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Hardin County native crosses bridge to national concert tour

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Shawn Holcomb of Like Bridges We Burn played Vans Warped Tour stop

By Robert Villanueva

The day after his 30th birthday, Hardin County native Shawn Holcomb found himself on stage with his band at a Texas venue playing on a nationally-known rock tour.

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Like Bridges We Burn, a rock band, played Tuesday at Vans Warped Tour in Dallas, as the result of entering Ernie Ball Battle of the Bands 16. After online voting earned them a spot in the top 100 bands for the Dallas area, Like Bridges We Burn and the other 99 bands went before a panel of judges.

“We were one of four bands picked out of the Dallas area to play,” Holcomb said.

The Vans Warped Tour travels throughout North America and features scores of bands.

Like Bridges We Burn is based in Denton, Texas, which is less than an hour northwest of Dallas.

After moving away from Hardin County briefly, Holcomb returned to attend Hardin County Schools until he graduated from Central Hardin High School in 2000.

“I started playing guitar when I was 14,” Holcomb said. “At the time, I didn’t think much of it, it was just something that I enjoyed.  As I got older, I realized that the passion I had for music shadowed everything else, and I knew that I wanted to do something with it.”
Holcomb credits his parents with instilling an appreciation of music in him.

“I still remember all the records and cassette tapes my parents had and how exciting it was to dig through those and try to find something new to listen to,” he said.

But his desire to play guitar came when he was a teen.

“I had a friend that I met when I was 13 who had already been playing guitar for a number of years,” Holcomb said. “I remember listening to him play and thinking it was the most amazing thing in the world.”

Throughout high school, Holcomb had friends who played “an instrument of some sort.”

“I remember spending weekends in White Mills with my best friends, and we would spend days writing and playing songs,” he said. “It was something I grew to love.”

Several years ago, Holcomb moved to Texas to be near his son. Over the years, he played in a few bands, in what he describes as “an unorganized setting,” but they were not anything as serious as Like Bridges We Burn.

Deciding on a name, he said, took a while.

“Coming up with a band name that everyone can agree on is tough,” Holcomb said.

Eventually they decided to go with Like Bridges We Burn because “it can mean different things to different people,” he said. For Holcomb, the phrase represents a burning passion or desire, while others might think of the phrase in a literal or figurative sense.

“Either way it is such a powerful image, and that is something that all of us in the band were instantly attracted to,” he said.

Like Bridges We Burn consists of Holcomb, guitarist; Jason Mckee. vocalist; Aaron Burcombe, guitarist; Joel Kunze, bassist; and Bryan Mize, drummer. The band has been together for two years.

“We all got along instantly, and now these guys are like brothers to me,” Holcomb said.

That band of brothers enjoy the process of creating music.

“Our creative process is pretty straight-forward,” Holcomb said. “We play around with different ideas until we get something that gets everyone excited and develop that idea.”

Earlier this year, the band released their debut EP “Fresh Out the Kitchen.”

“The music is fun, upbeat and loud,” Holcomb said. “It’s high energy, and there is a little something for everyone.”

The EP is available on iTunes and can be heard for free at www.facebook.com/likebridgesweburn.

The next step for Like Bridges We Burn, Holcomb said, is to “get out on the road” and introduce the band’s music to new people.

But Holcomb hasn’t forgotten the importance of his early years. He believes young lives can be influenced in a positive way.

“Music can be a very powerful thing,” he said. “Support local musicians, and nurture and encourage children’s love for music.”

Robert Villanueva can be reached at (270) 505-1743 or rvillanueva@thenewsenterprise.com.