Gig Seeker Pro


Band Rock


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos


The best kept secret in music


"If you want to get to know Breckinridge before everyone else, better get moving"

By Carrie Morrison

To hang out with the guys of Breckinridge, you'd never guess the band is getting national airplay, sitting on a record deal and being compared to Tantric as the next big thing to come out of Louisville. They're still meeting every week, rehearsing, joking around and marveling at their good fortune.

Breckinridge, formerly Element H, is on the precipice of success. Five years of hard work has started to pay off, big time. The band plays regular shows at Jillian's, Headliners and Phoenix Hill (and in Minneapolis, Cleveland, Memphis, Atlanta ...) and is fueled by a fans who paste their cities with fliers and DJs who put their song "Honesty" into rotation.


Teague Ridge, 24, formed the band Element H in 1999 with his friend Chuck Willis, the band's lead vocalist. They were barely out of high school. Their goal was to form a band and go all the way, not to put too fine a point on it.

"I was just driven to do it," Ridge said. "I've always felt that I could be in a band that huge, since I was 10 years old."

Ridge, a bassist, took his time finding the right musicians. The personnel changed a few times before guitarist Rahul Borkar, 23, guitarist — and Willis' cousin — Critter (just Critter, like Flea), 33, and drummer Scott McKenzie, 35, (formerly of Whatever Will) solidified things in 2001.


The band to which Breckinridge is most often compared is Stone Temple Pilots. The music is characterized as hard rock infused with rap that is sometimes softened on songs such as "Change." Influences run the gamut — Red Hot Chili Peppers, Live, Nirvana, Living Colour and Faith No More.

"All five of us come from entirely different backgrounds," Ridge said. "We have a lot of diversity in our music. We have songs that are banging heavy and we have songs that are slow acoustic."

After playing locally for a few years and producing a devoted following, the band got noticed. Industry giant Malcolm Springer, a producer who heads up 10inch Records in Memphis, Tenn., took on Element H. Attorneys, managers and other musicians started mentoring the band. Last year the band changed its name to Breckinridge (after the street in Louisville) for legal reasons.

The Future

"Honesty," a hard-edged, deeply personal song about Willis' childhood, was written three years ago and reworked in the studio in January 2003. By April, it was being played on 40 stations nationally, including Louisville's WTFX 100.5-FM. A two-song demo with the songs "Honesty" and "Destruction" has gotten a lot of attention, including a True Music artist recognition from Budweiser, mentions in Billboard magazine and nods from major and independent labels.

The next step is getting signed, and a deal is pending. After that, a full album release, club tours and, with any luck, this time next year we'll all brag that we knew them "back then."

"I don't think any of us is worried we're not going to live up to it," Willis said. "But I still think, some days ... I can't believe it's gotten this far."

- Velocity Magazine

"Quintet ready for 'world"

Quintet ready for 'world takeover'
By Tom Wilmes


If you go

Element H, The Limit and 1 King Train will play at 8 p.m. Saturday at Blue Max, 156 West Main Street. $5. 226-0335.

Element H has the right formula -- all it needs is for someone to plug it in.

The aggressive Louisville band has seen several of its contemporaries signed to the majors -- Days of the New, Tantric, Flaw -- and the group makes no bones about wanting to be next.

Element H originally envisioned itself as a rap-rock outfit when it formed in 2000, "back in those days when all those bands were big," said lead singer Chuck Willis, referring to groups like Korn and Limp Bizkit.

But after experimenting with several styles and band members, Element H jelled with its current five-member lineup and its distinct brand of melodic hard rock.

"There's no barking, as we call it," Willis said.

The band recently had a brush with big-time exposure when it made the final cut for the second season of VH1's Bands on the Run series, sort of like a low-budget Star Search with a van and a lot more piercings.

But when it came time to fill out the paperwork, there was a problem -- Willis just turned 20 and is too young for the show.

That's the breaks, but Element H refuses to stop thinking big.

"We're plotting a world take-over," Willis said, only half joking.

For now the band plans to continue shopping for major label support and to turn as many people as it can onto its live shows, which Willis says are experiences unto themselves.

"We're a little wild. It's not your normal four guys on a stage standing there strumming their instruments."

"It's an energy thing."

Asked whether it might be easier to take over the world than to land a record deal, Willis' response was typically optimistic:

"I like the odds for both, but one's got to come before the other."


Louisville, KY has it going on....ELEMENT H is going to be another band to hit it big like Flaw or Outspoken. These guys have this addicting hook to their music. From the first track DESTRUCTION it just slides into your veins and pumps you full with energy. You will be singing the chorus and bopping your head through the verses. RISEN creates a southern down beat rock aura with vocals that are very ridged and then swells into a huge chorus with sweet backing vocals to mix it up. From the southern attack the tune is infected with a heavy drum/guitar invades and then takes you right back to the beat of the south. WALK AWAY not only is my favorite track but has been in regular rotation on fox's local show (KY) for 30 weeks straight. This tune tugs on the ballad rope where the band sets it all on the table. Showing that even a ballad can be powerful and have so much emotion it oozes out the sides. The only track i didnt care for was X-MEMBERS but shit 5 out of 6 songs that rock, you gotta know this band simply rocks. Get into ELEMENT H before the masses do.
- East Coast Romper

"Element H is taking over the world"

Element H is taking over the world

By Kevin Gibson

Some people volunteer to help the homeless. Others volunteer for the United Way, at the Kentucky Humane Society or in nursing homes.

