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Bamboo Forest formed around the songwriting of guitarist/vocalist Jackson May and bassist/vocalist Will Copeland during the winter of 2010. The two high school friends had played in bands since 2007, hoping to start a project in order to start playing benefit shows in 2008. Recruiting Jeff Whitener on drums, the band developed a setlist of original songs by late spring of 2010 and quickly become a local favorite by playing the bar circuit in their hometown of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. By October of the same year, the band recorded an informal demo/EP, A Few Songs, which showcased five crowd favorites, including the Weezer-esque anthem “Winging It” and the pulsing, rock march “Dear Fabricator,.”
The band joined with the regional D.I.Y. label Say I Won’t Records in 2011, recording their full-length, 14-song album Indecisive with Alex Melton of the SC pop-punk group Plan-C. In the midst of the recording process Whitener left the band to attend college, so May and Copeland ended up playing several of the drum tracks on the album. Say I Won’t released Indecisive in July, 2011 at the Vans Warped Tour in Charlotte, NC. It easily became one of Myrtle Beach’s top albums of the summer, featuring the stylistic range of songs like the punk-friendly, 2-minute burst of “I Thought I Lobster but I Flounder,” the more expansive, 7-minute “Fixing the Mix,” and the cover of Bob Dylan’s/Old Crow Medicine Show’s “Wagon Wheel.” ListenUp Myrtle Beach called the album “aptly-titled,” noting the band’s eclectic, “Grungy Blues-influenced” blend of rockers such as The White Stripes, Jimi Hendrix, and Nirvana, while praising May’s “perfectly-calculated vocal angst.” The Free Times in Columbia, SC later praised similar qualities, noting that the band seems “as eager with distorted power chords as it is with gentle twang and shuffling melody.”
The band continued playing locally and regionally in support of the album, adding Timothy Burlinson on drums and Zach Thomas on guitar shortly after. In December of 2011 the band went on their first tour of the Southeast in support of Marietta, GA’s notorious shock-punk, “nerdcore” act Treephort. The band went on a second tour of the East Coast up to Boston and back in the early summer of 2012, and Burlinson left the band shortly after. The band picked up Zach Elvington on drums and toured again at the end of the summer along the lower part of the East Coast with other Myrtle Beach punks, Dirt Life. In the winter of 2012, the band opened up for the national ska-punk headliners Less Than Jake when they came to the Myrtle Beach House of Blues, sharing the stage with Lionize and Protagonist. At the start of 2013, the band toured the East Coast for the fourth time, again with Treephort, in support of the two bands’ split cassette that was co-released by Baby Moon Records and Turnip Farm Records.
The band has continuously placed in the finals of local Battle of the Bands competitions, most recently competing as one of four finalists in the “Grand Strand’s Best Band Competition” sponsored by ListenUp Myrtle Beach. Along with their continuous touring along the East, the band has gained a considerable following by playing with acts such as Cartel, The Queers, Michale Graves of The Misfits, Larry and His Flask, Koji, Set It Off, and many others. The band is currently in the process of writing their second album, taking time to develop their blending of garage, indie, punk, and country. The band hopes to release the album later in 2013.