Bridge 9 by Barry Johns

Bridge 9 is a hardcore and punk based record label outside of Boston, Massachusetts; whose objective is to put out quality recordings with the best current and up & coming hardcore bands.  Chris Wrenn, who started the label in 1995, got into hardcore and punk in the late 80s through listening to metal and skateboarding. The label is named as a metaphor for what Wrenn wanted to do in creating the label, which was to bridge all parts of the hardcore scene into one label and then put his lucky number nine in the title. The label, that once was started by Wrenn putting out a 7″ of his friends’ band, has nowgrown into a  full-time operation with 6 employees, 15 artists and 63 bands.

Putting out records began as a hobby for Wrenn, and in the beginning he just wanted to put records of his friends. He needed to raise the money to put out that first EP, so he made stickers, canvas patches & t-shirts to sell and help promote it. Wrenn began to put out more records in 1998 as he was finishing college, and since most of the bands were from Boston, he decided to move there from Vermont.

In 1996, Bridge 9 produced its first release. Bridge 9 continued to grow, eventually releasing defining releases for American Nightmare (later Give Up The Ghost), Terror, and Champion. Bridge 9’s first record released was a split 7″ EP with two Connecticut bands, Tenfold and Sum Of All Fears. Bridge 9 continued to grow, eventually releasing defining releases for American Nightmare, Terror, and Champion.

According to Wrenn,  it’s important that “all of Bridge 9’s bands, while they may not sound alike, respect each other. And someone doesn’t need to like every record they put out-but at least they will respect it-and that’s what is important.” Today, Bridge 9 is recognized brand worldwide as the best in hardcore with a roster and catalog boasting some of the biggest and best names in underground music, and continues to grow stronger.

Notable Bridge 9 Artists:

Have Heart

Have Heart is a straight-edge hardcore band formed in New Bedford, Massachusetts. Have Heart’s music and lyrics are made from within, discussing topics like self image, the Straight Edge lifestyle, self control and respect, friendship and family. Have Heart formed in 2002 around the core lineup of singer Patrick Flynn, guitarist Ryan Hudon, and bassist Ryan Briggs. In 2005 Have Heart signed with Bridge 9 Records and made a lineup change. Kelley was replaced by Kei Yasui and Paling replaced by  Shawn Brownies. In the following year they released The Things We Carry, their first full length. With seven records released, the band separated in 2009.

Polar Bear Club

Polar Bear Club is a post-hardcore/indie rock band from Rochester and Syracuse, upstate New York. Formed in 2005, the band currently consists of vocalist Jimmy Stadt, lead guitarist Chris Browne, rhythm guitarist Nate Morris, bass guitarist Erik Michael “Goose” Henning and drummer Emmett Menke.  The band released the EP, “The Redder The Better”, before recording 2008’s critically acclaimed “Sometimes Things Just Disappear”, on Red Leader Records, which was also named one of AP’s Top 10 Most Essential releases of ’08. After tours with The Gaslight Anthem, American Steel, Crime in Stereo, A Wilhelm Scream and Cancer Bats, leading to the band’s signing to Bridge 9 Records, officially announced on January 8, 2009.

New Found Glory

New Found Glory is an American rock band from Coral Springs, Florida, formed in 1997. The band consists of lead vocalist Jordan Pundik, guitarists Chad Gilbert and Steve Klein, bassist Ian Grushka and drummer Cyrus Bolooki. The band is known for their blend of pop melodies with the energy and fast tempos of classic punk rock. The band signed with Bridge Nine Records in 2008, and currently have six albums put out.  The band has stated that in January 2011, they will be heading back to the studio to record their seventh album.


Verse was a hardcore and straight edge band from Providence, Rhode Island.  Verse signed to Rivalry Records for their first full length Rebuild, which was recorded in May of 2004.  After multiple tours throughout the US and Europe, Verse signed with Bridge 9 Records to release their third full length, Aggression.  After one of the members breaking the straight edge lifestyle, the band broke up in February 2009.


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