John Wiederhorn (writer)
For six weeks, Brink crashed at the homes of various people she met before getting her own apartment. Then she flew out her son, who had been in Albany with her mom. To support the family, Brink worked in clothing stores on Melrose, walked dogs, and tended bar, all the while searching for a band. Unable to find one, she tried to teach herself keyboard and sang at coffee shops and upstairs for free at the Rainbow, but nobody seemed too impressed. Rejection seemed to be following her like a stalker. Even her current bandmate Howorth, who first met her in 2004, wouldn’t audition her because she was a woman. Refusing to be dismissed so easily, Brink snuck into one of his jam sessions two weeks later, grabbed the mic, and started to sing a cappella.
“The second I started letting it out, he looked at me like, ‘Oh, my God,’ and immediately apologized for underestimating or stereotyping me,” Brink says. “That felt so good.”
The two formed the hard rock band Dying Star with drummer Jeff Fabb, but Howorth’s heart wasn’t in it, and after just two gigs he quit to focus on another project. “He just called me up and said, ‘I don’t think I can work with you anymore,’” recalls Brink with a hint of resentment in her tone. “And I said, ‘No way. I can’t take that for an answer. I don’t have a band. I’ve been here for years. We have to try this.’ And he said, ‘Okay, well then let’s do something completely new.’”
Embracing his metal roots and her whisper-to-a-scream dynamics, Howorth and Brink quickly wrote six songs that capitalized on their individual strengths, then brought in Fabb, guitarist Blake Bunzel, and bassist Josh Newell to record the band’s first demo. But before they got a chance to start touring, Newell left the band. “He didn’t want to give up everything as far as finances go,” Brink recalls. “He wanted to keep his apartment. You can’t pay bills if you go on the road. You have to basically throw everything into the wind.”
In This Moment quickly replaced Newell with Jesse Landry, then piled in a van and toured the country with just their MySpace site to promote them. “We’d book our own shows anywhere we could get them,” says Brink. “We’d end up driving eight hours to get $50 and play in front of one person and a bartender. One time we broke down by the side of the road and didn’t have enough money to get the van fixed.”
Undaunted, In This Moment kept touring and gradually created a buzz. They received an email from Ozzy Osbourne bassist Rob “Blasko” Nicholson, who offered to manage them. At first, they thought a friend was playing a joke, but Blasko was persistent, so they wrote him back and scheduled an impromptu showcase at the apartment where they used to jam. Though the performance was rusty, Blasko signed on, and with his name behind them, In This Moment suddenly had more leverage. After fielding several label offers, they eventually signed with indie metal powerhouse Century Media, which achieved success with Lacuna Coil, whose contrast between celestial pop and crashing metal is vaguely similar to that of In This Moment.