s life, just having them hear you out.
IN THIS PHOTO: Charlotte Day Wilson/PHOTO CREDIT: Norman Wong
Are there any new artists you recommend we check out?
Tee: Saya. An R&B artist from Toronto.
Anthony Arthur: Check out Daniel Caesar; a local Toronto dude who is blowing up - a voice like silk.
IN THIS PHOTO: Saya
Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
Atom Martin: I always make time for myself at some point in the day or later in the evening. I like to meditate to calm myself. I can unwind in a number of different ways - it just depends on the day. A nice meal with close friends or me in solitude watching videos on my favourite YouTube channels.
Tee: I think most musicians will tell you that there is never enough time for anything else! I do feel it’s important to MAKE time to unwind and have a good work-life balance as this allows you to be more focused and productive when you are in work mode. I unwind by playing video games mostly as I find it a great balance between relaxation and brain stimulation.
Anthony Arthur: Away from music, a lot of family time and a lot of Netflix.
Finally, and for being good sports; you can each choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).
Atom Martin: RY X - Salt
Tee: Saya - Played Out
Anthony Arthur: Hold On, I’m Comin’ - Sam & Dave
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