Then there are "street teams." For those of you not hip to this culture, a street team is a group of people who support a specific band or artist, and donate time, effort and expertise to help that band move forward. Duties could range from helping the band set up on stage to handing out info, telling others about the band, hitting message boards to spread the word, sending e-mails, participating in on-line chats, requesting songs on local radio, meeting with bands and tour managers, arranging media interviews ... well, you get the idea.

If a band's popularity can be related to the size of its street team, then Louisville's Element H is certainly a candidate for "Next Local Band to Break Nationally." Some 400 strong, Element H's street team is on the prowl, armed with casual fans, media types and fellow musicians. In exchange, street teamers get rewards like stickers, shirts and exclusive CDs. (Indeed, members have access to a live EP available only to them.) Members get credits for more free stuff by signing up more members. Perhaps best of all, the band has promised that each street team member will have his or her name printed on the band's first CD release.

The street team is headed up by 21-year-old Seth Firkins, who first heard the band a little over a year ago and hasn't missed a show since. Asked why, he answered, "When someone asks me what they sound like, I can't tell them," Firkins said. "If I listen to a song for the first time and picture myself writing it, I lose interest. ... Their songs always pique my interest."

Chuck Willis

Now he's one of 400 volunteers dedicated to making Element H the biggest band ever. The band appreciates it.

"I think that was Seth's idea," said Critter, the band's lead guitarist, of the street team. "He was one of the first street team members."

Firkin insists it wasn't really his idea, but that he was just the one to whom the band handed the torch. He hasn't stopped running since, and more and more people have chosen to follow. It's almost like a modern day Rocky or Forrest Gump. And they all do it for nothing in return.

"There's a lot of people who don't get paid," Critter concluded. "But then again, there are a lot of shows we play that we don't get paid for."

With that kind of support team working for it, one has to believe Element H front man Chuck Willis is only half-joking when he proclaims, "We're going to take over the world." Of course, he is joking ...

Rahul Borkar


New And Hot
Days of the New got things rolling for Louisville's hard rock just a few years ago. Louisville has long had a deep punk underground, but that has shifted to a hardcore scene, at least in terms of how the music world views us. We've all heard the Mecca crap (thanks, Playboy), but there really is a lot brewing hereabouts. Flaw last year signed a big deal with Universal Records, and numerous other bands have inked deals with labels of varying sizes. Many believe Element H will be next.

Why? A lot of reasons. The band's song "Honesty," an intense, emotional über-ballad, has been No. 1 on for weeks as of this writing. Element H has local radio support (from LRS and TFX, specifically), which is not as easy to obtain as one might imagine. In fact, "Honesty" was on the LRS local hour's most requested top 5 for 18 weeks in a row, and "Walk Away" was on the Fox's local show in regular rotation for more than 20 weeks.

Scott McKenzie

The band did a private showcase at Mom's Music for Elektra Records and has posted a No. 1 song on the unsigned Talent Net Billboard Charts. VH-1 almost picked the band for its feature "Bands on the Run" before learning that Willis was underage ("It's my parents' fault," Willis smirked). That almost surely would have led to signing a major-label deal.

"I still say we're better off," Willis, who is now 21, clarified. "If we had gotten signed then ..."

That was more than a year ago. Many say Element H has a recording deal "on the table" now. The band won't discuss that possibility in detail, but the five members of Element H are open to discussing the band's history, musical direction and hopes. And golf. But we'll get to that later.

Who The Hell Is Element H?

The foundation of Element H can be traced to high school. Willis and bassist Teague went to St. X together and were friends. After high school, Teague moved to Nashville for a while to Belmont University, a music school, where he worked with pop diva Jessica Simpson. Upon his return, Chuck called looking to record some tracks, which led them to some impromptu jam sessions. Pretty soon, Chuck's cousin Critter was invited along. Nearly 10 years older than Willis and Ridge, Critter brought a whole new layer into t - Louisville Music News

"Local name on its wat to be spoken nationally"

It's July and Phoenix Hill is rippling with energy, pot smoke, and a wild sound from the stage. Fighting to find a place to stand without getting run over by the zealous crowd, I perch myself on a brick ledge next to the stage. This is the night the element will transmute for good. The intra music fades.The band and the crowd roar at each other as three banners fall revealing the name Breckinridge.

