HOMETOWN: Berkeley, Calif.
members: Viveca Hawkins (vocals), Nick Brewer (guitar), Thomas Pridgen (drums)
ALBUM: The Memorials, due out Jan. 18

After parting ways with prog-rock band the Mars Volta in late 2009, drummer Thomas Pridgen immediately set about putting a new group together. He reached out to singer Viveca Hawkins and guitarist Nick Brewer, both of whom he had met while attending the Berklee College of Music. The trio wrote and recorded the songs that would become the basis of its self-titled debut in one whirlwind week. “That recording session was ridiculous,” says Brewer. “I’ve never worked that hard creatively in my life.” The result fuses Pridgen’s aggressively complex drumming with Hawkins’ soulful vocals and Brewer’s hard-rock riffage. “Looking back on how the music and ideas flowed out of us, it was natural from the start,” Pridgen says. “That’s why I didn’t doubt it. Music is supposed to be people’s release. I feel that I picked amazing talents as bandmates, and I’m stoked we were on the same page.”

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