The Memorials (feat. Thomas Pridgen formerly of Mars Volta)
w/ Mission Bells / The Greys of Gold
The Memorials were spearheaded by Bay Area drumming prodigy, Thomas Pridgen, in December of 2009. After a few years performing with The Mars Volta, Thomas turned his attention to forming his own group, incorporating a range of styles as diverse as the experiences of the bands members. Instead of becoming another rock bands’ heartbeat, the focus was to collaborate with proficient musicians whom Thomas felt would fill a void he has heard in rock music throughout his life. Thomas reached out to friends and former students of the esteemed Berklee College of Music, Viveca Hawkins (vocals), and Nick Brewer (guitars), to join him in his newest endeavor. Recording with his friend’s yielded a family vibe that enabled a comfortable yet intense recording process. The groups’ assets were rounded out with the addition of a bass, organ, synthesizers, and multiple percussive elements. Thomas describes The Memorials’ first record as:
“For me it was important to put a band together with my friends, and ya know, the record is a rollercoaster. Some songs are hard, but will make you cry by the end....”
The aura of the recording sessions, and Thomas’ vision for the group, are reflected in the views of the bands members. Viveca Hawkins glows when speaking of the project:
“We have totally made this project out of love…This album is made of the best of us, we put our hearts and souls into this.”
The passion and intensity of the recording sessions is audible on The Memorials debut effort, as they combine a vast array of sounds atop Thomas and Nick’s compositions. Nick’s sprawling guitars and Thomas’ thick drums serve as the core of the sound, while Viveca’s voice brings it together perfectly. The end music is intelligent and calculated, exhibiting certain pop sensibilities within the scope of songs that rock out. The compositions highlight each musician’s incredible talent, while creating textured tracks that feel like vignettes of a band finding their stride.
Mission Bells is a San Francisco based whose debut album, "the CarbonCircus," will be released in the summer of 2012. Mission Bells was started in 2011 by producer/songwriter Micah Almeida. He employed the help of Thomas Pridgen (the Memorials, the Mars Volta) and longtime friend Cameron Hunt in producing the album. A Berkeley graduate, Micah produced albums and songs for the Coup, Myka 9 (Mykology 2011), Scientist and many Bay Area artists. The CarbonCircus is a synthesis of a myriad of influences but maintains consistency with its style and execution, recorded in San Francisco recording studio Plenty of Light and Air.
When striving for perfection in order to transcend the impurities inherent to mankind, we must delve past the norm, the grey, and aspire for the purity of gold.
In the suburbs of Denver, the Sanderson brothers and their apprentice Nicholas spend physical and metaphorical hours beneath the soul harvesting tasty beats and honing their craft. Refocusing their energies, The Greys of Gold search to make this trio re-embody the roots with which they are interred.
Through the process in which we surpass our imperfections, therein we discover Gold