Justin Rimer - Guitars, Background Vocals
Jody Abbott - Drums
Greg Edmondson - Bass, Background Vocals
Memphis' Breaking Point displays a new definition to the age-old proverb, "patience is a virtue." Throughout the first six months of the band's debut release, they committed themselves to doing whatever it took to build a core following. It might have been slow going, but market by market, the legion of fans grew. In winter 2001, they were offered the opportunity to write and record the theme song for the World Wrestling Federation's Rob Van Dam. The track, aptly titled "One of a Kind," undeniably threw Breaking Point into a situation bands dream of. The second this song hit radio, it reacted, and it is now becoming an anthem. Radio stations across the country and their listeners have discovered the band through a song that literally was written and recorded in less than 48 hours.
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. 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. Drummer Jody Abbott had heard about the band through the group's old drummer, and brings seasoned experience, talent and power to the quartet.
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 at which point he was promoted to the role of assistant engineer. In this seat, Rimer 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. Many of these songs appear on the band's debut release.
The strongest element of Breaking Point is Erickson and Rimer's ability to craft compositions the listener wants to make a part of their aural landscapes. The current single, "One of a Kind," grabs the listener's attention immediately. Rimer's driving guitar and Erickson's menacing vocals combine to set the stage for the ultimate call and response composition. Wherever the tune is played live, it throws the crowd into a tidal wave of voices chanting along and arms thrusting. The World Wrestling Federation's Van Dam joins the band in the song's music video.
Most of the songs are true to life stories. Erickson notes, "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. Of all of these songs, ultimately "Phoenix" is the most poignant. While Erickson and the band went to Orlando to sign their management contract, 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 realized, "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. The success of "One of a Kind" validates that Rimer, Erickson, Abbott and Edmondson are finally receiving the recognition that deep talent deserves. It is only a matter of time before Breaking Point emerges as the next true success story in a long, colorful history of the Memphis rock scene.