Bristol to Memory: Santa Ana’s Hometown Rock Stars


Hailing from Orange County, a place most known for its beaches and a TV show named after it, Bristol to Memory is aiming to give the county one more thing to be known for. The band that started out as just a motley crew of neighborhood kids speaks with Progressive Man about their goals, vampire death rock, the Orange County music scene, and waking up to learn they all had matching tattoos after drinking just a bit too much.

Hey, thanks for taking the time to speak with us. Tell us a little about how the band came together and where you’re from.

BTM- The band formed from a group of neighborhood friends based out of Santa Ana, California. We started back in 2005 looking to have a good time through Rock N’ Roll experimentation. Ken and Alex were in a pre-existing band before we joined forces in 2006 to form Bristol To Memory as it’s known today.

How did you guys come up with your name?

BTM- The name comes from the cross streets of Bristol and Memory Lane in Santa Ana. We toyed around with a few different ideas until Rory’s sister, Briona O’Connell, actually suggested the name Bristol To Memory. We liked the ring so It’s been that way ever since.

How would you describe your music to someone who’s never heard it?

BTM- When asked this question at a bar, we’ve jokingly claimed to be Vampire Death Rock but when it comes down to it we’re really an Alternative Pop Punk band with Indie grass roots.

What projects do you have lined up? Any new recordings or maybe a music video?

BTM- We have had our hands full for quite some time since our last release. Our latest endeavor has been the building and construction of a new home studio, which will host the sessions for our up-and-coming record due out in Spring, 2013.  On top of this we have been writing and expanding on our musicianship to further develop our sound and cohesion as a band.

As far as music videos go, we always have something in the works. Our close friend and director of our previous music videos for “I Bet On You” & “Rock Soul Existence” has been working with us on some new concepts for the new year.

What would you say is the band’s favorite track to play and listen to? Why?

BTM- Our favorite track to play is usually our newest piece because it allows us to be creative and expand upon our ideas. Currently we’ve been really jiving on our new track entitled “It Will Happen or It Won’t” which will be featured on the new record.

You guys are from Santa Ana, what’s the Orange County music scene like?

BTM- The thing that really separates it from other music scenes is the sheer concentration of musicians and bands trying to make it here. This can be a good and bad thing. While it provides a lot of opportunity to meet and network with other talent, it also imposes a constant need to differentiate ourselves from every other band trying to do the same thing. Also, since there has already been many successful acts to come from the area, the expectations for OC bands can be pretty high. Although there is a lot of competition, Orange County is and will always be a hub for artistic inspiration and enlightenment for us.

Are there any particular themes you try to stick to when writing music and lyrics?

BTM- Most of the songs we write are about life and our attempts at finding truth and clarity through our trials and errors of every day experience.

What’s one of your favorite memories during the time you guys have been together?

BTM- One time while recording in L.A. we got so fuckin hammered that when we woke up, we were in a strange hotel room with matching tattoos and have no idea how we got them… If you check out some of our youtube videos, there is footage of that wild, hazy night :]

Do you guys get a chance to travel much for shows? Do you guys have a favorite show that you’ve played?

BTM- Yes, we play all the time and have done multiple tours throughout the years but our favorite shows are always when we play in our hometown. There is nothing better than rocking with your family and friends. The energy is much different and the love from the audience is incredible.

Where can people go to find your music?

Author: Nader Ahmadnia

Nader Ahmadnia is a writer for Progressive Man Magazine, an online music publication that features new and emerging talent.

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