Earlier this month I had the opportunity to spend some time with The Memorials, an amazing new band out of the East Bay that most notably features Thomas Pridgen, whose name you may recognize as the former drummer for The Mars Volta. His accolades are many: Guitar Center drum off winner at age 9, youngest drummer to be sponsored by Zildjian at 10, youngest recipient of a 4 year scholarship to Berklee College of Music at 15, grammy winner. He’s a beast. I was psyched to have the chance to see him play up close and, after doing so, there’s nothing I can say that doesn’t sound like an understatement. It was positively mind-blowing.
See for yourself.
The core of The Memorials consists of Thomas, vocalist, Viveca Hawkins and the hyperkinetic Nick Brewer on guitar. They play insanely loud and won’t remain unknown for long. Save for a few snippets, they’re keeping their recordings under wraps for the time being, but anyone who’s had a chance to see them live can definitely attest to the fact that these guys are face-melters.
I caught up with them them during intensive rehearsals (their 1st show was the next day and Nick was in from South Carolina) in Alameda, CA and we did a quick location shoot before heading back to the studio, where I got to preview their live set. Thankfully, there were some extra ear plugs.
The next night, I did something I rarely do these days; I shot the show. The venue was packed and had no stage and I wasn’t about to fight my way to the front, so I hung back near the drums, which made for some ok shots of Thomas, but not really much of anyone else.