Interview: Steve Bridgmon

Apr 29 2021

After Tragedy and Heartbreak: Bridgmon Ready for What's Next

Nashville based Steve Bridgmon is an established singer/songwriter. Louder Than The Music chatted with Steve in 2020 about his 'Push Back' album, but just one month later he encountered not just one, but two devastating bereavements. In our latest interview with Steve, he talks about coming to terms with loss, the strength of the people around him, and how he plans to return to music.

Hi Steve, it's nearly a year since we last spoke to you on Louder Than The Music. I understand that shortly after our last interview with you, you had some truly devastating family news. Can you tell us a little about that?

Thank you for having me back. It has been quite the year for all of us. In July 2020, we lost my sister, Shannon, after her five year battle with brain cancer. Unexpectedly, our dad was diagnosed with COVID19 the same week and passed away four days after my sister. I got the word that he had passed when I was boarding a plane in Dallas headed to my sister’s funeral.

That must have been such a difficult time for your family, and we're so sorry for your loss. Have you been able to come to terms with that loss? How have you managed to get through it?

Grief is a roller coaster of emotions. This level of loss, you really stop processing it because your mind can really only process so much. Suddenly, it will flood back towards you like a giant wave. It comes and goes. I honestly don’t think you really get through it, you just learn to navigate it better. The waves of it all get a little calmer, but they don’t go away. God has been there the entire way, guiding me. Coming to terms with the loss is the hardest part. When you pick up your phone to send one of them a message, only to realize you can’t.

Looking back now, are there things you can pick out that in some small way could be light in that darkness?

The people. The overwhelming amount of people who were amazing. Here we were in the middle of a pandemic and everyone around our family stepped up when they didn’t have to. I saw some true Christianity in their hearts.

What advice would you give to someone who is struggling with family bereavement?

Things aren’t going to get better today or tomorrow. I think the most important thing I’ve taken from losing loved ones is that no matter where I go, where I sing, or who I meet, I get to take them with me wherever I go in Spirit. Just a week ago, I was able to visit a resort in Florida that our grandmother loved so much. My dad and sister had also visited it. Even though I didn’t get to spend a lot of time there, it was on my list of things to do.

It's been a few years since you last released some music, do you have plans to record again soon?

I actually had a meeting today with my producer. We have some great stuff lined up to record. The next single will be the last record off of my “Push Back” album… the single is “Living in Black and White” .. a great summer tune about days gone by of living in a much simpler time when we had 3 channels on the black and white television. My amazing team gave me as much time as I needed to grieve until I knew I was ready to get back into the studio. Sometimes I have to pinch myself that I’ve been able to record 8 albums over the years. Although the Push Back album is not even 2 years old, we felt like “Black and White” needed to be pushed to radio because of the narrative in the song. I believe people are striving and reflecting on the ‘good ole days’.

How have the events of the past year influenced the music you are writing now?

I’ve actually been working on a book about grief called “Three Things I need from You” which is the story about how my sister fought cancer against the odds. Ultimately, she proved to a lot of people that cancer wouldn’t control how long she would be here. Her cancer and her journey changed the trajectory of my life too, which is how the title came into play. Writing about our adventures growing up has instilled some creativity in me to write even more music. The next album will have several of my own tunes on it. This whole thing has been cathartic.

There must have been times when it's been incredibly difficult to express yourself through music, have you got any tips for breaking through "writer's block"?

Co-writing is critical in Nashville. Learn from other’s experiences as well as your own. Writer’s block is only in your head, with many ways around it. When thoughts are going through your mind a mile a minute, there’s ways of clearing the path to creativity such as diet, exercise, and plenty of rest. Musically I’m on my game a lot more when I’m taking better care of myself.

Aside from your own music, have there been any songs that have really touched you and helped you through the struggles of the past year?

I’ve done a lot of walking. I’ve gotten my money’s worth in my air pods, for sure. I love podcasts. I listen to Life Is Short with Justin Long. I’ve also revisited some of the classic CCM 90’s tunes: Michael W. Smith, Steven Curtis Chapman, DC Talk… but I’ve also added some of my sister’s favorite band’s music like Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Ramones, etc. I feel closer to her, somehow.

What are your plans for the rest of this year?

It’s absolutely great having a full schedule and getting back on the road. I had to take time. I had to rest, reflect, and move forward on my own time. Getting back in the studio is basically a religious experience in itself. I’ve never been more excited about recording new music as I am for 2021.

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