Breaking Point

Breaking Point Biography

Over the past few years, Memphis, Tennessee has quietly emerged as a hotbed for new bands. Together, promoters, radio programmers and the musicians themselves have laid the foundation for an environment where bands can emerge in a nurturing environment and develop followings. As they gain a foothold in the marketplace and fine-tune their material, enthusiasm for their repertoire follows from the recording industry. In the case of Breaking Point, that foundation has allowed them to emerge from the historical birthplace of Rock 'N Roll into the public eye and onto the national airwaves.

Guitarist Justin Rimer and front man Brett Erickson became the core of Breaking Point under circumstances that are little more than happenstance. The duo had originally met during high school at a backyard party where they were both playing in different bands, but it was not until eight years later that their paths crossed again. Rimer was managing the audio department at a locally owned music store (Yarbrough's), when Erickson patronized the shop in search of a new P.A. After a few jams, he knew that Brett's songwriting and voice offered the musical partnership he had been looking for. The pair kicked around the Memphis scene, collaborating with close to a dozen rhythm sections, before finally finding the line-up that is now Breaking Point. Drummer Jody Abbott heard about the band through the group's old drummer and was instantly hooked. Greg Edmondson joined by way of answering an Ad in a local paper. "I had only been back in Memphis a week, and not even found a job yet, but I found these guys", says Edmondson.

While the band was being pieced together, a friend of Rimer's made an introduction for him at the famed Memphis studio Ardent, and he became the "Day Guy." Although he had spent the prior two and a half years working in studios and had an education in sound engineering, he scrapped it all for the opportunity to be a part of Ardent. As Rimer remembers, "I was the house slave. My responsibilities included taking out the trash, fixing the roof, being a gopher, and in essence taking care of any grunt work I was asked to look after." He was employed by Ardent for eighteen months as the "day guy," at which point he was promoted to the role of assistant engineer. In this seat, he worked on sessions for 3 Doors Down and Train. With strong ties to the studio now in place, Ardent then offered Breaking Point a "spec" deal that became the eight-song demo recorded between Late, 1999 and August 2000.

Producer Matt Martone recorded the first six tracks on the demo, with Paul Ebersold joining the production team for the final two. Before Ebersold got involved, WMFS on-air personality David Clapper had been spinning tracks from the sessions on his "Locals Only" show, and was receiving a steady flow of phone calls from the listeners. Program Director Rob Cressman got involved, focused in on the song "27," and placed it in rotation. The song became the most requested track at the station and climbed to number one on WMFS' playlist. As the airplay began to build a sizeable following, Breaking Point was selling out shows and filling fifteen hundred seat venues. "27" has now been heard over one thousand times, and remains a frequently heard recurrent. Soon after, Breaking Point signed to Wind-up Records, and returned to the studio to record the band's debut release COMING OF AGE.

The strongest element of Breaking Point is Erickson and Rimer's ability to craft compositions that the listener wants to make a part of their aural landscapes. Abbott and Edmondson's strong backbone and rhythm lay the foundation to allow the songs to emerge with power. The arrangements are ultimately timeless, with lyrical content that is heartfelt, relevant and simply relative to the fabric of our everyday lives. Most of the songs are true to life stories. Erickson mentioned, "These songs are all drawn from how I was raised and the things I've endured. I retain vivid images in my mind to this day." The track "27" is a prophetic tale from Brett's eyes at the age of 26. The number seems to have become recurrent in every move the band makes, even to the simple fact that writer Erickson was signed at the age of 27. Society has made note of the significance of the number, but Breaking Point has their own reasons for noting the omnipresent "27," and are not simply joining the "conspiracy." The first single, "Coming of Age," represents the singer's gut check to his band mates as they were starting to gel. It is nothing more than a motivational anthem representing the plan to make the most of the opportunity presented before them. The composition "Brother" is from the point of view of a younger sibling, as the elder brother commits suicide over the failure of making it work with a love interest. "Angry Side" faces the trauma of domestic abuse and violence, while "Falling Down" confronts the teaching of hate and racism to today's youth. Of all of these songs, and the significant content they address, ultimately "Phoenix" is the most poignant. Erickson and the band went to Orlando to sign their management contract. While there, his house burned to the ground leaving his family of four with no home and no insurance. About a month later, while flying home from New York after signing the deal with Wind-up, he found the solitude to allow the song to find life. He recalls, "In one way I lost everything I had, and in another I got everything I always wanted. It was a period of time where life was more of a rollercoaster, where from my perspective a month would pass feeling like a day."

If there is one thing that can be said about Breaking Point, it is the fact that these songs are not empty, vapid fluff, but rock songs that offer the rock and soul of Memphis with thoughts that address real thoughts and emotions. From "Coming of Age" to "27," and "Phoenix" to "Live For Today," Breaking Point have delivered a record full of passionately fueled hooks and truly relevant lyrics that will capture an audience far wider than the success they've found in Memphis.

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