Song Stories - Home

Home

“Being in a band is like being on a roller-coaster. It has its high points, low points, twists, turns, and surprises. But at the end of every excursion it always comes back home.” 

We’ve been traveling around the Pacific Northwest (and the country) for almost six years now. When we first started playing music the roots at home hadn’t grown very deep so it was easier to leave. But in the time since a lot has happened in our personal lives. We’ve become husbands, fathers, friends, and pastors to our community. So each time we hit the road it gets a little harder to leave the people we love behind. 

Being on the road is an adventure and is extremely gratifying but it is definitely more of a single person’s game. When you are away from your wife and children you go about your day knowing there’s a piece of you thats missing. Its an internal struggle knowing you are where you’re supposed to be, but the distance is hard to work through at times.

Thankfully technology has taken the edge out of being gone. Its so wonderful to be able to FaceTime those back home! Being able to see their faces and hear their voices makes it a little easier to be away. Its not the same as being able to be there in person… But being able to visually connect with loved ones helps us cope better when we’re gone for on longer trips. 

Home was inspired by the landscapes and events that we see each time we leave. We’ve spent many hours driving along the Columbia River Gorge, traversing the plains of central WA & OR, and breathing in the smoke from burning wildfires. Its a realization that we’re away doing the thing we’re created to do. But, acknowledging that our minds are fixed on those we love back at home. Its also an honest confession that we can’t wait to be back in their embrace! 

When you travel to our hometown back in Washington you will eventually hit this spot on interstate 90 called the Sunset Hill. Its a high place West of our city. When you reach this spot at 2-3 in the morning (which is often the case for us) you can look out over the valley and see the city lights as they stretch out for miles in each direction. Its such a comforting feeling to take that scene after being gone. Theres a mental sigh that I hear whenever we reach that place that says “We made it!” and I know we’re just minutes from being back with our loved ones…

The old adage says “Home is where the heart is” and I would have to agree with that! Don’t take it for granted, and please remain seated until the ride has come to a complete stop ;)

- Andrew

Posted on October 21, 2016 and filed under Song Stories.

Song Stories - Full Speed Ahead

Full Speed Ahead 

When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.” 

1 Corinthians 13:11-12

 

We have times in our lives when we wish we could go back and change the past. Thinking the thoughts of “I wish I hadn’t done that”, “I could have done that differently”, or even “I never should have said that! What was I thinking?” I think we’ve all been there at one time or another…

Recently, I was faced with a situation that came out of my distant past. I hadn’t been completely honest with someone and had forgotten about the situation. Well needless to say that conversation came around again and I tried to cover up my cover up, and things fell apart. I carried around guilt, shame, and self-condemnation for weeks… Here I was a church employee, worship leader, & singer in a Christian band and I had failed miserably. I carried the weight of this, and the enemy started reminding me of my past mistakes. This didn’t help my condition lol I felt sick for weeks. 

The internal struggle was tearing me apart and I began to believe the lies that I was being fed. Even though I knew in my head that they weren’t true. It took my spirit quite some-time to find rest in knowing that my past isn’t what defines me. Its the grace of God through Jesus that does! He knows me and loves me deeply, and He doesn’t measure me by what I’ve done. But by what Jesus has done… So comforting!

After this season passed, I was wrestling through what I had learned. I began to form this mental picture of young pioneers headed west in wagon trains. Impressionable, innocent, and prone to mistakes. Full Speed Ahead is a recounting of the time they realized the world was not what they thought it was. Using imagery of rising storms and lurking demons helped me process what we’ve talked about so far. As I prayed through these things I began to equate the lies as a characteristic of youth, and thats where it all came together! 

1 Corinthians 13:11-12 talks about putting off childish things, thus inspiring the line “I buried my youth in a roadside grave”. I know… its a heavy and almost grotesque lyric for a Christian song… But I feel like it drives home the point that we’re to put those lies to death, bury them, and walk fully into the grace the Lord has for us. This song is all about the struggle of not being defined by what you’ve done, but rather by whats been done for you. To know that I (we) are fully known & fully loved by God.

- Andrew

Posted on October 14, 2016 and filed under Song Stories.

Song Stories - Skylines

Skylines | We Sing These Songs Because Hope Deserves An Anthem

Skylines is about regret, disillusionment, and hope. Regret that I carry from past mistakes… Its an honest conversation about the times that I screwed up being in relationship with others. The song is a sobering coming of age realization that the world doesn't work the way I thought it did. Its a tribute to the people who aren’t perfect, and carry baggage from their past around. We reflect on all these things within the song… But the predominant message we want people to walk away with is one of hope. Hope that something better is ahead… 

This was one of the most interesting songs we’ve created as a band. This tune was different in the way that all the music was written before there were lyrics and melody. That was a huge first for us. There’s typically a lyrical & melodic structure in place before we start arranging the music. Skylines was very different. The feel, vibe, and tone of the song called for something else, something we hadn’t said before.

As I reflected on the situation that surrounded Full Speed Ahead, there were things to say that were outside of my normal box. It was stretching and also empowering to simply write honest lyrics over the music. It also worked as a therapeutic outlet to voice some of the things I was struggling with internally.

