Moneen singer and guitarist Kenny Bridges talks 20 years of “Are We Really Happy With Who We Are Right Now?”

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      By Raynee Novak

      Moneen has been referred to as one of the “godfathers” of Canadian emo. 

      It’s a nickname that singer and guitarist Kenny Bridges appreciates, relating that the band is “probably up there—but there are some others that I would put up there, for sure.” Bridges lists bands like Ontario’s Grade and Sinclair along with Vancouver’s own By A Thread—bands that were big in the early 2000s.

      “There weren’t too many bands in Canada touring, especially at that time, like us,” Bridges says, reminiscing on touring in the early aughts. “We would go to the next town and or maybe two towns later, because the internet wasn’t working that fast then; people were hearing about shows and they’d be like, ‘We didn’t know your band. We just heard from your Winnipeg show that you guys are crazy and that everyone says we should come see you.’ And we just couldn’t believe the power of word of mouth. It was pretty cool. We didn’t have marketing—there’s nothing like jumping in a van and just going for it.”

      These days, Bridges wears many hats in his musical career. He plays guitar for Dashboard Confessional and works as the drummer tech, too; still, he is just as comfortable being front and centre for Moneen.

      “The people-pleaser in me is really working overtime,” he says, “and it’s pretty awesome.”

      Moneen is embarking on a tour in November to support the 20-year anniversary of the band’s seminal album Are We Really Happy With Who We Are Right Now? It’s also the 20th anniversary tour for Sparta’s Wiretap Scars. Bridges is excited to share the stage with Sparta again; the bands first co-headlined a tour many years ago.

      “Moneen and Sparta did a co-headlining tour in 2006 or 2007,” says Bridges. “It was one of the best tours we have ever got to do with another band.”

      In fact, Bridges and his bandmates didn’t realize it was the 20th anniversary of Are We Really Happy With Who We Are Right Now? until drummer Peter Krpan wondered, when talking about Sparta’s own celebration, if Moneen had any notable ones coming up.

      “We were all like, ‘What’s wrong with us?’” Bridges says. “We would have just let this go by.”

      Bridges is rightfully very excited about this tour.

      “It feels good. Just to be able to share that with people around me, because I find positive energy as well as negative energy can be a really contagious thing,” he says. “There are going to be a lot of boys on that stage with big smiles on their faces.”

      Moneen’s Are We Really Happy With Who We Are Right Now? tour

      When: November 13

      Where: Commodore Ballroom

      Tickets: Available here