They say you have your entire life to write your first record, and only months to complete your second. But for Spark Of Life, the malleable post-hardcore band that formed in the suburbs of Los Angeles almost 25 years ago, this life has been anything but predictable. The band, singer Steve Jennings and guitarist Nicholas Piscitello, resurfaced earlier this year with shimmering single “Song Of Hope“, which featured drum work from actor and musician Fred Armisen. Today, the band releases “Memmer?… U Memmer!“, a punchy love song that sees the band exploring a skate punk sound akin to bands like Good Riddance and Pulley. Both tracks stem from a split 7 inch with fellow California melodic punk band Freewill available for pre-order now on New Age Records.
On the song, vocalist Steve Jennings says:
“Writing Memmer?…U Memmer! was a lot of fun and happened quickly. Nick came up with this heavy, fast and catchy guitar riff that we couldn’t stop playing. In my mind I knew I wanted to write a song about my wife…since I never had! I started thinking about how I met her and how much much fun I had hanging out with her. Almost immediately I knew I was in trouble. The lyrics reflect that time in my life, but this song is about finding the love of your life and never wanting to let that go.”
When Spark Of Life formed, the band honed in a sound that leaned more melodic than the hardcore set, and proved far weightier than what was happening in the world of pop-punk. By the early aughts, they had amassed a respectable following regionally, and had befriended Russ Rankin, an intensely thoughtful singer who came from another band that knew a thing or two about walking the margins between hardcore and punk, Good Riddance. Their friendship resulted in Spark Of Life’s restless 2003 debut Promises Made. Promises Kept., which was both produced by Rankin and released on his Fat Wreck Chords- backed subsidiary Lorelei Records. And then, as often the case with this band, life took a different turn.
Over the next two decades, Spark Of Life all but disappeared. There was no acrimonious break up and no public acknowledgment of their dissolution. They simply went on with their lives. Things changed in Fall 2018 when Jennings had convinced his friends Rise Against to play a secret show at the same skatepark he worked at in high school. The show was to double as his 40th birthday party and, for the occasion, he offered to reunite Spark of Life for one night to open up for Rise (it was quite a momentous event).The band’s brief reunion undoubtedly reignited the creative spirit between Jennings and Piscitello, who began writing off and on for the next few years. By early 2022, an idea was hatched to record a few of the songs that they had gotten to a point of near completion.
From these songs Jennings and Piscitello have begun laying a foundation for the future. They are already at work on their second full-length album, a record that, in some ways, has been 20 years in the making.