With their spacey djent vibes and hard-hitting tracks, rising progressive metal band, Adrift In Memoria shows no sign of slowing down. The two-piece project is composed of vocalist Erick Wight and guitarist Nick Broomhall. Many listeners may know Broomhall as the viral Facebook sensation behind the djent cover of “Bartier Cardi” by Cardi B. The video has amassed over a million views on that platform.
We recently got to sit down with the guys for a chat.
So, how’d the band get started?
Erick: “Nick had been working on a solo EP, and he sent me a track that he wanted to feature vocals on. I did my thing with it, and I sent it back to him. I think I complimented him on a riff video he had posted that day as well, and I told him I wanted to hear more of it. He then sent me the .mp3 of the complete arrangement, which was another song from his EP. I couldn’t help myself, and I ended up writing vocals to that one as well. I sent it back to him just for fun. He liked the writing synergy that we had so much, that he suggested that we work on a full-length release together and use the material he was going to use for his solo EP for our project instead. This is what ultimately became Adrift In Memoria.”
Nick: “Erick nailed it. Haha. I sent him that song that was originally for my solo EP, and he sent back a chorus idea within a few hours. I listened to it with my girlfriend, and we lost our minds. It was so perfect. That song is actually on another Adrift In Memoria EP that we’ll be releasing in the near future. To this day, it is one of the catchiest choruses I have ever heard, and I truly can’t wait to release it.”
Where did you two meet one another?
Erick: “Well, I seem to recall Nick having posted on Facebook, some years back, about having difficulties in finding a vocalist for his other band Chronologist, which is a fantastic instrumental group, by the way. I think we were both in some musician group on Facebook where people would share their riffs and songs all the time, so I had seen some of Nick’s stuff and had loved his writing style. Knowing he was looking for a vocalist, I slid into his DM’s to express an interest in working with him, and I included a sample of my work. Turns out, he had originally added me on Facebook after seeing a vocal cover of a Periphery tune I had put up on YouTube, and he liked my stuff as well. The only thing about working with Chronologist, was that they had an active live schedule and were located in Boston at the time, which wouldn’t work for me considering my job and location. So, we talked about working together creatively over the internet anyway and ended up doing just that. We didn’t meet in person until last year though, when I visited Boston to mix our first EP.”
Nick: “Actually, long before I joined Chronologist, I found Erick’s vocal cover on YouTube of “Zylgrox” by Periphery and I was like “Wow, I have to track this guy down.” Years later, we got in touch via Facebook.”
This one is for Nick. Did you ever think your Cardi B cover would get over a million views on Facebook?
Nick: “Honestly, I had no idea that the video was going to go that far. It was something I did in an afternoon one day after coming home from class. It blew up IMMEDIATELY. I mean, hundreds of shares within hours. Then thousands within the week. It was absolutely insane. I had no idea what to do with myself. Hahaha. It was a little intimidating to continue posting content after that, because I now felt like I had an audience waiting. But the supporters and followers I have gained through that video are amazing. They are so open to the music I have been putting out. I’m so grateful that I’ve been able to reach this many people with my music, even if it is just a cover.”
What’s the meaning behind the band’s name?
Erick: “I came up with the name several years ago, though I don’t really remember where the idea for it came from or anything. But Nick and I needed a name for our project, and I suggested Adrift In Memoria. Nick loved the name, and I had always wanted to use it for something, so it stuck.”
What genre do you consider the band, if any specific one at all?
Erick: “I guess you could classify it as progressive metal. It’s djent, if you’re wondering. I know you were wondering… The material on our debut EP actually covers quite a lot of ground, musically. It’s got crazy guitar riffs, ripping solos, progressive arrangements, odd meters, loads of groove, beautiful, dynamic clean parts with piano, some orchestral layers here and there, soaring vocal melodies, dirty screams, and lush, stacked harmonies. It’s really got everything.”
Nick: “I think most listeners would classify us as a progressive metal band. But what’s great about the genre that not even prog. metal fans realize, is that you can do literally anything you want. Nothing is out of the question. Metal is obviously the solid genre in the mix, but being “progressive” means we get to do anything we want. You don’t want us to make an EDM bluegrass album? Too bad, we’re progressive.”
Who are the band’s biggest influences?
Erick: “For me, at least vocally speaking, all of the present and former Periphery vocalists have been hugely influential to me. Spencer is king. Casey is a demon. Chris is a monster. His work with Monuments is some of my favorite stuff ever, too. But I derive melodic inspiration from a lot of instrumental music as well. I’m a huge fan of Owane, Plini, David Maxim Micic, Dream Theater, etc. Growing up though, I took a lot of influence from bands my Dad would listen to as well, such as Rush, Genesis, Queensrÿche, Iron Maiden, etc.”
Nick: “Erick and I share a LOT of the same influences. Artists like Dream Theater, Periphery, and David Maxim Micic all have a big impact on the music I write. I think where we differ is that I get a lot more into electronic music. EDM artists like Haywyre, Zedd, Anomalie, and Conro. Even though they are a completely different type of music, it has a big impact on my musical creations.”
How is Adrift in Memoria different from other bands within your genre/scene?
Erick: “There are two things about Nick’s writing that I’ve found to be unique in working with him as compared to other musicians I’ve worked with. First, he writes these odd meter parts that just naturally groove. They don’t feel awkward or forced, and it ultimately forces me to find these really interesting cadences for my vocal parts. And secondly, he sprinkles in these clever chord progressions here and there with modal interchanges that create amazing melodic opportunities for my vocal parts. Of course, it’s not like nobody has ever done these things before, but I think these characteristics of our songwriting highlight at least what makes us interesting.”
