Words by Shelley Te Haara
Let me introduce you to a band:
Bristol To Memory is a 4-piece band based in Southern California, who at first you might think are just like any other pop-punk band, but their music has somewhat of a different sound.
“Our live shows are raw and exciting! There is no script for our shows and you can always expect the unexpected. We strive to give every show it’s own unique twist that keeps us on our toes and pushes us to become better musicians and entertainers”.
They combine elements of alternative rock, emo rock, pop and punk, but they themselves “listen to variations of different music from rock to jazz, hip-hop to classical and acoustic to hardcore. The beauty of music is that there are different elements we can all appreciate at different times of our lives. Music is the air we breathe and keeps us moving forward everyday”. If you love bands with a more underground sound then these guys are for you.
Bristol To Memory first formed in 2005 and their name derives front he cross streets in Santa Ana where front man Rory O’Connell, brother/bassist, Kealan O’Connell and their childhood friend, drummer, Alex Buster, grew up. The 4 piece is completed by Daniel Wonacott (former guitarist for Finch) and their influences are “the endless adventure that life prevails. We write about love, loss and the acceptance of the unknown. We are always in search for a deeper understanding through our music. It’s a strange world that we’re living in but through music we find truth. When writing our lyrics we move outside of ourselves and focus on the nature of discovery. It is in these moments that our lyrics present themselves instead of of forcing them upon us. We look at writing lyrics in the sense that nothing in life is finite and everything is endlessly progressing. For that reason for each song we’ll write four or five different versions and combine all these concepts before recording them. It is the adventure of the unknown that inspires us the most”.
Bristol To Memory has performed on noteworthy stages such as the Van’s Warped Tour, SXSW Music Festival, House Of Blues, The Roxy, and The Whiskey, and their music has already been licensed for several national television networks such as MTV, The Oxygen Channel, and Fox Sports West with the Los Angeles Angels Baseball Club. Receiving the award for best punk band from OC Weekly in both 2014 and 2015, Bristol To Memory has gained a reputation of one of the foremost up and coming bands in Southern California.
“Every show is better than the last and builds into the next adventure that further adds to our experience as musicians. We are currently working on many plans for next years touring and festival circuit. We are looking forward to all of it!”
The band has five solid EPs of material already under their belt and recently wrapped production on their first full-length album produced by their own lead guitarist Daniel Wonacott, scheduled for release later in the year. The first single Wrapped Up is now available exclusively on Spotify and I would recommend checking it out.
The band describes Wrapped Up as a track that describes the difficulties of a relationship in the 21st Century.
“It’s an incredible feeling to put so much time and preparation in a song like ‘Wrapped Up’. This song was constantly evolving and surprising us until all of the loose strings found themselves entangled into the lyrics of the song. We are so very proud of this record, especially Wrapped Up”.
With this band on the rise and Rory describing the new album as “really special because so much time and thought has gone into it. . . It’s a rebirth for us”, New Zealand should definitely pay attention to this little gem of a band.
“There are a lot of things left to do before it’s release such as tour planning, promotions and album art still to tackle but that is only another process in releasing a record of such weight. We are thrilled to release this record and hesitation is not how we would describe it. It’s more along the lines of excitement and anticipation. We can’t wait to put this record out!”
What do you know about New Zealand?
“We know that New Zealand is an island off the coast of Australia and the native language is Maori. If we’re not mistaken it’s home to the beautiful and illusion Kiwi as well. It’s a place we have always wanted to visit and share our music with!”
What’s something NZ should know about you?
“New Zealand should know that music is all we have ever done in all aspects of our lives. We live for these experiences and hope to have the opportunity to come and perform for you one day!”
Anything else you’d like to add?
“Thank you for taking the time to listen to our music and for hearing our opinions on life and music. We are so appreciative of this time in all of our lives and the best is yet to come!”