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Huntsville, Alabama, United States | SELF

Huntsville, Alabama, United States | SELF
Band Rock Pop


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A Shattered Epic: The Prologue-EP released in 2007

"So We Meet Again"-played on 104.3 WZYP Huntsville, AL

"At Least We Have Dreams"-played on 96.5 The Mountain Chatannooga, TN



Estoria, (choosing their name from the Latin word meaning "a story or tale") is an extremely unique blend of hard rock and pop, lightly seasoned with, punk, metal, and hip-hop influences, all baked into a delicious face melting pie that is guaranteed to explode your musical taste buds. Based in Huntsville Alabama, with an almost nonexistent music scene this group of five talented musicians/friends strive to bring energy and grace to a rock scene lacking both. A local top 40 radio DJ said this before playing one of Estoria's song's on the air "Estoria is one of the best and most original bands I have had the pleasure of playing on my show……I really like this band!…..I can see them going far."

Estoria is currently in the studio writing and recording songs for their upcoming debut full length album entitled "Introduction". This full length album will be released early January 2011. Also, the group is booking shows locally and nationally in preparation for a small southeastern tour to kick off after the release party for "Introduction". Estoria is extremely excited about their new material and have already received raving feedback due to the first time incorporation of rap vocals by Estoria's own bassist Raymond Gilstrap. There will be a 5 song teaser e.p. released at upcoming shows on Dec. 2nd and 11th as well as the duration of December until the release party in January 2011. The five friends are all working extremely hard to create an album that is original, catchy, meaningful and fun with an underlying positive Christian message that can hopefully impact or change a person's life for the best.

Formed in 2004, Estoria has it's own unique story, filled with ups and downs, victories and losses, and smiles and tears. One might say, "Why has Estoria been around for 8 years with not much to show for it…what have they been doing all this time!?". Estoria would then reply, "NOT GIVING UP!". These words especially ring true for Estoria's two founding (and only remaining original) members Jeff Sandridge and John Toelaer. They have watched friends and members come and go over the years. The entire band lineup has changed at least 5 times. Each time having to start over as if a new band, but for some reason keeping the Estoria name throughout it all (possibly feeling as if the name died so would the dream). Sandridge moved from bass to vocals to guitar (learning a new instrument each time) just to fill positions to which replacements could not be found. All and all the band has gone through 5 singers, 6 drummers, 5 guitarists, and 2 bassists all of which were extremely talented and became great friends.

Through the course of time the band recorded and released a 7 song e.p. entitled "Estoria : A Shattered Epic - The Prologue" and sold well over 500 copies throughout their small touring of colleges, bars, and clubs in the southern US. Estoria has struggled for most everything they have accomplished, due to lack of financial support from members, parents, or investors. The band screenprinted their first and only t-shirts in Toelaers living room; which all 100 shirts were sold out at first show within ten minutes. All 500 of the "Prologue EP" were recorded, printed, designed, and produced by Estoria in Toelaer and Sandridge's bedroom's. Raymond Gilstrap (a local hip-hop artist)had been a long time friend and fan of the band and had watched the coming and going of members and the up's and downs. Although Gilstrap wanted to help the band and occasionally graced the stage with Estoria adding rap verses to a couple of songs, he didn't play any instruments. However, when the band lost it's drummer, singer, and guitarist all at the same time in 2008 they were about to call it quits. After searching to fill positions for 9 months with no luck, thats when Gilstrap offered to help. Sandridge began teaching Gilstrap how to play bass and Toelaer tought Sandridge how to sing. Amazingly after about 5 months Gilstrap and Sandridge were both up to speed with their new instruments and they found a new drummer as well. Estoria was back in full force.

Their first show back was a hugh success playing at a university for over 500 people. The new stage energy was great because Gilstrap and Sandridge had great stage chemistry and worked off each other well incorporating death defying stage stunts that the crowds loved. Although Estoria was back on track and recorded a new single called "At Least we have Dreams" that received radio airplay at Chattanooga TN's largest radio station with great reviews, something still didn't feel right. Sandridge, although he loved singing for the band he felt that if Estoria could find a better singer that would really put them over the top instead of just being good enough, so they began the long search. In the spring of 2009 a female singer named Courtney Stratton called and wanted to audition for the position. The guys were pretty apprehensive about this because they had never had a female singer