Contributed Kelowna singer Theresa Bishop of Meteor Tree will be performing with the band at Metalocalypstick Fest in July.

Kelowna band Meteor Tree escaping labels

Hard rock, instrumental, melodic chants form basis of local band

It’s impossible to describe what genre Kelowna band Meteor Tree belongs to.

A mix of the metal sounding Tool, the vocals of Amy Lee from Evanescence with a little bit of Portishead, lead-singer Theresa Bishop said the band has always been stumped when asked to define their genre.

Meteor Tree formed officially two years and will be performing at the female-focused Metalocalypstick Fest at the Interlakes Community Center in Lone Butte B.C., July 1 and 2.

Kelowna members Bishop, guitarist/saxophonist Corey Bornau and drummer Rob O’Day connect through their passion for nature, which is at the heart of Meteor Tree.

“I think individually we have that connection and we experience that differently from each other. I think that’s one of the reasons we bond together so well,” said Bishop.

She draws from her own experiences to create the music.

“(There’s) a big connection to community and healing, so that’s kind of where I draw from as well as my own personal journey,” she said, adding she also draws from her aboriginal heritage.

Bishop never experienced the same challenges aboriginals struggled with in the past but feels her generation is the one to focus on healing.

“I feel it so intensely though I was never raised in it,” she said. “Every time I hear that drum or the powwow, I’m home. I’m so drawn to it; it’s like spiritual food and that can’t be taught.”

Bishop doesn’t focus on lyrics with her vocals, believing her vocals are like an instrument.

“When a person wails or they cry, they create a sound that’s completely connected to emotion. I find with certain (songs) pull out of me rhythmic melodies… but certain pieces pull out raw emotion that can’t be expressed in words, only felt.”

She developed the form of singing through meditation.

“What really pulled me into melodic chants was I used to sit and drum and breath deeply and get in touch with my spirit, and started exploring (myself) through sound,” she said.

Not all of Meteor Trees’ pieces are “instrumental,” as lyrics are added occasionally.

Bishop described a piece as a canvas, some parts of the painting need to be defined, while other parts don’t.

As a woman in a heavier-sounding band, Bishop said people didn’t take her seriously when she first started. While performing at open mics, announcers described her appearance rather than the music.

“I think what Metalocolypstic is doing is shining a light, or taking a magnifying glass and amplifying women in the genre. They are there, but because they’re less heard of (the festival) is definitely pinpointing them and I think it’s a great way to say ‘they are here, there are chicks who rock.’”

Bishop said you can expect to dance during Meteor Tree’s performance, but also feel a connection to the environment.

The band is currently working on their debut album, The Budding, which does not have a release date yet.

For more information on the festival visit the Metalocalypstick website.