Mustard had the pleasure of speaking with Chris Otero, bass player of Everybody That Loves You and mind behind Bridgeroom. Together we discussed when they first began playing bass, their time co-hosting a radio show with Mustard’s human intern, playing with notable Connecticut bands, and much more! Check it out below!

1. Before we begin, Mustard would like to thank you for joining them! How are you doing?

For the first time in my life I can honestly say I’m doing great! Thank you for having me! 

2. Mustard wonders when you first began playing bass. Are there any other instruments that you play?
I think I first started playing bass in like sophomore/junior year of high school… so maybe 2011/12? I started out on guitar in 7th grade and only picked up bass because the band I was in in high school had a somewhat flakey bass player. I think I bought my first bass, which eventually became my fretless that I played in So Sorry, in 2012 and I really started playing it heavily because friends in college needed a bass player instead of another guitar player.

3. Who (or what) influences you? 
I’m all over the map, really. The bands I’ve played in have run the gamut in terms of genre, but I think the most consistent one has always been emo/alternative stuff like Coheed & Cambria, At the Drive-In, and definitely some of those later emo bands like Modern Baseball and The Hotelier. I’m a big nerd for progressive rock though, and until college I was mainly obsessed with anything coming out in that scene. But also I think that when I’m writing specifically for something like Bridgeroom I tend to lean heavily onto the more sadboi stuff like The Weakerthans and The Mountain Goats. 

4. My human intern told me you co-hosted a radio show with them in college. Is this true? What type of show was it? 
I did! It was called Turntables and Tiger Drivers and it was a sort of variety hour/comedy show/Taylor Swift stan show/nightmare for everyone not involved. I loved it! My favorite episode was one where my co-host Zach had basically set up a Law & Order style mystery about why I was supposedly unconscious after a song break. It was this whole thing he had pre-recorded and spent the month or so editing and putting together with interviews of random students as potential witnesses, and it culminated with John Cena in the courtroom. Honestly, it was a damn blast. I’ve always been into that long-form Youtube medium and I’ve been really into podcasts lately, because of my 45 minute commute every day, so if those guys ever wanted to do that again or try something new I’d do it in a heartbeat!

5.  You’ve played with Connecticut groups such as So Sorry and Big Fang. Were there any similarities? Any differences? What did you learn from playing with both?

I think those bands sort of exemplify the variety of music I love so they’re both very alike and very not alike in any way. So Sorry was always focused on pushing ourselves and the sound so I was heavily focused on getting better at bass on a technical level.

Big Fang is primarily a pop band and that was a whole other thing because I had to take out any ego about what I thought might be a cool part for me to play and what would actually service the song best. So I think I got better at being more confident playing the simpler idea if it’s the one that fits. 

6. You’re currently playing bass with Everybody That Loves You. How sad is the music that Everybody That Loves You makes? Does the group have a favorite kind of beans?

We’re so sad. So very very sad. It is almost excruciating how sad we are. If we don’t make you cry Ill give you a dollar. Avery is my favorite songwriter. Everything they send me makes me sob uncontrollably on the bathroom floor. 

Well, I don’t know if I could speak for Avery and Jordan, but I love beans. Baked beans, black beans, garbanzo beans, kidney beans, refried beans, I’ll eat beans right out of the can, cold. But black beans, specifically those goya ones with the red label on the can, thems the one. Trust me. 

7. Could you share more about Bridgeroom? When did you begin making music as Bridgeroom? What was the inspiration behind your debut album “Zooey Graduates?”

Bridgeroom is a project I technically started releasing music under back in 2016 by doing lots of splits with Grayson, an old friend from college. We did one split in 2016, and a followup in 2018, and then it took a few turbulent years of recording but the full length album eventually did get made! 

Zooey Graduates is a title Grayson gave me because he was sick of hearing me whine about not being good at titling things. There are quite a few references to J.D. Salinger stories in my lyrics and he figured it would be a good fit for an album that is about trying to move on. The inspiration was, of course, a bad break up, but I tried to tackle some of my fears and challenges with relationships outside the romantic ones too. For better or for worse I’ve always identified with Holden Caulfield. He really does get a bad rep. 

8. Was it really worth waiting 20 minutes in line for chicken tenders at the student center at Eastern? Do you have a favorite condiment?

Well those might honestly have been the last chicken tenders I ever ate in my life so I’ll say YES! I forgot how much I used to get those. I’ve been a vegetarian for 7 years or so, so I mainly remember getting the fries as my one meal of the day as a student teacher. The best condiment is ketchup. I love me some mustard, don’t get me wrong, but the classic umami flavor of that red sloppy good good is just heavenly. 

9. Besides Everybody That Loves You what other Connecticut artists should readers check out?

I’ll always shout out Down With Rent, Dr. Martino, Quinn, Psychic Newborns, Peasant, Perennial, and honestly the list is pretty long. 

However, I should also shout out some of our friends in the Albany/Hudson Valley scene now that none of us live in CT. Go check out The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, Senior Living, Stand and Wave, and basically every other band Jordan plays drums in up there. Also go check out Avery’s DIY venue Sheeptown just outside of Albany, there’s always a great show happening there. 

10. Do you have any upcoming projects or shows?

Everybody That Loves You is currently finishing the mixing/mastering of a full length album, which should be out by the end of the summer (fingers crossed). Our drummer Jordan is mixing that as well as a new Bridgeroom EP that I’m hoping will come out soon after the EBTLY album is done and out. The EBTLY album is something I know we’re all really proud of and are very anxious to get out into the ether of the endless streaming nightmare. The Bridgeroom EP is something I’m extremely ready to drop because I finished recording the songs in summer of 2020 but have struggled mixing it due to the erratic way I recorded everything. I was still barely learning how to use garageband! But there’s a lot of new stuff on these 3 Bridgeroom songs and I feel like I really pushed myself as a songwriter and vocalist so I can’t wait to hear the finished mixes. I am also working on some instrumental, post rock kinda stuff lately too, which I’m expecting I’ll eventually figure out a place for since it’s what I’m doing most often lately. But we’ll see!

11. When can readers listen to your music?

Zooey Graduates and all the other Bridgeroom material is up on Spotify, Apple Music, Bandcamp, etc, so go have at it! If you’re feeling generous the bandcamp is always name your own price, and all proceeds go towards treats for my cat Clementine. EBTLY has an album out under our previous name of Parkinglot that you can find on streaming services too if you wanna check out some baby versions of a few of the songs on this upcoming album as well as some old songs we’ll never play again because we forgot them. 


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