Familiar faces to Louisville's music scene for the past two years, we've always known Chuck, Teague, Critter, Rahul, & Scott as Element H. But with time everything changes, and that's exactly what the boys in Element H have done. So much so, that they're not even Element H anymore.With their new name, Breckinridge has high hopes to be the next band from Louisville to take their hard hitting, high-energy musical style national, though in a sense they already have. Mid-summer, their hit single, "Honesty, was being played in Detroit, Baltimore, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, New York, Grand Rapids and elsewhere. And as summer drew to a close, their Web site boasted a new accomplishment -- Mac geeks everywhere could now download the 3:57 "Honesty," for a mere $.99 from the Apple iTunes Music Store. It's really cool when you get an e-mail from a person in Boston saying, 'everybody up here loves your song,'" said Teague. Billboard magazine has listed Breckinridge in the top 20 bands consis­tently added to radio play lists. Couple this with landing opening slots for almost all national touring acts that play in Louisville, a sponsorship by Budweiser, and a fan base that seems to multiply itself by two every time they play, and a record deal is only a matter of time.

"We have been told that the record deal is the easy part," said Teague.

"Making a career after that is the hard part. And I think we are geared up and ready for that challenge." Ready for that challenge they are. With non-stop show promotions and four to five hour practice sessions till the wee hours of night four days a week.

Breckinridge's "local" claim to fame spreads like Monkey Pox. Infectious and highly contagious is the best way to describe their style both on and off stage. So what's next? Change. The new name Breckinridge is just the begin­ning. "We didn't change because we thought we were cool or that we were try­ing to be something that we haven't been in the past, or anything like that. It was purely legal to avoid conflict of interest amongst other musicians in the industry," Chuck explained. "But more importantly, it's Louisville to the bone. You can't get anymore Louisville than Breckinridge Lane." Expect their musical style to continue evolving. With inspirations from Michael Jackson to STP to Barenaked Ladies, Breckinridge's music never lacks variety. Breckinridge's depth, driven by the members' diverse tastes, is demonstrated both on their albums and on stage. "We feel that there is a way to play in the studio and a way to play on stage," said Rahul. If you listen to the CD, then everything sounds perfect. But if you go see a show and wanna feel the energy, then you come see us and we will give you the energy, we will give you the intensity. We may not hit every note absolutely perfect, but fuck it. We're gonna bleed on that stage for you." That they do. Their name change party might have been their most intense yet. And while their painstaking efforts were obvious, they made it look easy. Everyone left with a new orifice that night. As they came off stage they immediately went out to hang out with their friends and fans. These guys make such an immense effort to get to know everyone who supports them. Breckinridge is thankful to everyone who has played some role in their success., from Teague's dad, who lets them tear it up in his basement until 2 a.m., to the guys at The Fox and LRS who got them onto the radio. And the fans reciprocate the band's warm feelings -- turning out in screaming throngs to every show. "We are nothing without them," adds Chuck. As the night comes to pass and as the security is telling everyone to get out, a few rock and roll holdouts down one last shot to cap off the night and totter off to hug the toilet. That's what is expected at a rock show and that's exactly what Breckinridge brings when they play - energy, intensity, and good reasons to hug the toilet.

--- Jason Ashcraft<br> - The Ville Magazine


"Honesty" Has been released nationaly and has received over 1000 BDS spins on rock radio across the country.


Feeling a bit camera shy


Originally formed in the summer of 99 the band formally known as Element H was faced with legal issues and forced to changed the name. They became Breckinridge in 2003. Breckinridge has become a major force in the music industry on many levels. Starting as a high school dream, member after member have fallen into place to form the band as it has been since 2001. With the final lineup in tact the band has set out to take themselves to the next level and beyond. They have continued to deliver both in their live show and the recording facets of their career.
World Renowned producer Malcolm Springer spotted the band while in Louisville and the combo has proved to be unstoppable ever since. With Malcolm’s touch and Breckinridge’s hook laden songs not to mention the incredible live show, Breckinridge has created a massive following averaging 700-1000 people at every show in Louisville KY and the surrounding regions. Breckinridge’s first single “Honesty” was recently put into heavy regular rotation on 100.5 wtfx. They soon had the most requested song via e-mail and phones and stayed in the top ten for 12 weeks. The song was also played in 50 different cities across America averaging 130 spins a week, making Breckinridge the first ever unsigned band to break into Billboard magazine. Shortly after, the single “Honesty” made the “heat seekers” chart. Following the trends of modern technology the band had been recently added to regular rotation on XM satellite radio as well as the first unsigned act to be added to’s I-Tunes roster. Giving the first single ”Honesty” world wide exposure.
In early 2003 Budweiser/ Anheuser-Busch picked up Breckinridge as a true music sponsored artist not only on a regional level but a national level providing them with funding, advertisement, merchandise, and product. Soon after Breckinridge signed on legendary entertainment lawyer Jim Zumwalt of Zumwalt, Almon & Hayes. Shortly after that Breckinridge signed with BMI publishing and performing rights.
How does Breckinridge have such a huge buzz? Breckinridge has been featured in such publications as Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone, Lexington Herald Leader, Courier Journal, Louisville Music News, The Ville, and the Louisville Eccentric Observer. They shared the stage with countless of very well known artists around the region. Also their highly touted street team consisting of diehard fans has over 700 members globally.
With all of these accomplishments, support and unprecedented major and independent label interest there is no doubt that the future holds great things for the band and everything they do.