Nick: “The first thing I think of when I ask myself this question is Erick’s style and his unique voice. I could hear him on any song and know it’s him immediately. Sometimes he’ll sell me my own riffs. I’ll explain that… I could write a section of music and not really care for it. But then I’ll send it to Erick anyway and when he gets ahold of it, he’ll write a vocal part I couldn’t have even imagined. Then I’m sold. I think when working with someone who can do things like that, they bring out music you didn’t know you were capable of writing. That forces us to create music that is unique from all the other artists in this genre.”
How do you guys write your songs? Lyrics or music first?
Erick: “Most of our material starts as instrumental arrangements written by Nick, and I write my vocal parts to the instrumentals. Sometimes Nick will post a video of a section that he wrote, and I’ll make some kind of suggestion like, “Hey, that should be a heavy chorus section for a new song. I’ve got this vocal idea that goes like…” and then BAM! We’ve got a song called “Immortality Problems.” I also have a whole bunch of instrumentals that I’ve written, though they don’t always translate well to guitar since I’m programming stuff that’s sometimes impossible to play. But Nick has been able to adapt some of my instrumental stuff for guitar and work it into Adrift In Memoria material. Actually, one of our songs called “Orion’s Call” was originally like a 50-second clip Nick had sent me that I turned into a five plus minute arrangement with VST instruments. Then Nick being the monster that he is, sent it back to me like the next day, completely redone with his own nasty interpretations of those guitar parts and completing the arrangement.”
Nick: “I think we have a very interesting writing chemistry, since we collaborate remotely. The stuff he writes with MIDI instruments is insane. I honestly think it makes me a better guitar player sometimes, because I have to figure out how to play these weird sequences that I would have never thought of doing in my life.”
Describe your favorite show that you’ve played together.
Erick: “We haven’t played any shows together yet, but Nick got a chance to perform a couple of our songs instrumentally for a Berklee showcase thing he did with some other buddies of his and fellow Berklee students. I was super jealous I couldn’t be there to play those songs with them, but it was really cool to see our songs being played live on video afterwards.”
Nick: “Yeah, performing those songs with my friends from Berklee was so much fun. They are all incredible musicians, and I want to give them a quick shout out! Guitarist Randy Belculfine, bassist Billy Trone, and drummer Rhett Randolph. Go check them all out right now!”
What else do you like to do besides being in the band?
Erick: “I actually feel like I have too many hobbies sometimes. I really like editing video, and I have a nice camera drone to capture aerial footage with, so I’m always looking for something cool to shoot. I love video games too, and I love to read books. I actually get most of my lyrical inspiration from reading. I also enjoy target shooting, and I’m a die-hard combat sports enthusiast. I’ve written the first 40 pages of two different books that I’ll never finish, and I’m co-writing a story for a television show with a friend of mine. Too many interests, not enough time to explore them all to the extent that I’d like.”
Nick: “I actually have a lot of other interests involving music that don’t have anything to do with the band. I work at a studio in Texas as an assistant engineer and that takes up a lot of my time when there is a band in town. I also like working on electronic music production aside from the usual progressive metal thing. It’s something I got into a couple of years ago, and I’ve been getting more serious about it recently. Like Erick, I enjoy working on videos, editing, and filming. I am also a huge baseball fan, so I watch a lot of baseball. I go to games whenever I’m back home in Cincinnati to see the Reds play. When I have free time, I sometimes play video games as well. It’s not an activity that takes up a lot of my time, but I’ve been really enjoying Rocket League for the past few months. I also got Super Smash Bros. Ultimate for the Switch recently.”
What are the future plans for Adrift in Memoria?
Erick: “Well, our debut EP recently dropped, and it’s called Stargazer I - The Departure. It’s the first part of a three-part series we’re calling the Stargazer Trilogy. All of this material was originally written as a full-length concept album, but it was a lot of music, and very long, so we decided to chop it up into three chunks that would be more easily digestible. The other two EP’s will come out hopefully over the next year or so. This will be while we build an audience and continue producing more high-quality content behind the scenes. Once we’re well along on that path, who knows what opportunities might arise from there.”
Are covers included in future plans?
Erick: “This is actually a subject of humor between Nick and I. We have both suggested dozens of various covers to each other over the last few years, but we haven’t actually made any of them come to life yet. Well, actually, we did cover “I, The Destroyer” by Monuments, but I had totally forgotten about it until this very moment. I think all that we needed to do was shoot a playthrough video for it. Maybe we’ll get that done at some point in the near future as well.”
Nick: “We talk about covering songs by our influences all the time, but we’ve never actually finished one. We’ve talked about doing Monuments, Dream Theater, Sevendust, and many, many more. I would definitely be down to do a cover.”
Let’s do a lightning round. Texting or talking?
Erick: “Talking. It’s faster.”
Nick: “I agree with Erick. Talking. Time is too valuable.”
Dawn or dusk?
Erick: “Dusk. Who wants to be awake at dawn?”
Nick: “Dusk. Less and less distractions as the night goes along. Prime music creation hours.”
Cake or pie?
Erick: “Pie for sure.”
Nick: “This is hard, because cheesecake is probably my favorite dessert. But overall, I think I like pie more than cake.”
Polka dots or stripes?
Erick: “Uhhh, stripes, I guess?”
Nick: “Stripes, easy. Polka dots are lame. Unless it’s pepperoni on a pizza. Then I’m down.”
Chocolate or gummies?
Erick: “Tough call, but I’ll go with chocolate.”
Nick: “Chocolate all DAY.”
Adrift In Memoria dropped their debut EP, Stargazer I – The Departure last Friday and we recommend checking it out.
Freelance Writer and Photographer