Products used: Clayton custom picks
“I use Clayton pics because I know that unless I lose a pic or throw it out to the crowd during a concert, I will have it for many years. The pics are heavy duty, just the way I need them, and they never wear down. Plus Clayton has the best quality for my custom designed pics. I will not use any other pics in my career.” – Sean Hartman
Abriel is an American pop/metalcore band based out of San Francisco, CA, that was formed in 2008. The band is best known for their female vocals, mixing metalcore with pop, and their “DIY” approach to the industry funding their own tours, album releases, and marketing. In the past 3 years, Abriel has formed a huge fan base all over the world. The bands biggest markets in the United States are California, Washington, Texas, Florida, North Carolina, Massachusetts, and New York. Outside of the United States, the band’s biggest fan bases are Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Norway, England, and Japan. Abriel has headlined the 2009 Metaverse Apocalypse Tour, was support for the 2009 All Shall Perish summer tour, support at the 2009 Warped Tour, performed main stage at both the 2010 and 2011 California Metalfest, and released their debut cd through Island Def Jam. Abriel will be recording their sophomore release this summer in Los Angeles with producer David Julson-Rieley(Kelly Clarkson, Usher, Cute Is What We Aim For) and will be touring this summer in support of the album and in the fall to promote the soundtrack for the film that Abriel will be featured on.
In August 2007, gutarists Sean Hartman and Tim Wrobel decided to move down to San Francisco from Fortuna, a small town in Northern California, with an arsenal of songs ready to start a band. After a year of going through many drummer and vocalist auditions, near the end of 2008 they found east coast native Alexa Rae to hold down on vocals with amazing screams and the ability to switch to clean vocals. This is when the band decided to go with the name Abriel. Without wasting any time, the band recorded a two song demo and released the first single, “Show Em’ Your Hips,” that December, getting the band immediate attention from many fans for the synth-sounding hooks and catchy vocal melodies backed by headbanging riffs and a gut wrenching breakdown. At this time, the band did not have a drummer so Hartman switched to drums for the first two shows and the recordings. The band’s first show with a full line-up was with Alex Greenling on drums and Paul Littler on bass for a San Francisco battle of the bands in January 2009, which they won. The band then decided to self fund and headline a summer tour across the West Coast, with Peter Souza on bass filling in for Littler after he quite. The tour made a lot of noise for Abriel and caught the attention of many, thus earning them a spot on the 2009 Vans Warped Tour.
After the success of the the band in 2009, the band broke up due to life situations getting in the way causing the loss of Abriel’s drummer and bassist. Sean, Alexa, and Tim later decided to make a comeback in 2010 to record an album with bassist/producer Max Karon. After word got out that the band was back together, Abriel was asked to play main stage at California Metalfest in Pomona, CA with Bleeding Through on May 16th. Abriel brought in temp drummer Chad Evans to fill in for the year. The show brought the band back into the metal scene and got them attention from record labels like Century Media Records and Victory Records. The band was then asked to work with Zac Diebels (Deftones, Third Eye Blind, Death Cab For Cutie), but Alexa, Sean, and Tim were already working with their touring bassist and producer Max Karon. The album, “This Will Swallow You Whole,” was released on August 19, 2010 with a huge CD release party at the DNA Lounge in San Francisco which brought in a packed crowd. The band once again went on hiatus after the cd release due to life situations. Even though they had just released their debut CD and had just started to break into the industry, the band still had to work full time to make a living and this left very little time to be in a band. During that time, Wrobel started a career with Droid as a blogger and assisting with Droid troubleshooting and Hartman continued in music assisting writing and producing for pop artists, at the same time both worked full time at a college and Alexa was working as a server at a local restaurant.
Four months after the band’s split, Sean, Tim, and Alexa saw that there was still buzz going around about Abriel. The band became popular in Japan, Norway, Mexico, Canada, and all over the US. Since all three original members still had the want to keep Abriel together, Abriel brought in bassist Jordan Pendergrass from Orange County and held auditions for a new drummer. After many auditions, the band went with bay area drummer Rick Holbrook. The band’s first comeback show was headlining in San Francisco on January 31, 2011 at Submission with main support from Century Media Records band Arsonists Get All The Girls. On February 7, 2011, Abriel’s debut album was re-released digitally only through Island Def Jam Music Group. The album features the hit songs that got them where they are now. The band once again got asked to play main stage at California Metalfest in Anaheim on March 19, 2011 with their biggest influences and favorite bands As I Lay Dying, Suicide Silence, and Winds Of Plague. Abriel played in front of a sold out crowd at The Grove. After metalfest, the band played another sold out show in Sean and Tim’s hometown of Fortuna, CA, which was also Tim Wrobel’s last show with Abriel. He was later replaced by Christian Rey from Argentina, and drummer Rick Holbrook was replaced by Mathew McWilliams from San Jose. Now it is 2012 and the band has re-located to Huntington Beach, CA in Orange County to further their success in southern California. The band is currently writing for their sophomore release and will be recording this summer in Los Angeles with producer David Julson-Rieley(Kelly Clarkson, Usher, Cute Is What We Aim For), then will be touring in the fall to promote the album and the soundtrack for the film that Abriel will be featured on.