Skylines follows up with the young Rambler after he’s lived some life. He’s had his adventure, things didn’t go as planned, and he’s running from a relationship thats left unresolved. We’ve either been or know of someone whose been in this position before. Burned out but maintaining that things will get better in time. The songs says “I’m running to the light”. When I wrote that it felt like a picture of holding onto hope even when things are not looking good. That hope or light that I have is The Lord, and if we’re running toward Him with our baggage He’s faithful to restore us. 

The world we live in is full of people who have no hope. they’re looking for an escape… a refuge… a reprieve…  As things get crazier politically, socially, and even spiritually I believe its our job as the church to be ambassadors of hope to the world we live in. We can bring it in our words, actions, relationships, and art. Lets start being the anthem that hope deserves and pull people to the light as we run for it ourselves.  

- Andrew

Posted on October 7, 2016 and filed under Song Stories.

Song Stories - Rambler

Rambler | We're All Ramblers In A West Coast State Of Mind

For those who may not know, our band is based in the Pacific Northwest region of the US. We are proud to call Washington State home and are pumped to say we’ve been born out of Northwest culture! Some might read this and think “You like it when it rains, are extremely snobby about your coffee, and write melancholy music” While some of that may be true… We believe that our sound has been inspired by the spirit of adventure that just oozes out of the Upper-left-coast 

When you come to the PNW it only takes about two seconds to realize “I could lose my-self here”. There are mountains, rivers & lakes, beautiful cities, and more that a person could spend a lifetime exploring. Thats what I wanted to try and harness in this song! 

Rambler came about after a heavy season of travel. We had taken a long cross country trip to the southern tip of Texas to play at a couple festivals. Things didn’t exactly go the way that we hoped and the trip back was a struggle in itself. But, thats another story for another time… When you live in an area of pristine natural beauty you can sometimes take it for granted. Its always there and is a part of the symphony of life in the Northwest. When you leave and realize that not every place looks like where we live, it allows you to take on a whole new appreciation for it.

Thats where the storyline of Rambler comes in. We follow this young, adventurous, Rambler on a quest to see what lies in the unknown beyond his reach. I picture a rambunctious young person skirting across the front porch of his mid-west home, headed west seeing what kind of adventures he can find for himself. He's a good kid with a great heart but just needs to satisfy that longing to see the world. Some might say he has #wanderlust and is looking to write his story in the mystery of whats out there.

It seems we all have that longing to be carefree and spontaneous. To drive down a road we’ve never been on. Or, hike a mountain simply because its there. The spirit of the PNW finding and making your own adventure has been instilled in us and our music. We don’t want to settle for just ok, I want to see what lies just over that horizon and answer adventures call!

So challenge yourself! Do something out of the ordinary, take that new trail, call that special someone, drive down to the river and jump in! You might just be glad you did!

- Andrew

Posted on September 30, 2016 and filed under Song Stories.

Song Stories - Undiscovered

Undiscovered | The Song That Almost Didn't Happen

So, weird way to start story right? By saying the title track of our most recent project almost never happened. Let me give you some history……….. The year was 2014 and the band had been going through some changes that were very drastic. Our old drummer had left the band, and we were working with a new guy to bring him up to speed. Weird season, lots of emotions, lots of change, lots of uncertainty…

If you’ve played music you know that losing a drummer is like losing your own heartbeat. The situation around the exit of our old drummer made it even worse. It honestly rattled us and made us question if we should (or could) continue on. In full disclosure, there was a season where we actually decided to stop being a band. Thankfully, God had other plans and brought Zach into our lives!

As a result of our old drummer leaving and Zach coming on-board I feel like we went through a bit of an identity crisis. Trying to figure out who were were musically. Yes the old songs were still there and we enjoyed playing them, but we felt as if it was time for something new. 

The Undiscovered was the first song that was written after all this change happened. Over all we felt good about the way the song played and then our world shifted again! 

It started at a winter camp early in 2015. As we were warming up before a session we began playing a rockier version of our song Worth Fighting For and the fire ignited! We spent the next several weeks re-vamping our catalogue to fit with this new style. When it came time for The Undiscovered we re-wrote the song 3-5 times and it never seemed to work! Frustrated an irritated we literally canned the song, cut our losses and moved on.

That July our bassist (Shane) had the idea of putting a more NEEDTOBREATHE feel on the song. I grabbed my roommate’s guitar and in an instant of momentary inspiration a new song was born! We were pumped! It had everything we were hoping for! The rest of the band dug it, and it wasn’t long until the current version manifested and was ready to go!

The message of the song is simple and in your face. We are un-tapped agents of change in our world(s). When we can band together, love well, reach out to the hurting, and stop accepting the status-quo, we can impact the globe in profound ways! 

God wants to redeem every story. He did it in our band, He allowed us to do it in the song, and He wants to do it in your lives. Will you join us in being The Undiscovered?

- Andrew

Posted on September 23, 2016 and filed under Song Stories.